The health care workforce is composed of a variety of professionals who provide health care services to Canadians. Effective management of the Canadian health workforce requires access to accurate, comparable and timely data.

CIHI responds to this need by capturing data on physiotherapists, occupational therapists and other members of the workforce. Using the collected data, CIHI offers national, provincial and territorial portraits of these professionals. These are used by health care planners, decision-makers, policy-makers and researchers to support resource and use planning.

CIHI reports supply-based trend information for 27 groups of health professionals in Canada. Information on their counts, practice settings, regulatory environments and trends in supply, demographics and education is collected. The resulting data can be found in the Canada’s Health Care Providers series, collected through the Health Personnel Database (HPDB).

Health Human Resources Databases Development Project

With funding from Health Canada, CIHI undertook the Health Human Resources Databases Development Project in 2005. The goal of this project was to provide a more comprehensive, national picture of five additional groups of regulated health professionals.

Using administrative data from professional colleges, regulatory bodies and associations, five new health workforce databases were developed. This enabled further analysis of the demographic, geographic, education and employment characteristics of

  • Occupational therapists
  • Pharmacists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Medical radiation technologists
  • Medical laboratory technologists

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Other provider information

 Reports and analyses
 Related resources
 Databases and data sources
 Related content

Reports and analyses

Related resources

Data Availability

Data Notification

Databases and data sources

Health Personnel Database

The Health Personnel Database (HPDB) is the only national database containing a broad variety of Canadian health workforce data. It enables time-series comparisons of health human resources at national and provincial/territorial levels.

The type of information maintained for each professional group varies. It depends on data availability from more than 300 data providers, including regulatory associations and colleges, educational institutions and national associations.

Health Workforce Databases

Like CIHI’s nursing and physician databases, these five databases provide a comprehensive picture of each of these professional groups. They provide demographic, geographic, education/certification and employment information at the national, provincial/territorial and, in some cases, regional levels.


Metadata is information about data. It helps users understand and interpret data from a specific source.

Find out more about metadata in the following data sources:


Data maintained in the HPDB comes from administrative sources (professional associations, regulatory and licensing authorities, and provincial/territorial governments) and educational institutions. Our health workforce databases (Nursing Database and Physiotherapist Database) are also sources for the HPDB.

For our health workforce databases, regulatory authorities and professional associations at the national, provincial and territorial levels are responsible for data collection. Data is collected during the annual registration process and submitted based on an agreed-upon standard with the submitting organizations.