Dear ACSLPA members,
2020 has been a challenging year for the College as I’m sure it has been for many of you. Although I would like to update you on ALL of the changes and challenges that have transpired over the past 6 months, in the interests of time I’m going to provide you with some timely highlights.
Changes to 2021 Renewal to Support Members
Registration renewal for 2021 begins on October 1 and ends on December 1. Recognizing that there has been an upheaval to many members’ employment status, hours of work, and incomes over the past 6-12 months the College has implemented as many strategies as possible to assist you with renewal this year. Here are the highlights;
- FEES REMAIN UNCHANGED: Registration fees for 2021 are staying at $650 for practicing members and $175 for non-practicing members – click here for the 2021 Fee Schedule.
- NEW – PAYMENT SPLITS: If you will have trouble paying your renewal fees in a single payment this year, keep your eyes open for the renewal instructions which will highlight a new SPLIT PAYMENT feature. Using the split feature, members can spread the total payment into as many smaller payments as they would like or split them over multiple payment cards. If you start the process in October you could even spread the total cost over the months of October, November, and December. The only catch is that the total amount due must be received no later than the late renewal fee deadline. There will be no additional charge for making split payments.
- NEW – LATE RENEWAL FEE DELAYED: In most years, the renewal deadline is December 1 and anyone who misses this deadline must pay a late renewal fee of $100. For this year the renewal deadline is still December 1 but the late fee of $100 will only be charged after December 15. This will give members an extra 15 days to complete their CCP requirements and allow people using the split feature to make payments in December.
- NON PRACTICING: An existing option for members who are not working is to renew as non-practicing. More information about this membership category can be found on our website at https://www.acslpa.ca/members-applicants/new-applicant-information/registration-handbook/4-1-3-non-practicing-member/
- IMPORTANT – CURRENCY HOURS REQUIREMENT: An important piece of renewal each year is reporting on practice hours to ensure currency requirements are met. If you have been redeployed in 2020 you can probably* still count your hours. If you are short of practice hours at renewal you will not lose your registration, rather you will be considered according to ACSLPA’s currency hours policy – Section 11 of the Registration Handbook, which also includes our currency hours definition.
* Hours spent doing redeployment work might be excluded if a member was already below the minimum number of currency hours required for renewal. If this applies to you, please contact Susan Rafaat at firstname.lastname@example.org
ACSLPA and Advocacy in a Time of Change
2020 has brought many changes to funding and access to services for clients, disruptions to practices, and changes in employment for members. Many ACSLPA members have been very understandably concerned with some of these changes and have been either surprised or disappointed that ACSLPA hasn’t taken an advocacy stance with ministers, decision-makers, and the public. If you are one of these people, please read on to learn more about why we haven’t been active advocates.
The answer comes down to ACSLPA status as a public body and the legislation that created us. ACSLPA’s mandate under the Health Professions Act is limited to protecting and serving the public interest by providing direction to regulated members and regulating the practices of audiology and speech-language pathology. Put more plainly, the college exists only to regulate its members in their practice. Taking positions on government, ministry, or employer decisions around funding and access to services is outside of ACSLPA’s mandate and is virtually impossible for us to do. In fact, advocacy by ACSLPA would in many cases completely undermine the advocacy effort and harm the reputation of our professional members. So while of course we recognize that these can be issues of significant concern for members (and the public), generally the most we can do is refer individuals towards other potential supports who are able to take on an advocacy role.
This is not to say we are not active at all in issues of concern to members. ACSLPA is well connected to various stakeholders and decision makers and we do take opportunities to share information and connect individuals when it is appropriate to do so.
Timely College Initiatives in Support of Professional Practice
Although we can’t advocate, we can work to support members in their professional practice to the extent that our work protects and serves the public interest. The College is busy working on several projects that we believe will help support members in their professional practice through these changing times. A quick list of ongoing projects includes:
- Standard of Practice on Documentation & Information Management: revised, currently seeking external stakeholder feedback
- Guideline on Working with Support Personnel: revised, proceeding to member vetting this fall
- Standard of Practice on Clinical Supervision: review initiated
- Continuing Competence Program (efficiency/effectiveness): review underway
- Addressing Systemic Discrimination and Racism: Taskforce starting work this fall
- Standards & Guidelines for Telepractice and Interjurisdictional Practice: project initiation underway
ACSLPA has also partnered with the U of A CSD Department to conduct research into best practices in virtual assessment with late preschool/early school age children. We hope that this work, when complete, will support members in their practice and enhance the confidence in virtual assessments among funders and the public.
Please keep an eye out for opportunities to engage in these projects by providing feedback or joining committees and work groups when asked.
On the Horizon – Fundamental Changes to Health Colleges
We’ve already learned that the government has changed the composition of councils and hearing tribunals for all health colleges (starting in 2021, 50% must be appointed by the ministry). We are expecting further changes to the HPA when the legislature sits again this fall. While we don’t know the nature of these changes yet, we expect that they may be fundamental to the function of the college and how we operate. We will advise members of impacts to ACSLPA and their practice once they are known.
ACSLPA staff have fielded hundreds of enquiries from members over the past few months on every possible professional practice topic from PPE during COVID-19, to workplace transitions, to continuing competence, to workplace abuse, and many more. We aim to support members through these challenging times by providing you with timely and relevant guidance whenever we can. Please keep your questions and concerns coming!
Registrar & CEO