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Centennial 2010
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Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta

PRIVACY POLICY
November 2013

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta [Institute] is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of personal information of members of the public and registrants of the Institute.  In this policy, personal information means information that reveals a distinctive trait about or helps to identify an individual and is not available in the public domain.  It does not include business contact information.

The Institute is responsible for personal information under its control and has designated a Privacy Officer as the individual who will ensure compliance with this policy.

The Institute will comply with the requirements of the Personal Information Protection Act c.P-6.5 [PIPA], and the Regulated Accounting Profession Act c. R-12, RSA 2000 [RAPA] and will use fair and reasonable practices to meet its obligations under PIPA and RAPA.

This policy and additional information are available on request by contacting our office by telephone 1‑800-232-9406, by fax at 780-425-8766, by e-mail at privacy@icaa.ab.ca or website, www.albertaCAs.ca.

RAPA prescribes certain information that must be disclosed in order to protect the public interest.  As well, RAPA prescribes that personal information obtained in the course of administering Parts 3, 4, 5 and 6 of RAPA (Registration, Practice Review, Complaints Inquiry Process, and Appeals and Court Enforcement of Decisions, respectively) must be kept confidential unless there is authorization for disclosure of the information in RAPA, the Chartered Accountants Regulation, bylaws, Council Resolutions or rules of professional conduct.  Except for the above situations, PIPA prohibits the collection, use or disclosure of information unless the person involved consents.

Purposes of Data Collection

The Institute identifies the purpose for which information is collected at or before the time it is collected.  Currently, the Institute gathers information for the following purposes, but not limited to the following:

Registration

When one applies to register, re-register or continue registration as a student, member, public accounting firm, professional service provider, or professional corporation, or applies for approval as a specialist, a training office, or for approval to use the Certified Public Accountant (CPA- USA) designation or a firm name, the Institute will collect, use and disclose personal information for any of the following purposes:

  • determining suitability for registration with the Institute and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, level of fees to be paid, and maintaining that registration
  • providing updated information to the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, the CA School of Business, CA Insurance Plans West, the Chartered Accountants Education Foundation, CA ASSIST – Alberta Chartered Accountants Assistance Society or all provincial Institutes (including Bermuda)
  • monitoring students fulfilling their course, exam and experience requirements
  • determining who the principals, partners, directors or shareholders of public accounting firms, professional corporations, professional service providers, related businesses or practices, and other persons or firms registered under s.50 of RAPA
  • monitoring continuing education, continuing competence through practice review, and professional liability insurance limits
  • determining suitability for approval as a specialist or a training office and continuation of that approval
  • determining suitability for approval of a public accounting firm’s name or use of the CPA designation,
  • disclosing upon request, information to be made available to the public, the CIC Secretary or an investigator, in accordance with RAPA, or providing verification of registration,
  • advising of opportunities for obtaining continuing education,
  • advising of opportunities to recognize chartered accountants and others who have contributed to the profession,
  • determining suitability for recognition by the profession,
  • advising of benefits available from Western CA Services Association.

By applying for registration, re-registration or continuation of registration or approval, the Institute will assume the applicant has consented to the collection, use or disclosure of information as set out above.  Should the applicant wish to withdraw consent for the use or disclosure of this information, they must advise the Institute in writing.  Be aware there may be consequences to continued registration or approval.  In addition, if there is a requirement to disclose such information in RAPA, Chartered Accountants Regulation, Bylaws or Council Resolutions, withdrawal of consent for such disclosure will have no effect.

Practice Review

When a public accounting firm or professional service provider has a practice review, the Institute may collect personal information of members of the firm to determine whether registrants are

  • meeting continuing competency requirements
  • meeting continuing professional education requirements
  • providing students with appropriate training
  • meeting professional liability insurance limits and coverage
  • meeting professional and ethical standards.

Information may be collected, used and disclosed without consent, but any information so collected will be used and disclosed in accordance with the provisions of RAPA, the regulations, bylaws and resolutions.

Complaints, Investigations and Discipline

When lodging, responding to, or providing information about a complaint, the Institute will collect information necessary for

  • managing a complaint against a registrant in accordance with RAPA
  • supervising a practice
  • acting as the custodian of a practice
  • managing complaints against persons who, without authorization, use the CA, FCA or chartered accountant designation, or who perform an audit or review engagement,

 In these circumstances, information may be collected, used and disclosed without consent but will be used and disclosed in accordance with the provisions of RAPA, the regulations, bylaws, and resolutions.

