The Physical Therapy Act
1945 - The Physical Therapy Act was passed as a result of recommendations in the Sigerist Report. This report identified "no regulation concerning the practice of physiotherapy so that the public had no means of ascertaining who was qualified".
The Act created the Saskatchewan Physical Therapy Association (S.P.T.A.) as the regulatory body for Physiotherapy in Saskatchewan. This was the first physiotherapy licensing legislation in Canada. The Act originally included masseurs and physical therapists.
- Defined Physiotherapy and scope of practice.
- Established a licensing mechanism.
- Defined who was eligible to be licensed.
- Made it an offense for any unlicensed physio to practice in Saskatchewan.
- Created an executive body known as the "Council of Physical Therapists".
- Established an ethical code of practice.
- Laid down a mechanism for disciplinary proceedings.
Physical Therapists Act Amendments
There were several amendments to the Physical Therapists Act over the years. Of particular note was in 1949 there was introduction of entry based on being a "member in good standing" in CPA. In 1954 an amendment completed the final disassociation of masseurs and physical therapists.
The SPTA was the sole physiotherapy organization for 15 years, and as such assumed some of the functions of a professional organization as well as a licensing body.
In 1960 the first local association of CPA was established in Saskatchewan. This developed into the South Saskatchewan District, but took some time for CPA to develop its role.
1972 - 1974 There was a move to examine the respective function of the regulatory and professional bodies. In 1975 the SPTA started a process to review and revise the Act to separate the functions of the two bodies. It was felt the protection of the public and the advancement of the profession were contradictory in one organization. It was at this time that a suggestion was made that the name be changed to the Saskatchewan College of Physical Therapists, because it "does not suggest a group of people associated for the furtherance of their own interests". This change was brought about in 1984 with the new Physical Therapy Act.
Since that time there has been considerable effort put into clearly separating the functions of the two bodies, and ensuring the College attend to those functions prescribed by the Act:
- Admission to practice
- Maintenance of standards
- Investigation of complaints against members and discipline
- Prevention of unregistered persons from practicing or calling themselves physical therapists
CPA and College relationship
More recently there have been several issues that overlap between the CPA and the College. Some of these issues have been dealt with completely separately, some with discussion or a parallel process, and some jointly. In 1992 the College underwent an operational review to identify ways to streamline operations and improve efficiency and effectiveness. Part of this was the suggestion that the College hold a Strategic Planning Session, which is done annually after the A.G.M. The subject of CPA/College relationship was raised during the June 1993 Strategic Planning Session. This issue will continue to evolve as roles change and clarified. Also as a result of this Operational Review Council established the position of Executive Director. This position was filled in March, 1997. November, 1997 saw the establishment of an office accessible to College members as well as the public.
The Provincial Legislature passed and proclaimed a new Physical Therapists Act, 1998. In 2012, the Regulatory, Professional Incorporation, Adminstrative and Fee bylaws were updated and approved. Practice Guidelines for Members were developed to incorporate previous policy and position statements.