FAQs

Question Category

How will my TPP pad be delivered?

TPP pads are delivered by Purolator and someone must be available to sign for the parcel. Please note that we cannot accept out of province or PO Box addresses for deliveries.

TPP Alberta, TPP Alberta Prescribers

When can I expect to receive my TPP pad?

If you are already registered for TPP Alberta, it can take up to 10 business days to receive your order.

If you are not yet registered for the program, please allow additional time for your registration to be processed. It can take up to 15 business days from the date your registration form is received for your first pad to be delivered. You will receive a welcome letter and information package once your registration has been processed and your first pad has been ordered.

If you have questions about the status of your order or registration, please contact TPP Alberta by email at TPPinfo@cpsa.ab.ca or phone at 1-800-561-3899 ext. 4939.

TPP Alberta, TPP Alberta Prescribers

Will there be a registration fee for PAs?

Yes, PAs will pay a fee to register with CPSA, and when renewing their registration annually. We will share fee information once it is available.

Albertans, Physician Assistants

Will physician assistants need to renew their registrations every year?

Yes, PAs will renew their registration annually.

Albertans, Physician Assistants

I’m a physician assistant and I’ve voluntarily registered with CPSA. Will I need to register again in April?

Previously, our process was to maintain a listing of PAs who voluntarily shared their names, credentials and contact information with us. As of April 1, 2021, PAs will need to formally register with CPSA. More details will be shared as we approach that date.

Physician Assistants

What type of education is needed to become a physician assistant?

Albertans, Physician Assistants

What responsibilities do physician assistants have as regulated healthcare professionals?

As professionals supervised by physicians, PAs will be expected to follow all CPSA Standards of Practice and comply with CPSA continuing competence requirements.

Once under CPSA regulation, PAs will need to formally register with CPSA. If you are a PA, watch for more information about our PA registration process.

Albertans, Physician Assistants

What is CPSA’s responsibility regarding physician assistants?

Starting April 1, 2021, CPSA will begin regulating PAs. We have long supported the physician assistant regulation, and we’ve been engaged with PAs since 2010. Currently, there are over 60 PAs who have voluntarily registered with CPSA.

Albertans, Physician Assistants

How does the role of physician assistant differ from other healthcare professionals?

This chart helps explain how PAs fit in among others who provide similar levels of care:

Physician Assistant (PA) Clinical Assistant Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Not a physician or independent practitioner.
  • Must work under supervision of a physician and are trained to work under physicians in clinical settings.
  • Does not hold a medical degree, but has other post-secondary training.
  • Most commonly found in hospital settings as part of a healthcare team.
  • A physician who is not eligible to practise independently.
  • Typically an International Medical Graduate.
  • Doesn’t have equivalent clinical training to practice independently.
  • Hold a medical degree and at least one year of Post Graduate Training.
  • Generally hired for supervised practice in hospital settings.
  • A nurse who has pursued post-graduate training.
  • NPs, along with registered nurses (RNs), do not require supervision of a physician.
  • NPs/RNs have their own skillsets, scopes of work, standards of practice, etc.

 

Albertans, Physician Assistants

What services are offered by a physician assistant?

The services offered by a PA depend on the individual PA-physician relationship. Some PAs see and assess patients, take patient histories, perform physical exams, educate patients, perform procedures, assist in surgery and more. PAs provide these types of services under physician supervision.

Albertans, Physician Assistants

What is a physician assistant?

Physician assistants (PAs) are healthcare professionals who have the knowledge, training and skills to provide a broad range of medical services within healthcare teams. PAs provide care to patients under the supervision of a physician registered for independent practice in Alberta.

Albertans, Physician Assistants

How can I review a transcript of a hearing or copies of the exhibits entered as evidence?

Hearings are recorded by a Court Reporter, who can prepare a transcript upon request for a cost. Please contact CPSA’s Privacy Coordinator for more information.

Exhibits, however, are not part of the public record, therefore we cannot provide copies (even if the exhibits are entered as evidence and referenced in the Hearing Tribunal’s written decision).

Hearings, Hearings (Albertans)

If I have questions about a hearing that’s just taken place, who should I contact?

If you are a member of the media, contact CPSA’s Communications Director. However, please note CPSA cannot comment on any part of a hearing process until the Hearing Tribunal has delivered their decision in writing.

Any other questions can be directed to the Hearings Director’s office.

Hearings, Hearings (Albertans)

If I attend a hearing as an observer, can I record it (audio or video)?

No. To protect the integrity of the hearing process, we ask members of the public to sign an undertaking agreeing not to record the proceedings before we allow them to attend.

Hearings, Hearings (Albertans)

Is diphenoxylate a monitored drug for veterinary practices?

No, dipehnoxylate is not monitored by TPP Alberta. Veterinary practices do not need to report prescribing for diphenoxylate (brand name: Lomotil).

These scripts do not need to be sent in for manual data entry. For details, please contact ABVMA.

Physicians, TPP Alberta, TPP Alberta Prescribers

What is a chaperone?

Chaperones are independent, appropriately trained individuals who work with physicians to observe examinations and/or procedures. Their presence helps support and protect both the patient and the physician.

Chaperones

What are the roles and responsibilities of a chaperone?

  • Developing an office policy regarding chaperones
  • Ensure staff and patients understand and have access to it
  • Proper implementation of policy
  • Comply with CPSA’s Standards of Practice
  • Communicate clearly and in plain language
  • Explain why the sensitive exam is necessary, obtain informed consent, explain as you go and end by asking if there are any questions
Chaperones

Why can’t I get my physician’s email address?

Physician emails are collected and stored in our database as confidential information. Only the physician is able to provide you with their direct email.

Albertans, Physician Contact Info

Why is physician information on CPSA's website not always correct?

Physicians update their practice information every year when they renew their practice permit (licence).  We also send several reminders to keep it updated throughout the year. When a physician forgets to inform us of changes, our data becomes temporarily outdated.

Albertans, Physician Contact Info

Why does the CPSA website not always include the physician's phone number?

This may be because the physician is:

  • Working in more than one location
  • Only working part-time and/or random shifts
  • Working under supervision and has no responsibility for office administration

Others simply choose not to provide CPSA with a public phone number. While we do require basic contact information, a phone number is optional.

Albertans, Physician Contact Info

Can a physician bill me for a "meet and greet" appointment?

No.

Albertans, Fees Charged by Physicians

Can physicians offer extra services for a block fee?

Yes. Some physicians offer patients the convenience of a set annual fee (block fee) that covers a basket of uninsured services. This is acceptable as long as:

  • Paying for uninsured services is not a condition for access to insured services;
  • The set fee includes only uninsured services;
  • The patient understands what is and is not included in the block fee;
  • The patient is aware of, and agrees to, the fee; and
  • The patient has a choice between the set fee and a pay-as-you-go system.
Albertans, Fees Charged by Physician

Can a physician bill me for refilling a prescription by phone?

Yes. Refilling a prescription by phone is an uninsured service, therefore the physician can charge a patient directly for this service. In many cases, the physician will want to see the patient before refilling a prescription to ensure the prescription is still appropriate.

Albertans, Fees Charged by Physicians

Can a physician bill me if I don’t have a valid Alberta Health Care number?

Yes, but a physician cannot make you pay for emergency care in advance.

Note: If you have been in Alberta for more than three months, you should have your own Alberta Health Care number. If you moved to Alberta from another Canadian province or territory within the last three months, your physician can bill the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan for your care and be reimbursed by another province (except Quebec).

Albertans, Fees Charged by Physicians

Can a physician bill me for missed or late appointments?

Yes. If you were informed of this policy/charge when you booked the appointment. Ideally, the physician should discuss the situation with you before charging you.

Note: A physician cannot deny any urgent care because of an unpaid bill.

Albertans, Fees Charged by Physicians

Can a physician bill patients to complete notes or forms (e.g., medical, legal or insurance forms)?

Yes. If the service is not covered by the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan, physicians can bill patients directly. Your physician should inform you of the cost upfront and the expected payment method. We recommend you discuss the costs with your physician in advance before agreeing to the service.

You also have the right to request a receipt and ask when the uninsured service will be ready/completed.

Note: If a patient is more than 74.5 years old, Alberta Health pays for the driver’s licence examination and completing any related forms.

Albertans, Fees Charged by Physicians

How can I get the medical records of a deceased family member?

This will depend largely on the reason for your request. As long as the disclosure is not contrary to the express wishes of the patient, Alberta’s Health Information Act permits the release of certain medical information to close family members when it relates to:

  • A descendant’s medical care
  • The administration of a deceased patient’s estate

To obtain the records:

Albertans, Medical Records

How long does my physician keep my medical record?

Your physician must retain a full copy of your records for 10 years following the last date you were seen or for two years after the age of majority or 10 years, whichever is longer. For more information, see our Patient Record Retention standard of practice.

Albertans, Medical Records

Who owns my medical record?

You own the information within your patient record, but your physician is the official custodian of that record.

You have the right to access your record at any time unless your physician feels the information would be harmful to you.

Albertans, Medical Records

Is there a fee to get a copy of my medical record?

Yes. Physicians may charge you for this service. If you are changing physicians, you may want to check with your new physician to see if a copy is needed. You will most likely have to pay an administrative fee of $25 or more plus photocopying charges.

Albertans, Medical Records

Can I request someone else's medical record?

If you are not the patient or the patient’s parent/legal guardian, you will need their written permission.

Albertans, Medical Records

How long will it take to get my medical record once requested?

Your physician should acknowledge your request within 30 days. These are the rules for custodians under the Health Information Act (Part 2, section 8).

If your physician does not acknowledge your request within the 30-day period (i.e., does not respond at all about if, or when, they can provide the records) you can make a formal complaint.

You can also file a complaint if your physician agreed to provide you with the records, but has not done so within a reasonable time frame.

If you decide to file a complaint, please include a copy of your dated request or any subsequent requests. Note we can only accept complaints about physicians, not medical clinics.

Also see our CPSA Patient Record Retention standard of practice.

Albertans, Medical Records

How can I get a copy of my medical record?

Provide your physician with a written request, then follow-up to ensure they received your request. Some medical offices may ask you to fill out a form.

If your physician is no longer practising, check with the clinic where they worked, as your medical record may still be on file.

If you are seeking your medical record from a hospital or government facility, you will have to contact the facility, not your physician.

For more information, see Alberta’s Health Information Act

Albertans, Medical Records

How can I find a specialist?

See your family physician or a physician at a walk-in clinic to discuss your need for a referral.

You can also use CPSA’s “Find a Physician” search to find names of specialists, but you will still need to get a referral to make an appointment.

Albertans, Find a Physician

How can I find a family physician?

