Overview

The Government of Alberta regulates the access to; and the release, maintenance, use, disclosure and destruction of Vital Statistics information and data.

Consult the Alberta Registry Agent Product Catalogue or contact an Alberta registry agent to learn about Vital Statistics products that may be ordered directly from them rather than through this process.

Terms

Recipient

A Recipient is the entity that enters into an agreement for access to Vital Statistics information and data. A Recipient may be a university, research institution, funeral home, or other organization.

For a Recipient that is a corporation or some other form of organization, use the legal name of the organization.

When a Trade Name has been declared by the organization and is used in the organization’s letterhead or with the public, use “Legal Name O/A Trade Name.” For a unit (for example, a research laboratory) that does not have separate legal status you should use “Legal Name, Unit Name”. “Legal Name” is the legal name of the parent organization and the “Unit Name” is the name of the relevant unit.

Authorized Officers (AOs) for Vital Statistics Purposes

A Recipient that requires access to Vital Statistics information and data must assign specific roles to certain employees ( Authorized Officers) in their organization:

  • The Authorized Signing Officer (ASO) is a senior officer in your organization who has privacy related responsibilities and the authority to bind your organization through an agreement.
  • The Principal Research Investigator (PRI), for a research project only, must be a professor or researcher employed by your organization, but not a graduate student. When a research project is conducted by a graduate student the principal investigator must be the professor supervising the student. The student would be the Second Research Investigator. A PRI may act as the CP for the relevant Vital Statistics File. However, additional information must be provided for the PRI, including a detailed Curriculum Vitae and an Official Oath.
  • The Second Research Investigator (SRI), for a research project only, may be either a professor or researcher employed by your organization or the graduate student responsible for the research project. An SRI may act as the SCP for the relevant Vital Statistics File if they are a true employee of the Recipient. A graduate student that is not an employee of the Recipient cannot act as SCP. Additional information may have to be provided for the SRI, including a detailed Curriculum Vitae and an Official Oath.

Additional terms are provided on the second page of the Access to Information - Recipient Information (PDF, 145 KB) form.

Information and data through Alberta Health

Vital Statistics information and data is available through Alberta Health. You should contact Alberta Health for information and data when:

  • the Alberta Health Information Act applies to you
  • you require both Vital Statistics and Alberta Health information and data, or
  • Vital Statistics information and data is required for a health related research project, program or service

If one of the above situations applies to you, contact Alberta Health at:

Customer Relationship Management and Data Access Unit (CRMDA)
Health Analytics Branch 
Health System Accountability and Performance Division
Alberta Health
17th Floor, 10025 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 1S6

Apply to Vital Statistics for information and data

This process applies when:

  • obtaining Vital Statistics information and data through Alberta Health does not apply
  • Alberta Health has denied your request for Vital Statistics information and data
  • Vital Statistics information and data is required directly from Vital Statistics, or
  • your organization is a funeral home

Step 1. Review legislation and guidelines

Review the following legislation as access to Vital Statistics information and data consists of a complex legal framework.

Read the General Information section of the Access to Information - Recipient Information (PDF, 145 KB).

Step 2. Complete the form

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Access to Information - Recipient Information (PDF, 145 KB)

Complete and sign the form.

Step 3. Write a request letter

Write a request letter on your organization’s letterhead. It must contain the following:

  • the nature of your application, which can be:
    • new Vital Statistics application
    • renewal of an existing Vital Statistics agreement
    • reinstatement of an old Vital Statistics file
    • changes to information in an existing Vital Statistics file (for example, to requested data and information, purposes, time periods)
  • detailed description of your purpose for application, including:
    • a list of the Vital Statistics information and data you require
    • what you are using the Vital Statistics information and data for
    • the specific time period(s) for which Vital Statistics information and data is required
    • whether Alberta Health has ever released Alberta Health information to you and under what circumstances, and
    • whether Alberta Health believes information and data already released under a pre-existing Alberta Health Agreement could be reused to address your current needs

The request letter must be dated and signed by the ASO .

Step 4. Include a presentation of your project, program or service

Attach a detailed presentation of the project, program or service for which the Vital Statistics information and data is required. For research projects only, attach the relevant approval(s) of the Research Ethics Board.

Step 5. Identify additional researchers

If there are researchers not affiliated with your organization that require access to Vital Statistics information and data, identify them and provide a clear explanation of their affiliation and roles. Depending on your response, additional information may be required and the organization with which they are affiliated may have to apply for their own Vital Statistics agreement.

