What’s up with the New Logo?

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta CPSA, Latest News Archive, Medical Matters, Messenger 10 Comments

Some of you may have noticed CPSA has a new logo. With all that is going on with health care in Alberta, it would be natural to ask why we would invest time and money in changing the CPSA logo. Well, the fact is, that’s exactly why we changed. With so much going on, we need to think about how self-regulation must also change.

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, we are at a pivotal time in health care and the medical profession is not immune to these changes. The public has a much higher expectation of the health care they receive, people are much more informed and there is a slow but sure decrease in the trust the public has with self-regulation. If we want to continue to do our job effectively, we need to adapt to these changes. Our new logo is just one part of a much bigger shift in how we at CPSA will meet our mandate going forward.



Our new look

You’ll recognize that our new logo is a modern take on the Rod of Asclepius—the most recognizable symbol of health care in the world—with the staff and snake represented by half-circles and negative space. The four half-circles also symbolize our commitment to those we work with: Albertans, physicians, partners—including the facilities we accredit—and CPSA team members.

Our new logo, while much more contemporary than the old one, is not just a window dressing. Our team has spent the better part of the last year researching how CPSA is currently perceived by our audiences versus how we should be perceived.

All of that research told us we need to embrace and demonstrate, on a daily basis, some core characteristics of regulatory excellence. These characteristics include being Approachable, Collaborative, Consistent, Informed, Thorough and Transparent.

How does CPSA define these characteristics?


CPSA believes in providing excellent service. We treat Albertans, physicians, partners and our team with respect and dignity in every interaction.

We connect with Albertans, physicians and partners outside of regulatory processes to balance our authority with mentorship. Through these meaningful interactions, we build trust with our communities.

There are a variety of ways to connect with us, and we are timely, respectful and accurate in our interactions. Because of this, Albertans, physicians, partners and our team trust that they can contact us with any questions or concerns.


CPSA believes great ideas come from working together. We welcome feedback from Albertans, physicians, partners and our team. When there are opportunities to influence change, we seek, listen to and consider feedback to make informed decisions.

We collaborate, share our perspectives and respect each other’s areas of expertise to create meaningful improvements for Alberta’s healthcare system. To be inclusive and informed, we consider diverse perspectives from Albertans, physicians, partners and our team.


By setting clear expectations and applying due diligence and due process, Albertans, physicians, partners and our team know what to expect from us. This helps us protect Albertans and be fair in our approach to regulation.

Because we want to continue to learn and grow as an organization, we will evolve our approach when we need to. When processes change, we share the information openly, in a timely manner and explain the rationale.

Albertans, physicians, partners and our team can expect their interactions with us to be consistently helpful and respectful.


CPSA works diligently to earn the respect and trust of Albertans, physicians and partners through our knowledge and expertise. We commit to making evidence-based decisions and look for opportunities to be innovators in profession-led regulation. CPSA’s perspective is valued in the health care community where we can support change on significant healthcare issues.

We prioritize our involvement in the community and listen to the diverse perspectives of Albertans, physicians, partners and our team. We are helpful and respectful in all our interactions, providing timely and accurate information.


CPSA’s decisions can have a profound effect on Albertans and physicians. Knowing this, we are diligent, thoughtful and carefully consider the facts to make informed decisions.

Knowing it’s our responsibility as a regulator to keep people informed, we make it easy for Albertans, physicians, partners and our team to access the information they want and need.

Because excellent service is at the core of our business, we have well-documented processes that are readily accessible and easy to understand.


Transparency and trust go hand-in-hand. Whenever legislation and privacy laws allow, we share decision-making factors and hearing tribunal outcomes in an open and timely way. We make information for Albertans, physicians, partners and our team readily accessible and easy to understand.

We respect privacy and go to great lengths to protect confidential information. When sharing sensitive information about physicians, the facts are presented while respecting the public’s right to information and the physician’s dignity.

We seek feedback when there is the opportunity to influence change. After feedback has been considered, we follow up with those involved and share the outcomes of the decision.

What does all this mean?

None of this changes what we do as a regulator, but it does change how we do it. We recognize that, as the regulator, one part of our role is overseeing disciplinary action, but that is not really what we should be known for. We actually spend far more time helping physicians improve the care they provide, not disciplining them. But based on what we’ve heard, that’s not currently how we’re perceived.

