Advertising

Under Review: No
Issued by Council (Advertising by Regulated Members): January 1, 2010
Reissued by Council: July 1, 2011
Reissued by Council (Advertising): October 2015


  1. A regulated member who is responsible for an advertisementmust ensure the information provided:
    1. conforms to the Code of Ethics;
    2. contains factual and relevant information about the nature of the practice;
    3. includes the practice discipline as identified on the member’s practice permit issued by this College;
    4. is accurate, clear and explicitly states all pertinent details of an offer, with disclaimers as prominent as other aspects of the message;
    5. is supported by evidence that is readily available to the public;
    6. is compatible with the best interests of the public and upholds the reputation of the medical profession;
    7. is not false, incomplete, misleading or deceptive;
    8. does not include claims, representations, endorsements or testimonials regarding the service or business;
    9. does not create unreasonable expectations of beneficial treatment such as guarantees or warranties about results; and
    10. does not encourage the indiscriminate or unnecessary use of health services.
  2. A regulated member must promptly comply with direction from the Registrar to:
    1. substantiate any advertising claim or representation;
    2. confirm whether a specific advertisement is made by or on behalf of the regulated member; or
    3. change or stop using any advertising message(s) that the Registrar deems in violation of any part of this standard or the Code of Ethics.
  3. A regulated member must not directly or indirectly participate in advertising that:
    1. discredits, disparages or attacks another product, service, facility, clinic, provider or group;
    2. promises or offers more effective services or better results than those available from another provider unless substantiated to the satisfaction of the Registrar based on publically available information; or
    3. offers any inducement to provide a medical service to a patient, including but not limited to:
      1. time-limited prices for a service;
      2. discount coupons, gift certificates, or prizes for a service;
      3. communal gatherings (“parties”) where consultation or medical services are offered;
      4. a service in conjunction with “makeovers” created for entertainment or promotional purposes; or
      5. events including “education sessions” where registration fees are donated.
  4. A regulated member must not:
    1. disclose the name or identifying features of a patient unless the regulated member has obtained the patient’s prior written consent to use the information for advertising purposes; or
    2. use a protected title listed in Schedule 21 of the Health Professions Act (HPA) alone or in combination with other descriptors to imply specialization in an area or branch of medicine unless recognized by the College or authorized by the Registrar to use that title.
  5. Notwithstanding 4(b), a regulated member may use a protected title as authorized by the Department of National Defence.
  6. A regulated member may indicate a practice interest only if the:
    1. area of interest falls within the context of the member’s practice discipline;
    2. area of interest is a demonstrated, significant focus of the member’s practice; and
    3. regulated member pursues continuing medical education related to the area of interest.

1. “Advertisement” is any message (spoken, text or image-based), in any medium, about a regulated member and/or a clinic, group, product or service with which a regulated member is associated, the content of which is controlled directly or indirectly by a regulated member.


The CPSA Standards of Practice are the minimum standards of professional behaviour and ethical conduct expected of all physicians registered in Alberta. Standards of practice are enforceable under the Health Professions Act and will be referenced in the management of complaints and in discipline hearings. About the CPSA Standards of Practice

Contact

For archived standards, policies and guidelines:
Chantelle.Dick@cpsa.ab.ca