Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions that you may have about the Alberta Health Care Aide Directory.

1. Are HCAs required to enrol in the Directory? 

Alberta Health has mandated that all Health Care Aides (HCAs) working for a publicly funded employer enrol in the Alberta HCA Directory. If a HCA works for a privately funded employer, they are able to enrol in the Directory and are encouraged to do so.

2. Why is it mandatory for HCAs to enrol in the Directory?

Having all HCAs working for a publicly funded employers enrol in the Directory will provide Alberta Health and its partners with good workforce data, which will support the development of health human resource plans. More importantly, it will provide public assurance that Alberta’s HCAs are competent.

Based on a directive from Alberta Health, publicly funded employers have until the end of December 2019, to:

  • Enrol all existing HCA employees;
  • Enrol all new HCA employees;
  • Ensure that all HCAs maintain current and active status in the Directory; and
  • Notify contracted operators of these requirements and conditions.

3. Why does the HCA need to apply to the Alberta HCA Directory when they have provided information to their employer?

The Alberta HCA Directory is a separate entity from a HCA employer and the Directory’s focus is only about Health Care Aides. Alberta Health Services, Covenant Health, Covenant Care, and other employers of HCAs have separate computer systems that are not necessarily connected with each other and are not collecting information for the same reasons as the Alberta HCA Directory. The focus of the Directory is to collect each HCAs information, including demographics and workplace information, from all HCAs in Alberta that work in both public and private care. Therefore when the Directory requests Health Care Aides to apply, they are completing their own application online and verifying their identity to a separate entity, which provides validity to the application process.

4. Why do HCAs need to provide ID when applying?

Health Care Aides need to provide two pieces of current and valid identification when applying to the Alberta HCA Directory. One is required to be a picture ID because these documents validate a HCAs legal name, date of birth, address, etc., essentially confirms the HCAs identity and therefore is a requirement of the HCA application process.

5.  Uploading ID is safe when applying.

Many organizations require ID to be mailed when applying, but the Directory wants HCAs to be assured that uploading ID through the online application process is secure and much safer than faxing or mailing photocopies of ID. Unlike sending a fax or mailing a photocopy of ID(s), their information is protected during transmission and when stored in the database by encryption. There is no file or printed image that can be copied.  The information which makes up the ID is sent and stored as a series of fragments that are reassembled for viewing only when administrators completes the confirmation process. Additionally, the Alberta HCA Directory has a very robust privacy policy and has security in place to protect any and all information that is being provided.

6. Wasn’t there already a Directory in place?

Although there was a 2011 version of a HCA directory, this Directory has been implemented to accommodate all HCAs in Alberta, their employers and educators. The old version required employers to report their HCA employees, but the new version gives HCAs the ability to enrol themselves. It also acts as a database and provides aggregate information applicable to each stakeholder group, including government, employers, HCAs, and educators. 

7. Can educators enrol HCA students once they graduate?

Health Care Aides will have the ability to enrol themselves on the Directory once they have been accept in an approved  HCA Certificate Program in an Alberta approved HCA educational institution. Once the HCA successfully completes the program, it will be necessary to provide proof of course completion directly from the post-secondary institution to the Alberta HCA Directory.

8. What status will students enroled in an approved HCA program be given while their status is being confirmed?

An HCA’s status will remain Certified-In-Progress until their official transcripts are received and confirmed by the Directory.

9.  What does “In Progress” mean for a HCA that has applied to the directory?

If a HCA has applied to the Directory, they can login to the Directory to check their application status. Application information is outlined below.

Submitted – “In Progress”

This status means that your application has been received by the HCA directory. Once your application has been reviewed, it will proceed to the next stage of the application process.

Sent for Review – “In Progress”

This means that your application has been sent to the supervisor/employer that you specified on your application. Please confirm with your supervisor that their email is correct. You are able to remind your supervisor and I will also send another update to the supervisor on file. Until your supervisor/employer has reviewed and verified your application we cannot approve it.

Awaiting Documents – “In Progress”

This means that you have been sent an HCA Request for Transcripts email with a form attached that you are meant to complete, sign and send to your institution. When we receive your transcripts  from your institution, your application will be updated and approved.

If you have chosen this option and have yet to be approved, you may email the directory: with your first and last name I will return your application and you can change the option chosen to – “I want my immediate supervisor/employer to attest to my education.” Fill in your employer/supervisor’s information and an email will be sent to them to certify your credentials.

Review(s) Complete – “In Progress”

This means that your application has been reviewed by your supervisor and we will review the application and approve it or return it the application if there are any necessary updates. Please login to check your application status periodically.

10. Is it possible to advertise on the Directory?

The Directory will post educational and employment information relevant for HCAs on the website. Contact us at to discuss.

11. Enrolment of HCAs from other Provinces and Countries

Without a certificate from an approved Alberta educational institution, Alberta employers can review a potential employee’s education to determine if it is substantially equivalent, which means equal to the standards of education of HCAs upheld in Alberta.

If the HCA is internationally educated, some employers may assess previous education and may accept education as substantially equivalent to the Alberta competency profile and curriculum. Or, the employer may hire the HCA and conduct a competency assessment.

If the HCAs education does not prove to be substantially equivalent, they may become a certified HCA by successfully finishing a formal Health Care Aide program approved by the Government of Alberta.

12. Can I enrol with the Directory if I am an Alberta trained HCA that is currently unemployed?

If you were educated from a recognized institution in Alberta and living in Alberta, you can enrol. This opportunity gives unemployed HCAs who have appropriate documentation verifying their certification, to be recognized as part of the HCA service provider group.

13. Is there a fee to enrol in the Directory?

There is no fee to enrol in the Directory.

14. Does the Alberta HCA Directory act as a regulatory body for HCAs?

The Alberta HCA Directory is not a regulatory body under the Health Professions Act. It is a database containing information about HCAs. HCAs remain unregulated care providers who must be supervised by a regulated professional.

HCA Toolbox and Video Assistance

Alberta HCA Directory Enrolment Guide and Checklist

HCA Information and FAQ Sheet


HCA Directory Account Creation How-To YouTube Video

HCA Directory Application Form How-To YouTube Video

HCA Supervisor Training YouTube Video