INFORMATION FOR INTERNATIONAL PAs
Where can PAs work in Canada?
PAs can work in the public health care systems in four provinces:
- New Brunswick
Each province has handled the introduction of PAs differently. Please review the Legislation page on our website regarding legislation in each province.
How do PAs work in Canadian health systems?
The CanMEDS-PA framework defines how and under what circumstances the PA may exercise their competencies within the health care system. The CanMEDS-PA is relevant to a practice in any health care setting or role.
How are PAs regulated in the provinces where they work?
In Manitoba, the profession is regulated by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba. To practice in Manitoba, a PA must be registered with the College and you can learn more on the CPSM website about the requirements for registration.
In New Brunswick, the profession is regulated by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New Brunswick. To practice in New Brunswick, a PA must be registered with the College and you can learn more on the CPSNB website about the requirements for registration.
In Alberta, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta maintains a voluntary registry for PAs who practice in this province and you can learn more about the College’s responsibilities on the CPSA website. An application for Regulation of the PA profession in Alberta was submitted in November 2013; CAPA received the Minister of Health’s decision advising that they are in favour of regulating PAs in this province. The CPSA will be the regulatory body overseeing the profession and it is anticipated that the formal regulation will be in place by 1 April 2021.
In Ontario, PAs work as unregulated health care professionals under the “Delegation of Controlled Acts” policy maintained by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. The Minister of Health instructed the College of Physicians and Surgeons on Ontario (CPSO) to work with the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) to develop a proposal for consideration to provide direct oversight for PAs in Ontario which would include the development for a new class of members and registry upon which PAs should be enrolled. In October 2020, the Ontario Minister of Health, the Honourable Christine Elliott announced that Ontario will be moving forward with regulating PAs in the province. There is no regulation at this time that mandates certification as a Canadian Certified Physician Assistant (CCPA) for PAs who work in Ontario, but certification is a common condition of employment across the health system. CAPA continues to strongly advocate for the introduction of regulation of PAs under the CPSO.
Who is eligible to challenge the Canadian PA Certification Exam?
Please consult our website for guidance on the general requirements, eligibility criteria, policy and procedure for the PA Certification Exam.
Please note that only graduates of a Canadian or American accredited PA education program are eligible to challenge the exam. If you are an International Medical Graduate, but not a graduate of an accredited PA education program, you will not be eligible to challenge the exam.
How do I find employment opportunities in Canada?
All CAPA members have access to a members-only Job Listings page on our website. If you are not a member of CAPA, you can also search popular employment sites like Indeed or contact organizations directly.
How do I join CAPA?
How do I apply to a Canadian PA education program?
All questions related to education should be directed to the Canadian universities which offer PA education programs. We do not answer questions regarding admissions criteria, curriculum, or clinical rotations. A link to each program can be found on our website.
Working in Canada: General resources