In the short time that continuing competence programs have been in existence, health regulators’ understanding of different programming strategies has changed.

Physiotherapy Alberta’s Continuing Competence Program, in its current design, has been in place since 2011.  We’ve learned a lot during the last six years. Council has had numerous conversations about the future of the program, we held an Imagineering Event in 2016 (as the name suggests to “Imagine” what our Program can and should be), and in 2017 conducted a survey to collect data from members about their experience with the current Program. All this work and data led to Council’s decision to modernize the Program by increasing the range of options for members to demonstrate competence.

The new Continuing Competence Program, to be launched in the fall of 2018, is presented below.

Being a physiotherapist requires a lifelong commitment to learning and professional growth.

As professionals, physiotherapists are required to stay up to date on advances, changes and trends in the delivery of patient treatment and care.

While education and training provide the knowledge and skills necessary to enter the profession, this is only the first step in staying up-to-date in a complex, rapidly changing health environment.

Lifelong learning and a “do better” mindset are fundamental components of a physiotherapist’s commitment to practicing competently. The activities undertaken during a physiotherapist’s career deepen their professional skillset, their connection to the profession, and the quality of care they provide.

Physiotherapy Alberta recognizes that physiotherapists are self-directed, motivated adult learners who continually monitor and participate in activities to support healthy, competent practice. As such, Physiotherapy Alberta has designed the Physiotherapist Continuing Competence Program to reflect this belief.

The Physiotherapist Continuing Competence Program is flexible yet quality focused.

Each year, physiotherapists participate in two activities prior to renewing their practice permit. One activity is a Self-Selected Activity and the other is a College-Selected Activity. Both support physiotherapists to learn and grow.

DO.

There are endless learning opportunities for physiotherapists. How do you choose the activity to DO that supports healthy, competent practice? It starts with practice monitoring. This is an important first step in the adult learning cycle and quality-improvement process. Monitoring involves benchmarking your current thinking, performance and practices against standards, data and peers. You can expect your assumptions to be challenged, gaps identified and new avenues for action opened up. Excelling at lifelong learning starts with thoughtful consideration of what activity to DO, and then Doing the activity.

LEARN. GROW.

Throughout your career, you strive to achieve improvements in your individual professional skills and also patient care and practice environments. Taking time to reflect on the new information or skills learned will help you better integrate what you learned into practice as well as drive learning deeper. This is the “LEARN.GROW” of your lifelong learning.

Everyday physiotherapists are doing, learning and growing – improving their personal competence, patient care, physiotherapy or health-care services. Now it’s time for you to share your journey of learning and professional growth with Physiotherapy Alberta.

DO: Complete one Self-Selected Activity annually
LEARN: Reflect on the new information or skill you learned
GROW: When you renew your practice permit, describe what happened when you applied the new information or skill

What is a Self-Selected Activity?

It is any activity you choose to DO provided it promotes deep learning, growth and improved practice. It may be an activity you want to complete for your own professional growth or as an employment requirement. 

There are many options. Physiotherapy Alberta has grouped examples into three general themes:

  1. An activity that monitors practice against benchmarks and provides information for practice improvement, e.g., self-assessments, chart audits, safety audits, environmental scans, accreditation practice. Click here to view a more complete list.
  2. An informal or formal activity revolving around obtaining and translating knowledge for practice and performance improvement, e.g., reading research papers, attending courses or conferences, attending webinars. Click here to view a more complete list.
  3. A collaborative group activity that involves contributing to the development of others, e.g., supervision of students, mentoring, involvement with communities of practice (e.g., ignitephysio). Click here to view a more complete list.

A Self-Selected Activity is any activity you choose to DO provided it promotes deep learning, growth and improved practice. It may be an activity you want to complete for your own professional growth or as an employment requirement. 

There are many options. Physiotherapy Alberta has grouped examples into three general themes:

Physiotherapy Alberta has grouped examples into three general themes:

  1. An activity that monitors practice against benchmarks and provides information for practice improvement.
  2. An informal or formal activity revolving around obtaining and translating knowledge for practice and performance improvement.
  3. A collaborative group activity that involves contributing to the development of others.

