April 2021 PA News Bulletin

APRIL 2021


Join us as we uncover the hottest topics currently affecting healthcare professionals in this three-part series focused on family medicine. Mark your calendar on May 27th for topics on Stress and Burnout. June 3rd will cover lifestyle management and a pharmacological approach to Type II Diabetes, while June 10th will discuss management techniques for Depression and Anxiety during the pandemic. For more information, including registration and details on bundle pricing, click here.


For those of you who have not yet renewed your membership, the grace period is almost up. After May 31st, 2021, you will no longer have access to your member benefits or CPD tracking tool. If you wish to pay by installment payments, contact admin@capa-acam.ca. Renew today!


British Columbia

On April 17th, CAPA staff and senior leadership presented to the BC Rural Health Authority. The presentation and resulting discussion were productive and the BC Rural Health Authority remains a valued stakeholder. CAPA staff is working to secure additional meetings with other BC stakeholders.


Alberta was successfully regulated on April 1, 2021! CAPA staff are now working on updating our advocacy priorities in the province.


In April, Shared Health informed PAs in Manitoba that they are no longer eligible to sign off on Drivers Fitness Forms. This limits the scope of PAs practice and may slow down the health system. Prior to this decision, CAPA had heard no concerns about PAs signing off on these forms. We have been in contact with several organizations to try to understand why this decision was made. Unfortunately, it has been difficult to gather information on the topic from the relevant stakeholders. It is our understanding that PAs have been removed because the Ombudsman determined that PAs do not qualify under the Manitoba Highway Traffic Act 157(1) as a “Duly Qualified Medical Practitioner”. We have followed up with the CPSM and they agree with CAPA that PAs are in fact, Duly Qualified Medically Practitioners. While we do not have a resolution to this yet, CAPA is still investigating this issue.

Remember to go out and vote in the CPSM 2021 Regulated Associate Member Election! The deadline is May 4, 2021 at noon.

Newfoundland and Labrador

The Liberals have been re-elected by a slim majority in the province. A letter of congratulations was sent to incumbent Premier Andrew Furey. Minister of Health, The Honourable Dr. John Haggie was copied on the communication. The letter proposed amending the Medical Act and Health Professions Act to allow for PAs to practice in the province. Due to advocacy efforts, a meeting with the Minister has been scheduled. Details of the meeting to follow however in the meantime, the full letter can be seen here.


On April 27th the government introduced legislation to move forward on their commitment to regulate PAs in Ontario. This follows years of hard work and persistent advocacy by CAPA staff and our dedicated volunteer Board of Directors.

The proposed Bill will amend the Medicine Act, 1991 in the following ways:

  • Mandate a PA class of membership;
  • Protect the title “Physician Assistant” and restrict individuals who are not members of the CPSO from using the title.
  • Authorize the performance of controlled acts by PAs only under the order of a physician or surgeon or in accordance with a regulation made by the CPSO.

This important initiative is a giant step forward to modernizing the PA model in the province and will help solidify the important role that PAs are playing in Ontario’s health system. Enhancing the PA model and regulating PAs will improve patient care, encourage more team-based care, and allow PAs to work more easily to their full scope of practice.

Ontario Physician Assistant Association (OPAA)

The OPAA has secured bargaining dates with the Ontario Hospital Association and their hospital reps. On May 6th and 13th, the OPAA will endeavor to solidify the role of PAs in hospitals. Stay tuned for more details following the meetings.

Ontario Funding Model Task Force

The task force has been hard at work researching various funding models in different specialties, as well as jurisdictions for comparison. Once the research is finished being compiled, the task force will work to narrow their focus with the end goal culminating in a business proposal for the Ministry.

Federal Budget

On April 19th, the federal government released the Budget for 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience. A significant allocation of funds has been designated for health care, with long-term care being the primary focus. For more budget highlights and to see what is missing, click here.


