Health Services Management

Effectively Lead Innovation in Health

For decades the Health Services Management (HSM) program has supported the professional development of health leaders across the country. As both the health system and demands on its leaders evolved so too has the leadership development needs. As a result, we are collaborating with those in health leadership to create new programs to meet current leadership development needs. For more information on leadership courses currently available and those in development, please see the Leadership category of this site or contact us at

For those on our wait list, we will provide updates as they become available. If you would like to be added to our wait list, please let us know at

Visit our other management/leadership programs



The two-year Health Services Management program provides a solid introduction to health services management at the senior level and a broad base for further professional and career development.

Program at-a-glance

  • 2-year program
  • Delivered completely online
  • Graduates are eligible for credits at Athabasca University and Canadian Health Information Management Association

Who should take this course?

This program is designed for middle and senior managers in health services facilities, organizations and agencies, who wish to expand their knowledge of and skills in health administration.


The Health Services Management program is for those currently working in (or who have recently worked in) a healthcare organization in a managerial position, preferably in a senior management role.

To apply, you must provide:

  • A current resume
  • A non-refundable application fee, payable to HealthCareCAN (see Cost, below)

Please note that CHA Learning only accepts online applications.


English is the language of instruction for all CHA Learning programs. It is therefore recommended that students be competent in reading, writing and speaking English.


Students must have basic computer knowledge and internet navigation skills; and access to a computer with Windows 7 or higher.

Please note:

  • Students choosing to use Mac or Linux operating system must have experience using alternate remote access software.
  • CHA Learning staff can only assist Windows operating system users and provide technical support in relation to our website; we do not provide technical support for internet and/or basic computer use.

Other technical requirements:

CHA Learning Technical Requirements
Screen Resolution800×600 (minimum); 1024×768 (recommended)
Internet BrowsersThe most recent version of one of the following:

Google Chrome
Internet Explorer
Microsoft Edge
Plug-insPop-up blocker: disabled
Java Script: Enabled
Cookies: Enabled
Internet Connection Broadband (cable or DSL) connection required
SoftwareWord processing software, Adobe Reader
Recommend knowledge and comfort using Microsoft Excel

Application Process

This program is under review, therefore applications are not being accepted. See the Leadership and Management sections of the website for exciting new programs and for those in development.


Grading components for Year One include unit assignments, a leading practices paper, webinars, and a final examination.

Grading components for Year Two include unit assignments, a leadership initiative and paper, and a final examination.

To achieve a certificate in Health Services Management, students must:

  • Complete all program components
  • Achieve 50% on each of the unit assignments
  • Achieve 50% on each of the final examinations
  • Achieve an overall grade of 60% in each year of the program

Program Certificate

Students receive a program certificate in Health Services Management issued by CHA Learning upon successful completion of the program.


  • Graduates of the Health Services Management program are eligible for credits toward the Bachelor of Health Administration degree at Athabasca University.
  • Members of the Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA) who obtain a certificate in Health Services Management from CHA Learningreceive 5 credits to be applied toward CHIMA’s mandatory Continuing Professional Education (CPE) program.


The Canadian College of Health Leaders (CCHL) offers a reduced fee for HSM program graduates who wish to apply to CCHL’s Certified Health Executive (CHE) program.


Tuition per year (2-year program)

  • $1,850 for Canadians
  • $2,050 for International Students

Textbooks are approximately $450 for the entire 2-year program.

All prices listed above are in CAD.


Health Services Management is a two-year program, with seven study units in Year One and eight study units in Year Two.

