The College’s first Membership Meeting was held on May 11, 2019, at the Mayfield Dinner Theatre in Edmonton. There were 33 registrations through Zoom and over 350 members attending in person.
The Council and Registrar & CEO of the College presented on the activities of the College. These activities included the activities of Council’s Governance Workgroup, the Finance and Audit Workgroup, Financial Statements of the College and the Annual Report. The College also communicated the changes to the College bylaws, registration processes and the public register, which ensures compliance with the new legislation, Bill 21.
Council and the Registrar & CEO answered various questions from members. The College’s Membership Meeting was adjourned at 8:40 a.m. while the online webinar closed at 9:20 a.m. to allow online attendees an opportunity to submit additional questions.
The College sent out a membership meeting survey from May 14, 2019 – May 27, 2019. It identified that over 70% of the members that attended the meeting stated that the Membership Meeting was more successful than past Annual General Meetings.
Decision-Making Tool for Members
The College plans to release a ‘Decision-Making Tool’ designed to assist members in determining appropriate and safe practice using the College’s key foundational documents such as the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. The College expects that this Tool will enable members to increase their knowledge, judgement and skill in their practice of the profession, and increased professionalism. The College expects to release the decision-making tool this summer.
Bill 11, Fair Registration Practices Act
On June 19, 2019, the government of Alberta introduced Bill 11, Fair Registration Practices Act. The Act looks to remove barriers for internationally educated professionals in Alberta. It applies to regulated professions and designated trades.
The Act will give the Minister of Labour and Immigration the ability to issue compliance orders, request audits on how applications are processed, and reports from the College.
The Fair Registration Practices Code, included in the Bill will outline general and specific duties that constitute fair registration, including: the provision of information, timely decisions and reasons, internal review processes, assessment of qualification, training and access to records.
The Bill also establishes a Fair Registration Practices Office. This office will assist the Minister in the exercise of the Minister’s powers and the performance of the Minister’s duties and functions under this Act and the regulations.
The College supports the Alberta Government’s commitment to registration practices that are transparent, objective, impartial and fair. Read more here.
2019 Standards of Practice
The 2019 Standards of Practice will represent the expected minimum level of performance for members and reflect delivery of safe, competent and ethical care to patients. These Standards are mandatory for all members of the College across all contexts of professional practice.
The Standards serve a variety of purposes for stakeholders, both internal and external to the professions of medical radiation technology and electroneurophysiology technology, such as:
- The College uses the Standards to outline standards/expectations for evaluation of quality of professional practice and inform processes to review professional practice and conduct of regulated members.
- Educators use the Standards in the design of education programs and practice assessments, in conjunction with entry-to-practice competency statements.
- Managers/employers use the Standards to guide development of job descriptions/roles and performance evaluations.
- Other health professionals use the Standards to learn about roles of those regulated by the College and enhance collaborative practice.
- The public uses the Standards to learn about what patients can expect when receiving services.
- Regulated members of the College use the Standards to provide guidance for exemplary practice and a framework for patient care; to enhance the culture of professionalism; and provide the basis for self-monitoring processes and to facilitate continued learning initiatives.
The College reviews and updates the Standards every five-years and plans to release the 2019 Standards of Practice by September 1, 2019.
As you may be aware, the Government of Alberta has introduced changes to the Health Professions Act (HPA). This is the most significant change to the HPA since it came into force. Introduced as Bill 21 – An Act to Protect Patients, Royal Assent was given on November 19, 2018. Bill 21 speaks specifically to sexual abuse and sexual misconduct by regulated health professionals and introduces a number of new requirements for regulatory health colleges, including us at the College, and its members. Some portions of the Bill were in effect as of November 19, 2018 and some came into force on April 1, 2019.
The protection of the public is of paramount importance to the College, and it supports this legislation. The College emphasizes that the vast majority of its members treat their patients with respect and professionalism, it will work with the community in recognizing and addressing concerns around the power imbalance between health professionals and patients that this legislation addresses. A quick summary of changes that are happening at the College in response to Bill 21, which is now absorbed into the HPA are provided below –
Standards of Practice
The College has established a new Standard Area 5.0 Protection of Patients from Sexual Abuse and Sexual Misconduct that came into force as of April 1, 2019. It provides new legally enforced concepts on –
- Who is considered to be a patient
- When a sexual relationship between a regulated member and a former member can occur
- When a person who is a spouse or in an interdependent adult relationship can also be a patient
This new Standard must be reviewed, understood and practiced within the context of the current Standards of Practice document dated July 5, 2014.
Disciplinary consequences are the cancellation of a practice permit if a member is found guilty of sexual abuse, suspension if found guilty of sexual misconduct and publication of discipline history in perpetuity for sexual abuse and sexual misconduct. The College has been working with the CAMRT and OAMRS to help ensure that their professional liability insurance provides appropriate coverage to members.
The College maintains an online public register of its current members with a live link to its database. Information displayed by this system always shows a time stamp to ensure transparency and integrity of information. The College’s public register has been updated to display information of former members for a 2-year period and in perpetuity if there are disciplinary findings.
- Establishing a Patient Relations Program that provides funding for treatment of victims
- Ensure education for College staff, Council, Hearing Tribunals and members
- Colleges to collect Criminal Record Checks from applicants and increased reporting requirements at renewal
- New reporting requirement for members and employers mandating that if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the conduct of a member may constitute sexual abuse or misconduct, they must report it to the Complaints Director
Patient Relations Program
The enactment of Bill 21 has a far-reaching impact on health Colleges and their members. The Bill is available here. Please read on to understand the highlights of this new legislation.
The Bill defines sexual abuse, sexual misconduct and what is not considered sexual nature of a treatment. The new legislation ensures consistency of conduct related processes and sanctions.
The College has also created an addendum based on new requirements under the HPA as of April 1, 2019. This new Standard Area 5.0 Protection of Patients from Sexual Abuse and Sexual Misconduct came into full force as of April 1, 2019, it must be reviewed, understood and practiced as within the context of the 2014 Standards of Practice document.
The College has initiated its patient relations program. The program includes measures for preventing and addressing sexual abuse or misconduct towards patients by regulated members. These measures include educational requirements for regulated members and educational guidelines for the conduct of regulated members towards patients, which the College expects regulated members complete. Please read more here.
- The College has created training for trauma informed practices for College staff, Council and Hearing Tribunal members; information for respecting the College’s complaints processes; and assistance in directing individuals to appropriate resources, persons or organizations that may be able to assist them.
- The College is releasing a training module for protecting patients from sexual abuse and sexual misconduct. In this module, regulated members will learn about the broad definitions of sexual abuse and sexual misconduct, guidelines for maintaining appropriate professional boundaries and mandatory reporting requirements for regulated members and employers. This module will be released this summer. Regulated members are expected to review complete this module. This module can also be applied to a regulated member’s Continuing Competence Program (CCP).
- The College has set aside funding for patients who may allege unprofessional conduct in the form of sexual abuse or sexual misconduct against a regulated member.