Is GLA:D™ Canada Right for you?

If you or your organization/clinic is interested in providing the GLA:D™ Canada program, there are a few things to consider, including whether you see patients with OA and whether you, or your staff, have the right qualifications for the program. You will also need space and equipment to implement the program as it is a group based program.

Read this Getting Started with GLA:D document for more information on how to implement the GLA:D™ Canada program. 

1) Clientele

Is there a need for this program at your organization/clinic? Do the people you serve experience symptoms of hip or knee osteoarthritis? Will your clientele be able to access and benefit from this program? There are a few exclusionary criteria you will want to consider so see ‘How to participate in GLA:D‘ for more information.

2) Staff

To provide the GLA:D™ Canada program, all clinicians must complete a 1.5 day training course in order to become a certified GLA:D™ Canada instructor. Each site should consider having multiple trained staff to provide the program. This will allow for coverage if a staff member is unable to provide the program.

To become certified individuals must have the knowledge, skills, ability and scope of practice to:

  • independently assess patients abilities,
  • prescribe/progress/modify exercises for participants to meet their individual abilities and their contraindications as appropriate including addressing other chronic diseases,
  • transition functional exercises to physical activity and activities of daily living.
Examples of health care professionals that fit these criteria are physiotherapists and chiropractors. Each individual must have a minimum of 2 years of FULL TIME clinical experience working under independent license with their respective Colleges in Canada, including working with an OA population. Students and residents do not meet this criteria.

The GLA:D Canada course is available for professionals who will be working in Canada only.

Individuals that meet these criteria can register for the course directly.

Other professionals

Other professionals may have the qualifications and experience to be eligible to provide the program and need to demonstrate this experience to the GLAD National team. These professionals include:

  • registered kinesiologist (within the province of Ontario),
  • certified exercise physiologists (CSEP-CEP),
  • non-registered kinesiologist with extensive experience working in rehabilitation clinics.

In each case additional training and experience with an OA population, including patients with co morbidities, is required and must be demonstrated in the application to take the course.

If you believe you have the relevant additional training and experience you will need to apply to take the course by providing a:

  • CV that provides details on clinical work including clarification of the hours (e.g. full time or part time 20 hours per week),
  • letter/job description that clearly outlines clinical experience,
  • letter from their manager describing how you will work with this OA population within your employment situation.

Through this documentation each individual needs to demonstrate that they have:

  • at least 2 years of FULL TIME independent clinical experience working with individuals with chronic disease, including working with individuals with hip and/or knee osteoarthritis,
    • Note that time as a student or volunteer does NOT count towards this time requirement
  • experience leading group education and exercise sessions.

Documentation needs to be sent to The application will be reviewed by the GLA:D™ Canada national team and the individual notified of their acceptance or decline to take the training course. Please do not register for a training course until you have received this notification.

Of note job descriptions/qualifications that do not typically meet the criteria are:

    • Osteopathic training
    • Athletic Therapy
    • Massage Therapy
    • individuals working under the direction of another health care practitioner (e.g. PTAs)
    • individuals who run group based programming only (e.g. aerobic instructor, yoga instructors)
    • individuals working exclusively with a younger/healthier clientele (e.g. sports or strength/conditioning instructors)
    • managers/supervisors who do not meet the clinical criteria themselves

Review process

Please allow at least 2 weeks for our national team to review the application. All decisions made 4 days prior to the course are final and changes cannot be considered after this date.

Please note that all decisions will be made based on the documentation provided. If declined, additional email or phone call information will not be considered. Individuals are able to resubmit updated documentation one time if they are able to address the deficits.

3) Resources

The program consists of 2-3 group education sessions which includes 2 powerpoint presentations. We recommend having access to a laptop/computer, projector, screen or blank wall space, and seating for all participants.

The program consists of 12 group exercise sessions taking place twice per week for six weeks. These sessions are 60 minutes in duration and the following equipment.

  • Space requirement (14m uninterrupted walkway)
  • Exercise balls
  • Steps
  • Therabands of varying resistance
  • Chairs
  • Stop watch
  • Pylons
  • Mats
  • Optional: cycle ergometer, furniture sliders or plastic bags (if facility floors are carpeted)

GLA:D Canada- Implementation Infographic

Patients who have gone through the GLA:D™ Canada program are invited to share their feedback with this short form.

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