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: Describe what happened when you applied the new information or skill

It is any activity you choose to DO provided it results in significant, meaningful and sustained improvement in both your personal competence, and either patient care practice or physiotherapy/health-care services.

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

  • 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.
  • A formally organized or informal activity to obtain and translate knowledge for practice and performance improvement, e.g., reading research papers, attending courses or conferences, attending webinars.
  • A collaborative group activity that contributes to the development of others, and results in informal learning e.g., supervision of students, mentoring, involvement with communities of practice (e.g., ignitephysio).

Click here to see the list of example Self-Selected Activities.

When do I complete the Self-Selected Activity?

All three “steps” must be done annually.  

  1. DO: Complete your chosen activity anytime during the registration year (October 1 – September 30). Ensure it is done early enough so you can reflect and report on the new information or skills learned before you renew your practice permit.
  2. LEARN: Before completing the Practice Improvement Record, take some time to reflect on the new information or skill you learned.
  3. GROW: Describe on the Practice Improvement Record what happened when you applied the new information or skill. Complete this BEFORE you renew your practice permit.

The Practice Improvement Record is an online form available from the Member Portal. You may complete the form as soon as you complete your Self-Selected Activity or anytime before you renew your practice permit. [NOTE: A new Member Portal is being developed for launch in early 2019. The online Practice Improvement Record will not be available until the new Member Portal is launched. Members will be advised when the form is available for completion. The link to the form is for illustration purposes only.]

All three “steps” must be done annually.  

  1. DO: Complete your chosen activity anytime during the registration year (October 1 – September 30). Ensure it is done early enough so you can reflect and report on the integration of the new information or skills learned before you renew your practice permit.
  2. LEARN: Before completing the Practice Improvement Record, take some time to reflect on the new information or skill you learned.
  3. GROW: Describe on the Practice Improvement Record what happened when you applied the new information or skill. Complete this BEFORE you renew your practice permit.

The Practice Improvement Record is an online form available in the Member Portal - look for My PIR in the side menu options. You may complete the form as soon as you complete your Self-Selected Activity or anytime before you renew your practice permit. 

That will depend on the activity you select. However, you must spend enough time to achieve deeper learning, growth and improved practice.

While there are different ways to “tell your story of learning and growth,” allow enough time to complete the Practice Improvement Record so you can thoroughly reflect upon and discuss all questions. Most pilot testers told us they spent up to two hours to complete the form. They used the time to organize thoughts, deepen their learning about the subject and/or re-examine their role and contributions to improving practice at their workplace.

Approach completion of the Practice Improvement Record with the lens of reflection and spend enough time to thoroughly discuss all the questions. Consider the guiding questions as they are there to prompt reflection.  

We’ve provided example Practice Improvement Records to give you an idea what a completed form looks like. However, your writing style may be different and that is OK as everyone has their unique style of expression. This is reflective reporting. It combines your understanding of factual information with your experiences and perceptions.

List sufficient resources and information to show you used current information to make good practice decisions. Options are flexible, but may include:

  • Source and title of the resource
  • Source and topic discussed
  • Title and weblink
  • Full citation in format used in academic papers

Your completed Practice Improvement Record should:

  • Be an authentic and meaningful representation of what you did to develop competence and enhance professional practice
  • Provide specific details about the activity you completed
  • Provide information/citations of resources used to improve practice (e.g., evidence, articles, guidelines, reports, scales, audits)
  • Provide a thorough description of how completing the activity impacted your personal learning and patient care/physiotherapy health system
  • Include reflection

The only information Physiotherapy Alberta needs is collected on the Practice Improvement Record. No other information is required. Each year at least 10% of submitted forms will be reviewed by Physiotherapy Alberta to ensure compliance with the reporting criteria required by the Program Rules:

  • 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.)

These Practice Improvement Records are real stories from Alberta physiotherapists detailing what Self-Selected Activity they did to LEARN and GROW their practice.

Practice Monitoring

Knowledge Acquisition/Translation

Professional Collaboration

How do I know that the Self-Selected Activity I choose will be accepted by Physiotherapy Alberta?

You demonstrate that it is acceptable by the story you write. The Self-Selected Activity you choose to report must have been completed in the registration year between October 1 and September 30. The Self-Selected Activity process assumes that physiotherapists will consider using only the activities that contribute to building their competence and enhancing their professional practice. They will narrow their selection to those activities that have led to sustained learning and achieved significant sustained improvements in practice. They report on one activity that best fits the criteria in their Practice Improvement Record your story.

