WE HAVE GOOD NEWS
It has been 16 months since the Mental Health Services Protection Act was passed in the legislature. As a result of this act, the professions of Counselling Therapy, Addictions Counselling and Child and Youth Care Counselling are to be included in the Health Professions Act (HPA), and a new College of Counselling Therapy of Alberta (CCTA) will be proclaimed to oversee these professions. Since the act was passed, ACTA has been actively building the college and processing applicants through the Expedited Route. We have also been engaging with Alberta Health and the government to determine a timeline for the proclamation of the CCTA. With the consultation documents prepared, and our work plan for college development progressing well, ACTA is eager for the college to be proclaimed, so that the protections for the public which we have spent years advocating for will finally be in place.
We are pleased to share that we recently received two significant pieces of communication regarding the government’s commitment to regulation and the timeline. We wanted to share parts of this communication with you:
On March 26, 2020, Leanne Wagner, Assistant Deputy Minister, Health Workforce Planning and Accountability Division, Alberta Health, stated: “I assure you that regulation of your profession is important, and government is proposing to move regulation forward in fall 2020; however, adjustments may be necessary depending on how matters proceed. Mr. Andrew Douglas, Director, Health Professional Regulation Unit, Alberta Health will keep you updated on the status of your regulation.”
On May 28, 2020, Minister of Health, Tyler Shandro stated: “I appreciate the importance of regulating counselling therapists, addiction counsellors and child and youth care counsellors, and I have directed Alberta Health to prioritize this work. Please continue working with Andrew Douglas, Director, Health Professional Regulation Unit, Alberta Health. Mr. Douglas will be able to advise you on timelines going forward.”
We have since consulted with Mr. Douglas regarding the next steps and understand that his team is preparing for the stakeholder consultation. We will continue to offer our support to Alberta Health in any way which is helpful. It is our hope that this next very important step will be initiated by Alberta Health this summer. In the meantime, buoyed by the good news of the government’s willingness to prioritize regulation, and the hope of a fall proclamation, the ACTA Board will continue to work hard on behalf of our members and the public to ready the college for opening.
As always, feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.
Linda Sahli, Registrar
Nicole Imgrund, Board Chair
On behalf of the ACTA Board