The Health Professions Act (HPA or the Act) came into force in Alberta in 2001. The profession of dental hygiene was included in 2006 and the College of Registered Dental Hygienists of Alberta (CRDHA) was established as the governing body for the dental hygiene profession in Alberta. There are currently 28 regulatory colleges established under the Act with delegated authority to govern health professions in Alberta.
The job of a regulatory college is to protect the public from unsafe practice and to hold its registrants accountable for the care they provide.
The HPA places responsibility on the CRDHA to:
- Carry out its activities and govern the dental hygiene profession in a manner that protects and serves the public interest
- Establish, maintain and regulate the entry level and continuing competence required to provide dental hygiene care
- Establish, maintain and enforce standards of practice
- Establish, maintain and enforce a code of ethics
- Approve programs of study and education courses for the purpose of registration requirements
- Perform other duties and functions by the exercise of the powers confirmed by the Act.
The unique aspects of the practice of Alberta dental hygienists are identified in schedule 5 of the HPA.
The Government of Alberta published a easy-to-read guide, the Health Professions Act Handbook, to assist in navigating the HPA.
The CRDHA published a 15-minute webinar on the Regulation of Dental Hygienists in Alberta. Click here to view.