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Competence: What is Healthy Physiotherapy Practice?

“In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted. “

In redesigning the Continuing Competence Program, your feedback was considered as Council finalized the Program Elements. Program elements outline the vision, philosophy, assumptions and design features that inform detailed program planning. The vision for the program is :

“The Continuing Competence Program promotes, supports and monitors the delivery of quality physiotherapy practice by supporting healthy physiotherapist practice.”

What is Healthy Physiotherapy Practice?

“Healthy practice refers to physiotherapist practice risks and supports. Risk and support factors are aspects of a physiotherapist’s environment or personal features that make it more likely (risk factors) or less likely (supportive factors) they will develop a problem with competent practice.”

But what are the risk and supportive factors to competent physiotherapy practice?

Healthy practice is described in new research into the epidemiology of competence examining the risks and supports to competence in health professions and reports on health professionals participation and engagement in achieving quality health-care practice. An analogy to “healthy physiotherapy practice” can be made by examining a Healthy Heart Model – good heart health programs involves strategies that not only assess an individual’s risk of developing heart disease, but also use action-oriented strategies that support heart health. Both risk analysis and positive action are instrumental in achieving a state of well-being. Just as epidemiological research has defined risks and supports to developing heart disease, now after only 20 years of Continuing Competence programming there finally is enough research available on various risks and supportive strategies to achieve healthy professional competence. This information has been integrated into the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta’s redesigned program.

Here’s a snapshot of what is proposed for Redesigned Program.  Two components:  1) Practice Monitoring + Development and 2) Performance Verification (see graph).

Practice Monitoring + Development

Performance Verification


Two Activities completed year

1. College-directed activity

2. Member-led activity and reporting

1) College-directed activity – to vary each year (i.e. professional issues quiz, competence program quiz, educational module, practice audit jurisprudence)

2) Member-led activity and reporting

Activity Categories

Practice Review and Monitoring

Knowledge building and Translation

Professional Collaboration

Completion of a record detailing implementation and impacts on practice

Other requirements

General Register Members

Annual activities to be completed during registration year (October 1, September 30)

Records completed at time of practice permit renewal

Screen – for streaming into Performance Verification

Performance Verification (i.e. practice visit)

Screen and Performance Verification to be developed.

Member feedback on this component will be sought in 2019

The menu of activities presented in the Practice Monitoring + Development component will include activities focused on monitoring and others that further develop one’s solid foundation of competencies. Risk mitigation often requires one to step back and monitor practice against defined standards/benchmarks before taking action. These activities will be listed under “Practice Review & Monitoring.” Supportive activities are found under Knowledge Building and Translation or Professional Collaboration.” While attendance at formal professional development activities is extremely popular with physiotherapists for enhancing practice, in the new program other experiential or social activities such as mentoring or affiliation with a professional organizations will also count.

The website is kept update with latest information on Continuing Competence program redesign. Questions about the program design and consultation process can be directed to the Continuing Competence Program competence@cpta.ab.ca, 1-800-291-2782 or 780-238- 0338

Page updated: 20/04/2022