Substantial Equivalence Assessment

What is the Substantial Equivalence Assessment?

A Substantial Equivalence Assessment is a standardized, rigorous and transparent evaluation of the education and experience of health care providers who did not graduate from an approved Alberta Health Care Aide (HCA) Program.

Health care providers who fit under this category may apply to the Alberta HCA Directory to have their received education and experience assessed through the CLPNA to determine whether it is considered substantially equivalent to the Government of Alberta HCA Provincial Curriculum. Eligible applicants include:

  • Graduates of a health care program outside of the province of Alberta;
  • Internationally Educated Nurses; and
  • Individuals with education as a health care aide, personal support worker, continuing care assistant, nurse or other profession considered to provide direct patient care.

How to Apply

The Substantial Equivalency Assessment is an online assessment process; health care providers and/or Alberta nursing students wishing to be assessed for substantial equivalence must Enrol on the Alberta HCA DirectoryFor information on How to Enrol, visit theHow to Apply Webpage.

Any and all individual wishing to be assessed for substantial equivalence are subject to the $300.00 CAD plus GST non-refundable assessment fee.

The substantial equivalence process requires each of the following:

  • Enrolment on the Alberta HCA Directory
  • A credit or debit payment of the assessment fee: $300.00 CAD plus GST
  • A copy of the successful completion of English Language Proficiency (if applicable) in alignment with Alberta HCA Program requirements submitted to
  • A copy of the curriculum from the program that the health care provider graduated from which must be submitted to  or mailed to the CLPNA by the institutionAll curriculums must be submitted directly by the institution to the Directory, or they will not be considered.

To be assessed for Substantial Equivalence the Directory must receive a copy of your post-secondary institution’s curriculum, not transcripts. Transcripts will not be accepted in lieu of the curriculum.

The Directory will honour the transcript exception for any nursing students who submitted their application before July 1, 2020. The transcripts must be sent directly by the institution to or mailed to the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA).

About the Assessment

The received curriculum must meet a minimum equivalency of 75% to be considered substantially equivalent. An applicant that does not meet the English Language Proficiency requirement and/or with a curriculum that does not satisfy the minimum equivalency to the current Government of Alberta HCA Provincial Curriculum will be referred to an Alberta institution approved to offer the HCA Program for further options.

Approved  Health Care Aide programs can be found at

How long does the SE Assessment process take?

The substantial equivalence assessment will be conducted by the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA) with an anticipated timeline of assessment of 4-8 weeks once the curriculum has been received. The health care provider will be required to complete their online profile with the Directory, have their curriculum submitted and provide consent to having their assessment decision shared with their employer or future employer.

Substantial Equivalence Assessment Toolbox