What is a profession?
Profession is a vocation requiring some significant body of knowledge that is applied with high degree of consistency in the service of some relevant segment of society.
— Hodge and Johnson
What does it mean to be a professional?
A professional can be described as a highly educated person who enjoys a degree of work autonomy and renders specialized services based on theory, knowledge and skills that are most often particular to their profession. Professionals hold themselves ultimately accountable for the quality of their work with the client.
What is the purpose of regulation?
Regulation provides a framework to carry out and enforce the provisions of legislation. In health care, regulation exists to ensure the public is protected when they seek or receive health care.
What does it mean to be self-regulating?
Self-regulation is based on the concept that members of a profession, based on their knowledge, skills and judgment, are best suited to govern their profession in the public interest. Self-regulation is a privilege, not a right, granted by government on behalf of the public.
What is the role of a health regulatory college?
Colleges exist as a quasi-extension of government as they are bound by legislation and their primary role is protection of the public. Colleges protect the public by implementing, administering and enforcing healthcare legislation:
- Setting and enforcing standards and guidelines for the practice and conduct of their members
- Making sure that regulated health professionals meet their training and educational standards before they can practice or use a professional title
- Developing programs to help members continually improve their skills and knowledge, upholding the quality of care
- Acting on concerns about their members’ provision of health care
How are colleges run?
Colleges are governed by a board of directors, sometimes called a council. Each board of directors/council consists of members of the profession (elected by their peers) and one or more government-appointed public members. Public members provide valuable public input, oversight and representation into College policy and decision-making processes and are also involved in College complaints and discipline processes.
The board’s role is to regulate the profession and oversee the college’s management, actions and policy development within the framework of the legislation.
Why does regulation matter?
Regulation provides assurance to the public that the members of colleges are highly trained health professionals who are accountable to a regulatory body for the quality of care they provide. Members of the public can bring concerns about a regulated care provider directly to their college.
How does being self-regulated benefit members?
A self-regulating college determines appropriate practice standards and ensures that health professionals meet entry-to-practice standards and ongoing competence. It is beneficial to members as the regulatory college is governed (e.g., Council) by MRTs and ENPs who have a keen understanding of the role of the specialties.
What does Council do?
The board of directors, which we call Council, is the group of individuals elected by the membership to govern the affairs of the College on behalf of the members. In addition to 8 elected members, there are 3 public members appointed by the Minister of Health to ensure the public perspective. Council defines the policies of the College within the bounds of the provincial legislation. Governance is Council’s job: this means determining the College’s mission, vision and goals, taking into account the views of their stakeholders, the members and the public. Council’s role is to make the macro decisions as to the directions of the organization and to monitor its organizational performance.
What does the CEO do?
The CEO participates in the process of policy decision-making by researching options for the board to consider, providing administrative consequences of options being considered and developing and implementing operational plans that support the board’s strategic plan. The board makes policy and the CEO delivers it.
What do College staff do?
The College staff play a huge role in the provision of the operational components designed to support Council’s strategic plan. In a nutshell, the board decides the “what” and the staff deliver the “how”. All administrative policies and procedures must align with the above authorities. The staff respond to the needs of all the stakeholders, employers, government, the public and the members within the context of Council policy.
How is a college different from a professional association?
Colleges are organizations that are delegated the authority to govern the practice of the members of a profession in the public interest. The fundamental purpose of the college is public protection. Associations are member-centric or member-oriented organizations that promote and advocate for the profession and support of the member.
Is the ACMDTT also the provincial association?
No, the ACMDTT is the regulatory organization that has been established under statute to regulate the practice of its members in the public interest. This is our primary mandate; however, we have chosen to maintain a close relationship with the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT) to facilitate collaboration on issues that have value to both organizations. We also offer some membership services, such as educational events and courses, to provide resources for professional development that support the member’s mandated continuing competence program.
Is it the College’s role to advocate for me as a member?
No, this is an association role. The College is established under legislation to ensure public protection through governance of its members; i.e., establishing, maintaining and enforcing standards of registration, continuing competence and practice. The College may advocate for the profession provided such activity is in the public interest.
How are the registration fees determined?