 Education

When purchasing a passport, registering for a continuing education course, program or product, the Institute will obtain personal information necessary for

  • managing registration in courses or programs,
  • providing information concerning other courses, programs or products that may be of interest,
  • recording course or program registrations for reporting continuing professional education,
  • surveys, and opinion polls

Information on course or program registrations will be maintained for five years unless those registering advise otherwise.

 Events

When registering for a recognition event or attending as an honouree, the Institute will collect personal information necessary for

  • managing attendance at the event
  • advising the public of the achievements of those recognized.

Information will be maintained for one year as prescribed in the Chartered Accountants Regulation.

 Publications

When a person is interviewed for an article for an Institute publication, such as Spotlight, the Institute will obtain express consent.

Interview notes and information provided will be maintained for one year as prescribed in the Chartered Accountants Regulation. 

Employment

When applying for employment at the Institute, the information provided to us will be used to determine suitability for the position.  If not hired, the information provided will be destroyed after the individual hired successfully completes the probationary period.

Volunteer and Other Appointments

The Institute also collects personal information about individuals to determine  

  • suitability for recommendation for appointment as a member of the public to the Institute’s Council or a tribunal roster, or appointment to one of the Institute’s committees or task forces
  • suitability of volunteers and others for appointment to a committee, task force, board or roster
  • suitability of volunteers  as a practice reviewer or investigator
  • suitability and eligibility for bestowing one of the Institute’s merit awards.

The Institute will collect only the personal information necessary to fulfill the above purposes unless the individual is specifically advised and consents to the collection, use and disclosure of the additional information. 

Access to Personal Information

Individuals may make a written request to the Institute’s Privacy Officer for access to their personal information, the purpose for which it has been or is being used, and persons to whom that information has been disclosed and the circumstances surrounding its disclosure.  The Privacy Officer will advise whether the Institute has a personal information record, whether the Institute is providing access to all or part of the record and when and how access will be given, if applicable.  An estimate of any cost for access will be provided.  Unless s.24 of PIPA states that access to such information need not be provided, access will be provided in 45 days or such longer period allowed for in accordance with PIPA.

Correction of Information

The Institute endeavours to maintain accurate, up to date information on registrants.  Registrants are encouraged to make changes to their personal information on the website and these changes will be considered as a request for change.  Alternatively, individuals may make a written request to the Registrar or Privacy Officer for the correction of their personal information.  The Institute does not actively update information concerning non-registrants for the time it is maintained.

Opt Out

Subject to the provisions of this policy, an individual who wishes to withdraw consent for the Institute to use or disclose information provided may do so by advising, in writing, the Institute’s Registrar or Privacy Officer.  This may affect the Institute’s ability to provide the services or affect the registration of the person opting out.

Security of Information

The Institute does not sell, lease, or trade personal information to other parties.  The Institute endeavours to ensure strict confidentiality is maintained over personal information.  Employees are trained and required to maintain confidentiality over all information used in their positions and comply with this policy and the Institute’s Statement of Values and Ethics.    

When the Institute engages outside organizations to perform specialized services, such as surveys, these contract suppliers are provided with only the information necessary to perform the contracted services.  The Institute requires these suppliers comply with this privacy policy.   

As well, the Institute endeavours to maintain adequate physical, procedural and technical security for its offices, information storage and destruction, electronic files and on-line systems so as to prevent any unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or alteration of an individual’s personal information. 

Paper-based files are stored in secure operating premises.  Electronic files are maintained in a secure environment with restricted access.  Access to more sensitive files such as discipline and practice review, are restricted to employees who require access to them.  Personal information is retained in accordance with the Chartered Accountant Regulation.

The website is protected as necessary, by alphanumeric passwords, physical protection and encryption.  The website contains links to other websites.  Although the Institute believes the organizations to which links are provided are reputable and have high standards, the Institute is not responsible for the content, actions or policies of these sites.

Questions or Concerns

Questions or concerns with this policy or personal information should be directed to the Institute’s Privacy Officer.  A complaint may be made to the Information and Privacy Commissioner if the Institute’s review of the matter is not satisfactory.