There are several ways to find a family physician:

  • Use CPSA’s “Find A Physician” search
  • Use the Primary Care Networks “Alberta Find A Doctor” search
  • Ask friends or family members for a referral, then contact the physician to see if they are accepting new patients

If these options are unavailable to you, you can contact Health Link by dialing 811 from anywhere in Alberta for non-urgent health advice.

Albertans, Find a Physician

How can I commend/praise a physician?

We recommend you tell your physician directly, write them a letter or fill out the information on our physician commendation page. If you write a letter, please send a copy to CPSA. We add all letters of commendation to the physician’s file.

Albertans, Commendations

Are there any TDM exam exemptions?

Yes, Family Medicine physicians who have Recognized Training and Certification Outside Canada through the CFPC may be exempt from writing the TDM exam. To get exemption, we encourage you to apply to the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) for certification without examination before applying for the TDM exam. If CFPC sends you a notice recognizing your training, you may be exempt from writing the TDM exam. Once you get this notice and you meet all the other CPSA registration requirements, submit a Review of Qualifications through physiciansapply.ca and mail a copy of your CFPC notice to: registration@cpsa.ab.ca

Also, Family Medicine physicians who complete their postgraduate training within Canada, but do not pass the LMCC or CCFP, are exempt from writing the TDM exam.

Registration, Therapeutics Decision Making (TDM) Exam

Is cannabis for medical purposes monitored by TPP Alberta?

TPP Alberta collects data on cannabis for medical purposes for CPSA’s Cannabis for Medical Purposes Program.

Physicians are required to submit the Patient Medical Document to CPSA within 7 days of its completion.

Physicians, TPP Alberta, TPP Alberta Prescribers

Do I need to register with TPP Alberta in order to prescribe other Opiate Agonist Therapies (OATs), such as methadone?

Yes. Registration with TPP Alberta and use of the secure TPP Alberta prescription form is required when prescribing methadone and other OATs.

Physicians, TPP Alberta, TPP Alberta Prescribers

What peer group am I compared against?

You were placed in the comparator group containing the specialty you provided in your most recent Renewal Information Form (RIF).

If you are a member of a Primary Care Network (PCN), you now also receive information on your opioids and benzodiazepines prescribing practices comparative to the other physicians in your PCN. This offers reflection on your prescribing relative to colleagues with the most similar practice environment to yours (acknowledging there will still be some variations in practice, such as part‐time vs. full‐time practice, patient complexities, etc.).

MD Snapshot-Prescribing, Physicians, Prescribing

How are MD Snapshot-Prescribing indicators determined?

They are informed by guidelines, evidence of risk and best practice recommendations. CPSA endorses the 2017 Canadian Guideline for Opioids for Non-Cancer Pain.

MD Snapshot-Prescribing, Physicians, Prescribing

What do I do if there are people in my prescribing profile who are not my patients?

The dispensing information in PIN is entered manually at the community pharmacy level. While it’s rare, manual data input increases the risk of errors. If you notice an error on your MD Snapshot–Prescribing, please email CC.Inquiries@cpsa.ca

MD Snapshot-Prescribing, Physicians, Prescribing

How should I review MD Snapshot-Prescribing?

There are several things you can do to get the most out of your prescribing profile:

  • Read the whole thing. In addition to your personalized prescribing data, there is also information on multi-doctoring and patients who are on multiple medications. Trend data is also included.
  • Review and reflect on your prescribing. Ask yourself what is working well in your practice and what you might need to modify.
  • Talk to your peers. Ask what has worked well for them and their patients. You may be able to help each other.
  • Take advantage of our resources. To help you improve your practice, we have helpful links, additional information, support material and clinical resources available on our website. Visit our resource bank.
  • Claim Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits.
MD Snapshot-Prescribing, Physicians, Prescribing

Why does CPSA provide MD Snapshot-Prescribing?

We believe in supporting physicians through collaboration and tools that enable practice improvement. MD Snapshot-Prescribing is one such tool. Your prescribing profile is not a judgement on your practice—it is a mechanism to enable meaningful self-reflection that increases your prescribing awareness and allows you to optimize care for your patients.

MD Snapshot-Prescribing, Physicians, Prescribing

What is personal development?

Reflecting on our strengths and identifying opportunities for change is the first step towards making personal improvements. When we are our best selves, we’re in a better position to help others.

Competence, Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI), Physician Practice Improvement, Physicians, Quality Improvement (QI)

How can I start a cycle of personal development?

Using personal reflection and feedback allows physicians to recognize the value of being their very best selves on a personal level. Here are some options to help you start on a path of personal development:

  • Complete a multi-source feedback review (such as the Medical Council of Canada’s MCC 360).
  • Review feedback from peers, learners and patients with your direct supervisor or a facilitator. This feedback could be gathered through performance reviews from your colleagues, teaching evaluations or patient surveys.
  • Physician wellness is critical as burnout and system stress impact performance. Resources to address these issues may be valuable options.
  • Engage a peer for facilitated debriefing, to identify areas for improvement and for help establishing your action plan.
  • Work with a certified coach to take a deeper dive into your personal development (one option is to engage a Certified Executive Coach).

 

Competence, Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI), Physician Practice Improvement, Physicians, Quality Improvement (QI)

How can I start a cycle of CQI?

CQI can be done individually (e.g. assessing your prescribing), by participating in a clinic group practice change (e.g. changing office processes to increase efficiency or access), or through a systems-level project (e.g. participating as a local leader in a multi-site, patient outcome initiative). Here are the basics to help you get started:

  • Understand your practice through the use of objective data. For example:
  • To get a clearer understanding of your practice, try assessing it by taking advantage of CPSA’s many competence tools:
    • Use CPSA’s Standards of Practice as a benchmark to reflect on your practice and consider working with us if you’d like to make improvements.
    • If you’re part of a group practice, strengthen and enhance it through our Group Practice Review.
    • Complete a self-assessment to identify areas for improvement, such as a review of patient record content.
  • Once you’ve successfully reviewed and assessed your practice, use this information to identify opportunities for practice improvements. Then create an action plan to address gaps.
  • Once you’ve executed your plan, evaluate its success using quality improvement methodology and determine your next steps.
Competence, Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI), Physician Practice Improvement, Physicians, Quality Improvement (QI)

What is Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI)?

According to FMRAC’s statement on physician continuous quality improvement:

“Patients deserve and expect the best possible care from their physicians, and all licensed physicians in Canada must be able to demonstrate that they are sustaining and enhancing their competence throughout their careers.”

Read the full statement here.

Competence, Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI), Physician Practice Improvement, Physicians, Quality Improvement (QI)

How can I avoid a Summative Assessment?

You can ensure a smooth transition from the Provisional Register to the General Register by getting your Canadian Credentials, updating us with source-verified credentials, remaining in good standing with CPSA Standards of Practice, Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct, and keeping current with your Continuous Professional Development.

Physicians, Registration, Registration Assessments, Summative Assessment

What could delay or prevent my transfer to the General Register?

Each physician’s situation is assessed individually. We consider a number of factors, including any open CPSA complaints or interventions, non-compliance with the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) rules or practice restrictions or conditions, un-verified credentials, not completing at least 5 years of satisfactory practice in Alberta while on the Provisional Register, lack of evidence of good character or a history of serious professional conduct issues like professional misconduct, imposed practice restrictions or a failure to remediate quality-of-care issues with the Continuing Competence Program.

Physicians, Registration, Registration Assessments, Summative Assessment

Are there any exemptions from the Summative Assessment process, other than obtaining my Canadian certification and LMCC?

Physicians on the Provisional Register who were exempt from the Preliminary Clinical Assessment (PCA) part of their initial Practice Readiness Assessment are also exempt from the Summative Assessment (e.g. academic appointments). In these cases, CPSA will review their file near the expiry of their provisional registration to confirm they still meet all the requirements to transfer to our General Register, including being in satisfactory practice.

Physicians, Registration, Registration Assessments, Summative Assessment

How do I find out when my Provisional Registration expires?

Details on your Provisional Registration can be found in your Registration Understanding Agreement. If you don’t have your copy available, contact physician.inquires@cpsa.ab.ca.

Physicians, Registration, Registration Assessments, Summative Assessment

When will CPSA review my file to transfer me from the Provisional Register to the General Register?

CPSA reviews your status every time you tell us about new certifications, or when you reach your five or six-year anniversary on the Provisional Register. We may ask you for information about your certifications at that time to help us determine if you are eligible for the General Register.

Physicians, Registration, Registration Assessments, Summative Assessment

How will participation in PHMP impact my ability to apply for further Residency training programs, e.g. fellowships or jobs?

Participating in our program is not likely to limit your ability to apply for a position. However, we may need to consider how your health might impact your prospective work, as well as the rules around disability and employment in Alberta.

Medical Residents & Students, Physician Health Monitoring

Will participation in PHMP delay the completion of my Residency training program?

Some health conditions require a period of medical leave or training modifications which may cause some delay. We understand the importance of your training and try to minimize the impacts. Our priority is to make sure there is no risk to your patients and you get the care you need.

Medical Residents & Students, Physician Health Monitoring

If I am not the primary care physician for the patient, should I approve medical cannabis use for them?

The use of medical cannabis is no different than any other therapy that may be considered as part of a patient’s overall care and deserves the same care and attention as any other diagnostic or management decision. The family physician is often (usually) in the best position to provide comprehensive care for their patients, as s/he is aware of the patient’s medical conditions and can counsel the patient about the relative risks and benefits of a proposed therapeutic decision. If other specialists are considering authorizing cannabis, the same considerations apply.

Cannabis for Medical Purposes, Physicians, Prescribing

What are physician responsibilities when working in a cannabis clinic?

When physicians are employed by cannabis clinics merely to act as “authorizers”, the physician-patient relationship can be undermined. Physicians who work in cannabis clinics must comply with the standards of practice: Cannabis for Medical Purposes, Responsibility for a Medical Practice, Advertising, Patient Record Retention and Conflict of Interest and should be aware of their responsibilities before entering into this type of arrangement.
Individual physicians are responsible for:

  • processes used to interview and counsel patients;
  • advertising about the indications for medical cannabis;
  • information provided about the products;
  • clinic fees for providing services; and
  • the accurate and secure documentation of the patient record.

If a physician cannot influence the factors above to comply with the standards of practice, s/he should not practice in this clinical setting.

Cannabis for Medical Purposes, Physicians, Prescribing

What are the expectations for follow-up for my patients on medical cannabis?

Depending on the patient situation, medical history and clinical condition, the appropriate follow-up interval may vary from patient to patient. It is expected that physicians will assess risks for development of a cannabis use disorder at baseline and continue to monitor for this and safety of ongoing medical cannabis use periodically, at least once every three months. Refer to CPSA’s Cannabis for medical purposes standard of practice and related Advice document for more information.

