Leadership Message: December 2020

  •   December 4, 2020
  •  Jody Prohar, PT, Registrar

Each year in early December we notify regulated members that nominations for the upcoming Council election are open and this year is no different. However, 2021 is expected to bring a year of change for Physiotherapy Alberta’s Council and it is important for nominees to understand what the year might bring.

Council’s role and how they must fulfill this role is defined in the Health Professions Act and this remains unchanged. Council will continue to:

  • Make decisions, carry out activities and govern regulated physiotherapists in a manner that protects and serves the public interest.
  • Provide direction to and regulate the practice of physiotherapists in Alberta
  • Establish, maintain and enforce Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.

What will change in 2021 is Council composition. Effective April 1, 2021, there will be an equal number of public members and regulated physiotherapists on Council. The move to greater public representation provides the opportunity for Albertans to have a stronger voice and provide meaningful insight to the regulation of physiotherapists. Physiotherapy Alberta has been very fortunate to have engaged, knowledgeable public members and we value the public perspective they bring to regulating the profession.

On November 5, 2020, Bill 46 The Health Statutes Amendment Act, 2020 passed first reading in the legislature and this bill when passed will bring further change to Physiotherapy Alberta. Included in this Bill is the mandated separation of Colleges and Associations. Governments around the world and across Canada are scrutinizing self-regulation to ensure the public interest is being put first and the question being asked is “how can a dual mandate organization effectively protect the public interest in regulation if advocating for a profession’s interest?” The Government of Alberta has introduced amendments to the Health Professions Act that will prohibit dual mandate organizations.

In 2021, Council will be embarking on a new strategic plan for the organization. With the changes in composition and the likely change from a dual mandate organization to a single mandate organization, Council will be faced with the exciting challenge of setting a new strategic direction.

Being a member of Physiotherapy Alberta’s Council comes with responsibilities. Regulated members are expected to bring knowledge of the profession, the health-care system and an understanding of Physiotherapy Alberta’s mandate. We know regulated members have many other competencies and attributes that are critical for effective governance and success in achieving the organization’s mandate. I encourage you to assess what you might bring as a Council member if you are interested.

Should you have any questions or wish to understand Council’s roles and responsibilities further, please feel free to contact me at jprohar@physiotherapyalberta.ca.