Standard Patient Program

The University of Alberta's Standardized Patient (SP) Program was established in 1992 to train and provide SPs for both teaching and assessment.

Our program continues to grow with access to over 300 active standardized patients. 

Research has shown that SPs provide a valuable, realistic clinical experience with unique benefits to students' education. Students' perceptions of experiences with Standardized Patients reveal a keen appreciation for the realism of the encounter; enhancement of empathy, motivation and knowledge; and a positive alternation of learning styles.

The SP Program’s services go far beyond identifying SPs for our client’s needs. Our Program experts work with clients to develop and deliver effective simulation experiences. We conduct a needs assessment with each client, research their specific requirements, and match SPs from a pool of trained individuals. We provide a full range of client services including scenario scripting, training on SP methodology, simulation development and logistics, and evaluation.

The Program manages all SP contract details: negotiation, compensation and insurance. We recruit new SPs on an ongoing basis, and help ensure retention through internal community activities and recognition.

The Program provides SPs for educational programs across faculties at the University of Alberta, and to external clients including NAIT, MacEwan University, Alberta Health Services and the private sector. Our SPs are employed for major licensure exams for licensing bodies including the Medical Council of Canada, the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy regulators, the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada, and the College of Alberta Denturists.