Updated Performance of Restricted Activities Standard of Practice

  •   June 24, 2021

Over the past 9 months, Physiotherapy Alberta has been working to revise the Performance of Restricted Activities Standard of Practice. This revision was the result of questions raised by the Minister of Health and the ministry regarding pelvic health physiotherapy practice, and specifically the performance of pelvic health internal examinations. To learn more about the impetus for this work, see the September 21, 2020 Update Regarding Pelvic Health (Internal Examinations).

Over the last several months, Physiotherapy Alberta has engaged with physiotherapists and external stakeholders to gain their feedback on the revised Standard. The final version of the revised Standard was adopted by Council at their June 12, 2021 meeting.

The revised Performance of Restricted Activities Standard of Practice will come into force on October 1, 2021.

All regulated members of Physiotherapy Alberta are advised to review the Standard in full, and to consider its implications for their individual practice.

What does this mean for physiotherapists who provide pelvic health services?

Like physiotherapists who perform dry needling or spinal manipulation, the 2021 Performance of Restricted Activities Standard establishes the requirement that a physiotherapist wishing to perform the restricted activity must:

  • Complete a program of study in the performance of the restricted activity that includes as part of the curriculum: theory, practice, safety instruction, and final (summative) evaluation conducted by the course instructor which resulted in a passing grade prior to seeking authorization to perform the restricted activity.
  • Submit evidence to the Registrar of having the competencies required to perform the restricted activity.
  • Receive notification from the Registrar that the authorization is indicated on their practice permit prior to performing the restricted activity independently.

Unlike dry needling or spinal manipulation, Physiotherapist Interns are legislatively enabled to perform pelvic health internal examinations and may seek authorization. However, their performance of the activity must always be conducted under the direct supervision of a physiotherapist who is authorized to perform pelvic health internal examinations. For further information, see the February 4, 2021 Good Practice: Pelvic Health Update.

Transition Period

Physiotherapists have had the opportunity to complete a voluntary submission of documents demonstrating that they have met the requirements for authorization to perform pelvic health internal examinations since February of 2021. With this announcement we are now entering a period of transition. Physiotherapists have until September 30th, 2021, to complete their applications and submit their evidence of competence to Physiotherapy Alberta.

Effective October 1, 2021, all physiotherapists providing pelvic health physiotherapy services must have received individual authorization from the Registrar of Physiotherapy Alberta to perform pelvic health internal examinations.

How to Apply

If your evidence of competence meets the requirements for authorization outlined in the Standard, you can apply using this form:

https://www.physiotherapyalberta.ca/files/application_ra_pelvic_health_2021_categoryci.pdf

If your evidence of competence does not meet the requirements outlined in the standard (e.g., your continuing education did not include an exam or you did not complete a formal training program), you can apply as a legacy provider, using this form:

https://www.physiotherapyalberta.ca/files/application_ra_pelvic_health_2021_categorycii.pdf

Finally, if you are currently on the Provisional Register you may apply by submitting a pelvic health-specific supervision agreement and the following application form:

https://www.physiotherapyalberta.ca/files/supervision_agreement_ph.pdf

https://www.physiotherapyalberta.ca/files/application_ra_pelvic_health_2021_categoryb.pdf

Submission of application documents and evidence of competence to perform pelvic health internal examinations is no longer voluntary. We advise all regulated members who perform this restricted activity and wish to continue to do so to submit their documents as soon as possible.

We anticipate a high volume of applications over the next three months. Early submission of documents will enable physiotherapists to continue to provide pelvic health internal examinations without any lapses in their authorization.

If you currently provide pelvic health physiotherapy services, you will want to initiate this process well in advance of the October 1st mandatory authorization date to ensure your application is processed and authorization indicated on your practice permit, so you can continue to provide these services after October 1, 2021.