 

An activity that monitors practice against benchmarks and provides information for practice improvement

Individual Skill Set

  • Performance evaluation
  • Self-assessment of essential competencies for physiotherapist
  • Practice enhancement/personal learning plan
  • Peer review and feedback on practice enhancement plans/learning plans
  • Canadian Physiotherapy Association specialization assessment
  • Knowledge assessment (i.e., affiliated with a program of study, tests administered by accredited organizations universities, certification programs)
  • American Physical Therapy Association recertification exam
  • Knowledge/competence assessments for learning (i.e., assessments that take place for the purpose of identifying practice improvement)

Patient Care Practices

  • Patient Care Reflection – self-administered or peer administered
  • Patient case study
  • Critical incident/significant events assessment
  • Review of patient complaints/compliments
  • Clinical outcomes analysis (i.e., FOTO reports)
  • Chart audit

Quality Improvement

  • Privacy practices audit
  • Standards review and audit
  • PDSA, FADE, Six Sigma
  • Accreditation activity (CARF)
  • AHS – CRP site assessment
  • Quality improvement project (evaluating + improvement)

Safety and Risk Assessment

  • Safety audits
  • Occupational hazards assessment
  • Critical events analysis

 

An informal or formal activity revolving around obtaining and translating knowledge for practice and performance improvement

Organized Formal Instructional Events

  • Continuing education event
  • Certificate courses from accredited organizations
  • Organized online learning (MOOC’s)

Self-organized enhancement using informal instructional resources

  • Web-resources to inform personal learning or patient care/practice improvement (i.e. job aids, blogs, newsfeeds)
  • Reading current research from publications
  • Practice guidelines

Knowledge Construction/Translation

  • Writing articles for publication, including Physiotherapy Alberta publications
  • Conducting research
  • Teaching

 

A collaborative group activity that involves contributing to the development of others

  • Mentoring students
  • Mentoring peers i.e. (new grads, CPA divisions)
  • Ignitephysio actual posts and blog contributions
  • Community of practice/professional interest group
    • Group focused on learning new clinical practice information
    • Group focused on improving patient care or work processes
  • Quality improvement project participation
  • Volunteering with Physiotherapy Alberta
  • Volunteering with Canadian Physiotherapy Association divisions
  • Volunteering with the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators
  • Peer review and feedback session with colleagues (e.g., practice enhancement plan, patient care reflections or other audit activity)
  • Other group activities involving leading or contributing to professional learning or practice improvement projects

The "GROW" of your lifelong learning.

After participating in your Self-Selected Activity, you must complete a Practice Improvement Record describing what happened when you applied the new information or skill which includes, but is not limited to, the following reporting criteria.

  • Details of the Self-Selected Activity.
  • Reflection on how participation in the Self-Selected Activity improved personal competence, and either patient care practices or physiotherapy/health care services.
  • Resources used for practice improvement (e.g., assessments, audits, references, reports, scales, articles, course notes).

When the new program is launched, the Practice Improvement Record will be available from the Member Portal so you can complete it online and submit directly to Physiotherapy Alberta. In the meantime, a pdf version is available here to give you an idea what will be required. 

Example of a completed Practice Improvement Record when the activity was student supervision.

Physiotherapy Alberta is responsible for supporting physiotherapists to deliver safe, competent, ethical
care. In doing so, it has a desire to raise the profession’s collective awareness of issues, professional standards and Code of Ethical Conduct.

DO: Complete one College-Selected Activity annually
LEARN: Reflect on the new information you learned
GROW: Implement what you learned

What is a College-Selected Activity?

It is an activity that Physiotherapy Alberta selects and requires members to complete. Mandatory participation ensures a profession-wide collective and common understanding of a subject. The nature and format of the activity is based on Physiotherapy Alberta’s need to serve the public interest.

Examples of a College-Selected Activity

The activity will vary from year-to-year, e.g., jurisprudence examination, educational modules, self-assessment, reflection activities, or knowledge tests.

Reporting

Physiotherapists complete the College-Selected Activity online.

These program rules apply to the competence development and competence assessment components as described in the Physical Therapists Profession Regulation. The practice visit component is under development. Once finalized the program rules will be updated to include details for that component.

Physiotherapy Alberta – College + Association is obligated under the Health Professions Act to establish a continuing competence program that helps members to maintain competence and enhance the provision of professional services.  These Continuing Competence Program Rules address various aspects of the program including details on program requirements and member selection.

The Continuing Competence Program Rules are draft pending member consultation.

Required Activities

Each registration year, prior to renewing their practice permit, all regulated members on the General Register are required to satisfactorily complete one Self-Selected Activity and one College-Selected Activity and its associated record of participation. Satisfactory completion of both activities is a condition for renewal of a practice permit.

Self-Selected Activity

  1. Members must participate in one Self-Selected Activity annually.  
  2. The Self-Selected Activity must achieve significant, meaningful and sustained improvements in the member’s personal competence, and either patient care practices or physiotherapy/health care services.

Must always improve    

(1)    PERSONAL COMPETENCE via the acquisition of current knowledge or skills which updates and reinforces existing knowledge or skills or supports the development of new competencies.

Must improve 2 or 3    

(2)    PATIENT CARE PRACTICES as evidenced by tangible results which can be measured (i.e. outcomes, effectiveness, efficiency).

OR

(3)    PHYSIOTHERAPY OR HEALTH CARE SERVICES as evidenced by tangible or measurable outputs (i.e. products, directives, indicators).

