Meet Melanie Leaf, Registrar and Director of Practice
18, Sep, 2020
ASET is pleased to announce the appointment of Melanie Leaf to the position of Registrar and Director of Practice. Already deputized for the role months prior, Melanie has admirably led her team through a year of unprecedented changes and challenges, seemingly without a sweat. She’s taken the time to tell the association a little about her history with ASET, her priorities as Registrar and what she’d like members to know.
ASET: On a big level, what does this appointment mean to you?
Melanie Leaf: It really is a testament to how supportive the organization has been to me during the last six years. I have been provided with growth and development opportunities that have allowed me to develop the internal understanding and hone the professional skills necessary to take on this role.
A: How long have you been with ASET?
ML: I started as a regulatory compliance officer in 2014 after spending a number of years in similar roles with other non-profit organizations and municipal government.
Early on, my focus included supporting our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program, an initiative near and dear to my heart, as I am a strong supporter of continuous education.
A: Since joining the team, how has your role evolved?
ML: My journey started supporting the eight regulatory compliance boards and committees and from there it progressed to manage and then oversee those compliance boards and committees.
In 2016, I was promoted to manager. I began running the CPD program, as well as supporting the regulatory boards and committees. I was also managing the investigative, discipline and appeal processes, as well as the application and compliance procedures for the ASET Permit to Practice.
Appointed as the Deputy Registrar in 2018, I remained responsible for the regulatory volunteer boards and committees and the CPD Program, and took on the additional responsibility of overseeing the Boards of Examiners, as well as the complaints, investigative, discipline and appeal processes.
A: What are the biggest responsibilities for this position?
ML: I believe there are three main aspects; developing and maintaining positive relationships with members and external stakeholders; staying abreast of new trends and developments in certification, registration, and professional development programs to benefit the Association; and ensuring that the Registration department’s policies and programs meet member needs.
A: What are your top priorities as Registrar?
ML: My priority is to keep up the great momentum we have going. I am blessed to work with a very strong Registration Services team, and our continued success will depend, in part, on my continuing to support their outstanding efforts.
I can assure you the team is hard at work continuing to modernize our registration processes in an effort to make it as simple and clear as possible to apply, to renew your designation or to move up to the next level. We’ll also continue to incorporate equity and respect in everything we do, thereby ensuring our continued alignment with the Government of Alberta’s Fair Registration Practices Act.
Finally, for C.E.T. applicants needing to verify their educational credentials, we continue to add to our list of discipline-specific certification exams. This process is of particular value to the growing number of internationally-educated professionals who see in ASET an opportunity to launch their Canadian careers. This is a costly, time-consuming undertaking, but it is one we are committed to completing in the interests of fairness. We aim to offer the most comprehensive, relevant and robust certification possible.
A: What has been the biggest challenge or learning curve as you’ve stepped into the role?
ML: I stepped in to the role as Acting Registrar shortly before COVID 19, so the biggest challenge was learning the position while trying to shift my team and myself to a work from home model. Moving everything we do to a virtual platform presented a few challenges; however, with the support of a fantastic team, we’ve been able to transition fairly seamlessly.
A: What do you enjoy the most about the role?
ML: I really enjoy team building and providing opportunity for my staff to grow and develop. I am also a bit of a policy nerd and I really enjoy finding ways we can refine processes while ensuring we are following our mandate. My team has been instrumental in brainstorming ideas on how we can improve processes for members and it is always exciting when they come up with an idea that we can run with.
A: How important is that idea of helping future members and evolving to you?
ML: Very important; we live in a constantly changing environment, as do our members. We want to ensure that we have an awareness of how changes in the external environments (like the economy, government or even social changes) might affect us as an organization or our membership. If we are aware of how the environment is changing, we can be better prepared to recognize how we can assist our membership and we can be more nimble in our response.
A: Last question. Are there any messages that you’d like to tell ASET members?
ML: It’s been a tough year for many because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects that has had on us both personally as well as economically. But, ASET is there for you and these are just some of the ways that ASET can help you:
- Your membership gives you access to networking and professional development opportunities through our mentorship and volunteer programs.
- Your ASET membership supports you in developing skills that can help you achieve more in your workplace through the free monthly webinars that also count towards the annual CPD requirements.
- Your membership also gives you access to the ASET Career Centre with jobs posted by key employers exclusively for ASET members.