Your story will be unique. It is influenced by your personal characteristics, your practice context and where you may be in your career continuum.

Consider the case of two physiotherapists who attend the same activity and arrive at different decisions as to whether the activity is appropriate to use for a Self-Selected Activity.

Physiotherapist A finds the activity significantly expands their knowledge base. They apply what they learned to practice and recognize positive impacts on practice. Physiotherapist A reviews the criteria for a Self-Selected Activity and determines the activity is appropriate. Physiotherapist A has a rich and insightful story to tell on the Practice Improvement Record.

Physiotherapist B deems the activity not relevant to their practice as there is little opportunity to apply the information. In fact, six months after attending the activity, Physiotherapist B is unable to recall much of its content. If Physiotherapist B were required to complete a Practice Improvement Record on the activity, there would be minimal information to discuss, beyond the title and date of the activity. Physiotherapist B deems that participation in the activity doesn’t meet the requirements for a Self-Selected activity and chooses to complete and report a different activity.

Will my Practice Improvement Record be reviewed?

Yes. Each year at least 10% of submitted forms will be reviewed by Physiotherapy Alberta to ensure compliance with the reporting principles and the following program rules 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)

If a review of your Practice Improvement Record is not satisfactory, the Registrar may direct that you undertake any of the actions in section 23 of the Physical Therapists Profession Regulation. Often members are directed to undertake mandatory education before resubmitting their record for another review against the same criteria.

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

Yes. Yes. Participation in the Self-Selected Activity is required for the year you are registered and therefore it is to be completed while you are registered. Despite your intention to cancel your registration at the end of the registration year, you must complete the Self-Selected Activity in its entirety before your practice permit expires and your registration is cancelled. Determine which activity best fits the program requirements and write it up in the Practice Improvement Record in your member portal. You are required to provide proof of having completed the PIR record, at the correct time, should you apply to reinstate your registration later.

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

Yes. All regulated members on the General Register must participate in all competence program requirements whether they are practicing or not. This includes clinicians, administrators, educators and researchers (i.e., everyone). 

My course was cancelled how can I complete the Self-Selected Activity?

You can choose a different activity. In addition to attending a course, there are plenty of other Self-Selected Activity options that can be used to meet the program requirements. This includes but is not limited to activities that benchmark and assess individual characteristics or your practice environment, informal learning activities such as reading, writing and research and collaborative activities that contribute to the profession.

I would like to complete an activity not on the list provided by Physiotherapy Alberta. Is that OK?

Yes, provided the activity resulted in significant, meaningful and sustained improvement in your personal competence and either patient care practice or physiotherapy/health-care services.

You do not need Physiotherapy Alberta’s approval to select an activity that is not on our list of options. When you complete the Practice Improvement Record you will explain how completing the activity developed your competence and enhanced professional practice thereby meeting the criteria.

Can I use my employer’s workplace requirements for my Self-Selected Activity?

Yes. Many employers require participation in performance monitoring, project development, accreditation and/or continuing education and any of these activities can be used as a Self-Selected Activity provided they result in significant, meaningful and sustained improvement in your personal competence and either patient care practice or physiotherapy/health-care services.

Why do I have to report on my activity? Why isn’t it enough that I just DO an activity?

The Practice Improvement Record serves two purposes:

  • It encourages you to spend time to reflect on the new information or skills learned. Taking this time to reflect 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.
  • Physiotherapy Alberta is accountable to the government to monitor program participation. Requiring members to complete the Practice Improvement Record and then conducting an annual record review satisfies this requirement.

How many Self-Selected Activities must be completed to meet the program requirements?

One. On the website there are 43 examples of Self-Selected Activities organized into three groups. You can use an activity not on the list provided it achieves significant, meaningful and sustained improvements in your personal competence, and either patient care practices or physiotherapy/health-care services.

When can I start recording information about my Self-Selected Activity in the Practice Improvement Record?

The Practice Improvement Record is available from October 1, the start of the registration year, until the date you renew your practice permit in Physiotherapy Alberta’s Member Portal - look for My PIR in the side menu options. As the Practice Improvement Record is available online all year, you have the option to write it up all at once or in stages where you start your write up and then finish it later as the outcomes and impacts on practice become evident. You will not be able to submit your Practice Improvement Record until the renewal period opens.

Where can I get more information about the Self-Selected Activity, the Practice Improvement Record and document review?

Check out this presentation on the Self-Selected Activity. In addition, the website has the most up-to-date information. For individualized support – contact Competence Program staff competence@physiotherapyalberta.ca. (insert link to the presentation on the SSA)