The College is required by the Health Professions Act (HPA) to have a Continuing Competence Program (CCP) in place to monitor the ongoing competence of regulated members and enhance the provision of professional services.

For registrants on the General and Provisional Registers:

  • Participation in the CCP is mandatory.
  • The CPP is a requirement for annual registration renewal.
  • CCP documentation must be submitted online via the Member Portal.
  • Their practice permit may be suspended for the upcoming registration year if CCP requirements on not completed and submitted by March 31.

Registrants on the Courtesy or Non-practicing Registers are not required to meet the CCP requirements.

All regulated health professions in Alberta are required to establish a Continuing Competence Program through the Health Professions Act (HPA).

Acupuncturists have a long and proud history of providing safe and quality services, and using continuing education to stay current and improve services. This is part of the reason why the College of Acupuncturists of Alberta’s program was built to be flexible for our members, and allows them to set their own goals for professional development.

Having a formal CCP program has the following benefits:

  1. Regulated members have the opportunity to assess their own performance and to maintain their competence.
  2. Regulated members can be comfortable knowing that a high level of expertise, competence, and professional ethics is required throughout the profession.
  3. The public can rest assured that acupuncturists are committed to ensuring competence through professional development and can trust that acupuncturists are respected within the health care field.
  4. The College, as a regulator, has a responsibility to protect the public good. Having a CCP program helps ensure acupuncturists are adapting to a changing health care environment and contributes to quality in the acupuncture profession and public safety.
  5. The College can utilize it as a system to ensure they have a responsible, accountable, and formal means of assessing and reporting on the continuing competence of its members, as required by the HPA.

The CCP cycle runs from April 1 to March 31 of the following year.

CCP credits completed in a cycle cannot be carried forward to the following cycle.

For each 12-month CCP cycle, a General or Provisional registrant must:

  1. Identify at least 1 learning goal (max 10) prior to the start of a CCP cycle.
  2. Complete and report a minimum of 15 CCP credits/hours of learning activities throughout the CCP cycle.
  3. Complete learning summaries and reflections after achieving the learning goals.
  4. Keep supporting documents with respect the CCP for at least 5 years after the end of the CCP cycle.
For more detailed information on CCP requirements, refer to the Continuing Competency Procedure (linked below).
  • 1 hour of meaningful learning is equal to one 1 CCP credit.
  • CCP credits are earned by completing self-selected learning activities and/or college-directed learning activities.

Note 1: First-aid, CPR, sexual abuse, and sexual misconduct training are registration/renewal requirements; therefore, you cannot use them to fulfill your CCP requirements. Do not claim First-aid/CPR for CCP credits. Doing so will put your registration renewal (and ability to practice) at risk.

Note 2: CCP credits completed in a cycle cannot be carried forward to the following cycle.

College-Directed hours: learning activities assigned by the CAA. Each year, acupuncturists may be required to complete a minimum amount of learning hours that relate to assigned topics. These change every year.

Ensure that you check the College-directed Learning section of this webpage every year.

Self-Selected hours: any learning activity chosen by the acupuncturist (including formal programs). These must relate to the eight competencies identified in the Alberta Competency for Acupuncturists document (more info below). 

To be eligible for CCP credit, a self-selected learning activity must address one of the eight competencies identified in the Alberta Competency for Acupuncturists document (linked below). The most common topics are: 

Competency 1: Interpersonal Skills 

    • Patient communication
    • Therapeutic relationships
    • Professional boundaries
    • Communication in acupuncture

Competency 2: Professionalism

    • Informed consent
    • Patient privacy and confidentiality
    • Understanding acupuncture legislation and regulation

Competency 3: Practice Management

    • Clinical record keeping for acupuncturists
    • Proper charting
    • Practice management

Competency 4: Acupuncture Foundations

    • Five elements
    • Chinese medical classics
    • TCM constitution
    • Qi gong
    • Gua sha
    • Advanced channel theory

Competency 5: Fundamentals of Biomedicine

    • Red flags in acupuncture practice
    • Acupuncture anatomy
    • Commonly prescribed and over-the-counter medications
    • Fundamentals of biomedicine related to a specific category of dysfunctions/diseases (eg: allergies, musculo-skeletal conditions, infertility, etc.)

