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Course FAQs

About the Course

Modules navigation, duration and completion

Test and certificate

Downloading the course

 Questions and feedback

About the Course

What are Core Competencies?

Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Core Competencies are basic skills and knowledge all health care workers in Ontario need to understand about IPAC, regardless of their role or position, education, and experience. The IPAC Core Competencies Course is based on Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee (PIDAC) best practices.     

Is the Core Competencies Course mandatory?

Although not mandated by legislation, PIDAC Best Practices for Infection Prevention and Control Program in Ontario states “health care settings must provide regular education and support to help staff consistently implement appropriate IPAC practices. The prevention of health care-associated infections (HAIs) requires an organized education and training program regarding proper IPAC procedures in the health care setting, aimed at health care providers, clients/patients/residents and their caregivers. A coordinated, effective educational program will result in improved IPAC activities.” PIDAC recommends all health care workers learn about infection prevention and control during orientation and as part of continuing education. Please see PIDAC for more information.

Who should take this course?

All health care workers in Ontario, regardless of their role or the health care setting in which they work, are expected to understand and follow Routine Practices and Additional Precautions. This includes and is not limited to physicians, nurses, personal support workers, dentists, pharmacists, emergency service workers, rehabilitation therapists, respiratory therapists, laboratory staff, and other allied health professionals, housekeepers, maintenance staff, students, volunteers and anyone conducting activities where health care is provided. Administrators and managers/supervisors also need to be familiar with Routine Practices and Additional Precautions. 

What are Routine Practices?

Routine Practices are the IPAC practices that must be used routinely during all activities with all clients, patients, or residents, to help prevent and control the spread of infectious agents in all health care settings. Routine Practices consists of the following modules:

  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Chain of Transmission and Risk Assessment
  • Health Care Provider Controls (hand hygiene and personal protective equipment)
  • Control of the Environment
  • Administrative Controls

What are Additional Precautions? 

Additional Precautions are necessary in addition to Routine Practices for certain pathogens or clinical presentations to help control, manage and prevent further transmission. These precautions are based on the mode of transmission:

  • Contact
  • Droplet
  • Airborne

What are the benefits of taking this course? 

This course will:

  • provide you with basic knowledge about Routine Practices and Additional Precautions
  • help you improve your skills and strategies in IPAC and,
  • help reduce the spread of HAIs and support a safe environment for you, your co-workers, clients/patients/residents and others.

Is there a charge for this course?

This course is offered at no charge. 

Are there any prerequisites before I take the IPAC Core Competencies Course?

Although there are no prerequisites to take this course, it is recommended that you complete the five Routine Practices modules before you start the Additional Precautions module.

Is this course accredited by any medical institutes or professional associations?

Will I be certified in IPAC after taking this IPAC Core Competencies Course?

No. The IPAC Core Competencies Course is intended to provide all health care workers with basic information about IPAC. It does not provide the comprehensive information required for infection prevention and control professionals (ICPs) to successfully complete certification. As recognition for successfully completing the IPAC Core Competencies Course, you will be able to print out a certificate of completion after each module. For certification in infection control (CIC), visit the Certification Board in Infection Control (CBIC) website for details. 

Is there a timeframe in which I have to complete the learning?

No. You can plan your learning to fit your schedule. If the completion of this course is a requirement for your place of employment, please check with your employer about specific policies on course completion requirements. 

Modules navigation, duration and completion

Is navigation allowed within a module?

You can continue to the next slide, go to a previous slide and use the “Menu” to advance or skip to a particular slide.  You will be given instructions throughout your learning about required tasks to be completed prior to moving to the next slide.  Each module has an introductory page with instructions about navigation.

How long does it take to complete each module?

The time required to complete each module will vary from 20 – 40 minutes.  Due to individual differences, there may be variations in terms of time taken to complete the course.

Is it possible to complete only some of the modules?

Yes, but our recommendation is to complete all modules, in order, as this will help ensure that you have the necessary knowledge to protect yourself and your clients/patients/residents.

Do I have to complete a module in one sitting?

No. You can stop and resume your learning anytime. The course will record your progress automatically and you will be able to restart the module you were last reviewing.

How do I save my progress?

The system automatically saves your progress.  You can stop and resume your learning anytime. 

Will I still have access to the modules after I finish my learning? 

Yes, you are welcome to review the content even after you have finished your learning. Please ensure you print your certificate of completion before reviewing the module again.

Test and certificate

 Will there be any tests?

There is a scored test with 5 questions at the end of each module.

What is the passing score?

 You need to achieve 100%. You may try the test(s) as many times as you would like.  You must complete each question correctly to achieve a score of 100%. If you do not get all questions correct during the test attempt, you will be asked to try again. You will need to redo all five questions and complete every question correctly to pass.

Why is it necessary to achieve 100% to receive a certificate?

PHO considers this learning content to be a core competency.  Every health care provider in Ontario is expected to follow proper infection prevention and control practices.

Will there be a certificate of completion?

Yes. A certificate is generated upon successful completion of the scored test at the end of each module (100% score).

Will there be a date on my certificate when I print it?

Yes.  The certificate will indicate the date you completed the module.

Will my name appear on the certificate?

Yes, the certificate will display the name you registered with our website.

Downloading the course

I’m a learner. Can I download the learning content?

The summary of each module and related tools and resources are available to download and print.

I’m a trainer. I would like to download this course to my organization’s Learning Management System (LMS) in order to track my staff’s learning.

To install this online learning course to your LMS please visit LMS file download page.

Questions and feedback

I have questions about infection prevention and control. Who can I contact?

Contact your local Regional IPAC Office or

How can I provide feedback about this course?

We welcome your feedback. Please send questions and comments to


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Page last updated: 2016-10-11 2:54 PM
Uncontrolled print copy. Valid only on day of Print: [date]
Page updated on [date/time] 2016-10-11 2:54 PM
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