Physiotherapy Alberta is responsible for supporting physiotherapists to deliver safe, competent, ethical care. Part of this includes raising the profession’s collective awareness of issues, professional practice standards, ethical conduct and legislation governing physiotherapist's practice.

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

It is an activity that Physiotherapy Alberta selects and requires members to complete. This activity may be completed in the form of educational modules, self-assessments, knowledge tests, etc. Mandatory participation ensures a profession-wide collective and common understanding of a topic. For example, topics may include:

  • Jurisprudence
  • Measures for preventing sexual abuse and sexual misconduct
  • Managing challenging situations
  • Ethical decision-making

Topics are based on profession and public interest issues, practice standards and other rules governing physiotherapist practice. The topic will vary from year-to-year. Most years all members will complete the same activity  However, some years, when appropriate, members will be able to choose from a list of options.

The College-Selected Activity is always completed online.

You must complete the College-Selected Activity before you renew your practice permit.  

Physiotherapy Alberta will let you know when the College-Selected Activity is available for online completion and will provide access instructions and any details as to what is required.

When the College-Selected Activity is open for completion may vary from year to year. Physiotherapy Alberta will give members an adequate amount of time to complete the activity before renewing their practice permit.

Sexual Abuse and Sexual Misconduct: what members need to know

Members on the General Register must complete the 2019 College-Selected Activity before they apply to renew their practice permit in August/September 2019. When you renew, you must declare that you’ve met the learning objectives.

LEARN

Learning objectives:

After reading and considering the resources Physiotherapy Alberta developed, you know:

  1. “Who is a patient” as defined by the Sexual Abuse and Sexual Misconduct Standard of Practice.
  2. Why and how the standard of practice and guides for protecting patients from sexual abuse or misconduct are relevant to your practice.
DO

Read: Resources Physiotherapy Alberta developed to protect you and your patients:

Who is a patient?

Protecting patients from sexual abuse or misconduct

Watch:

GROW

After you’ve read the resources, take a few minutes to consider, either on your own or with co-workers, how this information informs your behaviors within your practice environment.  We’ve given you some guiding questions.

Standard of Practice: Sexual Abuse and Sexual Misconduct

  • Do you understand when an individual you have treated would be considered to still be your patient, even though you have not seen them for treatment recently?
  • Are there situations where you encounter patients, as defined by the Standard, in social situations? What steps might you take to mitigate any risks that such encounters may pose to you?

Protecting Patients from Sexual Abuse or Misconduct: expectations for physiotherapists (A Guide)

  • Were you surprised by the reported prevalence of sexual abuse in Canada? How will this knowledge affect how you interact with patients or others in the clinical environment?
  • Looking back on past patient interactions, can you think of a time when a patient did not react as expected to something you said or did in the context of physiotherapy care? Could a patient history of sexual abuse explain the patient’s reactions? What would you do differently if faced with the situation again?
  • Are there activities you engage in in your clinical practice which could re-traumatize a patient who is a survivor of sexual abuse? With this realization, how will you modify your approach to avoid re-traumatizing your future patients?

Protecting Patients from Sexual Abuse or Misconduct: what can patients expect from their physiotherapist (A Guide)

  • What factors in your practice contribute to the power imbalance between you and your patients? What do you do to try to minimize the imbalance?  
  • What strategies could you implement to make your patients feel less vulnerable, and thereby minimize the power imbalance between patient and physiotherapist?
  • Are there clinical practices that you engage in that could be misinterpreted by a patient? What steps have you taken to ensure that the physiotherapy purpose of these activities is clear to the patient and that you have the patient’s consent to engage in the activity?
 

I am registered on the General Register but not working. Do I still need to complete the College-Selected Activity?

Yes.  All members on the General Register must participate in all competence program requirements whether they are practicing or not.

I plan to cancel my registration at the end of the registration year. Do I still need to complete the College-Selected Activity?

Yes. You are expected to complete the College-Selected Activity. If you do not, when you apply later to reinstate your registration, your application will not be considered until you complete any outstanding competence program activities.

How does Physiotherapy Alberta know that I have met the learning objectives? 

You are going to tell us when you apply to renew your practice permit in August/September. A new declaration will be added to the renewal process and you will need to declare that you’ve met the learning objectives.

The College-Selected Activity provides physiotherapists with a structured format to help them LEARN about the new standard and education guides. However, Physiotherapy Alberta also recognizes that physiotherapists may choose other ways to learn about the content and how it applies to their practice.  That is OK provided the learning objectives for the 2019 College-Selected Activity are met. 

Bottom line - you need to fully understand: 

  • “Who is a patient” as defined by the Sexual Abuse and Sexual Misconduct Standard of Practice.
  • Why and how the standard of practice and guides for protecting patients from sexual abuse or misconduct are relevant to your practice.

Does Physiotherapy Alberta require written answers to the guiding questions?

No. The GROWth strategy Physiotherapy Alberta chose was to provide guiding questions to assist you with processing and applying the information to your practice. We would like you to thoroughly explore the guiding questions, however, writing out and submitting your answers is not required. That being said, you may find that writing down your thoughts will help you organize the information, duly consider the topic, ensures that all facets of the topic are covered and help with your learning. 

Must I attend in person the June 11th webinar? 

No, attending the webinar is not required; it is an additional resource. The webinar will provide an overview of the key legislative changes relevant for physiotherapists and we hope you can attend. However, we will record the webinar and post it on Physiotherapy Alberta’s website the following week if you are not able to attend in person and are interested in the content.

How much time do I have to complete the 2019 College-Selected Activity?

You must complete the College-Selected Activity before you apply to renew your practice permit in August/September 2019. Which means you must understand:

  • "Who is a patient" as defined by the Sexual Abuse and Sexual Misconduct Standard of Practice.
  • Why and how the standard of practice and guides for protecting patients from sexual abuse or misconduct are relevant to your practice.

However, as a regulated member you have a legislative responsibility to comply with all Standards of Practice and other regulatory requirements. There are significant penalties for any regulated health professional found guilty of sexual abuse or sexual misconduct of a patient. As the Standard of Practice Sexual Abuse and Sexual Misconduct came into effect April 1, 2019 you need to know and be in compliance with this standard now.