Patient Safety

We work with physicians throughout their careers to make sure Albertans receive the best possible care

Safe care is at the core of what we do

A person is often at their most vulnerable when they need medical help and should always feel safe and secure when visiting the doctor. CPSA works closely with Alberta’s physicians throughout their careers to support them in giving patients the best care possible.

Whether it’s verifying a physician’s qualifications, implementing clear practice standards or providing education and support to physicians so they can improve the care they provide, everything we do is guided by our mandate to protect the public.

Albertans deserve high-quality health care, and CPSA is here to make sure they get it.

Our expectations of all Alberta physicians

CPSA’s Standards of Practice are the minimum standards of behaviour and conduct we expect from all physicians in Alberta. The standards are not just suggestions—every physician in Alberta is expected to know and apply these standards to their medical practice. Failing to do so can result in disciplinary action.

Under the Health Professions Act (HPA), standards are developed and updated in consultation with physicians, Albertans, the Minister of Health and other key partners. All standards must be approved by our Council before taking effect. Learn more about our consultation process.

Physician qualifications

CPSA is responsible for making sure Alberta’s physicians have the right training, knowledge and skills to give Albertans safe and effective medical care.

In Alberta, all physicians and medical learners must be registered with CPSA. We register medical students, medical residents, physician extenders (Alberta medical residents offering semi-autonomous health care under a registered physician) and physicians.

Physicians wishing to offer telemedicine or temporary care in Alberta must also be registered with CPSA.

Physician competence

CPSA collaborates with physicians to grow their skills and improve their practice. We provide physicians with data that is specific to their medical practice, encourage them to self-reflect and identify ways they can improve, and when needed, we proactively offer customized support to address issues before patients are impacted.

We have a number of resources, tools and competence programs that are educational and supportive, designed to benefit both physicians and patients.


Albertan FAQs related to patient safety

To see more FAQs for Albertans, click on All FAQs and filter by "Albertans"

All FAQs

Do military physician assistants (PAs) have to register with CPSA?

If a PA in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is seeing civilian patients in Alberta, they must register with CPSA.

How do I submit my Overseas Medical Attestation report?

To submit your Overseas Medical Attestation report, read through the information below and send your report to CPSA by mail or courier.

  • The form submitted must be the original document with the physician’s physical (wet) signature.
  • CPSA only reviews the medical form signed by the physician. It is not necessary to include additional pages.
    • CPSA’s role is to verify that the medical exam was performed by a physician licensed to practice in Alberta.
  • Upon receipt of the medical report, CPSA will:
    • verify that the physician holds an active license to practice within Alberta and
    • affix our signature, stamp and seal the report.
  • The medical report and documents will be returned via the mailing or courier method provided. You must include a pre-paid return envelope along with the document.
    • The pre-paid envelope can have any return address for where you want it to be returned. Ensure you include:
      • Your address
      • VISA or employment office
        • Make sure to include all necessary documents/results, etc., within the package.
      • Company or individual helping with the application
        • Make sure to include all necessary documents/results, etc., within the package.
    • If no pre-paid envelope is provided, CPSA will return the document to the sender via regular Canada Post mail.
    • We recommend that the patient note any tracking numbers so they can view where the package is on its shipping route.
  • CPSA aims to process the document and return it within 2 business days.
    • Time frames for returning the document vary depending on the speed of service chosen by the courier company and their availability to collect the document.
  • In the event you must come in person to receive your attestation, please call 1-800-561-3899 and our support team will be happy to help you book an appointment.
    • CPSA is an appointment-only organization. We will try our best to accommodate your request.
    • Appointments are available on Tuesday afternoons, 1 pm – 3 pm, and Thursday mornings, 9 am – 12 pm.
    • If you are unable to make your 15-minute timeslot, please call 1-800-561-3899 and our support team will help you rebook your appointment.

How to mail or courier your report to CPSA:

Choose any mail or courier service type from the following list. Note: CPSA does not accept medical reports electronically, by fax or by copy versions.

    • Canada Post Regular Mail
    • Canada Post XpressPost
    • Purolator
    • FedEx

Mailing address:
CPSA (College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta)
Attention: Reception
2700 – 10020 100 ST NW
Edmonton, AB T5J 0N3

Additional information:

  • CPSA is unable to attest other documents outside of the Overseas Medical Attestation.
  • There is no charge for this service.

If I complain about my physician, will my medical records be accessed?

CPSA must have access to patient information and records to properly investigate a complaint, and the physician involved in the care outlined in the complaint must also have access to this information to respond to the complaint. When a complaint is filed, complainants are asked to consent to the access and release of applicable patient records and medical information.

Patient privacy is taken very seriously. Any health information gathered as part of a complaint investigation is done so in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Health Information Act.

What is the role of CPSA’s Complaints Director?

Under the Health Professions Act, the Complaints Director is delegated broad authority with respect to the complaints process, including but not limited to:

  • Determining what action to take when a complaint is received.
  • Making recommendations regarding interim suspensions or interim practice conditions.
  • Conducting investigations or appointing an investigator to conduct an investigation, and making a determination about the complaint based on the results.
  • Preparing written reasons if a complaint is dismissed.
  • Presenting evidence and making submissions to a Hearing Tribunal.
  • Making submissions at an appeal to CPSA Council or to the Alberta Court of Appeal.

The Complaints Director is not available to respond to general complaint inquiries.

Who do I speak with about concerns regarding care from a non-physician or facility?

Concerns about the care provided by a physician assistant can be directed to CPSA as they fall under our regulation.

For questions or concerns about care provided by non-physicians and/or standards of accommodation received by a patient in a hospital, nursing home, non-hospital surgical facility or community program administered by, or under contract to, Alberta Health Services (AHS) or Covenant Health, contact AHS or Covenant Health, depending on the facility. If the concern is regarding a privately-owned facility, then please contact the management of the facility directly.

You may also contact the regulatory authority (e.g. Alberta College of Pharmacy for pharmacists, the College of Registered Nurses of Alberta for nurses) of an individual healthcare provider involved.

Questions for our team?

Phone: 780-423-4764
Main Fax: 780-420-0651
Toll-free: 1-800-561-3899 (in Canada)

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.