In looking to the next fiscal year, many things need to be considered as Council strives to maintain the financial stability of our organization. Prior to each fiscal year, a careful analysis of operational costs and expected revenue is undertaken. Council ensures that the approved budget is consistent with Council-stated purpose properties, as described in Council policy, in its allocation of resources and provides a credible projection of revenues and expenses.
How often can we expect the registration fees to increase?
Each year, a careful analysis and forecasting of revenues and expenditures is undertaken. There is always discussion on whether to increase fees incrementally over a few years or to do one larger increase. The last increase to registration fees was in 2016.
Are our registration fees consistent with other similar regulatory organizations?
Yes, our yearly dues are comparable with other organizations that also have responsibility under the Health Professions Act as well as similar organizations in other provinces.
Why should I register with the College?
The Health Professions Act (HPA) requires that any individual practicing radiological technology, nuclear medicine technology, magnetic resonance technology, electroneurophysiology technology or radiation therapy in Alberta must hold valid and current registration with the Alberta College of Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists (the College). The practice involves not only the clinical and technical aspects of the profession; it also includes, but is not limited to, functions of education, management, research and administration.
Under the HPA, mandatory registration applies to a person who supervises regulated members who provide professional services to the public. Supervision is defined to include one or more of the following:
- The individual has authority to hire or dismiss the regulated member.
- The individual oversees or contributes to the evaluation or review of the regulated member’s performance.
- The individual is responsible for assigning work and setting priorities for the regulated member.
- The regulated member reports to the individual.
- The individual is responsible for providing training and ongoing education to the regulated member.
What are protected titles?
Medical radiation technologists (MRTs) and electroneurophysiology technologists (ENPs) are governed by the Health Professions Act (HPA) and the Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists Profession Regulation (the Regulation) in Alberta. As per this legislation, no one may use these titles or their abbreviations in Alberta without being a regulated member of the Alberta College of Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists.
Regulated College members who hold current registration may use the specialty titles and abbreviations appropriate to their specialty as listed below:
- Radiological technology: radiological technologist, medical radiation technologist, medical radiation technologist (radiological), MRT, MRT (R)
- Nuclear medicine technology: nuclear medicine technologist, medical radiation technologist, medical radiation technologist (nuclear medicine), MRT, MRT (NM)
- Radiation therapy: radiation therapist, medical radiation technologist, medical radiation technologist (therapy), MRT, MRT (T)
- Magnetic resonance technology: magnetic resonance technologist, medical radiation technologist, medical radiation technologist (magnetic resonance), MRT, MRT (MR)
- Electroneurophysiology technology: electroneurophysiology technologist, electroencephalography technologist, ENP, EEGT
Members who are registered in more than one specialty may add the specialties to the end of the MRT abbreviation; for example, MRT (R)(T) or MRT (NM)(MR).
Only regulated members of the College who are currently registered may use the titles and abbreviations listed above. If you resign your registration or change your status to non-practicing associate, you are unable to use the specialty titles or abbreviations until you reinstate your registration.
How do I apply for registration?
The College has a paper application process. Please review the registration requirements applicable to all applicants, then follow the application process appropriate to your situation:
- Alberta graduates of a College-approved educational program who have completed the entry-to-practice examination
- Recent graduates of a College-approved educational program who have not yet completed the entry-to-practice examination applying for temporary registration
- Canadian labour mobility applicants (MRTs who are currently registered to practice in another Canadian province where their specialty is regulated)
- Canadian non-labour mobility applicants (Canadian graduates who practice as MRTs or ENPs in an unregulated province in Canada or who are not registered with their provincial regulatory authority in their home jurisdiction)
- Internationally educated applicants (Internationally educated applicants who seek to be registered to work in Alberta and are not registered to practice in another Canadian province or territory)
- Applicants currently registered in another jurisdiction who want to practice in Alberta for a set period of time not exceeding six months (courtesy registration)
For more information, see the How to Apply page.
How long does it take to process an application for registration?
An application for registration that meets all of the registration requirements is processed within three business days of when all required documentation are submitted to the College.
Will I automatically become a MRT or ENP once all the documents are received at the College?
