The role of a college, like ACSLPA, is outlined in the Health Professions Act.
- must carry out its activities and govern its regulated members in a manner that protects and serves the public interest;
- must provide direction to and regulate the practice of the regulated profession by its regulated members;
- must establish, maintain, and enforce standards for registration and of continuing competence and standards of practice of the regulated profession;
- must establish, maintain, and enforce a code of ethics;
- must carry on the activities of the college and perform other duties and functions by the exercise of the powers conferred by this Act; and
- may approve programs of study and education courses for the purposes of registration requirements.”
HPA, Part 1, s.3(1)
The College is accountable for how it exercises its responsibilities under the HPA and must submit an annual report to the government. The report is tabled in the Alberta Legislature and includes information requested by the Minister of Health.
Annual reports are posted on the ACSLPA website.
Duty and Power to Protect the Public
To protect and serve the public, the HPA stipulates that:
- The College has a duty to ensure that only qualified applicants are registered and issued a permit to practice in their profession.
a) To do this, ACSLPA establishes, monitors, and enforces standards for entry-to-practice, registration, and annual practice permit renewal for SLPs and Audiologists. This duty ensures that practitioners have met the standards for academic and practical experience, that their qualifications are current, and that they meet requirements for good character and reputation.
b) If an applicant is not accepted, the College must provide reasons for the decision and provide the applicant with an appeal process.
- The College must maintain the General Register and make it available to the public, thereby allowing anyone to confirm that a health professional is registered and entitled to practice in their profession.
- The College must establish, maintain, and enforce a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for SLPs and Audiologists in Alberta. Each regulated member is accountable for practicing in accordance with the ethical principles and practice standards of the College.
- The College is required to establish and implement a Continuing Competence Program (CCP). Under the HPA, CCPs are mandatory, and regulated members are required to participate not only to ensure that they maintain competence in their practice, but also to enhance their provision of professional services.
- The College has a duty and the power to investigate complaints from clients, family members, employers, or the public regarding the practice of SLPs and Audiologists in Alberta. The HPA outlines a detailed process that colleges must follow to address complaints.
a) Professionals who do not practice in accordance with practice and ethical standards are held accountable, and, as necessary, the College will impose corrective disciplinary actions to re-establish competent, safe, ethical practice.
Under the HPA, a college must not act or hold itself out as a professional association. It is important to understand that ACSLPA is a regulatory body and not a professional association. The key differences between regulatory bodies and professional associations are highlighted in the table below.