Why is professional regulation important?

Regulation of health professionals is part of the foundation of safe health care. The public must be comfortable seeking care from health professionals and have confidence that these professionals will deliver safe, effective, ethical care. Regulation is one of the key mechanisms that assures patients that the care they receive is provided by qualified, capable and competent professionals.

What are health profession regulatory colleges?

The primary function of the colleges is to ensure their registered health care professionals are qualified, competent and are following clearly defined standards of practice and ethics. Colleges have a legal mandate under the Health Professions Act to protect the public.

Why are we looking at changes?

Change is needed to improve B.C.’s system of health professional regulation. We are looking at ways to:

  • Improve patient safety and public protection.
  • Improve efficiency and effectiveness of the regulatory framework.
  • Increase public confidence through transparency and accountability.

An initial public consultation was held for one month, ending June 14, 2019. Input from the initial public consultation helped to focus modernization on several key areas:

  • Ensure regulatory colleges are putting the public interest and patient safety ahead of the professional interest.
  • Improve effectiveness of regulatory college boards and ensure boards are composed of members appointed based on merit and competence.
  • Reduce the number of regulatory colleges to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Create a body to oversee regulatory colleges to improve public confidence and patient safety.
  • Simplify and increase transparency in the complaints and disciplinary process.

A second consultation was held and feedback was accepted from November 27, 2019 to January 10, 2020. Input was collected through an online survey and written submissions were also accepted. Members of the public, community groups and health-sector partners were invited to submit feedback on the proposals in the consultation paper titled Modernizing the provincial health profession regulatory framework: A paper for consultation.

Read the What We Heard report for a summary of the feedback received.

How is feedback received being used?

Feedback has assisted the Steering Committee on Modernization of Health Professional Regulation to finalize its recommendations for improving the model of health profession regulation in B.C. All feedback was reviewed and is helping to inform future improvements to health profession regulation in B.C.

Where can I get more information?

You can review the steering committee’s Recommendations to modernize the provincial health profession regulatory framework and a diagram of the recommended regulatory framework.

You can also review the Modernizing the provincial health profession regulatory framework consultation paper.