Under provincial legislation (in Alberta the HPA), health professions are organized into regulatory bodies called “colleges.” These colleges are delegated powers and authorities for self-governance. Regulatory colleges are not post-secondary institutions.

Provincial legislation requires that colleges carry out governance responsibilities in a manner that protects and serves the public interest. Health profession colleges do this by:

· Setting entry requirements (including required education, practical training, and examinations);

· Identifying services provided by regulated members, setting standards for professional practice;

· Setting continuing competency requirements; and

· Investigating complaints about regulated members and imposing disciplinary actions if required.

Regulatory colleges are not professional associations. Professional associations usually operate to represent the interests of their members and to advance the profession.