Physician Licensure

This Physician Licensure Pathway provides a breakdown of steps needed for full medical licensing in Alberta.

You have three areas to explore:

1. Residency

IMGs looking to become licensed to practice in Alberta should become familiar with both the general information about licensure in Canada provided by the Medical Council of Canada (MCC), and the specific requirements for registration with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA).

Depending on your qualifications there may be different options available to you.

In all cases you will need to:

  • Satisfy the eligibility criteria within each body.
  • Meet the common standards of the application process (which may start before their arrival in Canada).

Residency in Alberta

2. Practice Ready Assessment (PRA)

The PRA process offered by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) will help you obtain an Independent License to practice medicine in Alberta.

PRA determines if an applicants postgraduate medical education meets the college requirements and ready for independent practice in Alberta. To be eligible for independent practice a physician must be:

  • On the General Register, or on the Provincial Register Conditional Practice as a physician in independent practice.
  • Authorized to practise medicine within his/her scope of practice.
  • Responsible and accountable for his/her medical practice and does not require another physician to be responsible for or oversee any aspect of their medical practice.

Practice Ready Assessment

3. The Alberta Clinical and Surgical Assistant Program (ACSAP)

ACSAP is a specific program you can apply for that provides alternative career paths within the Canadian Healthcare System.

The program leads to career opportunities in 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 process within a particular clinical or surgical service. If successfully completed it may lead to a full-time and permanent acute care coverage position. These positions address the current clinical and/or surgical coverage shortages in the province.

Upon program completion you will also be qualified for the role of Clinical Assistant (CA), which 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.

If the Clinical or Clinical/ Surgical Assistants continue in the career pathway with Alberta Health Services, they will remain on a Limited Practice Register Practice Permit, working under the supervision of a licensed physician.

*Note: this program does not lead to full licensure with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA), or to independent practice.

Application Requirements

You are not done yet. Be sure to check out the other pathways as they are all connected!