Frequently Asked Questions

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Enrolment Information

Why should Health Care Aides (HCAs) enrol in the Directory? 

  • Alberta Health has mandated that all Health Care Aides (HCAs) working for a publicly funded employer must be enrolled in the Alberta HCA Directory, effective January 31, 2020.
  • Although HCAs working for privately funded employers are encouraged to enrol in the Directory, they are not required to at this time.

Is there a cost to enrol in the Directory?

There is no fee to enrol in the Directory.

Is Government-Issued identification a requirement for enrolment?

Yes, HCAs must provide two types of valid (non-expired) Government-issued identification (ID) to successfully enrol on the Directory. One must be photo-ID and the accompanying ID does not have to be photo-ID.

  • The Directory does not accept health care cards or SIN cards. A list of acceptable Government-issued ID is available on the How to Apply webpage.

How is HCA identification protected on the Directory?

  • The Directory does not accept ID via email, mail, or fax.
  • All ID must be uploaded directly to the Directory application form.
  • HCA information is protected during transmission and stored securely in the database by encryption.

Because ID is uploaded directly onto the database, there is no file or printed image that can be copied.

What are the different core competency statuses on the Directory?

  • Certified: HCAs who have successfully completed and received a Health Care Aide certificate in Alberta.
  • Substantial Equivalence: Graduates of a Health Care Aide program outside 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.
  • Deemed Competent: HCAs who have no formal health care education and have been assessed using a completed competency assessment tool by a regulated nurse employed by an operator.

HCAs are encouraged to review the Core Competencies webpage.

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Annual Renewal

What is Annual Renewal and why do HCAs have to complete it?

The Annual Renewal is mandatory for all approved Health Care Aides on the Alberta HCA Directory. It is also an opportunity for HCAs to review and update their profile on the Directory, including but not limited to their:

  • contact information (name changes, address, phone number, email)
  • information about their employer(s)
  • any recently completed education

For more information visit the Annual Renewal page.

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Out-of-Province or Internationally Educated

What should you do as an out-of-province or internationally educated applicant?

Individuals who did not graduate from an approved Alberta Health Care Aide (HCA) Program looking to work as a HCA in Alberta must apply for the Substantial Equivalence Assessment (SEA).

Eligible applicants include:

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

For more information about the Substantial Equivalence Assessment (SEA), visit the SEA webpage.

Eligibility to work while SEA – In progress

Substantial Equivalence Assessment (SEA) applicants who have applied and paid the SEA fee in full are eligible to work as HCAs in Alberta while their application is in-progress. For more information on this policy, visit the SEA Assessment Information webpage.

How can an Alberta Nursing student enrol on the Directory?

Alberta nursing students that are seeking employment in Alberta as HCAs must:

For more information about the Substantial Equivalence Assessment (SEA), visit the Alberta Nursing Student webpage

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Alberta Provincial HCA Exam

What is the Alberta Provincial Health Care Aide (HCA) Examination?

The Government of Alberta Provincial Health Care Aide Exam (Exam) provides a standardized assessment to determine Health Care Aide (HCA) students’ success in meeting the entry to practice HCA Program competencies as outlined in the Alberta HCA Competency Profile (2018).

Who is required to write the Alberta Provincial HCA Exam?

To graduate from an Alberta licensed HCA Program and receive the Government of Alberta 2019 HCA Provincial Curriculum Certificate, all HCA students must successfully complete the Provincial HCA Examination.

Can I challenge the Alberta Provincial HCA Exam?

There is no process in place for challenging the Alberta Provincial HCA Exam. The Exam is only available to HCA students enrolled in an Alberta Health Care Aide (HCA) Program delivering the 2019 curriculum.

For more information about the Provincial HCA Examination, visit the website page About the exam at Provincial Exam – HCA Directory (

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