Cannabis for Medical Purposes, Physicians, Prescribing

My patient would like medical cannabis for their use but I do not believe the therapy will help with their condition. Am I obligated to approve medical cannabis for patients upon request?

Physicians are not obligated to authorize cannabis for medical purposes. Physicians must use their knowledge of the patient and evidence-based guidelines to decide whether or not to use (or approve) any therapy for a patient, recognizing that the best interest of the patient is paramount.

Cannabis for Medical Purposes, Physicians, Prescribing

I am a primary care physician looking to authorize medical cannabis use for my patient, do I need to meet specific education and experiential requirements?

Physicians wishing to authorize medical cannabis for a patient must register with CPSA as a cannabis authorizer. This can be done via expressing interest to the Cannabis for Medical Purposes program at CPSA through an email or the online form on this page. There are no educational or experiential pre-requisites.

Cannabis for Medical Purposes, Physicians, Prescribing

When can I share with others that my lab is accredited by CPSA?

When you receive full accreditation status from CPSA, you can start sharing that you have CPSA accreditation.

Accreditation, Facilities, Sleep Medicine Diagnostics (SMD)

What should I expect during an assessment?

You can continue caring for patients normally while your facility is being assessed. A CPSA Assessment Coordinator will be in and out of your lab during the working day. Having an extra person on staff during your assessment can be helpful. To make the process as smooth as possible, we also collect data about your facility before your assessment.

Accreditation, Facilities, Sleep Medicine Diagnostics (SMD)

How do I get a copy of the SMD accreditation standards?

The standards are available to facilities once they have registered for assessment.

Accreditation, Facilities, Sleep Medicine Diagnostics (SMD)

How do I get SharePoint access for my assessment?

If you’re currently involved in the assessment process, you should have received credentials from CPSA to access a confidential SharePoint site where all you assessment information is stored and shared with you. Lost your credentials? Contact sleep.medicine@cpsa.ab.ca

Accreditation, Facilities, Sleep Medicine Diagnostics (SMD)

Does a patient need a referral from their doctor to have a Home Sleep Apnea Test (HSAT)?

Yes, an HSAT, like any other diagnostic test, needs to be ordered by a physician or qualified nurse practitioner.

Accreditation, Facilities, Sleep Medicine Diagnostics (SMD)

Can one credentialed person supervise sleep medicine activities at multiple locations? Does every accredited facility have to have a supervisor with credentials?

It depends on the circumstance. Labs are responsible for identifying the type of service, the kinds of staffing, the necessary training and the level of supervision required to keep the scope of their work within the standards.

Accreditation, Facilities, Sleep Medicine Diagnostics (SMD)

Do the requirements for technical personnel (e.g., Certified Technologists), apply to all sleep medicine facilities or only Level 1 (comprehensive polysomnography) facilities?

The requirements for technical personnel apply to all accredited sleep labs regardless of the level of testing provided.

Accreditation, Facilities, Sleep Medicine Diagnostics (SMD)

Can an out-of-province physician interpret the results of sleep tests performed in Alberta?

Yes, as long as they meet the Alberta requirements for interpreting Sleep Medicine Diagnostic studies. If they provide this service more than 5 times a year, the physician needs to have a CPSA Independent Practice Permit, meet our standard of practice on Telemedicine and have CPSA approval to interpret SMD tests.

Accreditation, Facilities, Sleep Medicine Diagnostics (SMD)

How long does it take to get a practice permit?

The length of the process varies and depends on the information and supporting documents you submit, as well as how accurate they are and how quickly you can submit them.

IMGs also have to get a work visa, complete immigration requirements and prove their credentials and skills are equivalent to a Canadian graduate’s.

Physicians, Registration

Do I require Liability Insurance/Coverage to practise medicine in Alberta?

Yes. Every physician practising in Alberta is required to have professional liability coverage.

Physicians, Registration

Can I practise in other parts of Canada using my Alberta practice permit?

No. An Alberta practice permit is valid only in Alberta.

Physicians, Registration

Can I apply to several provinces at the same time?

Yes, but each province has a different process for reviewing applications. Your first step should be to set up a physiciansapply.ca account, then contact each regulatory body directly.

Physicians, Registration

How does the CPSA define an International Medical Graduate (IMG)?

An IMG is an individual (Canadian or non-Canadian) who graduated from a medical school outside of Canada.

Physicians, Registration

Do I require Liability Insurance/Coverage to practise medicine in Alberta?

Yes. Every physician practising in Alberta is required to have professional liability coverage.

Physicians, Registration

How often do I have to re-register?

You must renew your registration annually by Dec 31 each year in order to continue practising and to bill the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan. You renew your permit by filling in CPSA’s Renewal Information Form and paying annual fees.

If you have been out of practice for more than three years, you need to reapply.

Physicians, Registration

Can I practise in other parts of Canada using my Alberta practice permit?

No. An Alberta practice permit is valid only in Alberta.

Physicians, Registration

Can I apply to several provinces at the same time?

Yes, but each province has a different process for reviewing applications. Your first step should be to set up a physiciansapply.ca account, then contact each regulatory body directly.

Physicians, Registration

Where can I find information on other opioid agonist treatments (e.g. SROM and iOAT)?

For SROM, refer to Slow-Release Oral Morphine for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment in Alberta. You can also refer to the CRISM National Guidelines for the clinical management of Opioid Use Disorders.

For more information, please contact Dr. Monica Wickland-Weller, Senior Medical Advisor at 780-969-4954 or OATinfo@cpsa.ca.

Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) Program, Opioid Prescribing, Opioids

I am a primary care physician caring for patients with OUD. Is there a way for me to access expert advice without a referral?

You can call the Alberta Health Services (AHS) Referral, Access, Advice, Placement, Information and Destination (RAAPID) call centre to consult with a physician specializing in opioid agonist treatment about your patient’s care.

Expert phone consultations are available from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, including weekends and statutory holidays.

RAAPID North: 1-800-282-9911 for patients north of Red Deer, Alberta
RAAPID South: 1-800-661-1700 for patients in and south of Red Deer

This telephone consultation service is for physicians seeking timely advice regarding prescribing drugs like buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone®), methadone or SROM, as well as treating patients with existing OUD.

You can also submit an eReferral advice request, which is a secure and efficient process within Alberta Netcare for physician-to-physician advice.

Send an advice request when you have a non-urgent question where you are seeking guidance with the management of a patient’s OUD or are wondering if a referral is appropriate. The response target is 5 calendar days.

If urgent advice is needed, contact the Virtual Opioid Dependency Program (AHS) by phone at 1-844-383-7688 or by fax at 403-783-7610

Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) Program, Opioid Prescribing, Opioids

Can I provide a methadone prescription to patients with chronic pain or palliative conditions?

The OAT Initiation Approval is specific to the treatment of OUD only.

An approval to provide methadone for analgesia (chronic pain or palliative conditions) is no longer required. You may provide this prescription with TPP Alberta privileges. It is expected that methadone used in these situations will be provided in accordance with current guidelines, recommendations and best practices. If you are looking to refresh or improve your knowledge on methadone for analgesia, please visit Methadone4Pain.ca.

Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) Program, Opioid Prescribing, Opioids

I would like to maintain a patient on OAT (methadone or SROM) for OUD. How do I receive OAT Maintenance Approval?

1. You will receive a letter of support and an information checklist from the initiating prescriber asking you to take over care of the patient and maintain their OAT prescription.
2. CPSA will receive the same letter of support and will provide you with an OAT Maintenance Approval.
3. You will have six months to complete Module 5 of the Alberta Virtual ODT Training Program online. Your certificate of completion of this module will be forwarded directly to CPSA from the program.
If you provide maintenance treatment for more than one patient, a letter of support from the initiating prescriber is required for each patient. You will receive notification from CPSA that you have approval for each patient.

Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) Program, Opioid Prescribing, Opioids

Do I need further experiential training to receive an OAT Initiation Approval?

The Alberta ODT Virtual Training Program provides the required experiential training for an approval. If you would still like to work with a mentor for your own education, CPSA can facilitate this arrangement.

If you have taken the BCCSU-Provincial Opioid Addiction Treatment Support Program or the CAMH-Opioid Dependence Treatment Certificate Program, you will need to arrange for direct training, supervision and mentorship with an experienced, CPSA-approved initiating physician to complete your requirements for an approval.

Please contact us for further information at OATinfo@cpsa.ca.

Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) Program, Opioid Prescribing, Opioids

How do I receive an OAT Initiation Approval for methadone, Slow-release Oral Morphine (SROM) or Injectable Opioid Agonist Therapy (iOAT)?

  1. Complete an approved educational training program (e.g., Alberta ODT Virtual Training Program, British Columbia Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU)–Provincial Opioid Addiction Treatment Support Program, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)–Opioid Dependence Treatment Certificate Program.
  2. If you complete the Alberta program, they will forward a certificate of completion to CPSA.
  3. If you complete a program other than the Alberta ODT Virtual Training Program, you will need to provide CPSA with a OAT Initiation Approval and your certificate of program completion in addition to evidence of experiential training, supervision or mentorship.
  4. CPSA will review your completion certificate and evidence of experiential training, if required, and provide a letter of approval.
  5. Once you have received CPSA OAT Initiation Approval confirmation, you can begin prescribing an OAT.
Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) Program, Opioid Prescribing, Opioids

Where can I find out more about what kind of duties medical lab assistants can perform?

Under the Health Professions Act, medical lab assistants are an unregulated profession. Their employer is responsible for ensuring they have the right training and qualifications to perform their duties.

Accreditation, Diagnostic Lab Medicine, Facilities

Where do I find lab retention guidelines for records?

Labs develop and implement their own policies about how long to keep records. They are responsible to make sure the policy makes sense when balanced against the type of testing the lab performs, as well as best practice or regulations.

Accreditation, Diagnostic Lab Medicine, Facilities

How can I get a copy of the lab accreditation standards?

Accreditation standards are available to accredited labs through a secure online portal and to facilities seeking accreditation once they submit their application and pay fees.

Accreditation, Diagnostic Lab Medicine, Facilities

Our lab performs cardiology testing such as Holter monitoring and ECGs. Will these examinations be included in our laboratory accreditation assessment?

No. CPSA doesn’t accredit these services in lab assessment.

Accreditation, Diagnostic Lab Medicine, Facilities

We renovated our lab. Is an on-site assessment required?

Yes. You need to notify CPSA and schedule and on-site assessment.

Accreditation, Diagnostic Lab Medicine, Facilities

Does CPSA have a list of recognized/approved External Quality Assessment (Proficiency Testing) providers?

No. Labs are responsible for finding their own External Quality Assessment (EQA) providers for EQA activities. If there are any concerns with your EQA provider, we’ll identify that at the time of your assessment.

