Goals & Objectives

The Goals of HSPnet are to:

  • Increase the availability and quality of practice education opportunities for students
  • Streamline processes and improve coordination and communication among agencies that place and receive students
  • Identify untapped opportunities and provide access to a greater range of placement settings including rural and community
  • Support evaluation and improvement of learner outcomes
  • Enhance the profile and priority of practice education



The Health Sciences Placement Network, or HSPnet, was launched April 2003 by the BC Academic Health Council (BCAHC) to provide a web-based system for managing practice education in the health sciences across BC. Now used in several Canadian provinces, HSPnet provides a database and tools to support the following practice education goals:

  • Increased availability and quality of practice education opportunities for students
  • Streamlined processes and improved communications among those involved in practice education
  • Enhanced access to a greater range of placement opportunities including underutilized sites, rural communities, and interprofessional experiences
  • Monitoring and improvement of learner and agency outcomes
  • Enhanced profile and priority of practice education

HSPnet is funded through user contributions within each province and cost sharing across the provinces through the National HSPnet Alliance, established by the BCAHC in 2004. The Alliance shares costs for the centrally managed infrastructure and ensures that HSPnet is accessible and affordable for all educational programs and receiving agencies.

National Alliance

The National HSPnet Alliance was established in 2004 by the BC Academic Health Council, to allow other Canadian provinces to access the HSPnet system on a cost recovery basis. Alliance members receive a free license to HSPnet in exchange for contributing to the costs of managing the system, training and supporting users, and developing enhancements.

The National HSPnet Alliance is governed by a national HSPnet Steering Committee (NHASC), comprised of representatives from participating jurisdictions. The mandate of the NHASC is to:

• Guide the strategic direction of HSPnet in Canada through planning and prioritization of activities for ongoing system expansion and improvement;

• Determine policies and processes to harmonize HSPnet operations across jurisdictions and ensure the efficient operation of the shared infrastructure;

• Oversee evaluation of HSPnet operations, the shared infrastructure, and Alliance outcomes;

• Ensure the financial sustainability of the Alliance through annual budget development, review and monitoring of the cost sharing formula, and support of initiatives to seek external funding.

National HSPnet Alliance Strategic Plan

The National HSPnet Alliance supports a federation of provincial networks, each with local management and accountability, that access a shared infrastructure for operations, enhancement, evaluation, and policy development. The 2012 -15 strategic plan strives to maximize the cross-provincial benefits of the Alliance:

• Cost efficiency and system sustainability through:

  • economies of scale
  • sharing of expertise and human resources
  • pooling of investment for infrastructure and system enhancement;

• Access to standardized data, within and across jurisdictions, for studying practice education activities and outcomes;

• Provision of a national forum and access to information that supports provincial and regional communities interested in collaboration and knowledge transfer; and

• Adherence to a standardized data privacy and security framework and national policies that meet best practices and legislative requirements across Canada.


National HSPnet Alliance Strategic Priorities for 2012-15:

The NHASC has articulated four strategies for 2012 to 2015:

  1. Expand the adoption and enhance the use of HSPnet to support and build capacity for practice education.
  2. Promote benefits and contributions of HSPnet and the Alliance, through effective communications to a variety of audiences.
  3. Utilize HSPnet data to strategically plan and support Alliance members to understand, compare, learn, act on information generated, and to transfer knowledge.
  4. Implement quality improvement processes that ensure sustainability and value of the National HSPnet Alliance while effectively meeting the needs of users and other key stakeholders.


Alliance Values, Vision & Mission

Shared Values

Consistent with the assessment above, session participants acknowledged shared values that underlie the formation of the Alliance:

  • Collaboration for mutual benefit across sectors (academic, health services delivery, government)
  • Agility, enthusiasm, and minimal bureaucracy in execution
  • Cost-effectiveness through pooling of resources and activities to achieve critical mass and economies of scale, and to reduce duplication of effort
  • Generosity and altruism of spirit in the establishment of the Alliance, and in the ongoing collaboration and sharing of expertise and resources
  • Building and maintaining trusting relationships with respect for stakeholder diversity and culture

National HSPnet Alliance Vision & Mission

HSPnet is a unique national collaboration of diverse stakeholders (health, post-secondary, government and private sectors) committed to quality practice education in support of the following vision:

National HSPnet Alliance Vision

Enhance the availability, quality and management of health sciences practice education* through a Canadian collaboration that effectively contributes to Health Human resources.

*Practice Education: Practice Education occurs when students learn and practice in a community, clinical or simulated setting. It is the hands-on experience that helps students learn the necessary skills, attitudes, and knowledge required to practice effectively in their field.

To achieve this vision, the National HSPnet Alliance will undertake the following mission and “core business” activities:

National HSPnet Alliance Mission Statement

The National HSPnet Alliance will contribute to enhanced availability, quality and management of health sciences practice education by continuously improving HSPnet tools and processes to meet the needs of multiple jurisdictions and stakeholders:

  • Ensuring an effective and sustainable shared infrastructure through sound governance and performance management;
  • Improving practice education management through the exchange of knowledge and best practices, shared policies, and collaborative development of integrated enhancements;
  • Contributing to effective information management and better understanding of practice education activities and outcomes.


Accessing HSPnet

All program or agency addition in HSPnet requires prior approval from their respective provincial HSPnet lead agency.

New educational or health agencies wishing to implement HSPnet must complete an Implementation Request Form for new programs and receiving sites. Likewise, existing HSPnet user agencies wanting to add a program or site must complete the same form and submit it to the HSPnet Help Desk.