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2021 Continuing Competence Document Review Results

Do you even wonder what happens to your Continuing Competence submissions after you renew? In accordance with the DO.LEARN.GROW. program rules, after you hit “submit” staff work on a review of regulated members’ submissions.

This year we reviewed Continuing Competence records for 10% of General Register members. A total of 290 records were reviewed, (287 randomly selected, plus 3 included based on the previous year’s results).

The document review focused on ensuring members have successfully met participation requirements for both the Self-Selected Activity and the College-Selected Activity.

The success criteria for the College-Selected Activity included meeting the learning objectives set out for Infection Prevention and Control in the Context of COVID-19 and then upon renewal making a declaration respecting achievement of the objectives. For the Self-Selected Activity, members Practice Improvement Records are evaluated against a records review criteria which includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Details of the Self-Selected Activity
  • Reflection on how participation in the activity improved personal competence, and either patient care practices or physiotherapy/health-care services
  • Resources used for practice improvement (e.g., articles, assessments, audits, references, reports, outcomes, scales, scans, course note)

Review results

All College-Selected Activity records met the criteria. Ninety-eight percent of the Practice Improvement Records met that review criteria. Five Practice Improvement Records did not meet the requirements at initial review. Deficiencies included:

  • Activity fell outside of the October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020 reporting period
  • Activity did not align with physiotherapist professional practice
  • Insufficient details about enhancements to personal competence and/or application of learning to practice

The five members with records not meeting the criteria were directed to attend a group education session, and then resubmit their Practice Improvement Record for a second review. All resubmissions successfully met program requirements.

College-Selected Activity
Met requirements initial review


285 (98%)

Not met requirement initial review


5 (2%)

Met requirements resubmission

Not applicable


Met requirements final result



Observations on the Practice Improvement Records

For the review, all Practice Improvement Records are read in their entirety. It is a privilege to read through physiotherapists reflections. I can confidently report to our Registrar that Alberta’s physiotherapists are engaged in meaningful activities that significantly improve not only their personal competence, but also the lives of their patients and/or the health system.

Provisions in the Health Professions Act (HPA) do not provide for sharing identifiable continuing competence information. Consequently, the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta is limited in the volume of fantastic practice enhancement stories we can share. However, we captured some great stories with pearls of wisdom, and with the author’s permission shared them as examples of completed records. As a profession, know that your colleagues are doing great work and don’t be afraid to ask them about the activities they have been DOing and how it has stretched them to LEARN and GROW.

The HPA allows the sharing of aggregate non-identifiable information. Here is a snapshot of the focus of activities and the types of activities physiotherapist completed.

Focus of Self-Selected Activity

Treatment Approach (i.e., learning about a condition or treatment technique)

177 (61%)

Service Delivery (i.e., learning about virtual rehab)

47 (16 %)

Service Analysis (i.e., patient care reflection, review of complaints/compliments)

6 (2%)

Service Redeployment (i.e., retraining to provide frontline COVID services)

6 (2%)

Development of Self (i.e., competency self assessment, masters degree)

10 (3%)

Development of Profession (i.e., supervision of PT students or PT’s)

11 (4%)

Development of Other Professionals (i.e., supervision of massage therapists, PT assistants)

3 (1%)

Regulatory Leadership (i.e., regulation service provision)

2 (1%)

Equipment (i.e., learning to use equipment)

8 (3%)

Quality Improvement (i.e., standards review, policy manuals updates)

15 (5%)

Knowledge Translation (i.e., teaching or presenting, writing articles)

4 (1%)


1 (0%)

The purpose for most physiotherapist’s Self-Selected Activity (61%) was to learn about a condition or approach to treatment. That said, the COVID-19 pandemic did cause 16% of the sample to seek out resources to learn about how to deliver services via tele/virtual rehab. Another 2% of members elected to report on retraining to be redeployed to cope with COVID pandemic. A couple of quality improvement projects related to the pandemic.

Self-Selected Activities categories

The College of Physiotherapists of Alberta provides a list of many options for the Self-Selected Activity, however; there is opportunity for physiotherapists to select an activity not on the list of options provided it meets the criteria for a Self-Selected Activity. The table below demonstrates the frequency of Self-Selected Activities selected by physiotherapists.

Activity Choices by Category

Category 1

Benchmarking Individual characteristics, patient care or environment

Category 2

Knowledge acquisition, translation or creation

Category 3

Professional Collaboration




competency self-assessment

1 (3%)

continuing education event

In – person Virtual

62 (28%) 39(18%)

supervision of student (PT, PTA)

5 (15%)

personal learning plan

1 (3%)

certificate course from accredited organization

18 (8%)

mentoring physiotherapist

3 (9%)

other individual assessment

3 (8%)

organized online learning i.e., MOOC

6 (3%)

mentoring others

4 (12%)

patient care reflection

6 (16%)

academic degree

2 (1%)

professional interest group

2 (6%)

chart stimulated recall

1 (3%)

workplace training program

39 (18%)

work quality improvement project

16 (48%)

case study


web resource search

2 (1%)


3 (9%)

managing challenging patient

1 (3%)

teaching or presenting

8 (4%)

review of complaints - satisfaction survey

1 (3%)

conducting research

2 (1%)

clinical outcomes analysis

2 (5%)

self organized learning

35 (16%)

chart audit

1 (3%)

writing articles

2 (1%)

standards review audit

3 (8%)

research publication review

5 (2%)

quality improvement scan

11 (30%)


1 (3%)

safety audit


Self Selected Activity options not reported in 2021 Practice Improvement Records

Performance review

Critical incident analysis

Privacy audit

Critical safety events analysis

Performance appraiser

Being mentored by another HCP

The list of Self-Selected Activity is divided into to three categories. While several steps to an activity are discussed, this year only the main one was tracked. Approximately three quarters (76%) of members preferred using Category 2 activities – knowledge acquisition, translation or creation for their Self-Selected Activity. The menu of choices in Category 1 and 3 provides physiotherapists with the other options for their Self-Selected Activity. Compared to 2020, the 2021 results showed an increase in reporting on quality improvement projects either scanning and benchmarking best practices (Category 1) or working collaboratively on a project to implement quality improvement (Category 3).

In summary, the 2021 document review shows physiotherapists are reporting a “variety” of activities that they are DOing to “stretch” LEARN and GROW. It appears physiotherapists are putting considerable effort into their reflections and providing fulsome reports about their activity and it is impacts on improving personal competence and professional practice.

If you have questions about this article or your continuing competence submissions, contact Continuing Competence Program. Competence@cpta.ab.ca 1.800.291.2782, 780.702.5349.

Page updated: 20/04/2022