Step 6. Submit your application package

Mail or fax the complete application package to:

Data Access and Contract Management Unit (DACMU)
Vital Statistics Applications
Service Alberta, Registry Services
3rd Floor John E. Brownlee Building
10365 97 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 3W7

Fax: 780-422-0655 (Edmonton and area)

Toll free: 310-0000 before the fax number (other areas in Alberta)

You should fax the package to DACMU if you require a transmission report for your records.

After you apply

The Registrar will review your submission, and may require additional information or clarifications. All Registrar decisions are sent to the ASO in writing.

If access has been approved for your organization, you will be notified of the next steps including the signing of a Vital Statistics agreement and the assignment of a Vital Statistics file number.

Once a Vital Statistics agreement is executed by both parties, Vital Statistics will guide you through the process of obtaining the required information and data.

Apply with an existing agreement

If you already have a Vital Statistics agreement with the Registrar and you believe it may be used or amended to address this new request, follow these steps.

Step 1. Write a request letter

Write a letter on your organization’s letterhead. Ensure it:

  • is dated and signed by the ASO
  • refers to the existing Vital Statistics agreement, and
  • explains what information is required, what information has already been released that could be reused and how you intend to use the information and data and for what purpose

Step 2. Complete the form

Access to Information - Recipient Information (PDF, 145 KB)

Ensure it is dated and signed by the ASO.

Step 3. Include a presentation of your project, program or service

Attach a detailed presentation of the project, program or service for which the Vital Statistics information and data is required.

For a research project only, attach the relevant approval(s) of the Research Ethics Board.

Step 4. Submit your application package

Mail or fax the complete application package to:

Data Access and Contract Management Unit (DACMU)
Vital Statistics Applications
Service Alberta, Registry Services
3rd Floor John E. Brownlee Building
10365 97 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 3W7

Fax: 780-422-0655 (Edmonton and area)

Toll free: 310-0000 before the fax number (other areas in Alberta)

You should fax the package to DACMU if you require a transmission report for your records.

After you apply

The Registrar will review your submission and notify you in writing whether a new Vital Statistics agreement is required or the existing Vital Statistics agreement can be amended to address your needs.

Change an agreement

Once a Vital Statistics file number has been assigned, the ASO must notify the Registrar in writing of any change to:

  • the organization’s name, legal status and registration
  • the Recipient’s and AO's contact information

Step 1. Write a request letter

Write an official letter on your organization’s letterhead.

Describe in detail the nature of the change, and ensure the letter is signed and dated by the ASO.

Step 2. Complete the form

Access to Information - Recipient Information (PDF, 145 KB)

Ensure it is dated and signed by the ASO.

Step 3. Submit your application package

Mail or fax the complete application package to:

Data Access and Contract Management Unit (DACMU)
Vital Statistics Applications
Service Alberta, Registry Services
3rd Floor John E. Brownlee Building
10365 97 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 3W7

Fax: 780-422-0655 (Edmonton and area)

Toll free: 310-0000 before the fax number (other areas in Alberta)

You should fax the package to DACMU if you require a transmission report for your records.

After you apply

The Registrar will review your submission and may contact your organization if more information is required.

Collection of information

Under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the Registrar collects and maintains information about the Recipient and its AOs. The information is required for the following purposes:

  • assist the Registrar in determining your eligibility for the release of information and a Vital Statistics agreement
  • prepare and enter into agreement
  • monitor and audit the release of information
  • contact you about your request, and
  • ensure that only an AO in your organization is interacting with the Registrar on your behalf and is privy to confidential aspects of the file

Information collected may also be used to conduct investigations when the Registrar receives complaints related to a Vital Statistics file.

Current and historical information is stored in Registrar’s Office and/or on the Registrar’s systems.

  • Paper records are maintained in accordance with the relevant records retention policies.
  • Electronic records are maintained in accordance with the applicable record retention policies for each individual system.
  • Paper records are retained on file for at least eight years after a Vital Statistics file is closed.

The Vital Statistics Act, Vital Statistics Information Regulation, Vital Statistics Ministerial Regulation control the access to information and data and release of information from Vital Statistics. The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Health Information Act, other Canadian or Alberta legislation, and specific Service Alberta and Alberta Health policies may also apply to the release of Vital Statistics information and data. Alberta legislation is available through the Alberta Queen’s Printer website.

Contact

To connect with Vital Statistics:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-4111
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)