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What are regulated occupations?

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Regulated occupations have legal requirements or restrictions with regard to licensing, certification or registration. They are professions (e.g. forester, lawyer, nurse, teacher) and trades (e.g. electrician, heavy equipment technician, plumber, welder) that are controlled by law to protect the public.

In Alberta, there are different types of legislation or regulations governing regulated occupations. In some regulated occupations, you must be registered with the appropriate professional regulatory organization or, in a trade, with Apprenticeship and Industry Training. In other regulated occupations, you must be registered if you perform restricted activities or use a protected title.

Restricted activities

Restricted activities are tasks specified in provincial government legislation or regulations. In health occupations, restricted activities are set out in Schedule 7.1 of Alberta's Government Organization Act. (pdf)

Protected title

To use a title that is protected in legislation or regulations, you must be registered with the appropriate professional regulatory organization or, in a trade, with Apprenticeship and Industry Training. You may not have to be registered to work in these occupations. For example, you may be employed as a marine biologist or a wildlife biologist, but you may call yourself a Professional Biologist only if you are a registered member of the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists.

In Alberta's Health Professions Act, there are restrictions on who may use the titles doctor, surgeon, pathologist, oncologist or nurse, and the abbreviation Dr. There also are restrictions on the way you may use the phrase "regulated health professional" and the words "registered" and "regulated" in reference to a health occupation.

For information about Alberta legislation or regulations governing particular occupations, see the appropriate occupational description. You can also search for and view legislation or regulations on the Government of Alberta Queen's Printer website or purchase fully formatted copies (in Word or WordPerfect) for immediate download to your computer or delivery by mail.

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