You are here

The Ontario Palliative Care Competency Framework

This reference guide for health professionals and volunteers describes the knowledge, personal attributes and skills providers need to deliver high-quality palliative care in Ontario. Applying these competencies in practice will lead to better care for people with a life-limiting condition, and encourage collaboration among professionals and organizations providing palliative care.

This framework is a deliverable from the Ontario Palliative Care Network Action Plan, as part of building provider competencies in hospice palliative care. It complements Health Quality Ontario’s quality standard, Palliative Care: Care for Adults with a Progressive, Life-Limiting Illness; and the OPCN’s Health Services Delivery Framework recommendations.


  • Includes key professions commonly involved in palliative care delivery in Ontario
  • Describes profession-specific and shared competencies
  • Organizes competencies into 13 domains essential to palliative care practice
  • Includes competencies for those caring for patient or family with life-limiting conditions, plus additional ones for those specializing in palliative care
  • Incorporates competencies specific to caring for First Nations, Inuit, Métis and urban Indigenous peoples
  • Validated by health professional colleges and associations
  • Adapted from the Nova Scotia Competency Framework, and Ireland’s Palliative Care Competence Framework

Competency Framework

Related Reports

Action Plan: 2017 to 2020
Our 3-year work plan to transform the delivery of hospital palliative care services in Ontario

Health Services Delivery Framework
Our framework for optimizing the palliative care delivery model to make sure the right care is provided by the right provider at the right time

Quality Standard: Palliative Care: Care for Adults with a Progressive, Life-Limiting Illness (Health Quality Ontario)
A standard to help healthcare professionals know what care they should offer based on available evidence and expert consensus