I am pleased to announce Council’s approval and the implementation of the profession’s newly drafted Standards of Practice, which are effective and in force today, July 15, 2021. These widely anticipated Standards will provide a much clearer outline for regulated members in their provision of care to Albertans.
Standards of Practice are common to all regulated healthcare professions, with each profession being able to create their own Standards based on scopes of practice and interactions with patients. In 2016 the Council of the day approved the College’s first set of Standards of Practice; however, as admitted by government and the College since then, the first set were lacking in fulsome detail and proper direction to regulated members.
You will see that the newly drafted Standards are much more robust in several areas and are now written to speak to individual activities rather than general topics in overarching concepts.
Regulated members should note that these Standards have been in the works for well over two years now; having been drafted and edited using best practices among regulators before going through an intense series of consultations with Council, staff, regulated members, the public, government and other stakeholders.
I want to acknowledge the time and effort of these groups and offer my sincere thanks for their work. The creation of a legislative document like the Standards of Practice can be an overwhelming feat; however, we are so very fortunate to be able to draw on the strengths of so many other established colleges, our own staff and, of course, our government and stakeholders for their reviews and assistance. Without these groups we would not be able to offer regulated members this much improved set of Standards; and so I thank you.
As we transition to these Standards today, all regulated members should review them and become familiar with their contents. I suspect that initially this may feel like a very new world for many of you; however, if you take a really close look, you will likely find these Standards represent the elements of the excellent care you already provide on a daily basis.
The other important aspect of revising these standards related to the provision of care provided by the province’s paramedic profession is that all Albertans (public and patients) will be able to read and understand the elements of that care. This is another step in the profession’s evolution – public awareness and understanding of all that we do to help support them and provide care to them.
The Standards of Practice are in force effective immediately, meaning all regulated members will now be held to the requirements within them. It is expected that as a regulated member you will familiarize yourself with the content within and if you have any questions, that you will reach out for clarity. The College is here to make sure you practice within the Standards of Practice, and as Registrar I would much rather do that by helping you understand the requirements than having to manage concerns through the conduct process.
On a personal note, and to end this rather long message, I want to assure you that as an ACP myself, I know these Standards will be good for our profession and beneficial to our patients. I think that when both of these interests are aligned, we are ensuring the best possible outcomes for everyone.
Tim A. Ford