Our role in ensuring safe patient care
CPSA is committed to protecting the public by ensuring our regulated members are professional, ethical and competent, providing the highest quality of care for all Albertans. When a regulated member has been found to not meet the expected standard of care, we favour an educational approach where possible and appropriate, but also pursue disciplinary action when necessary. By providing support and guidance, regulated members can improve their practice and the care they provide for their patients.
What is a complaint?
A complaint is a legislated process under Alberta’s Health Professions Act, so health regulators like CPSA can address serious issues and practice concerns with healthcare professionals.
What you should know about CPSA’s complaints process
How we can help
- We can try to resolve complaints through an early resolution process, so the physician can learn and improve the care they provide in the future.
- We can formally investigate serious allegations of unprofessional conduct in which patient safety is at risk (including but not limited to allegations of sexual abuse and sexual misconduct).
- We can provide resources for additional support available in the community.
What we are unable to do
- Complaints cannot be anonymous. A copy of the complaint submission and any applicable documents are shared with the regulated member.
- A complaint is not a court action, meaning it will not result in financial compensation for a patient or jail time for a regulated member. If you wish to pursue legal action, this can be done through the Alberta Courts System.
- We respect a regulated member’s clinical autonomy and decision-making, and can only intervene if the care provided does not comply with our standards of practice.
- We cannot not tell a regulated member:
- What to prescribe
- What kind of medical treatment to provide
- To give a specific referral
- To change a medical record (this must be requested through the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta)
- To provide independent medical reports to insurance companies
- We cannot accept complaints about:
- Systemic issues, such as emergency room wait times or physician shortages
- Political issues
- Healthcare providers who are not regulated by CPSA
Before submitting a complaint
- If you feel safe doing so, consider speaking with the regulated member directly. Sometimes, issues arise from simple misunderstandings that can be resolved with a conversation.
- CPSA can only accept complaints about the Alberta healthcare providers we regulate:
- Physician assistants
- Medical learners (residents and medical students)
- Concerns about a clinic or their support staff should be discussed with the clinic’s manager.
- If you are unhappy with something you experienced in an Alberta Health Services (AHS) or Covenant Health hospital or facility, you can also submit your concerns to their Patient Relations teams:
- Take a look at our FAQs for more information on our complaints process.
Questions about CPSA's complaints process?
Toll-free in Canada: 1-800-561-3899
We are happy to answer any inquiries we receive by email though this web form, however formal complaints can only be accepted when submitted using our complaints form.