During the past year, we drafted changes to our Standards of Practice in response to Bill 46, the Health Statutes Amendment Act 2020. Council approved the Standards of Practice to take effect on December 31, 2022.
Based on Bill 46, we moved these existing requirements from other documents into our draft Standards of Practice:
- general supervision permissions and requirements
- supervision requirements while performing restricted activities
- Competence Program requirements
Your Feedback About Our Draft
As part of making the changes, we asked for your comments on our draft Standards of Practice. We received some helpful feedback that we used to adjust our draft.
We thank everyone who took time to review our draft Standards of Practice and share their thoughts.
Changes Based on Your Feedback
Standard 8 and Standard 9
In the draft we posted for your feedback, we moved existing wording from the other documents into Standard 8 and 9. However, based on your feedback, we needed to reword those Standards to make them clearer.
We adjusted Standard 8 by:
- listing restricted activities dental assistants may perform
- stating that dental assistants may only perform restricted activities if they are directed by another oral health professional
- listing the oral health professionals who may direct dental assistants to perform restricted activities
- defining “direction”
- stating conditions for dental assistants to perform a restricted activity for the purpose of scaling teeth
The Standard 8 Criteria that were in the draft stay the same. They include that dental assistants:
- must complete required education and we must authorize them before they perform restricted activities
- must be supervised when they perform restricted activities
- must refuse to perform restricted activities we have not authorized them for
- must only perform restricted activities if they are competent and the restricted activity is appropriate to their practice and the procedure
We adjusted Standard 9 to make it clearer that dental assistants:
- may supervise students who are learning to perform restricted activities
- may only supervise restricted activities in an education setting
Standard 18 was new in our draft Standards of Practice. It brings the high-level requirements of our Continuing Competence Program into one place. From your feedback, we made a few small changes.
We adjusted Standard 18 by:
- making minor wording changes for clarity
- adding that dental assistants must keep their competence records for at least five years. When we audit dental assistants’ competence records, we may review any records from the last five years. This addition makes it clear that they must keep their records long enough for audit.
Effective December 31st
After considering the updated draft Standards of Practice, Council approved them to be in effect December 31, 2022. However, the Alberta Government is still working to put the Bill 46 changes in place. Until the Government finishes their work, supervision and restricted activities will still appear in other places. Since our goal was to move content without changing requirements, our new Standards can be in effect as they don’t conflict with other documents.