The objective of the National Competency Profile (NCP) is to communicate to the public and to the PA profession a set of standards that all PAs are expected to acquire for entry to practice. It is intended to help employers, PAs, physicians, educators, and other health care professionals to understand the breadth and depth of practice for PAs in Canada.

The NCP was created by CAPA in 2009, with input from various stakeholders, including PA educators, practicing PAs, the Royal College, the CFPC, the CMA and PACCC. Accreditation of PA programs relies on the existence of the NCP and the document also supports the PA Certification Exam, blueprint, and question bank.

The last revision of the NCP took place in 2015, with implementations in 2016. The document is once again under review and the timing aligns with the upcoming accreditation cycles with our new accrediting body Accreditation Canada/EQual.

An updated competency framework will be presented to the membership. Members will be invited to provide feedback to the revised NCP through a survey. Look for the survey coming to your inbox soon.


The call for speakers for CAPA 2021 was opened on April 30th.

Submitting an abstract is an excellent way to promote your educational and professional background. Show your dedication to the PA profession and engage your peers with the most recent information. We encourage diversity in the organizing team and speakers. This includes diversity of viewpoint and thinking regarding the topics discussed at the symposium or workshop, gender, race, affiliations, seniority, geographic location, etc.

Click here to find out more or submit your abstract.


Jarri Varre, CCPA Co-authored a research study Improving Access to Medical Care in Concussion patients at high risk for developing persistent symptoms: Utilization of a Physician Assistant within a Physician-Supervised Interdisciplinary Concussion Center. Summary of the findings revealed that training a Physician Assistant (PA) to provide concussion care in a specialty model under the direct supervision and training from a Physician with experience in concussion care can be a successful model of care delivery. Patients are satisfied with the experience of having a PA deliver specialty concussion care together with the Physician in our model at Concussion North. To view the entire study, visit the CAPA website. Good work Jarri, congrats!

Have you been a part of a research study? Have you written an article that was published? If so, please send it to Alexis at agunawardena@capa-acam.ca so that we can share with your PA colleagues.


PA Cam Moore from the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie participates in Rocket Rounds with Dr. Chris Martin to discuss PAs and the important role they play. Rocket Rounds are the hospital’s virtual replacement for Medical Grand Rounds. Be sure to check-out the virtual podcast here.

Sarah Flanagan promotes Phase 2 of the vaccine roll out on behalf of the Waterloo Public Health department as a prenatal health care provider by speaking about receiving and recommending the COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy, with breastfeeding, and with regards to future fertility. Check out the YouTube video: Receiving the vaccine while pregnant and affects on infertility.

If you see members being recognized within your workplace or in your community, let us know so we can spread the good news. And if you see local health care headlines and believe there is an opportunity to highlight PA contributions, or follow up with a letter to the editor, we would like to hear from you. Please contact Alexis at agunawardena@capa-acam.ca.


Congratulations to all the PAs who successfully challenged the 2020 PA Cert Exam that was administered on February 19, 2021! All writers have been notified directly of their results and all writers have been provided access to their new CPD profiles.


All CCPAs must meet the requirements for the maintenance of their CCPA designation. To recap, all CCPAs must:

    1. Be a member of their professional association (CAPA).
    2. Earn and report a minimum of 40 credit hours annually.
    3. Earn and report a total of 400 credit hours in a 5-year cycle.

If you have any questions or require any assistance with reporting credit hours, contact Sandra Bourgon at sbourgon@capa-acam.ca.


Visit members-only Job Listings on the CAPA website for the latest career opportunities across Canada.

If you have job ads to share, send them to us at admin@capa-acam.ca. We post job ads for free on the Job Listings page and, for a small fee we email job opportunities on behalf of employers directly to all our members.


The Canadian Association of Physician Assistants has relocated. We are excited to announce that our office has officially moved to:

1 – 436 MacLaren Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K2P 0M8

Our phone number remains the same.