Upon receiving your application, the College will review it for completeness and email or call you if any further documentation is required. When your application is deemed complete, the College will process your registration within three business days and email you a confirmation of having issued your permit allowing practice in Alberta. You may start your practice based on this email; it is unlawful to do so before the College confirms your registration. The College will mail you a welcome package along with your practice permit and tax receipt within a few days of the above confirmation.
Your registration status can be verified through the Public Register as soon as the College issues your practice permit.
What is the role of The Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT) in the registration process?
The CAMRT develops and administers national certification exams for the four MRT specialtie: radiological technology, nuclear medicine technology, magnetic resonance technology and radiation therapy. The exam is managed nationally to optimize consistency of practice across Canada.
I’m new to the College. What key things should I do to maintain my registration?
The mandate of the College is to protect the public of Alberta. The College is required to ensure that all registrants meet registration requirements to ensure the currency and competency of their skills and knowledge to practice on the public of Alberta.
If you are registered on the general register with a full practice permit, here are some key things you will want to bear in mind to maintain your permit to practice in Alberta:
- The College registration year runs parallel to the calendar year. This means that regardless of the date your practice permit became effective, it will expire on December 31 of that year. Registrants are required to renew their practice permit by completing the annual registration renewal process before their practice permit expires each year. Detailed information on how you complete this online process will be sent to you in October.
- The Continuing Competence Program (CCP) is a mandatory component of registration as outlined in the HPA. The CCP requires that a regulated member complete, in each registration year, a reflective practice review. Non-compliance with the requirements of the CCP is deemed unprofessional conduct and could place a member’s practice permit at risk. Continued non-compliance could lead to suspension of the permit.
- Registrants are required to practice a minimum of 800 hours in their primary area of practice and (if applicable) 160 hours in their secondary area of practice within a five-year window.
As a self-regulated professional, it is your responsibility to ensure that you continue to meet registration requirements. If at any time you have questions regarding your registration status, you may call or email the College.
What is professional liability insurance and why do I need it?
Professional liability insurance (PLI) provides protection against claims alleging liability resulting from the rendering or failure to render professional services. The requirement for PLI is in place to protect both the patient and the member. By having PLI, a member is protected professionally and financially from claims (real, alleged or false) made against the member as a result of rendering professional services. The patient is protected should the claim be substantiated and damages awarded.
College regulations stipulate that all practitioners are required to have professional liability coverage in the minimum amount of $1,000,000 per occurrence.
My practice permit expires on December 31. What should I do to practice after that date?
The College registration year runs parallel to the calendar year. This means that regardless of the date your practice permit became effective, it will expire on December 31 of that year. As a member of the College, it is your responsibility to complete the annual registration renewal process to ensure you have secured the permit to continue practicing after December 31. The College is required to cancel the practice permits of all individuals who do not complete the renewal process.
The annual registration renewal period runs from October 1 to December 31 every year. You will receive an email from the College with instructions on how to renew in October.
Does the College have a pre-authorized payment plan (PAP) so I can pay my fees in instalments?
Upon careful evaluation, the College has concluded a PAP system is not feasible at this time.
What is the practice hour requirement and how does it apply to me?
Legislation requires that MRTs and ENPs provide assurance of the currency of their skills and knowledge to practice on the public of Alberta as evidenced through the number of hours they practiced within the most recent five-year window:
- Applicants applying for one specialty must have completed at least 800 working hours of practice in the appropriate area of practice within the five years immediately preceding the date the registrar receives a complete application.
- Applicants applying for registration in more than one specialty must meet the criteria specified in (a) above in their primary area of practice and have completed at least 160 working hours in their secondary area of practice within the five years immediately preceding the date the registrar receives a complete application.
For example, to determine eligibility for a practice permit valid in 2020, the College reviews practice hours reported for the years 2015 through 2019. Practice encompasses both direct clinical practice and/or roles such as administration, management, education and research. You cannot claim hours related to vacation, sick time, leave of absence or any other paid/unpaid non-work hours. Practice hours may be claimed from anywhere in the world.
I plan to stop working for some time. What should I do?
Members who are on a leave of absence from their current employer(s) and will not be practicing during this time may apply to change their registration status to non-practicing associate. This information is also for members who want to remain a member of the College in a non-practicing category.
