The Alberta Clinical and Surgical Assistant Program (ACSAP) is a specific program you can apply for that provides alternative career paths within the Canadian Healthcare System.

The program leads to career opportunities in patient care services under the supervision of independently licensed physicians at hospitals in Calgary, in Edmonton and in the surrounding areas.

ACSAP puts candidates through a six-month orientation, assessment and evaluation within a particular clinical or surgical service located in Calgary, Edmonton or Red Deer and if successfully completed, it leads to a full-time and permanent acute care coverage role that addresses clinical and/or surgical coverage shortages in the province.

Upon program completion you will also be qualified for the role of Clinical Assistant (CA), which consists of assisting patients, completing histories and physical examinations, ordering and performing selected diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, interpreting laboratory and radiological results and planning care throughout the patient’s hospitalization.

If the Clinical or Clinical/ Surgical Assistants continue in the current career pathway with AHS, they will remain on a Limited Practice Register Practice Permit, working under the supervision of a licensed physician.

Note: This program does not lead to full licensure with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA), or to independent practice.

Application Requirements

Applicants for the ACSAP program must:

  1. Be a Canadian Citizen, or a Permanent Resident of Canada at the time of application.
  2. Have completed a medical school located outside of Canada and the United States (see the World Directory of Medical Schools).
  3. Have completed at least one full year (minimum 12 months) of Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) of hands-on training after having obtained his/her medical degree.
  4. Have passed the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part 1 (MCCQE1) before submitting the application.
  5. Have passed the academic version of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS/Academic) within 24 months before submitting the application achieving the minimum score of 7.0 in each of the components on IELTS/Academic.
    Note: Currently IELTS/Academic is the only English language proficiency test accepted by the CPSA. However, it is essential that an applicant checks the most current updates on the provincial English language proficiency requirements at the time when it is necessary to take the test and demonstrate the required test results.


Visit the ACSAP website and get thorough information about the eligibility criteria, the application process and the most current program updates.

Note: Don’t start the application process if you don’t satisfy any of the ACSAP eligibility criteria. There is no application fee for the Alberta Clinical and Surgical Assistant Program.

Note: There is no direct connection between ACSAP and the pathway to residency through the ACSAP program, and ACSAP does not provide sponsorship of any kind. ACSAP strongly encourages that IMGs attempt all other avenues towards independent licensure first before considering applying to the program, as premature departure from an ACSAP program greatly impacts patient care at that site.