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Medical Matters: how is your CPSA annual fee used?

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May Messenger 2022, Medical Matters | Posted May 12, 2022
Read time: 2 minutes

By Tracy Simons, Chief Financial Officer

As physicians and physician assistants in Alberta, you are required to pay an annual fee to maintain registration with CPSA. What you might not know is how exactly your fee is used.

Essentially, your annual fee is an investment. It allows us to offer many of the important programs and initiatives that support you throughout your career. We take pride in being good stewards of our resources and want to be transparent about how your annual fee is allocated within CPSA.


A multi-coloured pie chart depicting the 2022 allocation of regulated member annual fee by percentage
*net of program fees collected


How are your fees used in each department?

Over the course of their careers, many physicians will receive a complaint and it’s important we have funding to address those complaints appropriately. Since each complaint is unique, having adequate resources provides a variety of resolution options, ranging anywhere from dismissal to informal resolution to investigation. Funding also gives us the means to explore new approaches to our complaints process, to make it more efficient and inclusive for everyone involved.

With the funds allocated to our Continuing Competence department, we’re able to offer quality assurance and quality improvement programs that provide educational opportunities for regulated members and equip them with resources to provide high-quality care to Albertans. For example, annual fee funding supports our Physician Practice Improvement Program (PPIP), as well as MD Snapshot and other prescribing resources that are a critical part of safe and competent care.

Research conducted by our Analytics, Innovation & Research (AIR) team helps us support quality medical practice with evidence-based research and evaluation. Our Research & Evaluation Unit (REVU) supports every branch of the organization, from Continuing Competence to the Physician Health Monitoring Program (PHMP).

Although internal departments also receive funding, a large portion of that is directed towards ensuring regulated members can connect with CPSA. Our Information Management & Privacy department keeps our information secure and maintains a number of programs such as CPSA’s online Portal, allowing regulated members to access the resources they need. Our Communications team keeps our website up to date and supports all other departments in making sure regulated members are aware of any program changes and updated guidance in a timely, clear fashion. Last, but certainly not least, our Administration team manages our finances, ensuring all areas of CPSA receive the necessary funding to support physicians as they care for Albertans.

We have a number of controls in place to guide our spending. CPSA Council sets our overall direction, and is responsible for approving the business plan and budget each year. This approval process ensures our finances are allocated appropriately to meet our mandate. Council delegates authority for financial oversight to the Finance & Audit Committee which reviews our financial results compared to budget each quarter. In addition, an external accounting firm conducts a financial audit of CPSA each year, and the audited financial statements are brought to Council for approval in May. Fiscal responsibility is of the utmost importance and these are just a few of the measures that build trust and ensure transparency with Council, the profession and Albertans.

Headshot of a woman wearing a red blazer and red classes smiling Tracy Simons, CPA, CA (she/her) joined CPSA’s team in 1996 as the Director of Operations and moved into her current role as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in fall 2019. Tracy works closely with CPSA’s leadership team to develop and implement business plans, budgets, forecasts and strategic plans. She also oversees risk management, infrastructure and office administration, among other areas.

2 Responses

  1. Albert says:

    Hi Tracy,
    As a physician I pay an annual fee and my professional corporation pays an annual fee. What is the justification for the professional corporation fee on top of the annual member fee?

    A few decades ago when I asked this question I was told that we (CPSA) charge that fee simply because we can. The CPSA rep at the time told me that there wasn’t any legitimate justification for the fee and certainly not the amount.

    Although in principle I disagreed with the CPSA charging a PC fee on top of a member fee, I really appreciated the honesty of the the CPSA rep so I felt a lot better paying it that year 🙂

  2. Tracy Simons says:

    Hi Albert,
    Thank you for taking the time to read The Messenger. The professional corporation fee contributes to the maintenance and operation costs associated with the Professional Corporation Renewal Information Form (PC RIF), which is maintained by our internal Information Management team. The fee not only allows us to operate the form, but it also helps make the renewal process as smooth as possible. In addition, the professional corporation fee contributes to the overall costs of our registration program, including support for inquiries from regulated members. Take care.