Under the HPA, the business and affairs of ACSLPA are governed by a council.
The Council body is a 50/50 split between:
elected, registered SLPs and Audiologists; and
members of the public who are appointed by the provincial government.
Council includes public members to ensure that the interests of public protection are served in governance decisions. Generally, a regulated member of ACSLPA is eligible to be a member of the ACSLPA Council unless they:
are named on the Courtesy Register;
are serving as a senior official of a professional or labour association that represents members of the professions;
have not completed registration renewal requirements or are not in compliance with any conditions placed on their registration;
have not completed the requirements of the College’s continuing competence program, or are not in compliance with competence program related conditions on their registration;
are subject to a direction due to incapacity;
have been found guilty of unprofessional conduct or have agreed that their conduct was unprofessional, and at least 3 years have not passed since all conditions arising from the finding are resolved;
have been found guilty of a criminal offence or have received judgement against them in a civil action, and at least 3 years have not passed since all conditions arising from the verdict or judgement are resolved;
have worked as an employee or contractor for ACSLPA within the preceding two years;
have their primary residence outside of Alberta or practice primarily outside of Alberta; or
have not held an active practice permit within 3 years.
The governing responsibilities of the Council include:
selecting a president and vice-president from among the members of Council;
appointing the College Registrar, Chief Executive Officer, and Privacy Officer;
establishing and approving the terms of reference of statutory committees of the College;
appointing regulated members to hearing tribunal and complaint review committee membership lists;
hearing registration reviews and appeals;
approving and adopting regulations and bylaws,
approving and adopting documents for the purpose of regulating and directing the practice of regulated members (e.g., standards of practice, code of ethics, guidelines, etc.);
approving policies that govern Council in the discharge of its duties, monitoring conformance, and taking corrective action when necessary;
approving policies that govern the delegation of powers and duties to College officers and statutory committees, monitoring conformance, and taking corrective action when necessary;
approving the operations plan and operating budget for the College, monitoring progress and taking corrective action when necessary;
approving all fees and levies prescribed under the HPA; and
ensuring that the College fulfills its statutory mandate and complies with all relevant legal and fiduciary responsibilities.
The key governing documents for the College inform each other hierarchically, with the HPA being the parent document. It should be noted that while the HPA serves as a parent document in ACSLPA’s governance, it can be superceded by other legislation (e.g., human rights, privacy, and fair registration and labour mobility legislation).
The key governing documents used by the College in its governance are the:
Health Professions Act
Sets out in law the powers, duties, and responsibilities of all regulated healthcare colleges, their regulated members, employers, and others.
SLP and Audiology Profession Regulation
Expands on the HPA‘s requirements with specific directives for SLPs and Auds.
Regulations are approved by the provincial government.
Provide further directives regarding ACSLPA’s governance (day-to-day operations), e.g., registration categories, fees, appeals, the College’s website, etc.
Are established and approved by the Council.
Internal documents that state the principles used to meet ACSLPA’s mandate and strategic goals.
Can be linked back to the other governing documents that informed their development.
Outlines the ethical principles, values, and responsibilities to which regulated members must adhere. Regulated members must practice in accordance with the Code; a breach of the Code may constitute unprofessional conduct, as defined in the HPA.
Standards of Practice
Are established measures or norms which define the minimum level of professional performance that regulated members must demonstrate in their practice; a breach of a Standard may constitute unprofessional conduct as defined in the HPA.
Specifies the minimum knowledge, skills, abilities, and judgment required of regulated members for safe and effective practice.
Provides direction to ensure regulated members have information to comply with legislation, standards, and other minimum requirements.
Provides guidance to regulated members to support them in the clinical application of Standards of Practice.
Sets out the official position or stand of the College on an issue or matter that is significant to the professions, and to outside agencies or groups.
Consistent with Competency Profiles for the professions, a protocol outlines the specific clinical criteria, activities, and procedures that should be adhered to by regulated members in the provision of specific professional services. Protocols are evidence informed.
Applicable provincial or federal legislation informs the key college documents. The next two sections outline two important areas of legislation – information management and duty to report.
Information Management Legislation
All healthcare professionals have an obligation to comply with information management legislation. While providing professional services, SLPs and Audiologists will have access to protected information about individual clients, client family members, groups, agencies, employers, employees, businesses, and organizations. Consequently, they have an obligation to maintain the confidentiality of the information.
Both the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta have legislation that outlines how information must be managed to protect people and organizations from harm, including the:
Health Information Act (HIA) — Alberta
Health Professions Act (HPA) — Alberta
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP) — Alberta
Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) — Alberta
Children First Act — Alberta
Protection for Persons in Care Act (PPC Act) — Alberta
Child, Youth & Family Enhancement Act (CYFEA) — Alberta
Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) — Government of Canada
How information management legislation applies to individual practitioners varies by workplace setting. For example, one type of legislation might apply in a healthcare setting while another might apply in a school or private practice setting.
While regulated members of ACSLPA have an obligation to protect information, there are circumstances where a duty to report to the proper authority supersedes confidentiality.
The Health Professions Act requires a regulated member to notify the appropriate authority of an actual or suspected “nuisance or … threat that may be injurious or dangerous to the public health. (HPA, s.1.1(1))
The Protection for Persons in Care Act requires incidents of abuse against adult clients to be reported to the proper authority.
Child, Youth & Family Enhancement Act requires a report to be made to the proper authority if there are “reasonable and probable grounds to believe that a child is in need of intervention.” (CYFEA, s.4(1))