The Association of Medical Physicists of Alberta (AMPA) was incorporated as a not-for-profit society in 2009 with the mandate to work toward the regulation of medical physicists under the Alberta Health Professions Act (HPA). In consultation with lawyers at Field Law, AMPA developed an application for regulation under the HPA. This application was submitted to Alberta Health and Wellness on November 16, 2011 and included the initiative for medical physicists to form an independent provincial college which would regulate the practice of medical physicists. Acknowledgement of receipt of the application by Alberta Health and Wellness was received on January 16, 2012 with no commitment as to timelines or approval given. On June 15, 2012 AMPA submitted a proposal to restrict calibration and dose output monitoring of therapeutic radiation generating devices to the Health Professions Unit at the Government of Alberta. The director of the Health Professions Unit acknowledged receipt of the proposal on June 26, 2012.
In January 2014, AMPA contacted the director of Health Professions Unit to discuss the status of the AMPA regulated health professions application. Through this phone conversation, it was clear that Alberta Health and Wellness was not inclined to accept the application for regulation of medical physics based largely on the fact that there were not enough medical physicists in the province to support the administrative costs of an independent provincial college. It was recommended that the application be refreshed.
In October 2014, AMPA representatives attended the Alberta Federation of Regulated Health Professionals conference which included representation of all regulated health professions in Alberta. The director of the Health Professions Unit attended this meeting on behalf of Alberta Health and Wellness, as did the registrar for the College of Physician and Surgeons (CPSA). Both Alberta Health and Wellness and the CPSA recommended that AMPA coordinate its application for regulation with the clinical laboratory scientists in Alberta.
In November 2014 AMPA executives had a telephone conference with the Alberta Association of Clinical Laboratory Doctoral Scientists (AACLDS) which represents the clinical laboratory scientists in the province. The AACLDS membership includes medical genetics, clinical biochemistry, clinical microbiology, toxicology, and immunogenetics. It was learned that AACLDS had in fact previously been working towards regulation through the CPSA which was very supportive of their application for regulation. It was discussed that if AMPA were to work towards a joint application, the CPSA would be the provincial College for the medical physicists as well. During this teleconference, AMPA and AACLDS executives decided to proceed with the generation a joint application for regulation under the Health Professions Act. Later that month an AMPA executive had a telephone meeting with assistant registrar of the CPSA at which point the CPSA showed support for Medical Physics to be in a joint application to AB Health with the CPSA acting as the provincial college. The decision for AMPA to pursue a joint application for regulation with AACLDS through the CPSA was ratified by the AMPA general membership through an open vote at the 2014 Annual General Meeting.
A refreshed regulated profession application was developed by AMPA executives together with the AACLDS executives with consultation with the AMPA and non-AMPA medical physicists as well as with AACLDS members. In October 2015 the joint AMPA and AACLDS application for regulation under the HPA was submitted to Alberta Health and Wellness. Medical Physicists within Alberta may receive a copy of the submitted application through a written request to AMPA (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In December 2015 AMPA and AACLDS received official acknowledgement of receipt of application and ministry staff were asked to begin the review process. It is noteworthy that the previous AMPA application for regulation did not include a directive from the Minister of Health for ministry staff to formally review the application.
In May 2016 AMPA had discussions with the AACLDS executives regarding the creation of a temporary registry for AMPA and AACLDS within the CPSA. A temporary registry would provide the initial framework for defining a qualified medical physicist, and list members who are considered qualified and who would eventually be admitted into the CPSA. As best understood, AMPA submits that the benefits of a temporary registry would be two fold. First, it puts some pressure on Alberta Health and Wellness since they do not like temporary registries to exist for long periods of time. Second, it would show concrete evidence of the support from the CPSA for regulating medical physicists. However, the CPSA recommended postponing the creation of a temporary registry until they finish their ongoing processes involving the physician assistants.