Year One

Unit 1: Canada’s Healthcare System Origins and Development

  • Distinguishing between federal and provincial/territorial responsibility for health services
  • Tracing the development of Canada’s publicly-funded universal health insurance
  • Contrasting funding arrangements for Medicare before and after 1977

Unit 2: The Healthcare System in Transition

  • Identifying deficiencies of Canada’s universal health insurance system which precipitated health reform
  • Describing basic tenets of health reform in Canada
  • Analyzing current challenges to Medicare including that of the one-tier versus two-tier debate

Unit 3: Professionals in Health Services

  • Identifying and describing the evolution of the dominant groups among the health professions
  • Highlighting and discussing key issues pertaining to these groups and to allied health professionals
  • Explaining the make-up and raison d’être of the multidisciplinary team

Unit 4: Acute Care Services

  • Describing the conditions which precipitated downsizing, conversion, and closures of Canadian hospitals
  • Identifying management strategies which facilitated these processes

Unit 5: Community-based Services

  • Contrasting the development of long-term care services in Canada with that of acute care services
  • Describing the origin and scope of community-based services
  • Discussing the mandate of the most common types of community-based services

Unit 6: Home Care

  • Identifying conditions which led to dramatic developments in home care in the 1980s and 1990s
  • Naming three models of home care and illustrate typical services of each
  • Describing the systems aspects of home care services in Canada
  • Identifying and describing four current challenges to the provision of home care

Unit 7: Facility-based Long-Term Care

  • Describing the variety of clients in facility-based long-term care
  • Contrasting current standards in Canada with those in the 1970s
  • Explaining why the continuum of care is a pertinent concept in facility-based long-term care
  • Identifying and discussing five major issues in facility-based long-term care

Year 2

Unit 1: Planning and the Internal Environment

  • Recognizing that establishing the organization’s mission and strategic plan, in cooperation with the Board, is a priority activity of senior health services managers
  • Relating the allocation of resources to strategic planning and identify sources of conflict in this area
  • Identifying types of information critical to the Board in making effective decisions
  • Furthering the organization’s interest in technology and facility development while acting prudently and with restraints

Unit 2: Planning and the External Environment

  • Describing the impact of political decisions and “politics” in general on your organization and the potential to influence foregoing
  • Scanning the horizon to identify health-related developments which will affect health and healthcare
  • Identifying practices of senior health services managers which are in keeping with expectations regarding contributing to the “healthy community”
  • Applying basic principles governing public relations and identifying affordable public relations activities

Unit 3: Compliance with Standards

  • Determining the expectations of bodies which fund your organization with respect to complying with standards
  • Describing the contribution of professional standards to health professionals and their clients, and the shift to umbrella legislation
  • Explaining the rationale behind accreditation of healthcare organizations in Canada and noting challenges to your organization
  • Describing significant differences, key principles, and current issues with respect to ethics and the law
  • Identifying the legal basis of employment and labour relations and describing measures to promote harmonious and correct relations

Unit 4: Organizing and Staffing

  • The contribution of early theorists to organizational design
  • The evolution from traditional to contemporary thinking in organizational design
  • The considerations in deciding how to structure an organization
  • The responsibility of senior managers with respect to staffing and the staffing process 

Unit 5: Directing

  • The five principal components of directing as a senior management function
  • The participative/democratic approach to leading and managing
  • The contributions to management thinking of motivation theorists
  • Common communication and decision-making models, and their relevance to the modern organization

Unit 6: Controlling and Information and Financial Systems

  • Organizational control from the broad perspective
  • The control process and characteristics of effective control
  • Facilitation of control by information systems
  • Their organization’s budget and financial controls

Unit 7: Controlling and Quality Management

  • The relationship between control and quality management
  • The evolution of thinking within healthcare with respect to achieving quality
  • Quality related achievements in healthcare
  • Nurses’ concerns related to quality and safety of care

Unit 8: Managing Change

  • Organizational change as a staged process
  • Instituting organizational change from the perspectives of systems thinking, visioning, change champions and change agents, and dealing with resistance
  • The concepts of the learning organization and knowledge management in relation to managing change
  • Change in individual healthcare organizations within the context of change in the healthcare system
  • Need for managers, and acknowledging the “human” in human resources, as constants in organizational change