Quality Practice e-Newsletter Issue 2

Workplace Standards FAQs

Where do the Workplace Standards fit into the Quality Practice program?

The Workplace Standards Element is one of the five Elements supporting physical therapist practice and the delivery of quality physical therapy care. You can see more about these Elements on our Quality Practice webpage and in Issue 1 of our Quality Practice e-Newsletter.

What is the purpose of the Workplace Standards?

Evidence shows that the work environment is a significant contributor to quality practice.

The Workplace Standards will guide you to identify possible risks within your workplace and suggest supports to mitigate any risks to quality practice in the work environments where you provide service.

For example, you may be asked to indicate whether a workplace policy exists and is implemented to assure retention and disposal of physical therapy clinical records as described in Practice Standard 8, parts (o) and (r).

Educating you and your employers (e.g., managers, employers, practice leads, clinic owners) about what creates a quality workplace will contribute to ensuring a supportive practice environment and also contribute to the health of each physical therapist – two features of a “competent physical therapist” as defined by the College.

How will I use the Workplace Standards?

The College aims to help you assess aspects of your own workplace against a set of quality indicators.

You will answer a series of questions related to your own practice and your own workplace, and identify for yourself where areas of risk may exist – similar to how questions are asked in the Annual Self-Report.

You will be encouraged to complete these questions with your workplace colleagues to facilitate open dialogue about the College’s expectations of registrants. This is particularly important for those of you whose managers, employers, or clinic owners are not physical therapists themselves and therefore may not be aware of your regulatory obligations.

Based on answers provided, relevant resources will be provided to support you to discuss any concerns or areas for improvement with your workplace team. Ensuring that workplaces are also invested in registrant competence is key to the College’s goal to facilitate engagement within the profession.

Similar to the supports offered during the Annual Self Report, you will receive resources about any areas of risk to compliance with regulatory requirements, within your own workplace based on your answers to the questions posed during completion of the Workplace Standards Report.

Will the College know my answers to these questions?

No. Similar to the answers to the questions in the Annual Self-Report, the College will collect and analyze only the aggregate data from registrants. This data will inform the development of relevant resources and supports by the College related to practice environments.

What indicators are being proposed?

The Standards will fall into one of three broad categories:

1) Indicators about the College’s Practice Standards – to ensure that you and your workplace(s) are aware of College regulations and expectations in such areas as clinical records management, documentation, supervision, telerehabilitation, infection prevention and control, confidentiality, privacy and security, and others.

2) Indicators about the College Bylaws and Code of Ethical Conduct – focused on professionalism, professional responsibility, ethics, communication, and quality improvement.

3) Indicators related to registrant health, wellness, and fitness to practice – focussed on assisting registrants in identifying risks within their workplace environments that may lead to decreased engagement or eventual burnout, such as workplace culture, registrant engagement, and workplace engagement.

The process to develop indicators will involve a Workplace Standards Advisory Committee working with an external consultant.

Who will be selected to join the Workplace Standards Advisory Committee and our consultant?

We are looking for six to eight individuals with a mix of competencies, qualities, and representation. View the Terms of Reference (PDF).

What is required of Workplace Standards Advisory Committee members?

You will work with the consultant between early June 2021 and May 2022.

You will be asked to attend at least six meetings in that time (most likely all virtually) and be responsible to actively participate in committee discussions to draft the Workplace Standards and indicators, and to evaluate results from the pilot of those standards.

You will review results from registrant consultations and the Workplace Standards pilot process and contribute to any necessary changes to the indicators based on those results.

Committee members will receive an honorarium for each meeting attended.

Are you interested in being on this Committee? If so, please complete the online application form by May 24! Contact us at qap@cptbc.org if you have any questions.

What are the next steps for the development of Workplace Standards?

  • Step 1 (May / June) – Establish a Workplace Standards Advisory Committee
  • Step 2 (June-Oct) – A consultant will work with the committee to draft the standards for physical therapy contexts
  • Step 3 (Fall / Winter) – Pilot the standards and resources with select registrants and revise the tool based on input
  • Step 4 (Spring 2022) – Include the Workplace Standards Report with the Annual Self Report at registration renewal 2022

Will I receive updates on the development of this program?

Yes, watch for updates in upcoming issues of this Quality Practice e-Newsletter series over the coming year.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact qap@cptbc.org.

Next Issue: Before the End of June

Stay tuned for Issue 3 of this Quality Practice e-Newsletter series – in your inbox before the end of June – which will introduce the Workplace Standards Advisory Committee members and describe the process to be taken to consult all registrants about the proposed Framework.