Recent amendments to the Health Professions Act (HPA) introduced by Bill 46 require that the College only carry out professional regulatory duties in the public interest and prohibit the College from carrying out association and member services functions. Based on a careful review of these changes and legal advice, Council has made the following decisions and updated the College bylaws where applicable:
- Branches will be dissolved as of July 1, 2022.
- The College will no longer host an annual conference.
- Associate membership will be discontinued as of January 1, 2022. This membership category also includes honorary life membership.
- The College will provide new regulatory learning opportunities for members, including an annual regulatory education event.
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. Based on timelines provided by the Alberta government and input from the branch executives, Council has decided to allow branches to continue to operate for more than a year, which will give them time to plan more events for their members if they choose to do so. The annual conference is another activity that falls clearly within the realm of a professional association, so the College is looking forward to exploring new ways to provide learning opportunities for members while remaining compliant with legislation.
The issues surrounding associate membership were not as straightforward, but in the end Council determined that this category of registration does not make a clear contribution to public protection and should therefore not continue beyond this year. While this decision will no doubt have an impact on some of our members, associates make up a small percentage of our membership and the majority of the benefits associates currently receive (e.g., newsletter, e-blasts, invitations to College events) are available to anyone interested in them through the College website. Members can still choose to resign their registration if they will not be working for an extended period of time, and registration requirements have always been and will continue to be the same for new members and former members returning to practice. It is now much simpler to resign and apply for other register changes, including new applications for general registration for former members, as these processes have all moved online.
We understand that these are big changes that will affect many of our members; however, we feel that the overall impact on our membership as we make this transition will be positive. 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 and in-person conferences will benefit regulated members by allowing us to offer equal opportunities to technologists in all specialties and all locations across the province. Removing the associate membership category will also allow the College to focus our attention and resources on regulated members, which will benefit regulated members as well as the public.
The College is committed to supporting our members as much as we can while respecting our mandate of protecting the public — after all, it is only through our members’ hard work and dedication that we can fulfill our mission of ensuring that Albertans receive safe, competent and ethical diagnostic and therapeutic care. Plans are already underway for a virtual regulatory education event this fall, which will take place over two days and offer members the opportunity to earn up to 7 hours toward their CCP. Topics for the event’s presentations will be 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. The event is scheduled for October 16 and 23; more details to follow this summer.
To learn more about these changes, please see the College website:
- Discontinuation of associate membership: FAQs
- Regulatory education
- Registration pathways (register changes, including resignation, now available online)
We will continue to update these and other pages on our website as more information becomes available. Thank you for your understanding as we navigate these changes and please feel welcome to contact us at email@example.com if you have any questions, concerns or comments.