Practice Readiness Assessments

We ensure physicians have the necessary skills & training to practise safely


Provincial Physician Assessment Program (PPAP)

The Provincial Physician Assessment Program (PPAP) ensures physician applicants not meeting the full requirements of the General Register are ready for independent practice in Alberta. Assessments are only available to registrants of the College, and are composed of two parts that applicants must pass before receiving an Alberta medical practice permit:

  • Applicants are assessed while working within the practice of a College approved assessor.
  • Applicants are not the patient’s most responsible physician and remain under supervision for the duration of the assessment.
  • Assessors directly observe an applicant’s clinical competence, review charts, host case-based discussions and collect multi-source feedback.
  • This assessment component is three (3) months but may be terminated at any time if the College’s Assistant Registrar or designate has sufficient evidence to make a practice ready decision.

The College’s Registration Department may waive this preliminary assessment component based on an applicant’s location of medical training, an applicants previous experience in a Canadian setting, distinguished applicants appointed to full-time academic positions, Canadian-trained applicants who have not passed the national certification exams, etc.

  • Applicants are assessed by a College approved supervisor.
  • Applicants are in independent practice, are the patient’s most responsible physician and can bill Alberta Health for medical services provided.
  • Supervisors conduct regular office visits to review patient charts, conduct chart-stimulated recall, and collect multi-source feedback to determine the applicant’s clinical competence.
  • This assessment component is typically three (3) months but may be terminated at any time if the College’s Assistant Registrar or designate has sufficient evidence to make a practice ready decision.

IMPORTANT  PPAP assessments are only available for College registrants. See more information on how to apply for CPSA registration.

Steps to a PPAP Assessment

  1. Apply for registration. The College’s Registration department will determine if a physician applicant meets the requirements of the General Register.
  2. If an applicant does not meet the full requirements of the General Register, they must undergo a PPAP assessment.
  3. Applicant receives an acknowledgement letter outlining the next steps in the PPAP assessment process.
  4. Applicant returns a signed letter of understanding with their date of availability.
  5. Alberta Health Services (AHS) submits a sponsorship agreement and applicant practice profile.
  6. The College identifies an assessor & arranges the assessment – this may take some time to arrange.
  7. The College notifies applicants and AHS when assessment arrangements are made.

Alberta Health Services Sponsor Instructions

All PPAP assessments require Alberta Health Services (AHS) sponsorship. Here is how it works:

  1. Alberta Health Services (AHS) completes the physician sponsorship form.
  2. AHS reviews the Applicant’s Eligibility Letter.
  3. AHS forwards the completed form to the College’s Registration Department.
Type of assessmentFee per applicant (paid by sponsor)
3 month preliminary clinical assessment +
3 month supervised practice assessment
(including PPAP administration fee)
Up to a maximum of $32,400 + GST
3 month supervised practice assessment
(including PPAP administration fee)
Up to a maximum of $8,400 + GST
PPAP administration fee$5,400 + GST


Return to practice

Return to practice assessments determine the need for refresher training or other supports to prepare physicians, previously registered in Alberta, for a safe return to practice after an absence of three or more years.

The College Registrar reviews the request and determines whether an assessment and additional training is required. The College arranges the necessary assessment and training. Physicians are responsible for the associated costs.


Apply for Return to Practice


Change in scope of practice

Change in scope of practice assessments ensure physicians who are already practising in Alberta have the training, experience and competence to safely add medical services to their practice. These may be services not previously provided, or services not provided regularly.

The College Registrar reviews the request and determines whether an assessment and additional training is required. The College arranges the necessary assessment and training. Physicians are responsible for the associated costs.


Apply for a Change in Scope of Practice


About our Assessors

We rely on qualified physician assessors from across the province to perform assessments. All CPSA assessors are respected clinicians who meet specific qualifications.

  • Have an Alberta medical practice permit.
  • Are in good standing with the College.
  • Are experienced (lead assessors have 5 years of practice experience in Canada, while secondary assessors have at least 3 years within a scope of practice similar to the proposed PRA placement).
  • Have national certification (CFPC or RCPSC) in the specialty or sub-specialty or have an active faculty appointment (note: recognition of equivalency in the specialty or subspecialty is acceptable for the role of secondary assessor).
  • Are privileged in Alberta Health Services and/or Covenant Health and recommended by their Department Head/Zone Medical Director, or have completed a satisfactory CPSA peer review.
  • Have recent experience in teaching and assessing medical students & residents.
  • Appreciate the privilege of self-regulation.
  • Demonstrate common sense, objectivity and the ability to make firm decisions.