Assessment Requirements

A Substantial Equivalence Assessment is a standardized, rigorous and transparent evaluation of the education of health care providers who did not graduate from an approved Alberta Health Care Aide (HCA) Program. To receive the substantial equivalence status on the Directory, health care providers may apply to the Alberta HCA Directory to have their previous health care education assessed to the Government of Alberta 2019 HCA Provincial Curriculum through the College of Licensed Practical Nurses (CLPNA). The received curriculum must meet a minimum equivalency of 75% to the Government of Alberta 2019 HCA Provincial Curriculum to be considered substantially equivalent.

The Substantial Equivalency Assessment is an online assessment process with an anticipated timeline of assessment of 4-8 weeks once all relevant documentation has been received. Any individual wishing to be assessed for substantial equivalence is subject to the $300.00 CAD plus GST assessment fee.

For more information on the areas of education and academic competency that will be assessed, applicants are encouraged to review the Alberta Health Care Aide Competency Profile 2018.

To be assessed for Substantial Equivalence, applicants are required to meet the following requirements:

Applicants are required to provide all three (3) of the following documentation:

1. Official Academic transcript from their institution.

The following documents are not accepted:

  • Documents titled Statement of Marks,
  • Statement of Attainment,
  • Detailed Academic Record,
  • Record of Marks,
  • Progress Report, and other similar documents.

2. Official educational program documentation that includes (but is not limited to):

  • Specific learning outcomes (SLOs) for each course,
  • Details related to topics covered and key competencies and skills learned,
  • Number, length, and location(s) of clinical placements/practicum
    • (for example, 1 – 80-hour clinical placements in acute care),

Note: documents may be titled Program/Course Curriculum, Course Syllabi, Course Synopsis, Course Description(s), or Course Outline(s) depending on the institution.

3. Proof of successfully meeting English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirement in alignment with Alberta HCA Program requirements, outlined in the Substantial Equivalence assessment policies.

All documentation must be submitted by the post-secondary institution (school) to

Effective September 1, 2021, new changes to the English Language Proficiency requirements will be implemented. See policy 2.4 and 2.5 in the Substantial Equivalence assessment policies.


  • Post-assessment, applicants receive a formal electronic letter indicating if they are successful or unsuccessful, along with guidance on the next steps.

Alberta Nursing Students

For more information on employability while undergoing the Substantial Equivalence Assessment, please visit SE Assessment Information webpage. 

Substantial Equivalence Assessment Toolbox