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Provision of Professional Services

The College of Physiotherapists of Alberta has a regulatory role in the approval of practice settings in which physiotherapy services are provided.

The College of Physiotherapists of Alberta has a regulatory role in the approval of Alberta practice settings where clinical physiotherapy services are provided to the general public*.

This approval process applies to any practice setting in which a physiotherapist delivers services unless the physiotherapist is employed by:

  • an institution owned, operated or controlled by a government
  • a nursing home
  • an approved hospital as defined in the Hospitals Act
  • a regional health authority

For the purpose of section 10(1)(b) of the Health Professions Act, Schedule 20, the accreditation bodies approved by Council are:

  • Accreditation Canada
  • Commission for the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)

Accredited organizations are exempt from submitting a Provision of Professional Services application.

*If physiotherapy services are provided only to individuals directly associated with an organization and not accessed by the general public, the organization is exempt from requiring approval from the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta, e.g., industries, professional sporting team.

Independent business

Approval is not required for practice settings owned by a regulated member of the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta, provided the physiotherapist owner operates their business as an ‘independent business’.

Email the following information to registration@cpta.ab.ca so the College can determine if independent business applies:

  • Practice setting name, street address, business phone #, and website address
  • Physiotherapist owner name(s) and registration number(s)
  • All service delivery methods that apply:
    • In-Person practice e.g., patient comes to the practice location to receive services
    • Mobile practice, e.g., physiotherapist goes to the client’s location to provide services
    • Telerehabilitation practice
  • Practice type:
    • Multi-disciplinary clinic
    • Physiotherapy services only
  • Practice location:
    • Practice has its own separate space
    • Practice is located within a shared space (e.g., larger multidisciplinary clinic)
Practice in association

Practice in association means a practice conducted in cooperation with another person.

The College of Physiotherapists of Alberta uses the domains listed below to determine if practice in association applies. Contact the College’s Practice Advisor at practice@cpta.ab.ca if you have questions about the domains.

Health Professions Act, section 97(1) Domains Other considerations

Joint advertising

Physiotherapist compensation/payment method

Shared office telephone number

Policy and procedure development and implementation

Combined billing for services provided by more than one person

Third party contracts

Shared office reception

Critical event management

Shared office or clinic expenses

Custodianship of records

Shared administrative functions or expenses

Contracts between the physiotherapist and practice

Shared ownership or use of premises, equipment, furnishings, or other property

Storage of records

Shared employees

If a physiotherapist provides professional services “in association” with another person then approval of the “other person’s” practice setting is required. Select the application route below based on ownership of the “other person’s” business.

Criteria to Meet
  • The practice setting is owned and operated, in whole or part, by a regulated member (other than a physiotherapist) of a College under the Health Professions Act.
  • The practice setting has appointed a Most Responsible Physiotherapist.
Most Responsible Physiotherapist

The “Most Responsible Physiotherapist” means a physiotherapist who has been appointed in writing to the role by the practice setting and who has accepted the appointment in writing. The Most Responsible Physiotherapist is responsible to provide oversight ensuring that the College standards of practice, code of ethics, and other professional obligations are met.

A Most Responsible Physiotherapist must provide services at the practice location for which they have agreed to assume this role. However, if an organization owns multiple practice sites and has the same policies and procedures for all practice sites they may appoint one MRPT for the organization. In this case the MRPT may not work at every practice location; however, they are responsible to provide oversight to the organization ensuring physiotherapists may practice in accordance with the standards of practice, code of ethics, and other professional obligations

A Most Responsible Physiotherapist must be registered on the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta’s General Register without any practice restrictions.

Apply for approval

Application: Ownership by a regulated member (other than physiotherapist) of a College under the Health Professions Act.

Email your application to registration@cpta.ab.ca.
What to expect after you apply

Registration staff review emails and documents in the order in which they are received. We try to deal with applications and documents within six business days. However, processing does take longer when there is a high volume. When your application is approved, you will receive an email notifying you of the approval.