If you are considering switching to a non-practicing associate, please consider:
- Associates are not allowed to practice any aspect of the profession, nor may they use protected professional titles. The practice involves not only the clinical and technical aspects of the profession but also functions of education, management, research and administration.
- When you reinstate your practice permit in the future, you will be required to meet the currency of practice hours requirement. This means that you will be required to have 800 hours of professional practice in the five-year window prior to the date your application to reinstate is received at the College.
- As associates are not allowed to practice any aspect of the profession, their permit cannot be issued an enhanced practice or additional authorization. If you are renewing or changing to associate status, you will need to apply for enhanced practice and/or additional authorization at the time you reinstate your practice permit.
- Associates are not required to meet continuing competence requirements. If you have been selected to participate in a continuing competence audit and have not yet met your audit requirements, you will be required to do so at the time you apply in order to reinstate your practice permit.
- As an associate, you will continue to receive all College publications and have access to the member side of the website.
To change your registration type, submit a completed Registration Change Application form prior to the date of your last scheduled working day in your practice.
I will no longer be practicing the profession in Alberta. What should I do?
If you are moving out of the province, retiring, or taking a leave of absence from your employment as a medical radiation or electroneurophysiology technologist, you may resign your registration. You only need to maintain your registration when you are actually practicing the profession in Alberta. If you’re taking a leave of absence, you can also consider the option of changing your registration status to a non-practicing associate.
To resign from the College, complete the Registration Change Application form and submit it to the College. The College will email you a confirmation when your resignation is processed. If the requested date of your resignation falls on a weekend/statutory holiday, your resignation will be processed on the next business day.
If you plan to practice in another province, you need to request the College to send a certificate of your professional standing to your new provincial regulator or association.
How do I change my name on the College register?
You can change your name through My Profile. You need to upload a name change document (a copy of your marriage certificate, birth certificate or change of name certificate issued under the Change of Name Act), which the College will use to review your request. Once the College is satisfied that you have validly changed your name, your name will be changed on the College register and you can download your new permit through My Profile.
Please remember that you must practice in the name on the College register at all times.
How do I change my personal and/or employer information on the College register?
You can change your information through My Profile. Members are advised to update the College of any change in name, contact information or employer information within 10 business days of the change.
What is the process to complete my registration renewal online?
The annual registration renewal period runs from October 1 to December 31 every year. You will receive an email from the College with instructions on how to renew in October.
Why is there a continuing competence program?
The Health Professions Act (HPA), stipulates that a regulated member of a college must adhere to a continuing competence program (CCP) in order to maintain competence and enhance the provision of professional services. Every regulated member of the 28 colleges named under the HPA must abide by a CCP.
What happens if I don’t comply?
Compliance with the CCP is a mandated requirement of registration with the College. If you declare non-compliance with the CCP at renewal or are found to be non-compliant at audit, the College will assist you in remediating your program so that you may retain your registration. A regulated member’s refusal of compliance with the CCP constitutes unprofessional conduct, and as such, the member will be referred to the Complaints Director by the Competence Committee.
I am on maternity leave. Am I responsible for completing the CCP?
Your employment status has no bearing on your CCP requirements. What does is your registration status. If you hold full registration, you are a regulated health professional and are responsible to complete the CCP requirements while you are registered in this category. If you are not working as an MRT or ENP, you may change your membership to associate status. This is a non-regulated category, and as such, you are not responsible for the number of CCP hours corresponding to the time you held associate membership. Please contact the College to confirm your requirements as your leave may overlap CCP cycles.
What is the CCP cycle?
The CCP cycle runs from September 1 to August 31 of the following year. It is within this time frame that you must complete your requirements of the CCP. New documentation starts on September 1.
How to I log in to My CCP?
Log in to My CCP through the button on the bottom of the website. Your username is your College registration number and your password has been defaulted to your last name. Please change your password once you have logged in to ensure that your CCP remains confidential.
Do I have to record everything online?
Effective September 1, 2015, all members of the College must use this system for CCP records. No paper copies of CCP forms will be available. The College will make every effort to accommodate individuals unable to complete the CCP as designed.
I am taking a course. Does it count toward my CCP?
