Pursuant to the Health Profession Act, College’s are funded through membership fees. 

The annual registration fee for regulated members of the College is $1200. A late fee of $400 is applied to registration renewal fees if renewal is completed after March 31.

Information regarding pro-rated renewal fees as well as other types of fees can be found in the College’s Fee Schedule on our Governance Documents page under “Operations Policies and Procedures”.

How does the College set its fees?

There are many factors that determine a regulatory body’s fees. The major factors are:

Number of Regulated Members

All College’s have the same regulatory obligations, regardless of their size. This means that your College has the same expectations and requirements as College’s with much higher membership numbers (such as the College of Paramedics [~8,800 members as of 2023]). With more regulated members, costs and expenses can be spread over more individuals. As of 2024, our College has just over 950 regulated members.

Compliance of the Profession and Cooperation with the College

The higher the overall, proactive compliance with regulatory requirements, the less programming is needed from the regulator to ensure the public interest is protected.  When there is moderate to low overall cooperation with the regulator, more programming and monitoring of the profession is needed to ensure protection of the public interest.

Volume and Complexity of Complaints

The volume and complexity of complaints is a major driver of regulatory costs.

There are legal limitations on the College’s ability to recover costs of discipline from regulated members who are found guilty of professional misconduct.

Reserved Funds

For College’s to remain financially responsible, they require financial reserves. For example, if there is a year that the College sees an influx of professional conduct complaints, there needs to be money set aside to properly address them. The Council provides direction on the amount of reserves required to ensure sustainability.

ADDRESSING MYTHS: The average income of the regulated members of a College is not considered a factor in setting fees. Neither is their scope of practice. Rather, fees are set to ensure the organization can cover its operational costs to fulfill regulatory requirements as set out by government.

Why was there a fee increase in 2022?

In 2021, the College found itself in a negative financial position due to an influx of Professional Conduct costs. The College engaged an external and independent organization (HGA) to investigate how this happened and what was required for the College to become financially healthy and remain that way into the future. HGA determined that a fee increase to $1,200 was necessary to ensure the continued financial health of the College.

What can I do as an acupuncturist to help keep fees low?

Adhere to College deadlines.

Dealing with late filings costs more than the College can recover, even after charging penalties.

Regularly examine your compliance with the Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice and other College rules and directives.

Violations of standards are harmful to the public and it is expensive for the College to manage complaints.

Adhere to the College’s Continuing Competence requirements.

Failure to take the Continuing Competence Program seriously poses a risk to the public. Acupuncturists who are diligent in engaging in continuing competence activities are more likely to keep up to date with competently engaging in their profession. Overall, this results in less complaints of professional misconduct.

In addition, coaching, monitoring, and discipline of repeated non-compliant professionals takes a significant amount of resources from the College. 

Cultivate your regulatory compliance mindset by:

  • Reading all communications from the College.
  • Taking your continuing competence seriously and engaging in self-reflective practice.
  • Understanding and addressing your biases and risks in practice.
  • Refreshing yourself on modern ethical standards in healthcare delivery.
  • Expanding your perspectives by serving on a committee or council of the College or another regulatory college.
  • Staying up to date with standards and always following them.
  • Orient your practice to patient safety that includes adapting your awareness for social and cultural values regarding professional boundaries.
  • Engaging in ethical, patient centered care and evidence-based practice.

Take responsibility for accessing and properly displaying your practice permit.

Printing and mailing out practice permits to all registered acupuncturists on an annual basis is costly. Not only because of the materials required, but for the high administrative burden required to complete this task after every renewal or registration. The College has determined that trusting our regulated members to ensure their practice permit is made available according to legislative requirements helps keep fees as low as possible.

Where can I see how the College spends its money?

Our Annual Reports include our audited financial statements and are published on our website.

The College is expected by government to be properly resourced and fiscally responsible. Every year, audited financial statements are produced by professional auditors who conduct a comprehensive audit of the College. Through our Annual Reports, these statements are filed with the government and tabled in the legislature.

College’s are not required to hold AGM’s. Instead, the public has access to our financial information through the Annual Reports published on our website.

Other health regulators post their financial statements in their annual reports, as well.  If you are interested in how other regulators manage their budgets, you are encouraged to look at other college’s annual reports.

What about insurance and association costs?

The College determines the type and amount of insurance required to ensure public safety. It does not have authority to influence these costs.

As with all regulated professions, professional associations have no affiliation with a regulatory College. Therefore, the College does not set or influence the fee of joining an association. Membership in an association is voluntary.

A note on massage therapist fees and other unregulated professions: According to our recent surveys, there is a high percentage of our regulated members who are also massage therapists. This may make it tempting to compare our College’s fees to those of the Massage Therapist Association of Alberta. It is important to realize that the massage therapy profession is not regulated. Unregulated professions do not have to satisfy the requirements set out through Alberta legislation. College and association costs are determined by very different factors.

To learn more about the programs and services your fees fund to enable the College to meet government requirements, watch this video that details What We Do.

Watch our Colleges and Associations: Our History and Who We Are Today video to learn more about the difference between your College and your Association.

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