Accreditation, Diagnostic Lab Medicine, Facilities

Who can request a lab test in Alberta?

physicians
dentists
podiatrists
veterinarians
registered midwives
pharmacists
registered nurses approved to provide extended health services OR using specific test order sets as part of approved, formal patient care protocols
optometrists
a member of the public if the person and the examination or procedure are part of a provincially-sponsored screening program

Accreditation, Diagnostic Lab Medicine, Facilities

I am working on a clinical trial with a lab. Where do I get a copy of their accreditation certificate for a facility to verify their status?

We issue certificates to labs once they are accredited. To get a copy of their certificate, contact the facility directly.

Accreditation, Diagnostic Lab Medicine, Facilities

We perform third party testing like employee drug screening. Do we need CPSA accreditation?

No. Third party testing like drug screening is not diagnostic, and does not require accreditation.

Accreditation, Diagnostic Lab Medicine, Facilities

We perform laboratory testing for research or as a part of a clinical trial. Do we need CPSA accreditation?

No. Facilities performing testing for research do not require accreditation.

Accreditation, Diagnostic Lab Medicine, Facilities

I am a physician who performs screening testing (e.g., urine dipsticks) on my patients to guide patient management only. Do I need CPSA accreditation?

No. Physicians only require accreditation if they are reporting results into Netcare or the patient record.

Accreditation, Diagnostic Lab Medicine, Facilities

Does my lab require CPSA accreditation?

If your facility produces and reports diagnostic lab test results for patient management, you need to be assessed and accredited by CPSA.

Accreditation, Diagnostic Lab Medicine, Facilities

When do I have to notify CPSA about changes to my laser equipment?

Any time there is any change to your laser, how or where it is used, you need to notify CPSA. We don’t need to be aware of any routine maintenance.

Accreditation, Facilities, Laser Equipment

Can a laser be used in more than one room or facility?

Yes, but you need a separate ARPA Compliance Verification Report for each location. You must also submit details about each site the laser will be used in.

Note: you pay one registration fee for each facility certificate.

Accreditation, Facilities, Laser Equipment

How do I maintain laser equipment registration?

Each year, we’ll send you a profile for active equipment in your facility. You must update all equipment profiles with any information that may have changed and return it to CPSA. In addition, we re-certify equipment every 4 years.

Accreditation, Facilities, Laser Equipment

Can individuals other than physicians use lasers for hair removal?

Yes. The laser must still be registered. Please contact Mr. Mark Rice, Director of Radiation Health at Alberta Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour & Immigration, for direction at 780-415-0612.

Accreditation, Facilities, Laser Equipment

If the manufacturer loans a laser to a facility, who registers the laser?

If it is a long-term loan, the physician should register the laser. If it is a short-term loan, the manufacturer should register it.

Accreditation, Facilities, Laser Equipment

Can I register a laser without ARPA testing?

If you are renewing your registration and no changes have been made to the laser or facility, you can fill in our paper-based compliance verification report. To register a new laser please contact an Authorized Radiation Protection Agency and schedule an on-site inspection.

Accreditation, Facilities, Laser Equipment

When is ARPA compliance verification testing necessary?

Any time you purchase a new piece of laser equipment, modify existing equipment, renovate your facility, or move existing equipment, you need ARPA testing before CPSA will register your equipment.

Accreditation, Facilities, Laser Equipment

When will I receive a certificate?

You receive a certificate after we review and are satisfied with the completed laser application form and the ARPA verification report.

Accreditation, Facilities, Laser Equipment

What information do I need to register laser equipment?

For class 3b and 4 lasers, you will need the manufacturer, model and serial number.

Accreditation, Facilities, Laser Equipment

Is an Intense Pulse Light a laser?

No, the Intense Pulse Light is a light and does not require registration.

Accreditation, Facilities, Laser Equipment

How do I determine if a laser is class 3b or 4?

Your manufacturer instructions should be clear about the laser class of your equipment, but generally:

Class 3b lasers are considered hazardous with direct exposure to the eyes
Class 4 lasers are considered hazardous to the eyes with both direct exposure and indirect exposure

Accreditation, Facilities, Laser Equipment

Does CPSA register all laser equipment?

No, we only register class 3b and 4 lasers owned by physicians, Alberta Health Services or medical education facilities.

Accreditation, Facilities, Laser Equipment

How do I know when equipment certification is expiring?

All certificates have an expiry date on the bottom left side. Owners must get their equipment re-tested, re-certified and have a new certificate issued before the expiry date.

Accreditation, Facilities, X-ray

What happens if equipment is not re-certified by the expiry date on the certificate?

You’ll be issued a stop-directive and cannot use the equipment until it is re-certified by CPSA.

Accreditation, Facilities, X-ray

Does temporary/loaner x-ray equipment require registration?

Yes. CPSA will also place restrictions on the your registration certificate for temporary or loaner equipment.

Accreditation, Facilities, X-ray

Can I submit CPSA equipment registration applications to an ARPA?

No. ARPAs are only responsible for confirming your equipment is compliant with regulations. Submit your registration application to CPSA.

Accreditation, Facilities, X-ray

What happens if an ARPA says our facility equipment is non-compliant?

If your equipment is non-compliant, it must not be used. We put a stop on your equipment registration/re-certification until the ARPA notifies us that your facility and/or equipment is compliant.

Accreditation, Facilities, X-ray

What types of facilities are eligible to register X-ray equipment with CPSA?

Medical imaging facilities, podiatry offices, the Office of the Medical Examiner, and both Alberta technical colleges register their equipment with CPSA.

Accreditation, Facilities, X-ray

Can we interpret our ECGs electronically and have a CPSA-approved ECG interpreter re-read the abnormal ones?

No. Computerized ECG reading is not advanced enough to replace an expert physician interpretation, even when used as a screening tool for excluding “normal” ECGs.

Accreditation, Electrocardiogram (ECG), Facilities

Do 12-lead ECGs have to interpreted by a CPSA-approved ECG interpreter?

It’s not a requirement, but we strongly suggest that only cardiologists or CPSA-approved ECG interpreters read 12-lead ECGs.

Accreditation, Electrocardiogram (ECG), Facilities

Does approval to interpret ECGs include approval to interpret Holter monitors?

You can interpret Holter monitors without CPSA approval.

Accreditation, Electrocardiogram (ECG), Facilities

If I have approval to interpret ECGs, can I also interpret exercise ECGs (treadmill)?

No. Cardiac stress test (CST) interpretation requires a minimum of 2 weeks of full-time training with supervised assessment, attendance and interpretation of 100 or more studies under at least one cardiologist. If testing includes pharmacological stress testing, evidence of training and experience with these procedures is also required.

Accreditation, Electrocardiogram (ECG), Facilities

What if I choose not to participate in this quality improvement program?

You will be referred to Continuing Competence’s Assistant Registrar to discuss alternatives.

Group Practice Review (GPR), Physicians

Is participation in GPR mandatory?

Yes. Under the Health Professions Act, physicians must work with CPSA to assess their competence (see our Rules for Member Participation).

Group Practice Review (GPR), Physicians

Why can't I access my report?

For the best experience, we recommend using Internet Explorer, Edge or Chrome on your desktop computer. If you’re still having issues accessing your report, please see this troubleshooting guide.

Physicians, Practice Checkup

How do I claim CME credits?

Physicians who review their Practice Checkup and are registered with the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) are eligible to claim uncertified Mainpro+ credits under the CFPC’s  “Assessment” category of credit. Additionally, a Linking Learning exercise can be completed to earn five Mainpro+ certified credits. Members of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) may claim MOC Section 3 credits.

Physicians, Practice Checkup

What if I choose not to participate in this quality improvement program?

You will be referred to Continuing Competence’s Assistant Registrar to discuss alternatives.

Multi-source Feedback+ (MSF+), Physicians

Is participation in MCC 360 mandatory?

If selected by CPSA, yes. Under the Health Professions Act, physicians must work with CPSA to assess their competence (see our Rules for Member Participation).

Multi-source Feedback+ (MSF+), Physicians

Can a physician own, or own interest in, a pharmacy?

Yes. However, there must be no conflict of interest. This means patients cannot feel coerced to purchase from that pharmacy,. A physician’s ownership in a pharmacy must not impact his/her prescribing practices.

For further guidance, please refer to the Prescribing: Administration, Conflict of Interest, Code of Ethics & Professionalism and Relationships with Industry Standards of Practice.

Physicians, Prescribing

If a prescription is forged or stolen, can the police be notified and/or the prescription handed over to the police?

Yes. According to the Office of the Information Privacy Commissioner, the pharmacist is not providing a “health service,” and a forged or stolen prescription does not contain “health information.” Fraudulent alteration of a prescription in any material respect means that this form is no longer “health information” and can be disclosed to the police.

Physicians, Prescribing

Does CPSA allow physicians to authorize cannabis for medical purposes?

Yes. Physicians may decide whether or authorizing the use of medical cannabis is appropriate for their patients. The physician must register with CPSA to authorize cannabis for medical purposes. For more information, please refer to Cannabis for Medical Purposes.

Physicians, Prescribing

What requirements do I need to meet to prescribe methadone and/or buprenorphine/naloxone?

Please refer to our Opioid Agonist Treatment page for detailed information.

Physicians, Prescribing

Will CPSA provide a list of physicians who prescribe specific drugs, such as methadone or narcotics, or those who authorize cannabis for medical purposes?

No. Specific details about the prescribing practices of individual physicians is not public information.

Prescribing

Can a physician write a new prescription for a patient without seeing that patient?

Physicians may provide a new prescription for a patient without seeing that patient in-person in accordance with current recommendations for virtual care. For more information, refer to the CPSA guidance document for virtual care.

Physicians, Prescribing

Can a physician phone in a prescription refill, or does he/she need to see the patient first?

If clinically appropriate, a physician may refill a prescription over the phone or fax without seeing a patient in person. Certain drugs cannot be verbally authorized or refilled as per regulations to the Controlled Drugs & Substances Act.

Physicians, Prescribing

What about electronic prescribing?

Fax direct from a password-protected EMR is currently the recommended electronic method of transmission. The password protocol is the prescriber’s direct authorization. For physicians participating in the PrescribeIT (Canada Health Infoway) pilot, the same considerations apply.

The following scenarios are acceptable:

  • Prescriptions produced by computer, then hand-signed by a physician or with an electronic signature that is hand-initialed by the physician and given to a patient to take to a pharmacy.
  • Prescriptions produced by computer, then hand-signed by a physician or with an electronic signature that is hand-initialed by the physician and faxed to a pharmacy of the patient’s choice.
  • Prescriptions transmitted in a secure closed electronic system. A digitally captured signature using a hardware device and software for authentication is acceptable. In this case, the EMR’s password protocol is considered direct authorization. However, the physician must log in and transmit the prescription themselves if using this method (cannot delegate).

