A key component to the Continuing Competence program is the mandatory CC audit. However, unless selected for the audit most members do not understand the process or what is required of them. As the 2020/2021 audit has concluded, we thought it would be beneficial to share some insight into the process and common trends that were found during this audit.
How does the audit process work?
Every CC audit, the College conducts a random selection of regulated members to participate. If selected, you will receive an email and a registered letter outlining that you have been selected to participate. You will be required to provide all supporting documentation for each activity recorded in your profile for the CC year that is being audited. The Competence Committee will then review your supporting documentation and notify you if you have met or not met the requirements of the audit. In the event you have not met the requirements, you will be given directions on how to meet the requirements.
Common trends observed during this audit
During the 2020/2021 CC audit, the Competence Committee found a few common trends that occurred for those that did not meet the audit requirements.
- Mandatory participation
The Continuing Competence audit is mandatory for all selected regulated members. Failure to comply with the audit requirements is considered non-compliance and is in direct conflict with the Code of Ethics (4.7), collaborate with the Alberta College of Paramedics to fulfill all legislative responsibilities. Therefore, failure to comply with the audit process may result in an unprofessional conduct review.
- Inadequate proof of completion/improper documentation
The CC Program Manual outlines what constitutes supporting documentation. This is a requirement of the program, and all regulated members must keep this documentation for five CC cycles after the year it is recorded. Proper documentation needs to include:
- Your name
- The date of completion
- The course/activity name
- Activity provider name and/or branding
- Number of hours awarded
The Competence Committee will not be able to validate recorded activities if the above items are not included in the supporting documentation. Thus, the Competence Committee will determine the member has not met the requirements of the audit and the member will need to provide documentation that does include the above items.
There are some self-directed activities where the above information is not provided. In these cases, the College has a Record of Attendance form and a Self-Study Summary form that can be utilized.
- Activities recorded must be relevant to your paramedic practice
As a regulated member you are required to maintain currency in your practice, as well as enhance and expand your knowledge and skills through the CC program. The goal of the program is to foster individual improvement and growth of professional practice, enhancing the level of service and care provided to Albertans. This means the courses/activities taken to complete CC requirements must be relevant to your practice. We recognize that regulated members work in many different settings and there may be courses relevant to your practice that at face value might not seem relevant to paramedicine. If a course is not easily identified as relevant to paramedicine but is important to your paramedic practice, this can be explained in the CC form where you are asked how the course/activity has enhanced your practice.
- Completing the CC form
The Continuing Competence program is a legislative requirement and a part of that is reporting how CC activities have enhanced your practice. This is done in the CC form in your member portal. When an activity is added, a box appears that prompts members to explain how the activity has enhanced their practice. This is not an area that can be skipped. The Competence Committee flagged many members during this audit that opted to avoid this section.
- Accuracy in the number of hours claimed
Members are required to provide an accurate account of the number of hours self-directed activities have taken them to complete. During the audit, if the Competence Committee has concerns about the number of hours claimed for an activity, the regulated member will be required to submit proof of the hours completed.
These five trends were common themes that came up during this year’s audit. We hope that by sharing these it will help members understand common concerns that arise during the audit and avoid those issues moving forward. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at CC@ABparamedics.com.