A Continuing Competence Program is mandated by the Health Professions Act (HPA or the Act) in Sections 50 to 53.
The Act obligates all health professionals to view the maintenance of competence and the ability to apply advances in their profession as a lifelong process. It requires colleges to establish mandatory continuing competency programs in their regulations, and to link obtaining practice permits to participation in continuing competency programs.
The specifics of each college’s continuing competence program are explained in its regulation. All colleges approach continuing competence differently, but usually include one or more of the following:
- Continuing education (a certain number of credits per year)
- Self-directed learning, self-assessment and evaluation, and the development of competence plans
- Re-certifications on a regular basis (for example, CPR)
- On-the-job experience ("practice hours")
For the dental hygiene profession in Alberta, the relevant specifics are in the Dental Hygienists Profession Regulation.