For best practices, refer to CPSA’s Prescribing: Administration Advice to the Profession.

Physicians, Prescribing

Can a prescription have an electronic signature?

Direct authorization by valid signature is required to verify the authenticity of prescriptions.

Handwritten prescriptions given directly to the patient must be signed manually. EMR-generated prescriptions that are printed and given directly to the patient must be counter-signed with a “wet” signature.

EMR-generated signatures are only acceptable to pharmacists when the prescription is transmitted directly from the EMR to the pharmacy of the patient’s choice, as in the case of a fax. In a closed electronic system where transmission is by secure messaging, the password protocol is considered the prescriber’s direct authorization. The physician must log in and transmit the prescription themselves (i.e. may not delegate) in this case.

Physicians, Prescribing

Can a prescription be faxed to the pharmacy?

Yes. Please refer to CPSA’s Prescribing: Administration Standard of Practice and Advice to the Profession.

Physicians, Prescribing

Are physicians allowed to write prescriptions for themselves or for family members?

No, except when another prescriber is not available for emergency services. Note: You cannot bill for this service.

For further information, refer to the CMA Code of Ethics and Professionalism, Section 20.

Physicians, Prescribing

What is the purpose of CPSA's prescribing program?

Our goal is to work with physicians, providing support and information to help resolve questions and concerns about prescribing. We work with physicians to collaboratively address concerns and complex patient situations, and share prescribing data in a number of ways (reports, letters, etc.) to encourage self-reflection and help physicians identify opportunities for improvement.

Physicians, Prescribing

What if I choose not to participate in IPR?

You will be referred to CPSA’s Professional Conduct department to discuss alternatives.

Individual Practice Review (IPR), Physicians

Are there costs associated with IPR?

Collected on a cost-recovery basis, fees vary and are adjusted based on the resources used during your IPR. Physicians will be provided with specifics on costs when they first enter the program. Find out more about IPR fees.

Individual Practice Review (IPR), Physicians

Is participation in IPR mandatory?

Yes. Under the Health Professions Act, physicians must work with CPSA to assess their competence (see our Rules for Member Participation).

Individual Practice Review (IPR), Physicians

What should I do if I think my physician needs help with a medical condition?

If you are concerned that your physician has a health condition affecting patient care, please contact our Professional Conduct department at 780-423-4764 or 1-800-661-4689 (in Canada).

Albertans

What should I do if I'm concerned about my physician?

We recommend you contact our Professional Conduct department at 780-423-4764 or 1-800-661-4689 (in Canada).

Albertans

If PHMP contacts me, do I have to reply? How soon do I have to reply?

As a physician, resident or medical student, yes, you should respond as soon as possible and in a timely manner.

Medical Residents & Students, Physician Health Monitoring, Physicians

What is the difference between PHMP and PFSP?

Although both programs are confidential, offering support to physicians, residents and medical students with health conditions, there are some differences.

CPSA’s Physician Health Monitoring Program (PHMP):

  • Is available for health conditions affecting medical practice
  • Will connect with physicians directly and may ask for more information from treating practitioners
  • Will refer physicians for an assessment, if needed (fitness to practice)
  • Will administer monitoring when recommended by assessors

The Alberta Medical Association’s Physician and Family Support Program (PFSP): 

  • Voluntary program offering support for health and wellness concerns
  • Offers a 24/7 assistance line for physicians and eligible family members
  • Provides confidential support and access to qualified therapists
  • Case Coordination (CC) services are available for more complex health concerns
  • May provide financial assistance to CC clients for assessments or treatment

However, with your consent, both PHMP and PFSP can work together to provide you the best support possible.

Physician Health Monitoring, Physicians

Can I return to practice?

Most physicians can return to work with appropriate supports in place. PHMP may enter into an agreement with the physician to ensure they remain healthy and able to carry out their clinical duties.

Physician Health Monitoring, Physicians

Can I continue to practise while involved in PHMP?

Yes, if your health providers confirm that you are effectively managing your health condition and able to provide safe patient care.

Physician Health Monitoring, Physicians

Will I lose my practice permit if my health condition is reported?

Taking a physician’s permit away is rare and a last resort. We may ask you to temporarily withdraw from practice until your health is stable, or until we get assurance from your health providers that you can practise safely.

On rare occasions, we may have to refer a matter to the Complaints Director under Section 118 of the Health Professions Act. This only happens if a physician will not voluntarily withdraw from practice and there is reason to believe patient safety is at risk.

Physician Health Monitoring, Physicians

What happens when another physician reports me to CPSA?

A member of the PHMP clinical team will contact you to discuss the next steps. See more on what to expect.

Physician Health Monitoring, Physicians

Who should I contact if I have concerns about another physician?

If you have concerns about a colleague who may have a health condition affecting safe patient care, please contact PHMP. You can remain anonymous and your conversation will always be confidential.

In some circumstances, it is your duty to report another physician, for example:

  • You must report another physician to CPSA when you reasonably believe their conduct puts patients at risk, or is considered unprofessional conduct under the Health Professions Act.
  • You also have a duty to report to CPSA if you’re treating a physician who has a health condition that may impact the safety of their patients.
Physician Health Monitoring, Physicians

What supports are available for physicians managing a health condition?

Dealing with a regulatory body such as CPSA can be stressful, so we encourage physicians to contact all available resources, including:

  • AMA’s Physician and Family Support Program (PFSP) | Phone: 1-877-767-4637
  • The Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) for legal counsel | Phone:  1-800-267-6522
Physician Health Monitoring, Physicians

What happens when I contact PHMP about my own health condition?

A member of the PHMP clinical team (or designate) will ask you for more information to determine next steps. Our goal is to ensure you have the support you need to balance your health needs with your clinical responsibilities.

We may ask for your consent to seek additional information from your health providers. This is to ensure you are managing your health condition, and are able to provide safe patient care. Sometimes, regular monitoring is necessary to ensure you remain healthy and fit to practice.

For more information, see our Self-Reporting standard of practice.

Physician Health Monitoring, Physicians

Do I need to self-report if I'm off work due to a physical health condition, accident or injury?

Yes, you must report any condition, accident or injury to CPSA that is negatively impacting your work, or is reasonably likely to negatively impact your work in the future.

Physician Health Monitoring, Physicians

When should I contact PHMP to report a health condition?

We encourage physicians, medical students and residents with health conditions to seek medical attention early in order to minimize the impact on their practice.

If you have a physical, cognitive, mental and/or emotional condition that is negatively impacting your work, or is reasonably likely to negatively impact your work in the future, you must report this to CPSA.

Physician Health Monitoring, Physicians

Is participation in PHMP voluntary?

Yes. However, on rare occasions, it may be necessary to refer the matter to CPSA’s Complaints Director (as per Section 118 of the Health Professions Act). This only happens when the physician will not voluntarily withdraw and we believe patients may be at risk.

Physician Health Monitoring, Physicians

When will my cannabis be delivered?

TPP Alberta is not responsible for the delivery of prescription cannabis. Please talk to your prescriber for more information on your cannabis prescription.

Albertans, TPP Alberta, TPP Alberta Albertans

How do I know if my health care provider can prescribe TPP Alberta monitored medications?

Patients are entitled to ask their health care provider if they prescribe medications monitored by TPP Alberta.

Albertans, TPP Alberta, TPP Alberta Albertans

Will TPP Alberta provide a list of health care providers who prescribe specific drugs on the TPP Alberta medications list, such as methadone, cannabis or narcotics?

No.

Albertans, TPP Alberta, TPP Alberta Albertans

What is "multi-doctoring"?

“Multi-doctoring” is when a patient visits multiple health care providers to obtain multiple prescriptions, within a 30 day period, without informing the prescribers about every prescription or narcotic obtained.

Both unlawful possession and obtaining multiple prescriptions for opioids and some other prescription drugs, without proper disclosure, are criminal offences that can bring a fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment for up to six months, or both, for a first offence (summary conviction). Penalties increase for subsequent convictions or possession of larger amounts. For example, conviction for trafficking can bring life imprisonment. For more information, refer to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, (1996, c. 19 C-38.8)

Prescribers can access information on a patient’s prescription history via Alberta Netcare’s Pharmaceutical Information Network (PIN). TPP Alberta can also be contacted for a patient’s TPP profile.

Albertans, TPP Alberta, TPP Alberta Albertans

Is there a list of stolen and missing TPP Alberta forms?

Pharmacists looking for the list of stolen or missing TPP Alberta scripts can access the list through the Alberta College of Pharmacy (login required).

TPP Alberta

How do I know if a prescriber has a restriction around prescribing TPP Alberta monitored medications?

Please refer to the Prescribers With TPP Alberta Prescribing Restrictions list.

TPP Alberta

Do I need to send a copy of the secure form to TPP Alberta?

Dispensers of TPP medications send the forms to TPP Alberta at least twice a month for data entry, if the scripts meet these criteria:

  • compounded medications
  • office use
  • veterinary use

Information for other tracked prescriptions is sent to TPP Alberta via Netcare/PIN. However, pharmacies should keep a copy in case TPP Alberta requests access to it.

TPP Alberta

I am moving my practice. Does the TPP Alberta pad stay at my old clinic?

Your TPP Alberta pad is issued to you as a prescriber. If you are moving your practice, you should take your pad with you and update TPP Alberta by emailing TPP.Info@cpsa.ab.ca, calling 780-969-4939 or 1-800-561-3899 ext. 4939 (toll free), or faxing 780-429-1981.

Physicians, TPP Alberta, TPP Alberta Prescribers

Where should I keep the prescriber’s copy of the TPP Alberta form?

You should keep the PRESCRIBER COPY (bottom copy) of the 2-part secure form within the patient’s record at your clinic. Refrain from leaving the form within the pad. Storing the copy within the pad can compromise patient confidentiality, especially in the case of loss or theft.

Physicians, TPP Alberta, TPP Alberta Prescribers

How long do I retain my copy of the TPP Alberta form?

The TPP Alberta secure form is considered part of the patient record. A copy should be retained for the same period that a patient record must be maintained as per applicable legislation for your profession.

Physicians, TPP Alberta, TPP Alberta Prescribers

Do I need to register with TPP Alberta in order to prescribe buprenorphine/naloxone?

No. As of July 2019, when buprenorphine/naloxone was changed to Type 2 TPP Alberta status, registration with the Program was no longer required.  Use of the secure TPP Alberta secure form is no longer required when prescribing buprenorphine/naloxone combination products.  Single-entity buprenorphine products continue to be  TPP Type 1 category so registration with TPP Alberta and use of the secure pad are required.

Physicians, TPP Alberta, TPP Alberta Prescribers

Can TPP Alberta prescriptions be faxed to the pharmacist?

Yes, if the program’s secure 2-part form is used.

