HCA Regulation

Health Care Aide Regulation

Health Care Aides (HCAs) in Alberta are currently unregulated. On December 9, 2020, the Health Statutes Amendment Act received royal assent. Bill 46 made substantial amendments to the Health Professions Act (HPA), including the future regulation of HCAs in Alberta.

As a result of these changes, the CLPNA will become one college with two distinct professions: Licensed Practical Nurses and Health Care Aides. The CLPNA has been working with the Government of Alberta, HCAs, and a broad group of stakeholders from across the province to make the transition to regulation.

Regulation promotes improved client safety and quality of care. When regulation comes into effect, the CLPNA will set requirements through the development of standards of practice, policies, and guidelines as well as the administration of a complaints process. These requirements will provide a framework for HCA practice and bring clarity to the role.

The Role of a Health Care Aide (HCA) in Alberta

The Health Professions Act and Regulatory Colleges in Alberta

Regulation of HCAs in Alberta

Why Are HCAs Being Regulated?
How Will HCAs Be Regulated?
What Requirements Will HCAs Have to Meet?

In Alberta, HCAs work collaboratively as part of the healthcare team and provide care to vulnerable populations such as the elderly, people with disabilities, and individuals who are acute or chronically ill. The nature of the HCA-patient relationship involves intimate care such as bathing, dressing, and toileting. Such care puts HCAs in strong positions of power requiring high levels of trust by their patients, so it is important to ensure appropriate training and competence through regulation.

Regulation of the HCA profession is important for several additional reasons:

  • Regulation allows for standardization of training and education, standard competencies, and standards of practice.
  • Regulation works to support public safety and regulating the profession will create a greater level of confidence in the HCA-patient relationship.
  • Regulation will support greater clarity around an HCA’s role and establish a process for investigating complaints under the HPA.

In Alberta, health professionals (including physicians and nurses) are regulated under the Health Professions Act. The HPA establishes some common rules for all health professionals as well as authorizing a regulatory body, known as a “college,” to create and enforce rules specific to each health profession.

The job of a college is to protect the public from unsafe practice and hold registrants of the profession accountable for the care they provide to patients. Colleges also create additional policy documents to guide the application of these rules.

Some rules are made by the college alone, some are made by the college after consulting with the profession and the government, and others are made by the college only when first approved by the government.

Documents and Regulation

There are key documents that need to be established to govern a profession. These documents provide a college and registrants with key information to guide the profession.

  • The Health Professions Act establishes the regulatory health colleges and sets some common rules that apply to all colleges.
  • The regulation outlines the registration and conduct requirements of a health profession and any restricted activities a registrant may perform.
  • Bylaws outline governance including the composition of the Council and defines management matters.
  • A code of ethics and standards of practice establish obligations of the registrant in the practice of their profession.
  • Council policies and program manuals further clarify the responsibilities of the registrants of a profession.

Once regulated under the Health Professions Act, HCAs will have to meet certain requirements. These requirements include:

  • registration
  • continuing competence
  • professional conduct


Under the Health Professions Act, a regulatory college sets registration requirements and establishes a registration and renewal process.

Once HCAs are regulated, they will need to register with their regulatory college. This involves applying for registration and providing evidence that you meet certain requirements. If you do, you will be issued a practice permit.

This practice permit must be renewed annually. To renew annually, you will need to meet certain requirements including paying a permit fee and participating in the continuing competence program.

Learn more about registration and annual renewal

Continuing Competence

Under the HPA, health professionals must participate in a continuing competence program established by their regulatory college. The college is required to audit a registrant’s continuing competence learning.

The CLPNA will establish a continuing competence program for HCAs.

Learn more about continuing competence programs

Professional Conduct

A regulatory college, through processes outlined in the HPA, provides the public a way to submit formal complaints against a healthcare provider for unsafe, unskilled, and unethical practice.

Any individual can submit a formal complaint to a regulatory college. When a formal complaint is received, the matter will be investigated.

Learn more about professional conduct

Looking for more information? View our HCA FAQs.

Questions about HCA regulation?

Contact info@hcaregulation.com or call 1-800-661-5877 (toll-free in Alberta) or 780-484-8886.

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