No physiotherapy services may be provided at the practice setting until the application has been approved by the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta.

Costs and timelines
  • $250 non-refundable application fee.
  • The application fee is collected at the time the application is approved.
  • The application fee is waived for additional practice settings with the same owner(s).
Conditions

Change of Most Responsible Physiotherapist

If the Most Responsible Physiotherapist ceases to provide services at the practice setting, then both the owner and Most Responsible Physiotherapist are responsible for notifying the College immediately.

The owner is responsible for identifying a new MRPT for the practice setting and submitting a Change of Most Responsible Physiotherapist application to the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta within 30 days.

Should the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta not receive an application appointing a new Most Responsible Physiotherapist within 30 days, physiotherapy services can no longer be provided at the practice setting until this condition is met.

Registration staff review emails and documents in the order in which they are received. We try to deal with applications and documents within six business days. However, processing does take longer when there is a high volume.

Practice setting name

The practice setting name may only include the term ‘physiotherapy’ or variants thereof, if a physiotherapist is providing services in the practice setting. Physiotherapy must be removed from the practice setting name as per the Health Professions Act, section 128(1) if no physiotherapist is providing services in the practice setting.

Criteria to meet

The practice setting is owned by an individual who is not a regulated member under Alberta’s Health Professions Act.

The following conditions must be met:

  • The practice setting has appointed a Most Responsible Physiotherapist.
  • The practice setting has appropriate policies and procedures in place to enable physiotherapists working in the practice setting to adhere to the expectations established in legislation, the standards of practice, code of ethical conduct, and other physiotherapist professional obligations.
  • The practice setting has a plan for how the policies and procedures are/will be communicated to physiotherapists and monitored.
Most Responsible Physiotherapist

The “Most Responsible Physiotherapist” means a physiotherapist who has been appointed in writing to the role by the practice setting and who has accepted the appointment in writing. The Most Responsible Physiotherapist is responsible to provide oversight ensuring that the College standards of practice, code of ethics, and other professional obligations are met.

A Most Responsible Physiotherapist must provide services at the practice location for which they have agreed to assume this role. However, if an organization owns multiple practice sites and has the same policies and procedures for all practice sites they may appoint one MRPT for the organization. In this case the MRPT may not work at every practice location; however, they are responsible to provide oversight to the organization ensuring physiotherapists may practice in accordance with the standards of practice, code of ethics, and other professional obligations.

A Most Responsible Physiotherapist must be registered on the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta’s General Register without any practice restrictions.

Apply for approval
  1. Application: Ownership by a non-regulated individual
  2. Submit supporting evidence that the practice setting has appropriate policies and procedures in place, including but not limited to:
  • Standard employment/practice contract with physiotherapy staff
  • Practice setting's privacy statement
  • Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) if available
  • Practice setting's policy and procedures that outline:
    • Administrative, physical, and technical safeguards in place to protect confidential information
    • Record keeping expectations
    • Information about storage, retention, access, and disposal of clinical and financial records
    • Use, supervision, and assignment of support personnel
    • Infection, prevention, and control measures including hand washing facilities, clinic cleaning schedule, disposal of sharps, and reprocessing of equipment if applicable
    • Critical event management templates specific to the risks related to the services provided in the practice setting
    • Fee guidelines
    • Billing practices including the ability of physiotherapists to audit their billing records
  • Description how policies and procedures are communicated to physiotherapists and compliance is monitored
Email your application and all the above supporting documents to registration@cpta.ab.ca.
  • All documents must be sent as an email attachment; documents embedded in the email are not accepted.
  • All documents must be in PDF format.
Applications must be accompanied by all supporting documents which you are required to provide. If you do not have all the supporting documents, then you are not ready to apply for approval. All information (application and above supporting documents) must be received together in one package.
What to expect after you apply

Registration staff review emails and documents in the order in which they are received. We try to deal with applications and documents within six business days. However, processing does take longer when there is a high volume. In approximately six business days, your application will be acknowledged, and the non-refundable application fee will be charged to your credit card provided.

