Hello again everyone and welcome to the 2023/2024 registration year! I want to extend a sincere thank you to those who renewed their practice permit this year prior to 4 pm on September 30. Once again, the number of late fees issued this year is lower than the previous year, a trend that we all would like to see continued.

A few weeks ago, we were fortunate enough to be able to schedule ride-alongs for interested College staff to experience a glimpse of what it is like working on the front lines. I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to those who volunteered to take College staff on a ride-a-long and to those who took the time to chat with them. On our end, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. I have heard from our team about their experiences, and they had nothing but great things to say of all the members they interacted with. On a personal note, I love the opportunity of breaking down these walls and getting a chance to come together.

Believe it or not, we do appreciate getting your feedback, and our team walked away with some very valuable information from the conversations that took place. I would encourage all of you, if you get the chance to talk with staff from the College or to come visit the office, share your stories and feedback. We want to hear it and we will do what we can to provide positive change.

On the national side of things, the new Canadian Paramedic Competency Framework has been finalized, giving us a national bar to set ourselves to. This will be the new framework which will provide guidance and enhancement to your scope of practice, education and will improve Labour Mobility across Canada. Some important aspects coming from this new framework include:

  • A nationally agreed upon level of care for Emergency Medical Responders
  • Increased knowledge base for Primary Care Paramedics
  • Clear competencies for the Critical Care Paramedic designation

It is now the responsibility of the College to work with the educational providers to determine the path to incorporating this new competency framework into our entry to practice education and upgrading requirements.

Finally, I’m sure by now you have all heard that changes coming down the pipeline to the Alberta healthcare system. We do our best to stay well informed, but at this point in time, we don’t have any specifics to share with you on what the new structure might look like for our profession. I believe that there are many decisions yet to be made, and there is an avenue for you to provide your thoughts directly to the government as they consider next steps. The Government of Alberta feedback survey is open until December 8, and the link to the survey is here.

As we head into the holiday season, I hope you all enjoy your time with loved ones. On behalf of the College, we wish you all the best in 2024.

Take care and stay safe,

Tim A. Ford, ACP