It never ceases to amaze me how fast September can fly by! It seems like yesterday when we opened renewal, yet here we are in the final days for members to renew. I would like to extend a warm welcome to everyone heading into the new registration year. For those who have not completed their practice permit renewal, this is a friendly reminder to get your renewal form in before 4 pm on September 30. If you have questions or concerns about your renewal application, please let us know. This renewal period has gone off without major problems, but we are always looking for ways to improve the process, so please tell us if you have suggestions.

At the beginning of each registration year, I like to give a brief overview of the Continuing Competence (CC) program for those who are participating for the first time. The CC cycle follows the membership year from October 1 to September 30. Regulated members must complete a minimum of 60 credits each CC cycle. At least 30 of those 60 credits must be earned in the category of Continuing Education activities to be eligible to renew their practice permit.

Continuing Education (CE) activities are courses or professional development activities that meet the College’s Continuing Education Requirements. CE activities are assigned three credits for one hour of activity. A full list of the CE approved activities can be found on the College website and in the CC form in your member portal. Self-directed (SD) activities are professional development activities identified by the individual member based on their specific interest and learning needs. These activities do not need to meet the College’s Continuing Education Standards and are assigned one credit for one hour of activity. The College may also implement mandatory training modules, however, there are no required learning modules for the 2023/2024 CC cycle.

This year, we implemented an optional upload in the member portal for supporting documentation. It is nice to see many of you taking advantage of this service. As a reminder, it is your responsibility to retain those records for five years even if you have uploaded them into your portal.

This is our fifth full year of utilizing the Continuing Competence program rules. The College Council and administration committed to keeping the program unchanged for five years, and now that we have reached that goal, our Competence Committee and College administration will be doing a review of the program to determine effectiveness and comprehension. Any potential changes will be communicated to you prior to the next Continuing Competence cycle.

An important part of the Continuing Competence program includes conducting record audits. Last year, 300 members were randomly selected to participate in the Continuing Competence Audit with an additional 18 members flagged for mandatory participation from previous non-compliance. We had 91% successfully complete the audit and meet all the requirements. The remaining 9% that were determined to have been non-compliant were assessed additional requirements. This upcoming audit, we will be increasing the participants to 500 regulated members. The random selection will take place at the beginning of November. If you are selected, the College will notify you via email and the audit will appear in your member portal. While being selected for an audit may sound daunting, I assure you all that we have taken several steps to make this process as smooth as possible.

On a national note, the Canadian Organization of Paramedic Regulators (COPR) has initiated a “soft launch” of their new competency profiles, while the Paramedic Association of Canada (PAC) also is nearing the completion of updating the 2011 National Occupational Competency Profiles. This means we will be undertaking a thorough review of these profiles as they have the potential to change the current framework of education and influence positive changes in the profession.

I will provide more updates as they become available, and I wish everyone the best going into the new registration year.

Take care and stay safe,

Tim A. Ford