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College Privacy Statement

The College of Registered Nurses of Alberta (College) is committed to maintaining the accuracy, confidentiality and security of the personal information collected from or about any individual.  Wherever possible, the College endeavours to store and process personal information within Canada. The collection, use, disclosure, and protection of personal information by the College is guided by legislation including the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) and the Health Professions Act (HPA).  This Privacy Statement outlines the general principles the College follows while handling personal information.

Personal information is any information about an identifiable individual. Personal information collected by the College may include:

  • Personal information (home address, telephone, email address and other identifying information).
  • Education and work history including references and security clearances.
  • Opinions or evaluations about an individual.
  • Financial information including banking and credit card information.
  • Information arising from complaints against registrants (which could include health information). 

Collection, use and disclosure of business contact information (for example position name or title, business telephone number, business address, and business e mail address) is generally not subject to privacy legislation as long as the business contact information is collected, used, or disclosed to enable the individual to be contacted in relation to the individual’s business responsibilities.

As a professional regulatory body under the HPA, the College collects, uses and discloses personal information for the purposes of regulating registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and employing individuals to carry out the duties and functions of College. More specifically, College:

  • Collects, uses and discloses personal information to carry out issuing, renewing and maintaining permits, providing information on standards and how they apply, and acting on complaints of unprofessional conduct as authorized by law (statutes, regulations or legislative instruments).
  • May collect, retain and disclose personal information gathered from any individual who contacts the College for information.
  • Collects and uses registrant contact information to communicate with registrants regarding various regulatory matters (for example, permit renewal, continuing competence requirements, and the acting on complaints).
  • Collects, uses and discloses personal employee information to establish and manage employment relationships, including the administration of employee benefits.
  • May collect, use and disclose information for other purposes as authorized by law without consent. For example, the College may use or disclose personal information for the purposes of an investigation or a legal proceeding.

Personal Information collected by the College is used internally by the College to carry out its role. The College may grant third party service providers (consultants and contractors) with access to personal information if they are providing a service to help the College carry out its duties. For example, information technology specialists may be given access to personal information to help maintain the College’s online register.

The College collects Personal information with consent and directly from the person to whom the information belongs to unless otherwise authorized by law. The College collects uses and discloses personal information for multiple purposes that are consistent with the role of the College. The College may contract with organizations located outside of Canada to collect or store personal information, and in the event this occurs the College will notify the individuals impacted. The following provides a non-exclusive list of how the College may collect, use, and disclose personal information:

Permits – applying, renewing and maintaining

The College collects, uses and discloses personal information about individuals to assess application for registration and renewal, and to issue practice permits and regulate registered nurses as outlined by the HPA. The College:

  • Collects information from individuals, in writing, through discussions and interviews, website forms, and other electronic processes, to enable an individual to complete an application for registration or to maintain and renew a practice permit.
  • Collects personal information through references or evaluations.
  • Collects information about individuals from other jurisdictions regarding the status of that individual’s practice permit as part of the national jurisdiction notification process.
  • Uses personal information to assess where an applicant meets initial registration or renewal requirements and in instances where a permit has previously been suspended or revoked, whether the permit should be reinstated.
  • Discloses registrant information on the register publicly available on its website.
  • Discloses information related to the status of an individual’s permit to other jurisdictions, as required, either through automatic notification of changes to permit status without consent when permitted by law, or as requested by an individual with their consent.

Providing information on standards and how they apply

The College collects, uses and discloses personal information for the purposes of responding to individuals that seek clarification and guidance on standards, code of ethics and how they apply to registrants. The College:

  • Collects information during this process that, if required by law, may be used by the College to determine permit eligibility.

Acting on complaints of unprofessional conduct

The College may collect, use, and disclose personal information about individuals through acting on a complaint of unprofessional conduct on behalf of the Complaints Director and to carry out investigations and conduct proceedings as outlined by the HPA. The College:

  • May collect personal information about registrants, witnesses, patients or others from complainants, employers, witnesses or directly from the individuals. This may include health information.
  • Publishes notifications and findings of conduct hearing tribunals on its website, unless ordered otherwise by the Hearing Tribunal. The College may withhold certain personal information in compliance with privacy legislation.
  • Disciplinary hearings are open to the public unless the hearing tribunal orders otherwise. Personal information about registrants or individuals may be disclosed during these proceedings.
  • Discloses the suspension or cancellation of a registrant’s permit on the register and to employers or other regulated bodies.
  • Collects information during the complaints process that may be used, by the College, to determine permit eligibility.