Please refer to CPSA’s Prescribing: Administration standard of practice and advice document for more information.

Physicians, TPP Alberta, TPP Alberta Prescribers

Can a prescriber request their own or a patient’s TPP Alberta profile?

Yes. Email TPP.Info@cpsa.ab.ca, call 780-969-4939 or 1-800-561-3899 ext. 4939 (toll free), or fax 780-429-1981.

Physicians, TPP Alberta, TPP Alberta Prescribers

How do I keep my TPP pad safe?

Prescribers should ensure the security of their TPP Alberta forms to avoid misuse by individuals seeking to improperly obtain these medications.

  • TPP Alberta forms are personalized and must not be shared. The prescriber’s name, business address, and a unique prescriber identification number are imprinted on the pads.
  • When a prescriber retires, leaves practice, or leaves the province, unused forms must be returned to TPP Alberta for proper destruction.
Physicians, TPP Alberta, TPP Alberta Prescribers

What if my prescription pad or forms are lost or stolen?

If your TPP Alberta pad or any of the forms are stolen, you must contact the police. If missing, notify TPP Alberta immediately. The prescriber should provide the following information to TPP Alberta:

  • Date of theft or loss
  • Tracking number of the missing forms or pads
  • Name of the last patient prescribed a Type 1 prescription
  • The police file number and investigating constable’s name and phone number
Physicians, TPP Alberta, TPP Alberta Prescribers

Is there a cost to apply or to re-order pads?

There is no cost to apply or re-order pads.

Physicians, TPP Alberta, TPP Alberta Prescribers

How do I re-order a TPP Alberta Prescription Pad?

To re-order a secure pad, email TPP.Info@cpsa.ab.ca, call 780-969-4939 or 1-800-561-3899 ext. 4939 (toll free), or fax 780-429-1981. Include the following information with your request:

  • Your registration number
  • Your clinic’s complete address (including postal code) and the phone number to be printed on the pads
  • The complete address for shipping (if different from your clinic address), including your contact phone number-no PO boxes, home addresses, or out of province addresses are permitted for deliveries.

Note: Only two pads (100 prescriptions) may be ordered at one time.

Physicians, TPP Alberta, TPP Alberta Prescribers

What if I don't have a fixed business address (e.g., locums)?

Prescribers who have no fixed business address (e.g., locums) are issued TPP Alberta forms without a pre-printed address that identify the prescriber’s name and unique prescriber identification number. When issuing a TPP Alberta prescription, these prescribers must enter on the form the name of the medical clinic/hospital/professional for whom the prescriber is working, address and a contact telephone number.

Physicians, TPP Alberta, TPP Alberta Prescribers

How do I complete the secure 2-part form?

Refer to this guide on how to use the TPP Alberta secure 2-part form. The prescriber retains the PRESCRIBER COPY (bottom copy), while dispensers use the PHARMACY/TPP COPY (top copy) of the secure 2-part form. The pharmacist or veterinarian clinic retains a copy, unless it is for compounded medications, office use, veterinary use or is a Yukon prescription.

Physicians, TPP Alberta, TPP Alberta Prescribers

I already did an elective in Alberta and am returning for another. Do I have to complete the entire registration process again?

If you were already registered in Alberta for an elective, you do not have to reapply or pay a registration fee. You need to:

Ask your university to update CPSA with your new elective dates.
Send CPSA a Certificate of Professional Conduct.
Send CPSA a new criminal record check or police certificate from every jurisdiction you have ever lived (90+ days) within 10 years of your CPSA application or dating back to your 18th birthday. We do not need a vulnerable sector check, but will accept one if it is a part of your criminal record check.

Physicians, Postgraduate Training

What happens when my registration is complete?

Once CPSA receives all your documents, if you are eligible for registration, you will get a confirmation email with your new CPSA registration number. This is the identification we use for all our future interactions with you. We’ll also send you an email to let you know when your permit is available in our secure physician portal for you to access.

Physicians, Postgraduate Training

What is physiciansapply.ca?

physiciansapply.ca is the tool that all physicians are required to use to apply for practice in Canada, physiciansapply.ca standardizes the application process for medical registration in Canada. CPSA only accepts applications through physiciansapply.ca.

Through your physiciansapply.ca account, you can

  • apply for any Medical Council of Canada (MCC) exams
  • view your exam results
  • submit your credentials and documents
  • have your credentials translated (if they need to be)
  • share your credentials and exam results with CPSA or any other medical authority
  • submit a Review of Qualifications to CPSA
Physicians, Postgraduate Training

How do I know if CPSA received all my documents?

You can check the status of your application in the Postgraduate Tracking System and learn which documents we have received. It takes about 2 business days for new information to show up on the tracking page after we receive it.

Physicians, Postgraduate Training

Where do I get a Certificate of Professional Conduct / Certificate of Standing?

You must obtain a Certificate of Professional Conduct / Certificate of Standing from all the jurisdictions in which you were registered and practising medicine. These documents come from a licensing body, not from a university.

Physicians, Postgraduate Training

Why can't I log on to the tracking system?

Please note that your username is no longer your tracking number. Please use the email address

Physicians, Postgraduate Training

What happens if I have a PC and choose to discontinue my practice permit or retire from practice?

We will cancel your CPSA PC Permit on the same day you discontinue your practice permit and notify Alberta Health. Only certain regulated members can maintain a CPSA PC Permit. Retired physicians can’t hold a CPSA PC permit.
Although your PC Permit with CPSA will be cancelled, your professional corporation can continue with the Corporate Registry. Please contact your lawyer or accountant for more information.

Physicians, Professional Corporation, Registration

If my professional corporation is registered in another province, can it operate in Alberta?

No, but you can transfer your professional corporation into Alberta if it meets CPSA naming requirements. Doing so would make your PC invalid in the previous province.
We also need to endorse Articles of Continuance with the original signature of one incorporating physician before you submit them to the Alberta Corporate Registry.

Physicians, Professional Corporation, Registration

Can I maintain my Alberta PC if I move out of province?

Yes, as long as you keep an active Alberta practice permit and registered office address in Alberta where your incorporating documentation is held (e.g., lawyer, accountant). Please update your address using the form on this page.
For more information, see Alberta’s Business Corporations Act.

Physicians, Professional Corporation, Registration

Can I change the name of my PC?

Please refer to the Names section of the CPSA Bylaws
Submit a copy of the Articles of Amendment with the original signature(s) of the incorporating physician(s) to the College for endorsement, prior to sending to Alberta Corporate Registry.

Physicians, Professional Corporation, Registration

Do I need to contact Alberta Health once my PC is established?

Yes, Call Alberta Health at 780-422-1522.

Physicians, Professional Corporation, Registration

What costs are associated with registering a PC?

All CPSA-related fees can be found on this page. Fees are subject to change without notice. You should also be aware of your legal, accountant, or Alberta Registries fees which are separate from CPSA fees.

Physicians, Professional Corporation, Registration

Who can sign the Articles of Incorporation?

All incorporating documents need to be signed by one physician. However, all physicians wishing to be incorporators must sign the PCA. Incorporators have to be CPSA physicians with active registration.

Physicians, Professional Corporation, Registration

Who can be a shareholder in my PC?

Physicians with active CPSA registration can be voting shareholders.
The spouses, common-law partners, and children of physicians with active CPSA registration may be non-voting shareholders. See information sheet.

Physicians, Professional Corporation, Registration

Can I establish a PC if I am in Canada on a work permit (not a Canadian citizen) and actively registered with CPSA?

Yes. But, you (or your representative) should be clear about the specifics on citizenship before you move forward. For more information, please refer to Alberta’s Business Corporations Act (Sec 105 (3) and Part 21).

Physicians, Professional Corporation, Registration

Can medical students or retired physicians register a PC with CPSA?

No, medical students or retired physicians can’t register a PC with us.

Physicians, Professional Corporation, Registration

Is renewing my PC equivalent to renewing my permit?

No, physicians need to renew their practice permit annually during annual renewal. PC annual renewal is open at the same time but is a separate process.

Physicians, Professional Corporation, Registration

Why do physicians renew their medical licence every year?

Annual renewal is an opportunity for physicians to update their practice information, including the type of work they do, how many patients they see and whether or not they are accepting new patients. During renewal, physicians also confirm they hold liability insurance, and that they are participating in continuous learning.

Most important, annual renewal provides us with important information about their practice and health so we can support them throughout their medical career.

Albertans, Annual Renewal, Registration

Do I need liability insurance/coverage to practise medicine in Alberta?

Yes, liability insurance/coverage is required by the Health Professions Act. You will be asked to confirm your liability coverage each year when you renew your practice permit.

Annual Renewal, Physicians, Registration

How can I enrol in CPSA's Pre-Authorized Payment Plan (PAP)?

Complete our PAP enrolment form. This allows CPSA to automatically withdraw your annual fees in full, once per year.

Note: If you enrol in PAP, you still have to complete your Renewal Information Form (RIF) each year to renew your practice permit. Not completing the RIF on time, will result in late fees.

Annual Renewal, Physicians, Registration

Where can I get my practice permit?

You can print your practice permit from the physician portal. If you just finished completing your Renewal Information Form (RIF), please allow three business days for processing.

Annual Renewal, Physicians, Registration

Why do I need a 'unique' email to renew?

Using a unique email ensures the information we share with you is protected and only seen by you.

Annual Renewal, Physicians, Registration

How do I log in to renew my permit?

To start your renewal, you will need to log in to the physician portal using your CPSA registration number and a password you create.

Annual Renewal, Physicians, Registration

Why aren't all fields in the RIF pre-populated?

We do not pre-populate all the fields in the renewal form to ensure we get your most up-to-date practice information.

Annual Renewal, Physicians, Registration

Why do I have to provide CPSA with a public address?

Under the Health Professions Act, we are required to provide Albertans with basic information about physicians. This includes a public address.

Annual Renewal, Physicians, Registration

Why do I have to fill out a Renewal Information Form (RIF)?

The RIF ensures we have up-to-date information about your practice, including your contact information and whether or not you are accepting new patients. A portion of this information is posted on the CPSA website to help Albertans who are looking for a physician.

The Alberta Government also requires us to keep accurate data about physician resources in Alberta.

Annual Renewal, Physicians, Registration

I'm having trouble completing my renewal. Who can I contact?

Send an email to annualbilling@cpsa.ab.ca. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can. In the meantime, see if the following might help:

  1. Try completing your renewal using a different browser.
  2. Try completing your renewal from your home computer. Some organization’s internet security is set too high to complete your RIF.
  3. Avoid completing your renewal on your cell phone or tablet. Our online renewal process is not yet optimized for hand held devices.
Annual Renewal, Physicians, Registration

How will I know when its my time to renew?

