As part of the CSHBC Quality Assurance & Professional Practice (QAPP) Program, the College’s Professional Practice Advisors (PPAs) provide an important service for registrants, members of the public, other health professionals, and stakeholder organizations.
PPAs, and other QAPP staff, provide professional practice information that helps ensure adherence to regulatory requirements, including guidance on how standards of practice, clinical policies, clinical practice guidelines and protocols, and related documents can be implemented in practice.
PPAs respond to both general requests for assistance and enquiries related to specific professional practice issues.
From a public protection perspective, the benefits of the service include, but are not limited to:
- Reducing preventable practice errors and patient/client risk;
- Providing clarity on standards of practice and other decision support tools;
- Ensuring registrants comply with mandatory professional and clinical standards of practice;
- Supporting registrants in meeting their annual quality assurance requirements;
- Ensuring CSHBC remains current in awareness of practice trends that may necessitate change in College standards of practice, policies, and other documents.
This service is proactive and preventative in nature. “An important part of the PPAs’ work is building trust with registrants,” says Mardi Lowe, Senior Practice Advisor and former Director, Quality Assurance & Professional Practice. “That it is okay to ask. It’s far better to be preventative than to wait until you have a situation of non-adherence to standards or other requirements. Prevention is paramount.”
Examples of topics that PPAs have provided information about: scope of practice; documentation and record-keeping; how to meet the Practice Hours requirement; Continuing Competency Credits (CCCs); Certified Practice certificates; Registrant Code of Ethics and conflict of interest; and hearing aid fitting and dispensing.
Overview of the professional practice information process
After a query or question has been submitted to the College’s QAPP team for a response, the assigned PPA:
- Confirms the identity of the individual and their contact information.
- Assesses whether any conflict of interest exists. If a conflict exists, the PPA must end the call and advise that another PPA or staff member will contact the individual.
- Identifies whether the matter relates to any proceeding before the College Registration Committee, Inquiry Committee, or Discipline Committee. If yes, the PPA must advise the individual that they cannot provide information relating to a proceeding.
- Provides an introductory statement explaining the parameters of the service before discussing a particular matter.
Information may be provided by email, phone, or virtually, depending on the complexity of the issue. PPA interactions may be one-on-one or with groups.
Although PPAs take notes, their discussions are confidential, and they will not disclose who you are and what was discussed unless the information discloses a danger to the public or sexual abuse. If that occurs, the PPA will end the conversation and must report the information to the Registrar. As registrants, PPAs are bound by duties to report under the Health Professions Act and must disclose to the registrant their reporting obligations and must copy the registrant on any related report.
PPAs cannot provide legal advice and cannot provide an opinion about any specific client/patient or case.
CSHBC has been providing professional practice information since the College was established in 2010, but did so for many years with a very small staff. CSHBC expanded QAPP staff in 2021 to include PPAs for the three professions regulated by the College: audiology, hearing instrument dispensing, and speech-language pathology. Creating the additional roles has greatly enhanced CSHBC’s capacity to respond to profession-specific enquiries as well as practice issues that affect all three professions.
CSHBC QAPP staff
Cathy Silversides, RSLP
Director, Quality Assurance & Professional Practice
Kathy Pereira, RAUD, RHIP
Professional Practice Advisor, Audiology
Professional Practice Advisor, Hearing Instrument Dispensing
Professional Practice Advisor, Speech-Language Pathology
To request QAPP professional practice information, or to learn more about the service provided by PPAs, contact the College at [email protected].
PPAs are part-time CSHBC staff members – please allow five business days for a response.