The Government of Alberta is working to update the amended Health Professions Act and Paramedic Professions Regulation online. Please be patient as this may take some time.
I would like to start this message by acknowledging the passing of Constable Travis Jordan and Constable Brett Ryan of the Edmonton Police Service. I want to express thanks on behalf of the College to all who attended, marched in the procession, provided standby assistance, or picked up shifts so others could attend. Events like this highlight the risks that all first responders face, but it also shows the strength and support that exists within this community. Continue to stay safe out there and watch out for each other.
As of today, March 31, all changes initiated by Bill 46 have been implemented. As with all legislative changes, it is important to provide an overview of what has changed and how it affects you as a member and your practice.
What are the changes initiated by Bill 46?
The Health Statutes Amendment Act (Bill 46) was approved in December 2020 and included a suite of amendments to the Health Professions Act (HPA). Most changes consisted of moving universal sections of each health professions’ regulations into the HPA. The goal was to unify these requirements into the single authorizing document. The Health Professions Act covers the requirements of every health profession, ours included. This means that the Paramedic Profession Regulation (PPR) will be a smaller document and the requirements outlined in it are specific to our profession.
Additionally, a new regulation was approved that outlines all the restricted activities across each health profession. This new regulation is called the Health Professions Restricted Activity Regulation and all paramedic restricted activities are addressed in section 43.
It is important to emphasize that the sections moved from the PPR to the HPA do not remove the requirement from our profession. This simply changes where the requirement is outlined.
What does this mean for the Paramedic Profession Regulation?
The PPR will be significantly lighter on content moving forward. The sections that have been removed
- Other requirements
- Liability Insurance
- Authorized restricted activities
- Training and supervision
- Continuing Competence program
- Continuing professional development
- Continuing competence program credits
- Competence assessment
- Actions to be taken
- Rules respecting continuing competence program
- Conditions on practice permit
- Process conductor
- Leaving the process
- Reinstatement application
- Consideration of application for reinstatement
- Decision on reinstatement application
- Review of decision
- Access to decision
- Providing information
- Section 119 information
Why is there a Continuing Competence Standard of Practice?
The requirement to establish a Continuing Competence (CC) program was moved from the PPR into the Health Professions Act, however, the program outline must be established in a Standard of Practice. This means that the College was required to create a Standard on the CC program. The CC Standard is a high-level outline of what is required of members to be compliant with the program, while the program’s details are described in the Continuing Competence Manual.
Why was the Restricted Activities Standard revised?
The full list of restricted activities for our profession is now in the Health Professions Restricted Activity Regulation under section 43. The list of activities did not change, only where they are referenced. The HPA now requires regulatory colleges to have a Standard of Practice outlining who may perform a restricted activity, how it is to be performed, who may supervise and the requirements of supervision. The previous Standard needed to be updated to be more specific on those requirements. All regulated members should review the Standard to ensure they are aware of all requirements.
What does this all mean for members and their practice?
These changes do not change anything for you as a member or your practice. It is important to note that you still have the same Continuing Competence requirements and nothing with the program itself has changed. The same goes for restricted activities; the list of activities may have been moved to a new document but the contents and authorization for each designation has not changed. All members must still adhere to the Standard of Practice requirements. It is important that you take the time to review the new Standards to ensure that you understand all the requirements of you as a member.
Although Bill 46 made major changes from a regulatory college perspective, the changes to members are very minimal and should not affect your practice significantly.
As always if you have questions or concerns, please reach out to the College at info@ABparamedics.com.
Take care and stay safe,
Tim A. Ford