The CNA Accreditation Program upholds standards of quality for continuing professional development for nurses in Canada.


All CNA-accredited continuing education programs and offerings are subject to a rigorous quality assessment process to ensure that learning and development initiatives meet CNA’s standards of excellence. Organizations come to CNA to achieve nationwide recognition for the value their programs offer.

For organizations seeking more information about the application process and fees, learn more about how to apply or contact us at accreditation@cna-aiic.ca.

The goal of the CNA Accreditation Program is to ensure that nurses in Canada have access to the highest quality continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities. Eligible applications will be carefully reviewed against CNA accreditation standards. Programs that satisfy all requirements will be assigned credit values based on the program’s length, complexity and thoroughness.

Who’s eligible to submit a program?

For a CPD opportunity to be eligible for accreditation, a nursing organization must have played a lead role in its development.

Nursing organizations who are fully responsible for a program can apply for accreditation directly.

Non-nursing organizations are also welcome to apply, providing the program is co-developed with a nursing organization. Please see our policy for more details on the co-development process.

We accept applications for group-learning and self-assessment programs.

Nursing Organization

CNA defines “nursing organization” as a not-for-profit group of health professionals with a formal governance structure. The organization serves and is accountable to its specialist nurse members and others by providing continuing professional development (CPD), health care, and/or research.

Examples of nursing organizations:

  • Faculties of nursing
  • Health authorities and/or hospital departments or divisions
  • Nursing societies
  • Nursing associations
  • Nursing academies
  • Canadian provincial/territorial nursing regulatory authorities

Note that our definition excludes for-profit organizations and ventures, government agencies and disease-specific advocacy groups.

Examples of non-nursing organizations:

  • Pharmaceutical companies and their advisory groups
  • Medical and surgical supply companies
  • Medical device companies
  • Communication companies
  • Disease-oriented patient advocacy organizations (e.g., Diabetes Canada)
  • Government departments or agencies (e.g., Health Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada)
  • Medical education or communications companies (e.g., CME Group)
  • For-profit online educators, publishing companies or simulation companies
  • Small groups of nurses working together to develop educational programming

Non-Nursing Organizations

We encourage organizations that do not meet our definition of a nursing organization to co-develop activities with a nursing organization.


Co-development is the process by which two or more organizations — at least one of which must be a nursing organization — collaborate to develop an accredited educational activity, learning resource or tool. Please note the following important policy guidelines:

  • The nursing organization must be involved in planning all aspects of the CPD activity from the beginning, or it must have reviewed the program before it was submitted for accreditation.
  • The CPD provider organization holds responsibility for receiving any financial and in-kind support for the development of an accredited activity.
  • The nursing organization must be represented on the planning committee.
  • The nursing organization is accountable for ensuring that the administrative, educational and ethical accreditation standards for group learning activities are met.
  • The nursing organization must be represented on the certificates of participation.
  • The nursing organization’s contact information must be documented on the application for CNA accreditation.

Procedure for developing a program

Step 1: Identify the organization you want to work with

Non-nursing organizations initiating a project should bear in mind CNA’s definition of a nursing organization when choosing whom to approach about co-development.

Step 2: Contact your prospective co-developer

Contact the prospective nursing organization before the planning begins, as they must be involved from the beginning. Discuss a co-development arrangement and share your ideas for the activity.

Step 3: Ensure you comply with co-development requirements

It is the nursing organization’s responsibility to ensure that the co-development policies outlined above are met, as well as any other guidelines provided by CNA.

Step 4: Contact CNA

One of the organizations should contact us as soon as possible. Discuss our accreditation procedures, including our administrative fees and timelines. Review the application form to ensure you can provide all the necessary information.

Step 5: Fill out and submit the application form

Either organization can fill out and submit CNA’s application form.

Step 6: Wait for response from CNA

After we receive and review your application, we will do one of the following:

  • Grant accreditation based on a successful application
  • Grant conditional accreditation approval requiring minor modifications to the activity
  • Require an additional full review requiring major modifications to the activity
  • Reject the application

Our response will be sent to the organization that submitted the request.

Step 7: If approved, add statement to program materials

If your activity receives CNA accreditation approval, it must carry a disclaimer statement, which we will provide.