Summer is officially upon us and as we all soak in the warm weather, we hope everyone has the opportunity to relax and unwind. With the first half of this year under wraps, it brings the opportunity to reflect on everything that has been accomplished over the past six months while also looking ahead at what is yet to come.
This year started with a positive step forward for the profession. We were fortunate to be identified as a key stakeholder on the Alberta EMS Provincial Advisory Committee (AEPAC). In January the full report was made public and the Minister of Health accepted all 53 recommendations put forward. These recommendations continue to be a focal point in attempting to ease the strain on the EMS system and we have witnessed some progress being made. Behind the scenes, the College is collaborating with outside organizations to address multiple sections identified within this report.
Council released its strategic plan which will be used over the next five years to guide the College’s operations and help with decision making. This plan was a major focus at the Council table throughout 2022 and we were proud to see it released at the start of this year. On the operational side, we celebrated our first full year after switching to Alinity. This nicely wrapped up all the work that went into the transition and a final piece to the changeover was permanently deactivating the old member portal. Although we continue to make updates and changes to enhance the system, the switch to Alinity has provided significant improvements both internally and externally.
On the legislative side of things, Bill 46 was officially implemented on March 31 which signifies the completion of over two years of work at the College to adapt to all the requirements. We are incredibly proud of the work that was done to make the College fully compliant with these requirements including approving new regulations, drafting and implementing two Standards and updating the Bylaws and policies. The College was also tasked with developing a new Standard of Practice in response to the Health Professions (Protecting Women and Girls) Amendment Act, 2022, which was introduced to better protect the health and safety of women and girls by strengthening laws around female genital mutilation. A Prohibited Medical Procedures Standard was drafted and distributed for consultation which was subsequently approved by Council.
Spring was a busy time for the College and member engagement. The call for Council recruitment applications was sent out and we received the most applications for Council in recent history. The Selection Committee was provided a short list of applicants from an external HR consultant and had a pool of highly qualified and enthusiastic applicants to choose from. The fourth biennial member survey was distributed from March 6 to March 30 and we received 1,551 responses which was an 18% response rate. The overall impression of the College continues to improve and the survey helped identify areas for future development. A full detailed report will be provided in the July/August Pulse.
At the end of May, we hosted our fourth virtual Annual Members’ Meeting and announced another registration fee reduction of $11. This brings us to a total of $26 in reduced fees over the past three years. As of June 12, 692 members registered for the AMM and 44 questions were submitted by participants. The full list of questions and answers can be found here. The AMM is available for 6 CE credits and can be watched online until September 30.
Looking ahead we can expect more positive change within the profession. Significant headway has been made on the two national projects: the Canadian Organization of Paramedic Regulator’s (COPR) Canadian Paramedic Competency Framework and the Paramedic Association of Canada’s (PAC) National Occupational Competency Standard. Both are expected to be released later this year and have the potential to influence major change and progression for the profession. Areas we may see change include education, expanded scopes and the potential of opening up the opportunity for the Critical Care Paramedic designation.
We look forward to providing more updates on the profession and the College as they arise and wish you a relaxing summer with friends and family.