Complaints Process

Complaints regarding the conduct of a Licensed Practical Nurse received by the CLPNA are processed by the framework outlined in Part IV of the Health Professions Act (HPA).

For more information on how to make a complaint to the CLPNA: Make a Complaint

After receiving your written and signed complaint, the Complaints Director will review to establish whether the CLPNA has jurisdiction. If so, all involved parties will be contacted by telephone.

Within 30 days, the complainant and the Investigated Member (the LPN) will both receive a written letter confirming that the complaint was received. This letter will include the name of the assigned investigator who will complete the investigation.

The Investigated Member receives a copy of the written complaint and are advised they are entitled to representation by legal counsel, a union representative, or an agent of their choice.

To learn more about the CLPNA’s initial actions after receiving a complaint, view our video, Complaint Process.

Every complaint received by the complaints department is assessed for significant risk to the public.

If there is a serious concern regarding the Investigated Member’s competence or ethics, and there is a significant risk to the public if the Investigated Member continues to practice, the Complaints Director has the authority to recommend a suspension or condition that limits the LPN’s ability to practice while the complaints process is underway. This provides ongoing public protection.

To learn more, watch our educational video explaining Suspensions, Conditions, and Restrictions.

During the investigation process, the complainant and the Investigated Member will be interviewed by the Complaints Director or an appointed investigator. Witnesses with relevant information may be interviewed during the investigation process.

Learn More About the CLPNA’s Investigation Process

To learn more, watch our video: Investigation Process.

Legal Authority

The CLPNA has the legal authority, under s.63 of the HPA, to collect any information and or relevant documents to the investigation. This may include personal information and medical documentation.

Legal Authority Resource

To learn more, watch our video: Legal Authority.

An LPN may be found to be unfit for practice. This is called “incapacity.”

Incapacity may include issues such as a physical or emotional mental condition or disorder.

If the LPN’s conduct in the complaint is a result of incapacity, it is then managed differently, under section 118 of the HPA. However, the complaints process may resume at any time. If there are grounds to believe incapacity is an issue, the Complaints Director may immediately restrict the LPN from practicing. This is called a “Direction to Cease Practice.” The Complaints Director may direct the LPN to submit to physical or mental examination, monitoring, and treatment. These examinations or assessment are at the LPN’s own cost.

Interpretive Document: Fitness to Practice and HPA Definition of “Incapacitated”

Once the investigation is complete, an investigation report is submitted to the Complaints Director for review. The Complaints Director determines if there is evidence of unprofessional conduct.

Unprofessional conduct may include:

  • displaying a lack of knowledge, skill or judgment while providing professional services;
  • breaching the CLPNA’s Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice, or any other related legislation; or
  • engaging in conduct that harms the integrity of the regulated profession.

There are a number of options that the Complaints Director may use to resolve a complaint:

  • The complaint may be dismissed.
  • The complaint enters the consent resolution process.
  • The complaint is referred to a Disciplinary Hearing.

RELATED – Hearings Process

A complainant may request a review of a dismissed complaint, which is conducted by the Complaint Review Committee (the CRC). The CRC consists of two LPNs appointed by the CLPNA’s Council and two public members appointed by the Alberta Government.

A written request for review must be submitted to the Hearings Director within 30 days of receiving the written notice of dismissal. Detailed information about this process is included with all dismissal decisions.

The request must be sent to:

Hearings Director
College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta
13163 – 146 Street
Edmonton, AB T5L 4S8

The CLPNA’s Council has set a fee of $300 to review a dismissal. Should the fee be a hardship on the complainant, the complainant may submit a letter to the Hearings Director requesting the fee be waived and must include reasons. This request must be included in the complainant’s initial request for review of the dismissal. The Hearings Director will review each request individually and will maintain discretion to waive the fee.


The Investigated Member or the Complaints Director may appeal a Hearing Tribunal’s Decision to the Council Appeal Committee (CAC), which consists of two council members appointed by the CLPNA Council and two Public Members appointed by the Alberta Government.

The Notice of Appeal must include reasons and must be given to the Hearings Director within 30 days of receiving the written decision. An appeal to the CAC must be based on the Hearing Tribunal Decision.

The Hearing Tribunal Decision remains in effect pending an appeal unless the Investigated Member makes a written application to the CAC.

Council Appeal Committee Decisions

The Council Appeal Committee must, within 90 days from the date of the conclusion of the appeal, make a decision and do one or more of the following:

  • make any finding that, in its opinion, should have been made by the Hearing Tribunal;
  • quash, confirm, or vary any finding or order of the Hearing Tribunal or substitute or make a finding or order of its own;
  • refer the matter back to the Hearing Tribunal to receive additional evidence for further consideration in accordance with any direction that the Council Appeal Committee may make; or
  • refer the matter to the Hearings Director to schedule it for rehearing before another Hearing Tribunal composed of persons who were not members of the Tribunal that originally heard the matter.



or call 1-800-661-5877 (toll-free in Alberta) or 780-484-8886.