We will notify you by email and post information in CPSA’s newsletter The Messenger.

Renewal also occurs at the same time every year. Learn more about our renewal deadlines.

Note: If you have been out of practice for more than three years, you will need to reapply.

Annual Renewal, Physicians, Registration

How can I update my practice information?

We collect your practice information every year during annual renewal via the Renewal Information Form (RIF).

Outside of renewal, you can update your practice information via CPSA’s secure physician portal or by contacting a member service agent at physicianinquiries@cpsa.ab.ca.

Annual Renewal, Physicians, Registration

Who can I contact for more information about the Patient Relations Program and funding?

Contact Homewood Health Inc.
Toll-free at 1-866-826-4440.
Hours: Monday – Friday; 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (MT)

Albertans, Patient Relations Program

What happens if my complaint is dismissed or the hearing tribunal finds my physician not guilty?

Your funding will still continue for the five-year period, or to a maximum amount awarded by CPSA, whichever comes first.

Albertans, Patient Relations Program

How will I know how much of my funding is remaining?

  • On June 30 of each year, CPSA will update you on your remaining funds and time period remaining.
  • You may also request this information from Homewood Health Inc. at any time.
Albertans, Patient Relations Program

Can I use more than one therapist or counsellor?

Yes, up to the maximum dollar amount awarded by CPSA, or within the five-year time frame. Homewood Health Inc. will process the invoices.

Albertans, Patient Relations Program

Is there a time limit on using the funding?

Yes. Funding must be used within a five-year period, or up to a maximum amount of $22,500, whichever comes first. The five-year period begins on the day you become eligible for funding.

Albertans, Patient Relations Program

Are there any restrictions on how I use the Patient Relations Program funding?

Yes. The funding can only be used to pay for therapy or counselling by a licensed therapist or counsellor, related to matters arising from sexual abuse or sexual misconduct by an Alberta physician.

Albertans, Patient Relations Program

How much funding is available?

You are eligible to receive a maximum amount of $22,500. CPSA will determine the exact amount awarded for your situation.

Albertans, Patient Relations Program

What else should I know about Patient Relations Program funding?

  • You and your therapist or counsellor must keep all information obtained in setting up the funding confidential.
  • Being eligible for funding does not automatically mean the physician is guilty of professional misconduct.
Albertans, Patient Relations Program

Will I need to undergo a psychological assessment to support the need for therapy?

No.

Albertans, Patient Relations Program

Will my physician find out if I'm getting funding for counselling and therapy?

If your physician is found guilty of sexual abuse or sexual misconduct by a CPSA Hearing Tribunal, we may seek to recover the costs of your therapy from them. In this case, they will become aware that you have accessed the Patient Relations Program.

Albertans, Patient Relations Program

Can I choose my own therapist or counsellor?

Yes. If you have a preferred therapist or counsellor, Homewood Health Inc. will provide you with a form to give to your therapist or counsellor. This form will make sure they get paid for their services.

Albertans, Patient Relations Program

How do I contact Homewood Health Inc.?

  • Homewood Health Inc.
    Toll-free at 1-866-826-4440
    Hours: Monday – Friday; 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (MT)
  • When calling, you will need the written confirmation we sent you, including your file number.
Albertans, Patient Relations Program

How do I get funding for therapy and counselling?

  • As soon as we get your complaint about sexual abuse or sexual misconduct by your physician, you are eligible to receive funding for counselling and therapy.
  • You will receive written confirmation of your complaint and a file number. Once you have this information, you can contact Homewood Health Inc., the organization we’ve contracted to provide therapy and counselling services.
  • We will also notify Homewood Health Inc. so they can work with you to find a therapist or counsellor.
Albertans, Patient Relations Program

Do I have to wait until the complaints process has concluded to access the Patient Relations Program?

No. You are eligible for funding and counselling as soon as you file your complaint.

Albertans, Patient Relations Program

Who is eligible to receive funding from CPSA's Patient Relations Program?

As of April 1, 2019, a patient who files a complaint alleging sexual abuse or sexual misconduct by their Alberta physician is eligible to receive funding for therapy and counselling.

This funding was a result of the Alberta government’s Bill 21: “An Act to Protect Patients”. It applies to all regulatory colleges in Alberta.

Albertans, Patient Relations Program

Does a complaint affect my status with CPSA?

Most complaints are resolved without formal discipline. These complaints become part of your CPSA record but are not made public unless it goes to a disciplinary hearing.

If you apply for a practice permit (licence) in another jurisdiction, you will need a certificate of professional conduct (CPC). A CPC will reflect any open complaints, all complaints resolved through agreement, disciplinary actions, any patterns in complaints received.

All formal discipline decisions will appear on our website and in our newsletter, The Messenger.

Complaints, Physicians

Do I need a lawyer to represent me during the complaints process?

This is up to you, but we do recommend you talk to the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) for legal advice and guidance.

Complaints, Physicians

Can I bill CPSA for the time I spend responding to a complaint?

No. Responding to a regulator about a complaint is a duty under the Health Professions Act, and is not billable.

Complaints, Physicians

Will the complainant know my response?

In most cases, yes. The complainant will know your response unless you specifically indicate otherwise. Just as we share the complaint with you, we share your response with the complainant.

Complaints, Physicians

What happens if CPSA gets a complaint about me?

If we get a written complaint about you, we will notify you and share a copy of the complaint. We may also ask you for a response, if necessary. We use the same process for all complaints. See more about our complaints process.

Complaints, Physicians

How long does the complaints process take?

We try to resolve complaints in a timely manner. However, reviewing a complaint can take months or years, depending on the complaint’s complexity, length of investigation and availability of experts (if required).

Albertans, Complaints, Info for Complainants, Physicians

What are possible outcomes of a complaint investigation?

  • The complaint may be dismissed if evidence does not support the complaint or there was insufficient evidence to proceed.
  • We may work with the physician to make necessary practice changes. This requires consent from the complainant.
  • The complaint may go to a formal hearing, which can result in discipline action against the physician.
Albertans, Complaints, Info for Complainants

What is reviewed during an investigation?

Investigations include collecting medical records and interviewing any individuals who may have relevant information about your complaint.

Albertans, Complaints, Info for Complainants

Will I be financially compensated if my complaint is upheld?

No. If you are looking for financial compensation you should obtain legal advice.

Albertans, Complaints, Info for Complainants

Can I be sued for filing a complaint?

No. However, if you distribute copies of the complaint to others, that could be considered libel and put you at risk legally.

Albertans, Complaints, Info for Complainants

How do I complain about a walk-in clinic?

If your complaint is about a specific physician working in a walk-in clinic, you can talk to a CPSA patient advocate. If your complaint is about office procedures or the staff of a walk-in clinic, please talk to the clinic manager or physician overseeing the clinic.

Albertans, Complaints, Info for Complainants

Will the physician know I'm making a complaint?

Yes. When we notify the physician that we’ve received a complaint, we give them a copy of your written complaint to review. We may also ask them to respond to it.

Albertans, Complaints, Info for Complainants

What happens after I complain about a physician?

We will review your written complaint and decide how best to proceed based on options outlined in the Health Professions Act. See our complaints process to learn more about how we resolve complaints.

Albertans, Complaints, Info for Complainants

How do I complain about a physician?

To file a formal complaint, you must complete and sign these two forms:

  1. Complaints Reporting Form, and
  2. Release of Information Form.

If you have questions or require assistance completing the forms, please contact a CPSA patient advocate.

Albertans, Complaints, Info for Complainants

Is there a time limit to file a complaint?

No, but filing a complaint sooner helps make the process more effective.

Albertans, Complaints, Info for Complainants

When should I file a complaint?

Before you file a formal complaint with CPSA, consider talking to your physician first about your concerns. Often, an apology or explanation is all that’s needed. If your attempt to do so is unsuccessful, please call a CPSA patient advocate at 1-800-661-4689 (toll-free in Canada) or 780-423-4764. A patient advocate will explain our complaints process and how it applies to your unique situation.

Albertans, Complaints, Info for Complainants

Can I refuse to work with a legal or insurance firm that has not paid me for previous work?

It is important to ensure the insurance company or legal firm is aware of any fee and agrees to pay the fee before you do the work. If you have a contract with them for work and they have not paid you for that work, you can refuse to do additional work until payment is received. You can also request pre-payment or a down-payment for new work being requested.

You may want to conduct all communications in writing to ensure a paper trail.

Billing, Physicians

How much can I charge for activities not covered by Alberta Health Care?

Please contact the Alberta Medical Association for advice on uninsured fees:

Phone: 780-482-2626 or 1-800-272-9680
Fax: 780-482-5445
Email: amamail@albertadoctors.org
Website: www.albertadoctors.org

Billing, Physicians

Can I charge a patient directly if they do not have a valid Alberta Health Care number?

Yes, if the visit is for elective services. However, you can not refuse to treat or accept a patient in an emergency situation if you have the required skills to provide care.

Note: Alberta has a reciprocal billing agreement with every other province and territory except Quebec. If you treat a patient from another province or territory (except Quebec) who has been in Alberta for less than three months, you can go ahead and bill Alberta Health Care for that patient.

Billing, Physicians

Can I sell medical products in my office?

Yes, but not for the purpose of generating revenue. For more information, see our CPSA Standards of Practice: Sale of Products by Physicians.

Billing, Physicians

Can I bill a patient for a missed appointment?

Yes, if patients are informed of this policy when they book their appointment. If a patient files a complaint with CPSA, you must be able to justify the billing. It may be useful to have a policy on this, and to have the patient’s consent.

Billing, Physicians

Can I refuse to fill out certain forms for insurance or employment?

No, but you can charge a fee (see above). See CPSA Standards of Practice: Charging for Uninsured Medical Services

Billing, Physicians

Can I charge a fee to complete forms, write notes or make copies of medical records for patients?

Yes. You can bill patients directly for services not covered by Alberta Health Care. This includes writing sick notes, consulting by phone, copying patient records and filling out insurance or legal forms. Be sure to advise the patient in advance and be available to respond to their questions or concerns. You should also take into consideration a patient’s ability to pay for such a fee.

If a patient is older than 74.5 years, Alberta Health will pay for their driver’s licence examination and completion of forms.

For more details on fees and billings, contact the Alberta Medical Association.

Billing, Physicians

Where can I go for general information on fees and billing?

Alberta Health Schedule of Medical Benefits
CPSA Standards of Practice: Charging for Uninsured Professional Services
The Alberta Medical Association (AMA) Guidelines to Billing Uninsured Services (This is not a public document, please contact the AMA for details.)
Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA)

Billing, Physicians

Can I have more than one work addresses on file with CPSA?

Yes. When you are completing your Renewal Information Form (RIF) you can provide your primary professional address and up to three other professional addresses where you work most often. This includes hospitals or any other locations from which you bill for health services.