Some members of the public perceive us to be too physician-centric when, really, we wholeheartedly embrace our mission of protecting the public. We just don’t think that means only punishing physicians. In fact, if you look back at the history of self-regulation, the concept of punish and publicize has not been very effective. The aviation and space industries have gone away from the “shame and blame” approach to safety years ago, and CPSA needs to go that way as well.

Our new logo is just one way to symbolize that we are going in a new direction while embracing the history of where we have come from. There is a long road in front of us, but the first step is always the most important.

As always, your comments are appreciated,


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Norman yee

Nice work on the new logo. I like it. It is fresh and modern with an inference of simplicity of accessibility, ordered transparency and interconnected components. The multiple colours further highlight a place of different people, services and purposes. The subtlety of the Staff of Aesclepios welcomes the public to a place of medical professionals without the overwhelming patriarchy of the profession. One can see the letters of the CPSA in small caps within the c’s of the logo – cute, and without shouting in caps…softens our image. And for those inclined to vilify us nonetheless, the logo is loops… Read more »

Allen Ausford

Hi Scott – I also feel the traditional symbol is more readily recognized by the public but as a family physician practicing for 40 years with children who work in the design area I also know we have to keep things more contemporary. My first take when looking at it before hearing your explanation was to see a stylized C, P S and A embedded in the graphic. One additional concern is that the colors may become outdated fairly soon – very trendy rather that colors that could stand the test of time resulting in additional expense in the future.… Read more »

Bao Nguyen

I look at the new logo, and it doesn’t tell me much about who we are as a profession. Since I already know the symbol of the snake, I can sort of make it out with the 4 half circles. But I doubt if the public knows. But my first impression when I look at the logo: it looks like a broken chain, making me think of INcontinuity of care and gaps in communication. I guess it appears different to every eye. I prefers the old symbol. And yes, it’s really costly to have to change the logo.

Scott McLeod

Hello Dr. Nguyen. Thank you for taking the time to provide your thoughts on the logo. I must admit that I never saw the broken chain that you’ve seen. I can assure you that the logo is not the important thing to look at. What is really important is our focus on being transparent, informed, thorough, consistent, collaborative and approachable.

Helen Hays

I think that the new logo is most unattractive.I believe that policies from the college are causing great suffering and loss of life . Physicians should be instructed in Medical School on rational pain management ( which may include use of opioid analgesics) ,It is a tragedy of our time that patients are sent away from appointments concerning chronic pain and feel that the only recourse is illegal street drugs which are often deadly . The pendulum has swung far too far .The more regulation the more deaths , meanwhile certain off shore villains get very rich . Why not… Read more »

Scott McLeod

Hello Dr. Hays. Thank you for providing your perspective on the new logo. As for CPSA’s policies related to prescribing, I would encourage you to look back at the many communications we have provided, especially over the past six months, where we supported patients with chronic pain and tell doctors not to stop prescribing. I don’t think it’s a fair statement to say that CPSA policies are causing great suffering and loss of life. We have no polices telling doctors to cut patients off their medications. I encourage everyone to read our standard of practice very specifically and you will… Read more »

Bao Dang

Respectfully, I think it’s abstract garbage; typical of the zeitgeist dominating the age. It’s unprofessional, amateurish and a complete waste of money and time, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”.

Scott McLeod

Hello Dr. Dang, Thank you for taking the time to read the messenger and provide your opinion on the new logo. Although, as you can imagine, I’m not going to agree with you. All I ask is for you to take a few minutes and think about what professional self-regulation is all about and how you as a member of the profession in Alberta would like to see it. Do you want us to be hard lined and disciplinarian or would you like us to focus on quality improvement to protect the public. Health care is changing and self-regulation is… Read more »

Ernst R Snyman

I do not appreciate the new logo. What are the College views on delivering healthcare services after physician age of 70

Scott McLeod

Hello Dr. Synman, Thanks for providing you comments. Sorry you don’t appreciate the new logo. I hope you will appreciate our approach to regulation. You’ve asked a very broad question here that is not a simple one to answer. Practicing after age 70 brings risks, but those same risks can come at age 50 for some doctors and not until 80 for other doctors. Age is not the issue, it’s the risk that comes with age that we must all consider. If you would like to have a more robust discussion on this, I would love to chat or you… Read more »