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College Separation: Ask Your Questions

As previously reported, In December 2020 the Government of Alberta passed legislation mandating the separation of regulatory colleges and associations. This is to ensure regulatory colleges always put the patients and public interest first. The risk in regulation, and one that has been observed in Colleges in different jurisdictions, is that of forgetting or being perceived to have failed to fulfill the mandate of protecting the public interest and being perceived to have put the interest of the profession ahead of the interests of the public. With that, the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta will become a single mandate organization with the sole mandate of protecting the public and a new physiotherapy association in Alberta will be formed that will be the voice of the profession’s interests.

The Role of the College

The Health Professions Act states the legislated role of the College, outlining the key regulatory responsibilities required to protect and serve the public interest.

Our core regulatory functions include:

  • Setting the Standards of Practice and expectations for regulated members of the profession and communicating these expectations to registrants and to members of the public
  • Registering physiotherapists who are competent to provide physiotherapy services
  • Responding to complaints and concerns from the public and others and enforcing the Standards of Practice through conduct processes
  • Establishing a continuing competence program to for regulated members to maintain competence and to enhance the provision of professional services

The Role of an Association

Membership associations exist to support and provide services to their members through functions such as advocacy, professional development/continuing education, interest groups, member benefits and professional awards of excellence. An association protects the interests of its members and are often the voice the profession.
The College of Physiotherapists of Alberta has developed an action plan for how we will meet this legislative change requiring separation. The College of Physiotherapists of Alberta Council committed to providing necessary building blocks for an independent professional association in Alberta and appointed a steering committee to lead the launch of an association in Alberta.

Over the coming months, you will be receiving regular updates from the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta about our progress towards the separation of College and Association. For now, we understand many of you may have questions about this transition and we encourage you to ask these questions using this form. In the coming weeks we will develop a FAQ section on our website answering your questions and providing more information.

It is recognized that many regulated members were in Alberta prior to 2010 when two separate entities existed and may wonder why we are turning back time. Should you be interested in this topic, it is addressed in the College Conversations Podcast, Episode 23: The Journey to College and Association and Back Again.

Page updated: 20/04/2022