Standards of Practice Consultation is now open!

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Standards of Practice Consultation

Consultation is now open! Scroll down to provide your feedback on seven draft Standards of Practice.

Registered dental hygienists, dental hygiene students, other registered health professionals, and interested members of the public are encouraged to fill out the feedback forms below on the draft Standards of Practice. Feedback will be used to shape and revise the draft Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.

After reviewing feedback from registrants and others, College staff will review the drafts for clarity, scope, and completeness. Then, the drafts will be shared with the Government of Alberta. The final versions will be approved by Council, which is made up of members of the public and registrants.

Once approved by Council, the new Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics go into effect and registrants will be expected to understand and adhere to them.

Sign up for email updates from the College on the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics consultation. If you are a registrant of the College, you are already signed up to receive regular updates from the College.

Click to read the full Introduction to the Standards of Practice document.

The College of Registered Dental Hygienists of Alberta (the College) is the regulatory body for the dental hygienist profession in Alberta. The College’s authority is granted by the Government of Alberta through the Health Professions Act (HPA).

The College’s mandate is to protect the public from unsafe and unethical practice and hold dental hygienists accountable for the care they provide. The College does this by developing, maintaining, and enforcing professional regulations, standards of practice, and codes of ethics.

Standards of Practice set the minimum levels of professional behaviour and conduct of regulated health professionals. It is the responsibility of the dental hygienist to understand the College’s Standards of Practice and adhere to them in their practice of dental hygiene. Performance below the minimum standard is considered unprofessional conduct as per the HPA.

  • The Standards of Practice serve several purposes, including:
    Defining for dental hygienists the minimum performance expectations that they must meet in their practice.
  • Providing the public, employers, and other health professionals with benchmarks against which the professional practice of a dental hygienist can be measured.
  • Fulfilling the requirements for the profession as set out by the Government of Alberta in the HPA.
  • Equipping the College with a legal framework for investigating complaints and pursuing disciplinary actions.

The Standards of Practice:

  • exist to support the College’s mandate to ensure Alberta dental hygienists have the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and judgment to provide safe, effective, ethical, and beneficial oral healthcare services to the Alberta public.
  • are applicable to all dental hygienists in Alberta regardless of practice setting.
  • are comprised of standalone Standards that are to be considered part of a comprehensive unit of Standards that dental hygienists use in conjunction to inform their practice.
  • align with and are mutually supportive of other regulatory documents that guide the profession, including the HPA, Dental Hygienists Profession Regulation, and the College’s Code of Ethics, Bylaws, and various guidelines.
  • set the minimum levels of professional behaviour and conduct for dental hygienists, and where inconsistencies exist between Standards of Practice and employment policies, dental hygienists are expected to meet or exceed the Standard of Practice. (e.g., If a Standard of Practice exceeds the expectation of an employer policy, the dental hygienist is expected to meet the Standard of Practice.)
  • will evolve over time, and substantive changes will be adopted only after consultation with the profession and others as prescribed under the HPA.

The Standards of Practice are listed alphabetically for ease of access. Each of the Standards of Practice are generally structured with the following headings, with some exceptions.


Standard Statement:
describes the minimum legal and professional level of performance required by a dental hygienist.


Performance Expectations:
outline the actions that must be demonstrated by the dental hygienist to indicate how the Standard is met in practice. The expectations are not all inclusive nor are they listed in order of importance.


Client Expectation:
describe the outcomes that the client may expect when a dental hygienist meets the standard.


Glossary:
includes definitions of specific terms used in each Standard of Practice. Defined words are bolded the first time they appear in a Standard of Practice.

The word client appears in every Standard of Practice. The definition of a client is:
Refers to an individual, family, group, community, or organization accessing dental hygiene services. The term client in these standards also includes the client’s legal guardian or substitute decision-maker legally authorised to act on behalf of a client when appropriate. An individual client may also be referred to as a patient.


Resources:
a list of references with legislative or other background information related to the Standard of Practice.