Billing, Physicians

Who can I contact for more information about appeals?

Please contact hearings.director@cpsa.ab.ca or call 780-969-4928 or 1-800-561-3899 ext, 4928 (in Canada).

Appeals, Physicians

Do I have to pay for my appeal?

If your appeal is unsuccessful, you may be responsible for the associated costs. The decision and amount is determined by the Appeal Panel.

Appeals, Physicians

Can I introduce new evidence during my appeal?

Appeals focus on the information used to make the original decision. If you want to introduce new evidence outside of this, you must apply to the Appeal Panel.

Appeals, Physicians

What happens during an appeal?

After some opening remarks by the Appeal Panel Chair, you (or your lawyer) will have 60 minutes to present your submissions. The other party will then have 60 minutes to present their side. If anything comes up, you have the right to reply.

The Appeal Panel may ask questions before adjourning to deliberate in private. You will be notified of their decision in writing.

Appeals, Physicians

Can a lawyer represent me?

Yes. Although it is not required, you are entitled to have legal representation.

Appeals, Physicians

Who sits on the Appeal Panel?

The Appeal Panel is made up of CPSA council members. Usually five members participate in Hearing Tribunal appeals, while three participate in PHMP and MFAC appeals. The Panel must include at least one public member of Council.

Appeals, Physicians

When and where does an appeal take place?

The Hearings Director schedules an appeal date that works for all parties involved. We also inform you how and when to provide written submissions to the Appeal Panel.

The appeal itself is conducted as a telephone conference call, however, you can ask (in writing) that it take place in person at CPSA.

Appeals, Physicians

How can I serve on a hearing tribunal?

Complete our expression of interest form at the bottom of our Committees page.

Hearings, Hearings (Physicians), Physicians

Are hearing tribunal decisions made on the same day as the hearing?

Not always. When the parties do not agree, the hearing tribunal will reserve its decision and issue it in writing on a later date.

Hearings, Hearings (Physicians), Physicians

Who can I contact for more information about hearings?

Please contact hearings.director@cpsa.ab.ca or call 780-969-4928 or 1-800-561-3899 ext, 4928 (in Canada)

Albertans, Hearings, Hearings (Albertans), Hearings (Physicians)

What will happen if my doctor is found guilty of unprofessional conduct?

The hearing tribunal will notify the parties involved. Next, it will determine the appropriate penalty. The decision on penalty can occur on the same day as the hearing or at a later date.

Albertans, Hearings, Hearings (Albertans)

How will I be notified about the hearing tribunal's decision?

You will receive a copy of the decision from the Hearings Director. The decision will also be posted on CPSA’s website, on both the physician’s profile and under discipline decisions.

Albertans, Hearings, Hearings (Albertans), Hearings (Physicians), Physicians

Are hearing tribunal decisions made on the same day as the hearing?

Not always. When the parties do not agree, the hearing tribunal will reserve its decision and issue an order in writing on a later date. Determining the appropriate penalty can also take place on another day.

Albertans, Hearings, Hearings (Albertans)

As the complainant, do I participate in the hearing?

Only if you are called as a witness.

Albertans, Hearings, Hearings (Albertans)

As the complainant, who is available to help me through the hearing process?

We have dedicated patient advocates to help answer your questions and support you through the entire complaints process.

Albertans, Hearings, Hearings (Albertans)

Are Councillors paid?

Yes. Councillors are paid an honorarium plus travel, accommodation and meal expenses for each Council-approved meeting they attend. The amount paid does not represent full compensation for lost earnings, but rather reflects a reasonable payment for one’s time and service.

Council

What is the time commitment?

Council meets for two days, four times a year, at CPSA’s office in Edmonton. Meetings usually take place in March, June, September and December, and run from 8:30 a.m. ‚Äì 4:30 p.m. Meetings usually start as a closed session (in-camera) before opening its doors to the public and media.

As a Council member, you must give yourself time to fully review agenda material before each meeting.

You may also have to sit on a Council committee or sub-committee, which can meet anywhere from four to 12 times per year.

Council

When can I start sharing that my lab is accredited by the CPSA?

Once you have full accreditation status from CPSA, you can start sharing that you have CPSA accreditation.

Accreditation, Facilities, Pulmonary Diagnostic Testing

If I hire a new respiratory therapist (RT) graduate what kind of supervision do I have to provide?

An RT graduate must be under the direct supervision of a regulated health professional until the registrar at CARTA has moved them from CARTA’s provisional to the general register.

Accreditation, Facilities, Pulmonary Diagnostic Testing

What does a lab need to consider before developing policies and procdures for performing non-specific inhalation, e.g. methacholine challenges?

There are several key processes involved in performing a methacholine challenge test that you should consider before developing policies, processes and procedures. They include:

Preparing the methacholine for use in testing
Storing methacholine
Testing
Reporting results
Staff competency training
Maintaining competency

Accreditation, Facilities, Pulmonary Diagnostic Testing

What should I expect during an assessment?

You can continue caring for patients normally while your facility is being assessed. A CPSA Assessment Coordinator will be in and out of your lab during the working day. Having an extra person on staff during your assessment can be helpful. To make the process as smooth as possible, we also collect data about your facility before your assessment.

Accreditation, Facilities, Pulmonary Diagnostic Testing

How long will an assessment take?

Depending on the size of your facility, the onsite assessment can take anywhere from a half-day to a full day. You may also have to put aside a few hours to submit paperwork for your facility.

Accreditation, Facilities, Pulmonary Diagnostic Testing

How do I get a copy of the PFD accreditation standards?

These standards are available to facilities once they have registered for assessment.

Accreditation, Facilities, Pulmonary Diagnostic Testing

How do I get SharePoint access for my assessment?

If you’re currently involved in the assessment process, you should have received credentials from CPSA to access a confidential SharePoint site. Lost your credentials? Contact pft@cpsa.ab.ca.

Accreditation, Facilities, Pulmonary Diagnostic Testing

Will any complaints be noted be noted on my CPC?

Yes. A CPC is a complete history of your professional career as a member of CPSA.

Certificates of Professional Conduct (CPC), Physicians

Can I ask for rush (expedited) processing?

We can’t rush our processing of your CPC. It’s important that your CPC is an accurate reflection of your professional history with CPSA and collecting this information can take time. Please allow up to 15 business days for us to email your password-protected CPC.

Certificates of Professional Conduct (CPC), Physicians

Where can I get more details about MOC?

Refer to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada website, or call toll-free 1-800-668-3740.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD), Physicians

Where can I get more details about MAINPRO?

Refer to the College of Family Physicians of Canada website, or call toll-free 1-800-387-6197 ext. 204.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD), Physicians

Do I need to be a member of the College of Family Physicians or Royal College to enroll in their CPD programs?

No. You can enroll in Mainpro+ as a non-member participant (NMMP). If you’ve never been a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, you can enroll in the MOC program as a ‚ÄúHealth Care Professional.‚Äù If you were formerly a Fellow of the Royal College, you must rejoin the Royal College to participate in that program.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD), Physicians

I have already participated in PAR twice. Do I still have to participate in CPD?

Yes. Participation in CPD is mandatory and complementary to other Continuing Competence activities and programs. Physician Achievement Review (PAR) has been replaced by Practice Checkup, Individual Practice Review and Group Practice Review, which offer physicians practice-specific data to help inform their CPD.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD), Physicians

What must I do to demonstrate satisfactory participation?

You must be in good standing with either the Mainpro+ or MOC program, which requires earning a minimum number of eligible credits within the timelines identified by the program. Note: Credits earned must be reported directly to the program. Please do not submit this information to CPSA.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD), Physicians

When my CPD cycle is completed, do I need to submit proof of completion to CPSA?

Yes. Please email your Certificate of Completion from the program to physician.inquiries@cpsa.ab.ca. (Please do not send us transcripts of your credits.)

Continuous Professional Development (CPD), Physicians

Do I have to report CPD credits to the CPSA?

No. You should report the credits you earn for CPD activities directly to the program in which you are enrolled: Mainpro+ Maintenance of Certification (MOC)

Continuous Professional Development (CPD), Physicians

Do I have to participate in CPD even if I'm semi-retired, only do house calls or only have administrative responsibilities?

All physicians are expected to participate. Exemptions or deferrals will be considered on a case-by-case basis where there are extenuating circumstances. Please refer to the CPD Rules for Member Participation, or contact Mainpro+ or Maintenance of Certification.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD), Physicians

Why must I enroll in a CPD program?

Physicians have a professional obligation to provide their patients with safe and competent care. Medical practice is continuously changing, and knowledge and skills must continue to grow to ensure career-long competency. The CPD Rules for Member Participation, which wereapproved by CPSA Council after consultation with members and stakeholders, mandate the enrollment of Alberta physicians in an approved CPD program.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD), Physicians

Is there a waiting list?

If you apply for an exam and it fills up before MCC’s cutoff date, we place you on a waiting list for that specific exam and contact you if someone withdraws.

Physicians, Registration, Registration Assessments, Therapeutics Decision Making (TDM) Exam

Can CPSA increase the exam frequency and number of spots for the exam?

Every jurisdiction has a differing number of spots for the exam. This is because of logistics, resources and average exam applicants. NAC PRA only offers this exam two times per year.

Physicians, Registration, Registration Assessments, Therapeutics Decision Making (TDM) Exam

How long is my TDM exam result valid for and how many times can I take the exam?

If you pass, you can use those results on Canadian registration applications for two years.

If you fail, you can take the test once more, at least seven months after your first attempt. You can’t take two back-to-back tests.

You can write the TDM exam a maximum of four times in a lifetime.

Due to the impacts of COVID-19 causing some PRA program intakes to be postponed and/or cancelled, the MCC and PRA programs have decided to extend the TDM Examination result validity period from two years to three years for individuals currently holding a valid pass result. For those who wrote and passed the TDM exam administrations between Fall 2018 to Winter 2020, please see the TDM Exam Guidelines for more information.

Find other important information in the TDM Candidate Guidelines.

Physicians, Registration, Registration Assessments, Therapeutics Decision Making (TDM) Exam
Physicians, Registration, Registration Assessments, Therapeutics Decision Making (TDM) Exam

Where else can I take the TDM exam?

TDM is a national exam offered through the Medical Council of Canada. In addition to Alberta, you can take this exam in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Maritimes. For more information, visit MCC NAC PRA.

Physicians, Registration, Registration Assessments, Therapeutics Decision Making (TDM) Exam

How long does it take to receive my TDM exam results?

You should receive your TDM exam results within 4 weeks of writing the exam. We’ll send it to you by email and it is automatically uploaded into your physiciansapply account.

Physicians, Registration, Registration Assessments, Therapeutics Decision Making (TDM) Exam
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