If the course is related to your practice and you can self-reflect on how it impacts it, then yes, you may count these hours of study. The average full-length course is usually between 30 and 50 hours.
I don’t have enough hours. What do I do?
There are lots of options for completing your hours. It does not have to be an organized activity. Reading journal articles, participating in hospital rounds or attending staff meetings can all count toward your CCP. The main thing to remember is that you have to self-reflect on the activity and express how it affects what you do in your job as an MRT or ENP. For more ideas, please see the Learning Resources page.
How do I know if my concern justifies a complaint?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Was the person whose practice is questionable a regulated member or previously regulated member at the time of the incident(s)? The College provides a Public Register that lists all regulated members.
- Does the complaint allege that the regulated member or previously regulated member has violated the Code of Ethics or Standards of Practice approved by the College Council?
Will the technologist know that I am making the complaint?
Yes, the technologist is made aware of the complaint and in most cases, a copy of the complaint letter or form is provided to them.
How long does the complaint process take?
The investigation can take up to three months. Depending on the complexity and the action taken, the whole process can take up to a year.
How does the Complaints Director act on a complaint?
Within 30 days of receiving a complaint or treating information as a complaint, the Complaints Director must notify the complainant of the action taken. The following options are available (HPA 55(2)):
- encourage the parties to resolve the matter informally,
- attempt to resolve the complaint,
- refer the matter for alternative complaint resolution,
- request an expert opinion on the subject matter of the complaint,
- conduct an investigation,
- may conduct or appoint an investigator to conduct an investigation,
- dismiss the complaint (if trivial or vexatious),
- direct that the member be assessed for impairment (HPA Part 6, Section 118).
Can a complaint be dismissed?
Under the HPA, the Complaints Director has authority to dismiss a complaint when it is received if it appears that the case is frivolous or vexatious or if there is no indication that the regulated member or previously regulated member has engaged in unprofessional conduct.
Can I appeal the decision if the Complaints Director dismisses my complaint?
Yes, under the HPA, the complainant can apply in writing to the Hearings Director for a review of the complaint within 30 days after being notified.
As a member, what do I need to know if I have a complaint filed against me?
Some of the most common complaints are for:
- Unprofessional conduct towards a patient – communication or procedure issues
- Alcohol or drug abuse while on the job
- Privacy breaches – accessing files you have no right to access
- Not following protocols and procedures
- Hindering patient safety
- Not complying with the Continuing Competence Program
- Incompetence or not reaching the standards of the employer
- Violation of scope of practice
What steps are taken when a complaint is received by the College?
- Within 30 days, the College will notify you in writing.
- The Complaints Director will ask you for a response in writing to the complaint.
- The Complaints Director may appoint a subject matter expert or an investigator to look into the matter further. For a complete list of directions the Complaint Director can take, please review the Complaints Process flowchart.
Note: It is critical that you comply with what is asked of you in a timely manner. Should you not comply this could be seen as unprofessional conduct. During this process, you could be sent to a hearing or have your practice permit suspended or even cancelled. Should you end up in a hearing there may be fines and hefty costs you may have to pay.
Should the Complaints Director have you complete an Agreement and Undertaking, you will have to comply with a list of courses and/or items that can take up to a year to complete depending on your situation. Some Agreement and Undertakings are shared with the employer and some are not, depending on the discretion of the Complaints Director.
If a complaint is filed against me, do I need a lawyer?
The College encourages you to get a lawyer if you feel like you need one during this process.
Can I resign if a complaint against me is filed?
If you choose to change your status with the College to a non-practicing associate or resign, a complaint can still be filed against you for up to two years and all requirements in the HPA will still apply.
As a member, what implications does a complaint have on me?
Once you have a complaint filed against you that is not dismissed, your record of good standing is tarnished and should the College receive an inquiry from any member of the public regarding your complaint history within the next five years, the College will be at liberty to provide a copy of your Agreement and Undertaking (if applicable).
Should the College receive an inquiry from another regulatory body regarding your complaint history within the next five years, or should the College become aware that you are seeking registration with another regulatory body within the next five years, the College will be at liberty to provide a copy of your Agreement and Undertaking (if applicable).