Earlier today, the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR) announced that they will no longer offer the clinical component of the Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE). CAPR has stated that they will no longer be offering the clinical exam in its current form for the foreseeable future (either virtually or in person).
Regulated physiotherapists in Alberta, including registrants on the General Register and those currently on the Provisional Register will rightly want to know what this means for themselves and their colleagues.
Is there still a Clinical Competency Examination Requirement?
The successful completion of a clinical competency examination approved by Council is a registration requirement established in Section 3(c) of the Physical Therapists Profession Regulation. There will continue to be a clinical examination as long as this requirement exists in the legislation.
How will this requirement be addressed?
Over the course of 2021, the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta provided an alternate clinical evaluation to address the legislated need for a clinical exam. The Post-Graduate 2021 Clinical Evaluation was successfully administered by the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine Continuing Professional Education Unit of the University of Alberta (the CPE Unit), in June and November of 2021, enabling successful candidates to move from the Provisional Register to the General Register of the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta.
Unfortunately, the upcoming Post-Graduate 2022 Clinical Evaluation, originally scheduled for January 15th and 16th, has been postponed until February 26th and 27th due to the effects of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. However, we remain optimistic that this examination will occur safely and in accordance with University of Alberta and provincially mandated measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.
For the foreseeable future, the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta will continue to develop solutions for those individuals currently registered in Alberta to provide them with the opportunity to move from the Provisional Register to the General Register.
Next steps for the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta:
- Today’s announcement from CAPR represents new information that Council will need to discuss. Previous examination decisions made by Council were for those that met specific eligibility criteria. With the clinical component of the PCE being cancelled by CAPR indefinitely, the Council of the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta will need to discuss longer term solutions.
- The College of Physiotherapists of Alberta staff will work with our partners to explore plans for additional clinical evaluations, to be held in 2022, to address the requirements of the legislation. We will communicate details of these plans, including examination dates, as details become available. We recommend that individuals on the Provisional Register monitor the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta’s website regularly for updates.
- Council will continue to discuss how this news will now affect former College of Physiotherapists of Alberta registrants who have had their practice permit cancelled either due to:
- Two prior unsuccessful attempts at a clinical competency examination
- Exceeding the time allowed for successful completion of a clinical examination
Council remains committed to investigating options for this group of candidates.
To ensure that all individuals admitted to the General Register are competent and qualified to provide services to Albertans, thorough planning and the creation of policies are required to address the unique considerations of these candidates and fulfill the College’s responsibilities to the public.
As we have stated in the past, Council has committed to reviewing the registration requirements of the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta registrants.
The registration requirement review is occurring independent of the efforts to address examination disruptions. This work is in its earliest stages. The ultimate results of the review are unknown.
The outcome of the review may indicate the need for changes to the Physical Therapists Profession Regulation pertaining to registration requirements. The College of Physiotherapists of Alberta will not request a change to the legislation until the review of registration requirements is complete, and then, only following Council’s careful discussion of any recommendations arising from the review that would require such changes.
Registrants are reminded that changing the Physical Therapists Profession Regulation is a long-term process. As such, the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta will continue to work within the existing legislation to register physiotherapists in Alberta. We remain committed to doing so, as is our legislated responsibility.