Competency 6: Acupuncture Diagnostics and Treatment

    • Specialized acupuncture style (eg: Master Tung, Japanese acupuncture, Five Element)
    • Acupuncture treatment for a specific category of dysfunctions/diseases (eg: lower back pain, anxiety, gynecological conditions, etc.)
    • Pulse diagnosis
    • Tongue diagnosis

Competency 7: Acupuncture Techniques

    • Moxibustion techniques
    • Cupping techniques
    • Tui na techniques
    • Electro-acupuncture techniques
    • Blood-letting techniques

Competency 8: Safety

    • Adverse event management
    • Infection prevention and control
    • Safety in acupuncture practice

The topics identified above are provided for members as a quick reference, but is not an exhaustive list. A topic that is not on the above list may still be eligible for CCP credits if it is addressed by the Alberta Competency Standard for Acupuncturists document (linked below). The document provides a more detailed breakdown of the eight competencies and background information as to how these competencies were determined. 

Note 1: Herbology only courses are not accepted by the College for CCP credits.

Note 2: First-aid/CPR are not part of the CCP program. Do not claim First-aid/CPR for CCP credits. Doing so will put your registration renewal (and ability to practice) at risk.

Examples of acceptable self-selected learning activities include:

  • Formal programs: online or in-person courses, seminars, workshops, presentations, lectures, conferences, etc.
  • Self-directed studies: reading books, journals, websites, etc.
  • Structured interactive activities: participation in study groups, peer review, etc.

Examples of acceptable supporting documents include:

  • Formal programs: certificate of completion, receipt, course materials, attendance record, or picture/screenshot of presentation slides.
  • Self-directed studies: screenshot of website, picture of book cover, copy of journal article, or learning notes.
  • Structured interactive activities: study material, presentation slides, or study/review notes.

For more detailed information on acceptable learning activities as well as acceptable supporting documents, refer to the Continuing Competency Procedure (linked below).

Each year, the College may propose learning activities that are related to a specific topic based on the College’s mandate to serve the public interest. As such, the topics assigned will vary year-to-year. You may need to complete minimum credits of college directed activities.

For 2023-24, there are no College-directed learning activities identified.

Note: First-aid, CPR, sexual abuse, and sexual misconduct training are registration/renewal requirements; therefore, you cannot use them to fulfill your CCP requirements. Doing so will put your registration renewal (and ability to practice) at risk.

An example of a completed CCP Form is available on our Member Portal Support Page.

Resources and support regarding the Member Portal and filling out your continuing competence form can be found on the Member Portal Support Page.

Q: I saw a website that claims it has courses that have been approved for College of Acupuncturists of Alberta CCP credits. Are all courses listed on these websites eligible for CCP credits?

A: Not necessarily. The unauthorized use of our logo may make it appear that the CAA has pre-approved or accredited courses from these organizations, but the College does not pre-approve or accredit courses.

The College:

  1. Is not in partnership with any organization that offers education courses.
  2. Does not permit any website offering education courses to use our name and/or logo on their website.
  3. Does not pre-approve or accredit courses.
  4. Only accepts courses for CCP credits that are within the scope of the eight competencies identified in the Alberta Competency Standard for Acupuncturists or is of a topic identified as a College-directed activity (ex: herbology-only content is not accepted).

If you see a website that is using our logo, please report it to us at [email protected].

Q: What time period do these activities cover?

A: The CCP includes activities that take place between April 1 to March 31 of the following year.

Q: If I recently registered with the College, how do I know how many CCP credits I am required to complete?

A: If you have been registered with the College for less than a year, CCP credit requirements are pro-rated as follows:

  1. Registered in April, May, or June  – 15 credits
  2. Registered in July, August, or September – 10 credits
  3. Registered in October, November, or December – 5 credits
  4. Registered in January, February, or March – 1 credit

Q: Will the CCP always require 15 credits per year?

A: Yes.

Q: If you have extra credits (more than 15 hours), can you carry the credits forward to next year?

A: No. Policy states that you cannot carry credits forward from year to year. The purpose of a continuing competence program is that members engage in professional development every year.

Q: Where do you upload certification documentation for first-aid and CPR?

A: First-aid and CPR are not part of your CCP program, so you do not need to upload these documents into your CCP form. Instead, first-aid and CPR are part of your registration renewal process. Once registration renewal opens, this will be part of the registration renewal form. Submitting first-aid/CPR towards CCP will put your registration renewal (and ability to practice) at risk.

Q: Are all reflections and learning summaries limited to 750 characters?

A: Yes, text should not exceed 750 characters (approximately 100 words) in all text boxes.

Q: Can we only click to submit if we’ve completed all requirements for the year?

