Regulatory Colleges that exist under the Health Professions Act are legislatively required to establish a continuing competence program. The program must ensure that all regulated health professionals registered with the College, in our case physiotherapists, maintain their competence and enhance the provision of professional services throughout their careers.
Currently, the continuing competence program is established in the Physical Therapists Profession Regulations (PTPR). Physiotherapists on the General Register must successfully complete their continuing competence requirements each year, prior to renewing their practice permits.
The Health Statutes Amendment Act, 2020 (No. 2) (“Bill 46”) received Royal Assent in December 2020 and included a suite of amendments to the Health Professions Act (HPA). Among the amendments are provisions affecting how continuing competence programs are established and operated by regulatory colleges moving forward.
What is changing?
Instead of the details about the Continuing Competence Program being established in the regulations, the rules will be included in a Continuing Competence Standard of Practice and the Program Rules approved by Council that supplement the Standard of Practice. This change makes it easier for Council to modify the Continuing Competence Program in the future should the need arise. Changing a regulation requires cabinet time and the work of people within government who draft legislation. By having the content “live” in a Standard of Practice, this makes the process more nimble when change is needed.
What is not changing?
The current DO. LEARN. GROW. program is not changing. Physiotherapists on the General Register will continue to complete a College-Selected Activity and a Self-Selected Activity and submit a Practice Improvement Record every year before renewing their practice permit. A sample of the submitted competence documents will be reviewed each year. The current program is set out in the program rules. We are not looking to make changes to this for the foreseeable future.
Anytime changes are needed to a Standard of Practice, the draft Standard is circulated to all regulated physiotherapists and external stakeholders for feedback. The Standards of Practice establish the expectations for physiotherapists and their practice. Our current Competence Standard has been revised and updated to reflect the changes required in legislation and is now titled the “Continuing Competence Standard of Practice”. The standard statement, expected outcome and some of the performance expectations are largely unchanged from the current version. However, there is now specific reference to aspects of the Continuing Competence Program including the need to complete competence development and monitoring activities and the need to create and submit competence development records. The Standard also refers to the Program Rules which are publicly available on the website.
The College of Physiotherapists of Alberta is currently circulating a draft of the Continuing Competence Standard of Practice with the Program Rules for your feedback. In 2018, we sought the input of physiotherapists regarding the DO. LEARN. GROW. program itself, we are not changing the program, so we are not looking for feedback about the program at this time. Today, we are seeking feedback on the Standard of Practice and Program Rules and whether they support your understanding of the requirements and expectations.
Click here to provide your feedback until April 18, 2022.