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Interjursidictional Licensure

Close-up medical team man and woman surgeons of the Canada flag background. Professional s

Project start date: March 2023
Project status: Midway
Project sponsor: Federation of Regulated Health Professions of Alberta

A regulated health professional in Canada requires a license to practice in the jurisdiction in which they are providing service. Most provinces and territories in Canada have Health Profession Acts that dictate the existence of health profession regulators and mandate them to confer licensure upon individual practitioners based on established criteria of professional competence and fitness. There is variation in the criteria and process for health profession licensure between different health professions, and for the same profession between different provinces and territories. The number of regulated health professions also varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction in Canada; Alberta has twenty-nine regulated health professions. 


Although jurisdiction specific licensure has long had an impact on the mobility of health professional across provinces and territories, the growth of virtual care whereby a health professional working in one province or territory has the capacity to provide remote health service to an individual in another jurisdiction has challenged current models of licensure. There is some concern that jurisdiction-specific licensure can pose a barrier to continuity of patient care and potentially impair care to those individuals who must cross jurisdictional boundaries for health service. Similarly there are concerns that universal or transportable virtual care licensure may create inequities of service by disincentivizing in-person care in some locations in Canada. Although regulators across the country and in Alberta are trying to adapt their standards of practice to ensure their members provide quality patient care in this virtualized context, these efforts appear to be largely restricted to a profession by profession approach. 


Understanding that all health professional regulators share a common mandate to uphold quality care the Inter-jurisdictional Health Professional Licensure Working Group aims to evaluate, define and consider the potential to articulate a common approach to digital-age health professional licensure that supports inter-jurisdictional quality of care. 

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