The College’s branches were dissolved on July 1, 2022. To learn more about why this decision was made, please read the information below.
The branches were established by Council to promote the College’s interest in membership services through providing opportunities for education, networking and discussion. Recent amendments to the Health Professions Act (HPA) introduced by Bill 46, the Health Statutes Amendment Act, 2020 (No. 2), require that the College only carry out professional regulatory duties in the public interest, which has a direct impact on branches. The bylaws state that the object of branches is to “provide members with a forum for discussion, professional development and networking.” While we recognize that these activities can ultimately benefit the public, they fall within the scope of a professional association. The following chart highlights some of the differences between a regulator and an association:
|Aspect||Regulator (e.g., ACMDTT)||Association (e.g., CAMRT, Sonography Canada)|
|Mandate||Acts in the best interest of the public.||Acts in the interest of the members of a profession.|
|Activities||Sets the scope of practice, Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice and entry-to-practice requirements legally defined by the Health Professions Act for the practice of a profession.||Serves and supports its members through education, advocacy, professional liability insurance and member benefits.|
|Continuing education||Requires members to participate in legislated programs to ensure continuing competence.||Provides members with opportunities for continuing education.|
|Standards of practice vs. enhancement of practice||Sets legal standards of practice to ensure safe, competent and ethical service for the public.||Provides opportunities to augment competency for members seeking to expand their practice.|
For more details about the differences between these two types of organizations, please see the Regulators vs. Associations page.
Council carefully reviewed the legislation and received legal advice and determined that because branches operate solely to provide member-centric professional development opportunities, they must be dissolved by the time the HPA amendments come into force. The College’s bylaws were updated to reflect that branches would be dissolved as of July 1, 2022.
22.1. Council may approve the establishment of Branches in various locations of Alberta. 22.1.1. Branches exist for the purposes of furthering the Mission of the College. 22.1.2. The object of such Branches is to provide members with a forum for discussion, professional development and networking consistent with the Council stated Mission. 22.1.3. The CEO of the College shall provide financial assistance to the Branches according to Council policy based on a standard set of requirements. The Branches are required by September 15 of each year to submit to the CEO a business plan which includes a financial statement, and a satisfactory budget, that outlines what the branch plans to accomplish over the next 12 months. 22.1.4. All Branches shall operate according to College policies. 22.1.5. Branches shall not borrow money without prior approval from the CEO of the College. 22.1.6. Branches may be dissolved by decision of the majority of members of the Branch, or decision of Council with cause. 22.1.7. Upon dissolution of a Branch, all debts and assets shall revert to the College. 22.2. Effective July 1, 2022, Branches will be dissolved and Bylaw 22 will be automatically repealed.
Any funds remaining in the branches’ accounts upon their dissolution will be returned to the College, and decisions regarding these funds will be made by Council and published in our annual report.
While the decision to discontinue branches was a difficult one, we believe that the overall impact on our membership will be positive. Most branches were based on geographic location to facilitate in-person events, and branches were responsible for planning their own events, which meant opportunities for members varied widely across the province. Dissolving branches allows the College to redirect resources toward regulatory education opportunities available to the entire membership. Given the trend towards virtual events and online learning opportunities that was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, moving away from the geographical constraints of branches will benefit regulated members by allowing us to offer equal opportunities to technologists in all specialties and all locations across the province. The College has heard from many members that they actually prefer to attend events virtually and would like to continue to have that option post-pandemic.
The College has already hosted two virtual Regulatory Education Symposiums and we plan to continue hosting these events twice a year. Topics for symposium presentations are mapped to the Standards of Practice and other regulatory documents to ensure our compliance with Bill 46 while making a meaningful contribution to the continuing education of our members. For more information, please see the Regulatory Education Symposium page.
If you have any questions or comments about the decision to discontinue branches, please feel welcome to contact us at email@example.com.