Alberta Clinical and Surgical Assistant Program (ACSAP)

The Alberta Clinical and Surgical Assistant Program (ACSAP) is administered by Alberta Health Services (AHS) and provides an alternate career path to those International Medical Graduates (IMGs) who meet the program eligibility criteria to get valuable work in acute care settings and put their clinical background to good use within the Canadian Healthcare System. Program participation offers very beneficial experience to qualified candidates resulting in the amplification of medical knowledge and skills, in the development of professional competencies and in the enhancement of communication skills, as well as a unique opportunity to remain up to date with current medical trends and best practices while making a professional contribution to health care in Canada However, it does not lead to full licensure with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA), or to independent practice. Instead, upon successful completion of the program, IMGs are engaged in providing patient care services under the supervision of independently licensed physicians at hospitals in Calgary, in Edmonton and in the surrounding areas.

ACSAP puts candidates through a six-month orientation, assessment and evaluation within a particular clinical or surgical service located in Calgary, Edmonton or Red Deer and if successfully completed, it leads to a full-time and permanent acute care coverage role that addresses clinical and/or surgical coverage shortages in the province.

During the assessment, the selected candidates are integrated into existing programs requiring supervised medical and/or surgical services and have the opportunity to actively participate in supervised interactions with patients and obtain hands on experience. A team of physicians or surgeons serve as supervisors on a one-to-one basis, and formerly evaluate the candidate throughout the program. Upon successful completion of the assessment, candidates will continue in a career-stream role in the same service department where their assessment has taken place.

The candidate will be required to register with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) for a Limited Practice Register Practice Permit as a CA/CSA and to complete a Heart and Stroke Foundation Basic Life Support Level C course within 3 months the job offer has been accepted. The role of the Clinical Assistants (CAs) consists of assisting patients, completing histories and physical examinations, ordering and performing selected diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, interpreting laboratory and radiological results and planning care throughout the patient’s hospitalization. Clinical/Surgical Assistants (CSAs) work in the designated surgical service areas.

In consultation with the attending surgeon, the CSA assesses both on and off service patients, providing pre-operative care, post-operative care and intra-operative surgical assistance. CSAs complete patient interviews, histories and physician examinations, order and perform selected diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, interpret laboratory and radiological results, and plan care through the patient’s hospitalization. Patient care provided by both CAs and CSAs is carried out in collaboration with the multidisciplinary health care team.

In order to apply to ACSAP, an IMG must:

Be a Canadian Citizen, or a Permanent Resident of Canada at the time of application.
Have completed a medical school located outside of Canada and the United States, listed the World Directory of Medical Schools (former FAIMER) website:

Have completed at least one full year (minimum 12 months) of Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) of hands-on training after having obtained his/her medical degree:

Have passed the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE) before submitting the application

Have passed the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination – Part 1 (MCCQE1) no later than May in the year of application and be able to prove proof by the AIMGP application exam results deadline

Have passed either the academic version of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS-Academic), or the Internet Based Test of English as a Foreign Language (iBT-TOEFL) within 24 months before submitting the application achieving the minimum score of 7.0 in each of the components on IELTS/Academic, or of 24 in each of the components on iBT-TOEFL

NOTE: The iBT-TOEFL scores will be valid no longer than December 31, 2017 and IELTS/Academic will be the only English language proficiency test accepted by the CPSA effective January 1, 2018. It is essential that an applicant checks the most current updates on the provincial English language proficiency requirements at the time when it is necessary to take the test and demonstrate the required test results.

Visit the ACSAP website and get thorough information about the eligibility criteria, the application process and the most current program updates

NOTE: Don’t start the application process if you don’t satisfy any of the ACSAP eligibility criteria. There is no application fee for the Alberta Clinical and Surgical Assistant Program.

Access and read carefully the ACSAP application Guidelines before submitting an application

Prepare the Application Package that must contain all of mandatory documents along with the completed application form

Access and complete the ACSAP application

Prepare and upload the certified copies of all required documents (CV, Certificate of Legal Status in Canada, Official English Language Proficiency test Results and Three Letters of Reference) that cannot be shared through the applicant’s account

NOTE: Certification by a Commissioner of Oaths in a bank is not acceptable. Family members
cannot certify copies of the applicant’s documents

Open his/her account and share his/her Medical Degree Certificate and Transcripts, Post Graduate Medical Education (PGME) – Residency, or Specialty Certificate, Certificate of Proof of Name Change, if applicable (Marriage Certificate; Change of Name Document; Affidavit of Differing Names) already verified by the MCC Physician Credentials Repository ( and exam results (MCCEE and MCCQE1) stored in the applicant’s account with the ACSAP

E-mail the completed Application Form along with the Application Package to

NOTE: The application form and all documents of the application package that cannot be shared through the applicant’s account must be submitted to ACSAP only via e-mail as ACSAP does not accept any other form of document submission. Applications for ACSAP are accepted on an ongoing basis, but incomplete application package with missing required documentation (e.g. all required documentation has not been shared via the, or any documentation submitted does not meet the ACSAP requirements) will not be accepted

Receive an email from the ACSAP central office within a period from 2 to 4 weeks after the submission of the application package and if the application has been approved become a part of the applicant pool.

Follow the directions outlined in the ACSAP e-mail and start exploring the available Recruitment Opportunities posted on the Alberta Health Services career website

Apply to any Recruitment Opportunity posted by following the instructions on each individual Recruitment Notice.

Secure a job interview and upon successful completion of the interview process, accept the job offer and start the program, or keep on applying for new recruitment opportunities

NOTE: Successful completion of a program does not result in full licensure with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) or independent practice for the candidate. If the Clinical or Clinical/ Surgical Assistants continue in the current career pathway with AHS, they will remain on a Limited Practice Register Practice Permit, working under the supervision of a licensed physician. There is no direct connection between ACSAP and the pathway to residency through the ACSAP program, neither does the ACSAP provides sponsorship of any kind. ACSAP strongly encourages that IMGs attempt all other avenues towards independent licensure first before considering applying to the program, as premature departure from an ACSAP program greatly impacts patient care at that site.

Start the ACSAP assessment and evaluation process

Begin a career-stream role with AHS

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