Register information

The HPA requires that the College maintain a register of regulated members of the profession and publish the register on its website. The College is required to publish the following (as is applicable) about each registrant as required by the HPA section 33.3, and includes:

  • Full name;
  • Registration number;
  • Practice specialization recognized by College;
  • Whether the registrant is authorized to provide a restricted activity not normally provided by registrants of College; 
  • Whether the registrant is not authorized to provide a restricted activity that is normally provided by registrants of College;
  • Status of the registrant’s practice permit, including:
    • whether the registrant’s permit has been suspended or cancelled through a registration or complaints process and decision;
    • whether the registrant’s permit has been suspended or cancelled or has had conditions placed on it as a result of a decision of unprofessional conduct based in whole or in part on sexual abuse or sexual misconduct;
    • whether the registrant’s registration is restricted to a period of time and, if so, the period of time;
    • any conditions imposed on the registrant’s practice permit.

Prospective, current and former employees and Council/Committee Members

The College collects, uses and discloses personal information about individuals when recruiting, vetting and employing individuals or for filling vacancies on Council or its committees.

The College may collect, use and disclose personal employee information (personal information of a current or former employee) without the consent of the employee for the sole purpose of establishing, maintaining and terminating an employee or volunteer-work relationship.

The College retains records containing personal information collected through issuing and renewing permits, acting on unprofessional conduct complaints and employment processes only for as long as reasonably required to fulfill the College’s role. Once personal information is no longer needed, the information may be destroyed through physical or electronic means, or rendered non-identifying (the removal of any information that would identify an individual). The retention periods outlined below generally apply, however, exceptional circumstances may require a longer retention period of specific information.

Permits – applying, renewing and maintaining

  • Registrant files are retained for the lifetime of an individual’s registration with College plus eleven years.
  • Unsuccessful applicants are retained for eleven years following the last activity on the application.
  • Incomplete applications are retained for two years following the last activity on the application.

Providing information on standards and how they apply 

  • Request files are retained for ten years following the last activity about the request.

Acting on complaints of unprofessional conduct

  • Case files (files resulting from a complaint against a registrant) are retained for lifetime of an individual’s registration plus eleven years.
  • Hearing records of decision are retained for lifetime of an individual’s registration with the College plus eleven years.
  • Permanent records include:
    • Complaint resolution agreement (disciplinary and non-disciplinary
    • Dismissal notices
    • Hearing orders
    • Appeal decisions (Complains resolution Committee and Appeals Committee Council)
    • Letters of Complaint

Prospective, current and former employees and Council/Committee Members

  • Employee files are retained for six years following the termination of employment.
  • Employee pension information is permanent for members of the pension plan.
  • Employee information for payroll purposes is stored in the United States.
  • Recruitment files are retained for up to seven years.

The College takes protecting personal information seriously and employs technological, physical and administrative safeguards to prevent any unauthorized access, use, disclosure modification or loss of personal information.

For further information on the College’s policies practices in relation to its use of organizations outside of Canada and their ability to collect, use, and disclose your personal information please contact the College’s Privacy Officer as listed at the end of this Privacy Statement.

Despite safeguards employed by the College, data breaches may occur where personal information is accidently or unlawfully accessed, disclosed, or lost (a “data breach”). When a data breach occurs and a real risk of significant harm arises from the breach, the College is legally obligated to report the breach to the Alberta Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner. In accordance with PIPA or any other applicable privacy legislation, we will also notify the individuals who have been directly affected by the data breach and the circumstances of the breach.

Individuals may contact the College to seek access to the personal information within the custody and control of the College, or information about how their personal information is being used and disclosed by the College. These access rights are subject to lawful restriction. For example, the College may withhold access to personal information where it may also reveal the personal information of other individuals.

The College makes every reasonable effort to ensure that personal information is accurate and complete. Individuals may also contact the College to seek the correction of their personal information.

The College will respond to all access and correction requests in accordance with the timelines outlined in PIPA. Requests for access and correction should be set out in writing with sufficient detail on the access or correction being sought and delivered to the College’s Privacy Officer. The College may contact the applicant to seek additional clarification.

In addition to PIPA, the College is required to adhere to other privacy-related statutes like Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) which sets out restrictions on an organizations ability to send commercial electronic messages (CEMs). CEMs (including emails, text messages, and instant messages) encourage the recipient’s participation in commercial activities. Electronic messages relating solely to regulatory activities are not subject to CASL.

The College will generally seek either express or implied consent before a CEM is sent out to an individual, including all registrants. The College will rely on “opt-in” mechanisms to gather consent for the purposes of CASL. Every CEM sent by the College will contain an unsubscribe mechanism to allow the recipient to stop receiving CEMs in the future.

The College has appointed a Privacy Officer who oversees its personal information handling practices. The Privacy Officer’s duties include:

  • Developing and reviewing internal procedures to protect personal information.
  • Ensuring all employees are trained on privacy best practices and are aware of the importance of safeguarding any personal information that they have access to.
  • Ensuring all personal data breaches, inquiries and complaints relating to privacy are appropriately handled; and
  • Ensuring the appropriate contractual commitments are in place for third-party service providers with whom College shares personal information.

Questions about this Privacy Statement and concerns about how the College has handled your personal information can be forwarded to the privacy officer for review and resolution via the form in the footer of this website.