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 our Action Plan, as part of building provider competencies in hospice palliative care. It complements the Quality Standard Palliative Care: Care for Adults with a Progressive, Life-Limiting Illness from Health Quality Ontario (now part of Ontario Health); and our Health Services Delivery Framework recommendations.


  • Includes the main 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 Competency Framework