Regulatory Documents

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.

Dental Hygienists Profession Regulation

Under the Health Professions Act, each profession has its own regulation. The Dental Hygienists Profession Regulation is the document that guides the College in its regulation of dental hygienists in Alberta.

Dental Hygienist Professional Regulation establishes, among other things, the requirements for:

  • Registration of a new applicant
  • Evidence of good character
  • English language requirements
  • Liability insurance
  • CPR certification
  • Renewal of registration
  • Continuing competence, including practice hours and program credits

It also identifies:

  • The activities and restricted activities dental hygienists may provide in the practice of dental hygiene and in accordance with the standards of practice approved by Council
  • Restricted activities that a registrant may be authorized by the College to perform after advanced education
  • An alternative complaint resolution process
  • Practice visit purposes
  • Reinstatement of registration requirements
  • Restricted title use

Standards and Guidelines

It is the responsibility of all Alberta registered dental hygienists to comply with CRDHA's Standards of Practice. This includes the Practice Standards, Code of Ethics, specific standards of practice, and Practice Guidelines. All regulated members must apply these Standards of Practice in their practice of dental hygiene care, regardless of practice setting or area of responsibility. 

In 2022, the College revised and developed new Standards of Practice with consultation from registered dental hygienists and the public. These new Standards of Practice went out to the Government of Alberta for consultation in early 2023.

Practice Guidelines

Practice Guidelines are dynamic and intended to reflect current best practice in relation to specific areas of dental hygiene care.

Professional Boundaries for Dental Hygienists in Alberta Guideline
Prevention of Sexual Abuse and Sexual Misconduct of Clients Guideline
CRDHA Drug Guidelines
CRDHA Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen Conscious Sedation Guidelines

COVID-19-Related Guidelines

Joint CRDHA, CADA and ADA&C Guidelines effective February 10, 2021:
Dental Practice Guidelines during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Infection Prevention and Control

New Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Guidelines have been developed as a collaboration between the CRDHA, the College of Alberta Dental Assistants, the College of Alberta Denturists, and the College of Dental Technicians of Alberta and have been approved by the Councils of all four Colleges. The new IPC guidelines went into effect on June 1, 2022.

Infection Prevention & Control Guidelines

Continuing Competence Program

A Continuing Competence Program is mandated by the Health Professions Act in Sections 50 to 53.

The Health Professions 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")