Can we continue to practise without joining the professional order?
No. In Quebec, professions that incur a risk of injury to clients must be overseen by a professional order to be considered legal. In the past, the practice of athletic therapy was tolerated due to procedures that were undertaken with the OPQ, and the profession was then granted an authorization regulation sponsored by the Collège des médecins du Québec. This temporary measure was set up until the profession could be fully overseen by a professional order. If these procedures had not been undertaken, practising athletic therapy would have been illegal.
Can we retain our current oversight mechanisms?
No. When the Collège des médecins du Québec extended our authorization regulation in 2016, they informed us that they did not intend to apply for another extension this year. Under the current regulation, the CMQ is responsible for the acts carried out by athletic therapists in Quebec. The organization is eager to dissociate itself from this responsibility, and believes strongly in establishing a professional order for athletic therapists in the province.
How much more time will it take to create the professional order?
In the best case scenario, it will take one to two years. We cannot account for administrative processing times once the project is in the hands of the government.
Will annual dues payable to the Order include those paid to the CATA and CTSQ?
No. The new dues will be in addition to these others. However, the amounts payable to the CATA and CTSQ will have to be adjusted to reflect the responsibilities that are taken over by the professional order.
Will the Order help us gain access to new reserved acts, such as the “dry needling” that is practised by physiotherapists, or medical imaging referencing?
First, the “reserved acts” or services will remain the same as those set out in the authorization regulation. However, the professional order may request that the government reserve new acts. This is a separate procedure that can only be undertaken by a professional order. As a result, until the Order has been officially launched, we will maintain the reserved acts in their current form.
Will the Order bolster our visibility with insurance companies and other health care professionals?
Yes. When new professional orders are created, they generally receive good media coverage. Our Order will also run advertisements and promote the need to seek athletic therapists who are members in good standing. However, the Order will not promote the practice of athletic therapy itself. The Conseil interprofessionnel du Québec (CIQ), which oversees all professional orders in the province, will be responsible for this matter. Other professional orders in the field of health care will also be consulted, as they were when we designed our authorization regulation.
Will the Order help us reserve our title, especially in this environment in which so many others seem to be calling themselves athletic therapists? For example, will we be provided with an official badge that no one else can have that identifies us as exclusive athletic therapists?
Absolutely. The professional order will grant permit holders a reserved title – that of Athletic Therapist. No one else will be legally allowed to use this title and the Order will have the power to enforce this restriction. At the present time, we have no legal recourse over this situation, and the only tool that we have at our disposal is educating guilty parties about the infractions that they commit and referring them to the authorization regulation.
As far as creating an ID card for permit holders, we will present the idea to the order once it has been established.
Why has the CTSQ chosen not to have the CATA certification exam be a requirement?
CTSQ has not decided anything on that matter. Professional recognition is a provincial matter. Therefore, once regulated under the law of the province, a profession cannot abide by a national association regulation. Just like any other professions in Quebec, the title needs to be obtained from a provincial body.
AT that already have their CAT (C) title will be able to use it in Quebec, if and only if they are members of the Order, however. Also, as we stated in the newsletter, CATA might decide to change its recognition process for Quebec members once under the order umbrella. These discussions are happening at the moment within their association.