A: Yes, the system will not allow you to submit if requirements have not been met. You can use the Save for Later button to save your progress prior to being ready for submission.

Q: If I take a 2-day course, and each day has 7 hours of learning, does it count as 14 hours?

A: Yes, if you take a 2-day course, and each day has 7 hours of learning, it counts as 14 hours of learning.

Q: Can I claim self study, like reading acupuncture books, for CCP credits?

A: Yes, reading books related to acupuncture is considered self-directed study.

Q: Can I claim the time spent reviewing the latest research on acupuncture techniques for CCP credits?

A: Yes, time spent reviewing the latest research on acupuncture techniques can be used towards CCP credits.

Q: Does participation in study groups count for CCP credits?

A: Yes, participation in study groups can count towards CCP credits. Please check the Continuing Competence Procedure (link below) for specifics regarding which activities can be used for CCP credits as well as what can be submitted as supporting documents.

Q: If I take a course that takes more than one year, can I use it as credit towards multiple years?

A: Yes, if a program is more than one year, you can break it down into sections and record the learning activities as you complete them. You must set a goal for each year and complete a learning summary and reflection for that goal.

Q: Can I claim teaching hours for CCP credits?

A: No, teaching hours cannot be used towards CCP credits.

Q: Can I claim CCP credits for topics that I will use for my business, but are outside the practice of acupuncture?

A: No, you cannot claim CCP credits for learning something outside of an acupuncturist’s scope of practice. Your learning must enable you to maintain or enhance competency as an acupuncturist. For example, an aromatherapy course that explains the chemical properties and therapeutic effects of essential oils does not count towards your CCP credits. You may be able to earn credits for a course that closely integrates acupuncture theories with aromatherapy. Please contact the College if you have any questions regarding if something is eligible for CCP credits or not.

Q: What would supporting documents be if courses were not purchased individually so there is no invoice for the specific course you are using towards CCP credits?

A: There are various supporting documents that the College will accept. Some examples include study notes, a screen shot of the course, and course materials that were provided to you.

More information on acceptable supporting documents can be found in Appendix A of the Continuing Competence Procedure document (link below).

Q: Can goals remain the same from year to year?

A: Yes, in certain circumstances, the direction of your goal can remain the same in multiple years. However, the specifics of the goal, learning summary, reflection, and activity should all be different. The purpose of the CCP is to be learning something new each year.

Q: If multiple people participate in a seminar, can they all use the same goal and learning summary?

A: No, multiple people cannot intentionally use the same goal, learning summary and reflection. The intent of the Continuing Competence Program (CCP) is for each member to continue to learn throughout their profession. Therefore, each individual person is required to determine their own goal and to reflect on their own learning.

Q: Where do you find information regarding College-directed activities for the current CCP cycle?

A: Information on College-directed activities for the current CCP cycle can be found on the College’s website on the Continuing Competence webpage. 

Q: This year (in 2022-23), College-directed activities are not required and are only recommended. Will that change in the future?

A: This year, College-directed activities are optional. However, College-directed activities will vary from year to year. In future years, there may be mandatory requirements for College-directed activities. Information about the College-directed activities will be made available on the College’s website on April 1 of each continuing competence cycle/registration year.

Q: Does the College provide CCP lecture or learning activities?

A: No, the College does not provide CCP lecture or learning activities at this time. (Question answered in 2023).

Q: Does College-directed activities mean that the College runs a course for those topics?

A: No, College-directed activities does not mean that the College runs courses for those topics. College-directed means they are course topics chosen by the College on a yearly basis that you can use towards CCP credits.

Still have questions?

If the answer to your question is not here, you can contact the College at [email protected], 780-466-7787, or join our Facebook community.

A Note of Caution: The College Does Not Pre-approve or Accredit Courses

It has come to our attention that there are websites currently offering courses for CCP (or mislabelling them as CEU) credits while using the CAA name and logo. This may make it appear that the College has pre-approved or accredited this organization’s course offerings for credits towards our Continuing Competence Program.

Please be aware that the College:

  1. Is not in partnership with any organization that offers education courses.
  2. Does not permit any website offering education courses to use our name and/or logo on their website.
  3. Does not pre-approve or accredit courses.
  4. Only accepts courses for CCP credits that are within the scope of the eight competencies identified in the Alberta Competency Standard for Acupuncturists or is of a topic identified as a College-directed activity (ex: herbology-only content is not accepted).

If you see a website that is using our logo, please report it to us at [email protected].

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