  1. Members must select a Self-Selected Activity from a list of options provided by the College.  Members may participate in an activity not on the College list provided it meets the criteria for a Self-Selected Activity described in bullet #2.
  2. After participating in the Self-Selected Activity, the member must complete a Practice Improvement Record on a form provided by and to the satisfaction of the Registrar which includes, but is not limited to, the following reporting criteria.
    1. Details of the Self-Selected Activity.
    2. Reflection on how participation in the Self-Selected Activity improved personal competence, and either patient care practices or physiotherapy/health care services.
    3. Resources used for practice improvement (e.g., assessments, audits, references, reports, scales, articles, course notes).
  3. A review of members’ Practice Improvement Record will be conducted by the College to ensure compliance with the reporting criteria described in bullet #4.
  4. The records review is conducted under the direction of the Registrar.
  5. A stratified random sampling method is used to identify members whose Practice Improvement Record is selected for review each year.  
  6. If a review of the record is not satisfactory, the Registrar may direct the member to undertake any of the actions in section 23 of the Physical Therapists Profession Regulation.  

College-Selected Activity

  1. Members must participate in one College-Selected Activity annually.
  2. The nature and format of the College-Selected Activity is determined by the College based on the organization’s need to serve the public interest. As such the activity will vary from year-to-year and may include, but is not limited to: competence assessment (e.g., jurisprudence examination), educational modules, self-assessment, reflection activities, or knowledge tests.
  3. Members must individually submit their College-Selected Activity using a reporting platform provided by the College, notwithstanding that members are encouraged to discuss and work collaboratively on their submission.
  4. Members must satisfactorily complete the College-Selected Activity. Success criteria will vary based on the nature and format of the activity.  Success criteria will be communicated to members at the time of notification to complete.

Deferral

  1. Members requesting a deferral from either the Self-Selected Activity and/or the College-Selected Activity must provide their request in writing to the Registrar and include evidence to support their request.  
  2. The Registrar must, in writing, advise the member of their decision as to whether the deferral as requested by the member has been granted, with or without conditions as the Registrar may deem necessary.

Reinstatement

  1. Members who apply for their registration to be reinstated on the General Register are required to complete any outstanding Self-Selected Activity and/or College-Selected Activity for the year they were last registered before their registration will be reinstated.

Referral to the Complaints Director

  1. The Health Professions Act requires the Registrar to make a referral to the Complaints Director if the regulated member, in the opinion of the Registrar, has intentionally provided false or misleading information.  
  2. Failure or refusal to comply with the continuing competence program requirements is considered unprofessional conduct under the Health Professions Act.

A review of members’ Practice Improvement Record will be conducted by the College to ensure compliance with the reporting criteria.

Reporting criteria

After participating in their Self-Selected Activity, the member must complete a Practice Improvement Record which includes, but is not limited to, the following reporting criteria.

  • Details of the Self-Selected Activity.
  • Reflection on how participation in the Self-Selected Activity improved personal competence, and either patient care practices or physiotherapy/health care services.
  • Resources used for practice improvement (e.g., assessments, audits, references, reports, scales, articles, course notes).

What you need to submit

The Practice Improvement Record must be completed and submitted to Physiotherapy Alberta as a requirement for practice permit renewal. The record review will be based on this Practice Improvement Record. No other information is required.

Whose documents are reviewed?

A stratified random sampling method is used to identify members whose Practice Improvement Record is selected for review each year.  

Who conducts the review?

The records review is conducted under the direction of the Registrar.  If a review of the record is not satisfactory, the Registrar may direct the member to undertake any of the actions in section 23 of the Physical Therapists Profession Regulation. 

659 members on the General Register pilot tested the new Continuing Competence Program in May/June 2018. 659 represents almost 25% of our members.

The purpose of the pilot test was to collect feedback on:

Pilot Tester Feedback

This is what we heard from our pilot testers.

The Guide helped the member understand the new program and what is expected for participation in both the Self-Selected and College-Selected Activity.

 

The Guide left the member with a positive impression of the new Continuing Competence Program.

 

The Self-Selected Activity and Practice Improvement Record examples helped the member understand what was required. The Self-Selected Activity examples are activities physiotherapists use for lifelong learning.

 

The member understood the questions in the Practice Improvement Record.

 

The guiding questions helped the member complete the Practice Improvement Record.

 

Including the name and source of two resources (i.e., articles, texts, books, web courses, assessments, scans) in Q2 of the Practice Improvement Record helped further the member's learning.

 

Writing about the activity in the Practice Improvement Record contributed to the member's learning.

 

Completing the Practice Improvement Record left the member with a good impression of the new Continuing Competence Program.

 

Average time spent completing the Practice Improvement Record.