Proposed Standards of Practice June 2022

June 22, 2022

In response to changes the Alberta Government is making to the Health Professions Act, we are moving existing requirements from other documents into our Standards of Practice.

Important! We are not changing requirements; we are just moving information into the Standards of Practice.

Council approved circulating proposed Standards of Practice for you to review.

For reference, you can view our current Standards of Practice and the Dental Assistants Profession Regulation.

Please use our feedback form to give us your feedback by July 22, 2022. We will consider your feedback and, as appropriate, may recommend adjustments to Council.

Why are we moving information?

Bill 46, the Health Statutes Amendment Act 2020, includes amendments to the Health Professions Act (HPA). Those amendments include moving:

  • parts of health profession regulations that are common to all professions into the HPA
  • supervision permissions and requirements from regulation into Standards of Practice
  • restricted activity supervision requirements into Standards of Practice
  • the Competence Program into Standards of Practice

What is changing?

Where you look for information is changing, but the requirements themselves are not changing. In fact, the government has asked that we don’t make changes to the requirements right now.

What are we moving?

We’re moving these items into our Standards of Practice:

  • general supervision permissions and requirements
  • supervision requirements while performing restricted activities
  • the Competence Program

Standard 8 Restricted Activities

The Dental Assistants Profession Regulation includes a statement (section 13) about Dental Assistants only performing restricted activities if they are competent, and the activity is appropriate. The statement is being moved from the Regulation into Standard 8 Restricted Activities.

Standard 8 includes which restricted activities dental assistants can perform, how they are authorized, supervision, and what they must do if not authorized for a specific activity. Having the “competent and appropriate” statement in the same place will clarify what Dental Assistants must consider before they perform restricted activities.

Standard 9 Supervision

Section 14 of the Dental Assistants Profession Regulation deals with supervising dental assisting students. It describes who may supervise, when and how. Standard 9 currently includes a brief statement about Registered Dental Assistants being able to supervise dental assisting students. That brief statement is being replaced by the detailed text from the Regulation. By putting supervision-related information in one place, it’s easier to understand the requirements.

Standard 18 Continuing Competence Program

Standard 18 is new. Though we’ve had a competence program for years, so far, the program requirements have been included in other documents. Sections 15 through 18 of the Dental Assistants Profession Regulation include high-level program requirements and more detailed program information.

We’re moving the high-level program requirements from the Regulation to Standard 18. To give specifics about the requirements and support Dental Assistants as they participate in our competence program, we will also have a Competence Program Manual. The Manual will include the more detailed information from the Regulation and competence program information we have in other places.

Why are these amendments to the HPA important?

The changes reduce duplication and create consistency across health professions. Changes to Standards of Practice don’t require Lieutenant Governor in Council approval, therefore, they can happen faster than regulation changes, some of which can take years. This means health professions can adapt quicker to current standards of care and best practices.

Your Opinion Matters

Any changes to the Standards of Practice may impact dental assistants’ practice. Your input on these proposed changes is important to us. We want to understand your point of view on our proposed changes.

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Once the Standards of Practice amendments are finalized and approved by Council, we will post them on our website and let all dental assistants know by email.

Current date: April 21, 2024

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