Alberta’s health regulatory colleges
Ensuring safe, competent, ethical healthcare services.
When you visit an Alberta Healthcare professional (to get a blood test, purchase glasses, get your teeth cleaned or for another healthcare service) you expect to receive safe, competent and ethical care. Alberta’s health regulatory colleges exist to help ensure you do.
Alberta’s health College’s are regulatory organizations not professional/trade associations. We are public bodies, created by government to oversee Alberta’s regulated health professions. Our role is to serve the public by protecting them from unqualified, incompetent or unfit health professionals. We do this by setting and enforcing:
- Licensing requirements
- Standards of practice and professional conduct.
Professional health associations don’t administer and enforce healthcare legislation. Their focus is to promote their respective profession and provide a variety of member services. Associations are accountable to their members first. That doesn’t mean associations don’t care about public safety and well-being; they do. They just do it through advocacy and education rather than regulation and enforcement.
What our College’s actually do
Colleges protect the public by implementing, administering and enforcing healthcare legislation (i.e., government rules by which healthcare practitioners can legally provide services to the public).
We implement government rules by:
- Setting education and registration requirements to ensure only qualified individuals are licensed.
- Setting and enforcing practice, conduct and ethical standards (which direct how professional services are to be delivered/performed).
- Ensuring compliance with healthcare legislation and regulations.
- Setting continuing competency requirements and administering mandatory continuing competency programs to enhance registered healthcare practitioners’ professional knowledge, skill and performance.
- Investigating patient/public concerns regarding a healthcare professional’s conduct.
Colleges can also tell you if your healthcare professional is registered and licensed to practice and can provide information on, or copies of, the profession’s practice and professional standards.
Members’ professional obligations and accountability
Colleges communicate (and publish) their standards of practice, care and conduct directly to members. Members are then accountable for practicing within those standards and maintaining and enhancing their professional competence.
It’s the healthcare practitioner’s professional responsibility to ensure they meet or exceed their College’s stated requirements. If they do not, Colleges have the authority to enforce the requirements through a variety of corrective and/or disciplinary actions.