Assessment Requirements

Health care providers who did not graduate from an approved Alberta Health Care Aide (HCA) Program may apply to have their previous health care education assessed through the College of Licensed Practical Nurses (CLPNA).  Through the substantial equivalence process, received education documents are evaluated to determine whether the education received is considered substantially equivalent to the Government of Alberta 2019 HCA Provincial Curriculum.

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.

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.

NOTE* The Practice Exam is NOT part of the Substantial Equivalence Assessment, enrolment and payment of the Practice Exam are NOT required.

How to Apply

The substantial equivalence process requires completion of each of the following:

  • Enrolment on the Alberta HCA Directory.
  • A credit or debit payment of the  $300.00 CAD plus GST assessment fee.
  • Proof of successfully meeting English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirement in alignment with Alberta HCA Program requirements, outlined in Section 2.0 of the Substantial Equivalence assessment policies.
  • Submission of course/program curriculum (including course outlines and descriptions) from the program graduated from. These documents must be submitted directly from the post-secondary institution to or mailed to the CLPNA.
    • If the complete curriculum is not available, a detailed course syllabus and/or curriculum objectives supplied by the educational institution will be utilized.
  • Submission of official transcript(s) from the post-secondary institution graduated from, submitted directly from the post-secondary institution to the CLPNA at

All curriculum, program outcomes and transcripts may be emailed or mailed to the Directory. Click here for our contact information.


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

NEW* Changes to the Substantial Equivalence Assessment Policy

Alberta Nursing students that are seeking employment in Alberta as HCAs must submit a complete application to the Alberta HCA Directory for enrolment and provide a copy of their post-secondary institution’s unofficial transcripts directly to

  • Nursing students will be subject to the program requirements outlined in the Alberta HCA Substantial Equivalence Assessment Policies.
  • It is the responsibility of the nursing student to ensure that their unofficial transcripts reflect the educational requirements outlined in the Alberta HCA Substantial Equivalence Assessment Policies.
  • The status for these nursing students will be “Sub. Eq – In Progress.”
  • Employers will be able to verify through the employer portal the nursing students’ enrollment on the Directory when the student nurse completes their application and submits a copy of their transcript.
  • Nursing students will only receive approval as Substantially Equivalent once unofficial transcripts have been received to and verified for approval.
  • For the duration of this provision, Alberta nursing students will not be required to pay the SE Assessment fee.

This policy expires on December 31, 2021.

Substantial Equivalence Assessment Toolbox