Form Completion Information: Application for Access to Vital Statistics Information / Data

Form Completion Information: Application for Access to Vital Statistics Information / Data

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

Consult the Alberta Registry Agent Product Catalogue or contact an Alberta registry agent to learn about VS 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 VS information/data. A Recipient may be a university, research institution, funeral home, etc. 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 (e.g., research laboratory) that does not have separate legal status you should use “Legal Name, Unit Name” where “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 VS information/data must assign specific roles to certain employees (i.e., 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 Contact Person (CP) is a designated officer or employee in your organization who is responsible for maintaining records and requesting information from the Registrar. The Registrar may contact the CP for different inquiries related to the relevant VS file.
  • The Secondary Contact Person (SCP) is a designated officer or employee in your organization who may cover for the CP in his/her absence. 
  • 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 VS 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 VS File if he/she is 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 DVS 0008 (pdf) form.

 

A. Obtaining VS information/data through Alberta Health

Much of VS' information/data is available through Alberta Health (AH). You should contact AH for information/data when: 

  • The Alberta Health Information Act applies to you; 
  • You require both VS and AH information/data; or 
  • VS information/data is required for a health related research project, program or service.

If one of the above situations applies to you, contact AH 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

When AH releases VS information/data to your organization:

  1. Complete the Access to Information - Recipient Information – DVS 0008 (pdf) form. Ensure it is signed and dated by the ASO. 
  2. Mail the completed and signed form to:
Data Access and Contract Management Unit (DACMU)
VS Applications
Service Alberta, Registry Services
3rd Floor John E. Brownlee Building
10365 - 97 Street
Edmonton, AB T5J 3W7
Or
Fax the package to DACMU at (780) 422-0665 if you require a transmission report for your records.

 

B. Applying to VS for VS information/data

This process applies when:

  • Obtaining VS information/data through Alberta Health (AH) does not apply;
  • AH has denied your request for VS information/data;
  • VS information/data is required directly from Vital Statistics; or 
  • Your organization is a funeral home.

To apply you must:

  1. Read this Form Completion Information.
  2. Print the Access to Information - Recipient Information – DVS 0008 (pdf) form.
  3. Read the General Information (the second page of the Access to Information – Recipient Information – DVS 0008 form).
  4. Review the following legislation as access to VS information/data consists of a complex legal framework.
    1. Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act 
    2. Health Information Act 
    3. Vital Statistics Act 
    4. Vital Statistics Information Regulation 
    5. There may be other legislation that is applicable to your situation; if so, please review it.
  5. Complete and sign the Access to Information - Recipient Information – DVS 0008 form.
  6. Prepare a Request Letter on your organization’s letterhead. It must contain the following.
    1. The nature of your application; i.e.:
      • new VS application
      • renewal of an existing VS agreement
      • reinstatement of an old VS file
      • changes to information in an existing VS file (e.g., to requested data/information, purposes, time periods, etc.)
    2. Detailed description of your purpose for application, including: 
      • a list of the VS information/data you require;
      • the purpose(s) for which you intend to use the VS information/data;
      • the specific time period(s) for which VS information/data is required; 
      • whether AH has ever released AH information to you and under what circumstances; and 
      • whether AH believes information/data already released under a pre-existing AH Agreement could be reused to address your current needs.
    3. The Request Letter must be dated and signed by the ASO.
  7. Attach a detailed presentation of the project, program or service for which the VS information/data is required.
    For research projects only, attach the relevant approval(s) of the Research Ethics Board.
  8. If there are researchers not affiliated with your organization that require access to VS information/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 VS agreement.
  9. Mail the complete application package to:
    Data Access and Contract Management Unit (DACMU)
    VS Applications
    Service Alberta, Registry Services
    3rd Floor John E. Brownlee Building
    10365 - 97 Street
    Edmonton, AB T5J 3W7
    Or
    Fax the package to DACMU at (780) 422-0665 if you require a transmission report for your records.
  10. 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 VS agreement and the assignment of a VS file number.
    • Once a VS agreement is executed by both parties, VS will guide you through the process of obtaining the required VS information/data.

 

C. Existing VS agreement already in place

If you already have a VS agreement with the Registrar and you believe it may be used or amended to address this new request, the following is required.

  1. Prepare a letter on your organization’s letterhead. Ensure it
    1. is dated and signed by the ASO;
    2. refers to the existing VS agreement; and
    3. explains what information is required; what information has already been released that could be reused; and how you intend to use the VS information/data and for what purpose. 
  2. Complete an Access to Information - Recipient Information – DVS 0008 (pdf) form. Ensure it is dated and signed by the ASO.
  3. Attach a detailed presentation of the project, program or service for which the VS information/data is required.
  4. For a research project only, attach the relevant approval(s) of the Research Ethics Board.
  5. Submit the whole package to DACMU at:
    Data Access and Contract Management Unit (DACMU)
    VS Agreements
    Service Alberta, Registry Services
    3rd Floor John E. Brownlee Building
    10365 - 97 Street
    Edmonton, AB T5J 3W7
    Or
    Fax the package to DACMU at (780) 422-0665 if you require a transmission report for your records.
  6. The Registrar will review your submission and notify you in writing whether a new VS agreement is required or the existing VS agreement can be amended to address your needs.

 

D. Changes to a VS agreement’s contact information

Once a VS 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; and
  • the Recipient’s and AOs’ contact information.

For this purpose:

  1. Prepare an official letter on your organization’s letterhead.
    1. Describe in detail the nature of the change; and
    2. Ensure the letter is signed and dated by the ASO.
  2. Complete an Access to Information - Recipient Information – DVS 0008 (pdf) form. Ensure it is dated and signed by the ASO.
  3. Mail the application package to:
    Data Access and Contract Management Unit (DACMU)
    VS File Management
    Service Alberta, Registry Services
    3rd Floor John E. Brownlee Building
    10365 - 97 Street
    Edmonton, AB T5J 3W7
    Or
    Fax the package to DACMU at (780) 422-0665 if you require a transmission report for your records.
  4. 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:

  1. assist the Registrar in determining your eligibility for the release of information and a VS agreement; 
  2. prepare and enter into agreement;
  3. monitor and audit the release of information;
  4. contact you about your request; and
  5. 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 VS 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 VS file is closed.

The Vital Statistics Act, Vital Statistics Information Regulation, Vital Statistics Ministerial Regulation control the access to information/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 VS information/data. Alberta legislation is available through the Alberta Queen’s Printer Website.