Consultation Expected Date
Advertising Summer 2022
Client-Centred Care June 20 - July 3
Clinical Therapy Summer 2022
Code of Ethics Summer 2022
Collaboration June 20 - July 3
Communication June 20 - July 3
Conflicts of Interest Summer 2022
Continuity and Termination of Care Summer 2022
Documentation Summer 2022
Duty to Report June 20 - July 3
Evidence Informed Practice June 20 - July 3
Informed Consent  June 20 - July 3
Ionizing Radiation Summer 2022
Notification of Operating a Dental Hygiene Practice Summer 2022
Privacy and Confidentiality Summer 2022
Professional Accountability June 20 - July 3
Quality Improvement Summer 2022
Record Management Summer 2022
Restricted Activities Summer 2022
Safety and Risk Management Summer 2022
Supervision of Restricted Activities Summer 2022

 

The following seven Standards of Practice are open for consultation from June 20 to July 3:

  • Client-Centred Care
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Duty to Report
  • Evidence-Informed Practice
  • Informed Consent
  • Professional Accountability

Different feedback forms are available for registered dental hygienists and dental hygiene students, members of the public, and registered health professionals in fields other than dental hygiene. Scroll down or filter by category to see feedback forms available for you.

If you are unable to provide feedback via the online forms, please contact the College to request a feedback package via mail.

Registered Dental Hygienists and Dental Hygiene Students

Client-Centred Care

The dental hygienist applies a client-centred approach in all aspects of dental hygiene care.

Published Jun 18th

Collaboration

The dental hygienist collaborates with clients, health professionals and others in a cooperative...

Published Jun 18th

Communication

The dental hygienist communicates professionally, respectfully, effectively, and in a timely manner.

Published Jun 18th

Duty to Report

The dental hygienist is responsible for being aware of, understanding and following all mandatory...

Published Jun 18th

Evidence-Informed Practice

The dental hygienist seeks, promotes, supports, and incorporates an evidence-informed approach in...

Published Jun 18th

Informed Consent

The dental hygienist must obtain the client’s ongoing informed consent for the initiation and...

Published Jun 18th

Professional Accountability

The dental hygienist is aware of, understands, and practices in compliance with all applicable...

Published Jun 18th

General Public

Client-Centred Care

The client can expect that they will be treated respectfully and that their input will be sought...

Published Jun 18th

Collaboration

The client can expect that the dental hygienist will collaborate effectively to provide safe...

Published Jun 18th

Communication

The client can expect the dental hygienist to communicate with them clearly, professionally, and...

Published Jun 18th

Duty to Report

The client can expect that the dental hygienist will act in the interest of client safety and...

Published Jun 18th

Evidence-Informed Practice

The client can expect that the dental hygiene services they receive are informed by the best...

Published Jun 18th

Informed Consent

The client can expect that they will be informed of the options, risks, costs, and benefits of...

Published Jun 18th

Professional Accountability

The client can expect that the dental hygiene services they receive are provided by a competent...

Published Jun 18th

Registered Health Professionals in Fields Other than Dental Hygiene

Client-Centred Care

The dental hygienist applies a client-centred approach in all aspects of dental hygiene care.

Published Jun 18th

Collaboration

The dental hygienist collaborates with clients, health professionals and others in a cooperative...

Published Jun 18th

Communication

The dental hygienist communicates professionally, respectfully, effectively, and in a timely manner.

Published Jun 18th

Duty to Report

The dental hygienist is responsible for being aware of, understanding and following all mandatory...

Published Jun 18th

Evidence-Informed Practice

The dental hygienist seeks, promotes, supports, and incorporates an evidence-informed approach in...

Published Jun 18th

Informed Consent

The dental hygienist must obtain the client’s ongoing informed consent for the initiation and...

Published Jun 18th

Professional Accountability

The dental hygienist is aware of, understands, and practices in compliance with all applicable...

Published Jun 18th