Staff will then start to review all the supporting documentation submitted with the application in detail to determine if there is sufficient evidence that the practice setting has the appropriate policies and procedures as listed in the Apply for Approval section.

If evidence is lacking, the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta will communicate directly with the Most Responsible Physiotherapist for further information or revised documentation.

The Most Responsible Physiotherapist has accepted the appointment and in this role must ensure the organization’s policies and procedures align with the College's standards of practice and code of ethical conduct.

No physiotherapy services may be provided at the practice setting until the application has been approved by the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta. This does not prevent the owner from entering a contractual relationship with a physiotherapist for the purposes of completing the application.

Costs and timelines
  • $2,500 non-refundable application fee for reviewing and processing the application.
  • The application fee is collected when the application is received and before staff begin to review the supporting documentation.
  • The application fee is waived for additional practice settings with the same owner(s) and using the same supporting documents.

The timeline to render a decision on approval or denial depends on the completeness of the application package and quality of supporting documentation provided. This process can take several weeks if information is lacking or insufficient.

No physiotherapy services may be provided at the practice setting until the application has been approved by the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta.

Conditions

Change of Most Responsible Physiotherapist

If the Most Responsible Physiotherapist ceases to provide services at the practice setting, then both the owner and Most Responsible Physiotherapist are responsible for notifying the College immediately.

The owner is responsible for identifying a new MRPT for the practice setting and submitting a Change of Most Responsible Physiotherapist application to the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta within 30 days.

Should the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta not receive a new agreement appointing a Most Responsible Physiotherapist within 30 days, physiotherapy services can no longer be provided at the practice setting until this condition is met.

Registration staff review emails and documents in the order in which they are received. We try to deal with applications and documents within six business days. However, processing does take longer when there is a high volume.

Practice setting name

The practice setting name may only include the term ‘physiotherapy’ or variants thereof, if a physiotherapist is providing services in the practice setting. Physiotherapy must be removed from the practice setting name as per the Health Professions Act, section 128(1) if no physiotherapist is providing services in the practice setting.

If the ownership of the practice setting does not fall within one of the above three categories, a conversation with the College is required to determine if the provision of service approval requirements apply. Contact the College’s Practice Advisor at practice@cpta.ab.ca.

For the purpose of administering the provision of service requirements, primary care networks are deemed to be an institution owned, operated or controlled by a government or an agency or department of a government and are therefore exempt from requiring approval from the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta.

Health Professions Act

Section 10 of Schedule 20 of the Health Professions Act sets out where physiotherapists may provide professional services.

10(1) A regulated member of the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta shall not provide a professional service except

(a) for or on behalf of a person who is a regulated member of the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta,

(b) at or in association with a practice setting approved by an accreditation body approved by the council of the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta, or

(c) at or in association with a practice setting approved by the council of the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a regulated member of the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta employed by

(a) an institution owned, operated or controlled by a government or an agency or department of a government,

(b) a nursing home, whether or not it is owned, operated or controlled by a government or an agency or department of a government,

(c) an approved hospital as defined in the Hospitals Act,

(d) a regional health authority, or

(e) other employers approved by the council of the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta.

Delegation

The College of Physiotherapists of Alberta's Council delegates to the Registrar the authority to determine whether or not the conditions are met. The Registrar may, on behalf of Council, grant an indefinite approval of the practice setting, approval for a specified time period, and an approval subject to specified conditions.

Appeal to Council

Practice settings that do not receive approval by the Registrar because they do not meet the required conditions may apply to Council in writing asking that the practice setting be approved despite non-compliance with all conditions. Council has the discretion to accept or reject such applications and if Council grants an approval then Council may impose any conditions it considers appropriate.

Page updated: 01/10/2022