A Continuing Competence Program (CCP) is a system for assessing, maintaining and monitoring ongoing knowledge, skills, attitudes and judgments of a professional practitioner. It is a way of ensuring a high level of expertise, competence and appropriate ethics in performing the job.
Competency is defined as the quality of being functionally proficient in performing the tasks and assuming the role of a specified position with the requisite knowledge, ability, capability, skill, judgment, attitudes and values. The Alberta Health Professions Act (2000) defines competence as the “combined knowledge, skills, attitudes and judgment required to provide professional services.” A Competency Profile is a detailed and specific description of the knowledge, skills, behaviors and critical judgments inherent in the role, trade or profession.
There are three good reasons to develop a Continuing Competence Program. Firstly, every profession is responsible to serve the public in a competent and ethical manner. The College of Hearing Aid Practitioners of Alberta (CHAPA), in their regulatory capacity, have a mandate and responsibility to protect the public good, specifically, through ensuring the competence of their member practitioners.
Secondly, each professional has the responsibility to assess his/her own performance and to maintain his/her competence. Hearing Aid Practitioners have a long and proud history of providing safe and quality services, and using continuing education to stay current and improve services.
Thirdly, the Alberta Health Professions Act requires all regulated health professions to have a responsible, accountable and formal means of assessing and reporting the continuing competence of its members. All regulated health professions in Alberta are required to establish a Continuing Competence Program, to set up a Competency Committee and report to the government.
A Continuing Competence Program is an important component in ensuring that each health care profession is credible, useful and respected within the health care field, and trusted by the public.
Applications and benefits
An effective Continuing Competence Program has the following applications and benefits:
1. Record, track and manage the competency data of practitioners.
2. Enable regulatory bodies and governments to monitor the levels and changes in competencies among the members of their professions.
3. Identify potential training, upgrading and professional development requirements for the practitioners.
4. Provide data for reviewing and revising key performance indicators and standards.
5. Reduce the risk and liability to practicing professionals by showing that they have the appropriate training and competencies.
6. Provide additional data to educational institutions to assist them in reviewing and revising their programming for practitioners.
7. Provide up-to-date reports to government and CHAPA about a profession in its jurisdiction, e.g., numbers, characteristics, competency levels, progress, etc.
8. Provide data to the regulatory bodies and its members for possible research into practitioner effectiveness, resource planning and other topics relevant to maximizing the effectiveness and efficiency of the profession.