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IPAC Canada Publications and Collaborations

Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Program Standard

The IPAC program standard has been designed to inform senior leaders engaged with IPAC programs in health care organizations and IPAC program staff, of the minimum requirements for IPAC programs, across the continuum of health care in Canada.
IPAC Canada Products List
Additionally, the IPAC program standard:
  • describes the culture, scope and foundational framework necessary for the development of a successful IPAC program
  • synthesizes best practices, guidelines and recommendations from Canadian (national and provincial) bodies and international agencies
  • incorporates significant findings from the current scientific literature.

The IPAC program standard may be used as a resource:

  • for prioritizing and developing an IPAC program;
  • as a way to obtain senior management support for the IPAC program;
  • to ensure consistency in the recommended program elements across all Canadian health care settings; and
  • to engage in strategic planning activities for the future. 

Download Infection Prevention and Control (Program) Standard

NOTE: IPAC Canada members may download the IPAC Canada Program Audit Tool (PAT©) and auditing annex, Auditing the IPAC Program, to carry out audits of an organization's IPAC program against the IPAC Program Standard.

Core Competencies for Infection Control Professionals (ICPs)

Document currently under review. 

Since 1999, when IPAC Canada and APIC first published professional and practice standards for infection prevention and control (IPAC), much has changed in the IPAC world, including expansion of continuing education opportunities for infection control professionals (ICPs) and of ICP's responsibilities.  IPAC Canada, like other organizations, has therefore developed a set of 157 competency statements, in 14 competency areas, that indicate the minimum knowledge, skills and attitudes required to practice safely and ethically as an ICP. These were finalized after several rounds of feedback, first from topic-specific experts, then general experts, and finally from IPAC Canada Chapter members.   This approach allowed us to obtain feedback from key experts and end users to ensure that the competencies are grounded in current practice in Canada.

Box 1 summarizes the 14 competency areas, which are grouped as foundational, applied and supporting core competencies, although there may be some overlap between competency areas. The Foundational core competencies reflect the basic knowledge and skills that are required for all aspects of IPAC and that the competent ICP will draw on daily.  The Applied core competencies reflect the knowledge and skills that will not be required on a daily basis but rather as specific issues arise.  The Supporting core competencies are not IPAC-specific but rather reflect the overarching knowledge and skills required by a competent ICP to assist with the effective functioning of an infection prevention and control program.

A competent ICP is one who is able to perform effectively in the roles and functions required by his or her position and within the team and organization. It is expected that ICPs in any health care setting have knowledge and skills in all of the competency areas, although not all of the core competencies identified would necessarily need to be applied in all work settings.

Specific competencies for novice and expert levels of ICP have not been defined but it is expected that ICPs and their managers can use the core competencies to guide performance appraisal and related professional development activities. Competence and expertise can thus be recognized and areas for growth and strengthening can be articulated. Individuals will vary in the amount of time, types of resources, and types of learning experiences needed to develop different competencies, depending on their knowledge, experience, environment, and health care setting.  The core competencies document can also be used to guide programs and educational offerings.

Articulating core competencies is a key first step; ICPs and organizations now need to utilize the competencies to set and meet expectations for consistent professional practice that will translate to safer work and healthcare environments and to quality of care.  IPAC Canada’s Core Competencies for ICPs are now ready for use!

Box A: Core Competencies by Category









Core Competencies for Infection Control Professionals

Les compétences de base de PCI Canada pour les professionnels du contrôle des infections


Core Competencies for ICPs Webinar. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Presenters: Donna Moralejo and Barbara Catt

Core Competencies for Health Care Providers (HCPs)

Infection Prevention and Control Core Competencies for Healthcare Providers: Updated Consensus Document June 2022

The purpose of the 2022 review was to update the 2016 core competencies to ensure they reflect current knowledge and skills that all Healthcare Providers (HCPs) need to possess to protect themselves and patients. In this document the term patient refers to all persons who receive or have requested healthcare or services and incorporates the terms ‘client’ or ‘resident’. The full content and competencies are contained in the document below. 

Foundational Competencies

There are several IPAC principles and practices that are essential in stopping the spread of infectious agents, preventing infections, and promoting safe environments that are applicable to every role within the healthcare system. These include principles and practices related to the Chain of Infection, Routine Practices and maintaining a Healthy Workplace.

  • Chain of Infection
  • Routine Practices
  • Risk Assessment and Point of Care Risk Assessment
  • Hand Hygiene
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection
  • Handling of Waste and Linens
  • Vaccination (Immunization)
  • Blood and Body Fluids Exposure and Sharps Management
  • Respiratory Hygiene
  • Fitness for Work

 Applied Competencies

The following competencies may be role or sector specific or may only be required as specific issues arise (e.g., construction or renovation of an area). All persons working in healthcare should have knowledge and skills in these areas to a level indicated by their role and setting.

  • Microbiological Concepts
  • Surveillance and Outbreaks
  • Additional Precautions
  • Management of Healthcare Supplies and Equipment

Supporting Competencies

The knowledge and skills reflected in these supporting competencies are wider-ranging and not specific to IPAC. They are however important for facilitating healthcare providers’ capacity and capability to develop their IPAC competencies and translate them into their work practices.

  • Training and Accountability
  • Advocacy
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

View document here.

Les compétences de base des fournisseurs de soins de santé en matière de prévention et de contrôle des infections : Document consensuel mis à jour en juin 2022

IPAC Canada Weekly News Round Up

Receive the weekly publication from IPAC-Canada summarizing the top tweets for the week. The News Round Up Newsletters can be found here. To receive these updates in real time, follow us on Twitter (@IPACCanada) or Facebook.

We can also share via social media your news/photos from chapter meetings, special interest group meetings, or even a team huddle! Just snap a photo, take a screenshot, or write a few lines of text and email it to socialmedia@ipac-canada.org.

IPAC Canada Collaborations