Cultural Safety and Humility

BC Health Regulators (BCHR) is committed to working collaboratively with our partners to develop new initiatives that will support regulated health professionals in delivering care with a greater focus on cultural safety and humility.

We are partnering with the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and other organizations to advance the integration of cultural safety and humility into the work of all regulated health professionals and health regulatory colleges in BC. BCHR continues to benefit from FNHA support, including sharing resources, providing educational opportunities and offering counsel.

We recognize that learning more about cultural safety and humility and using this knowledge to change practice is an ongoing journey.

Learning more about racism within our health care system is critical to the process of change, and we support ongoing work at provincial and federal levels to discover, acknowledge and address the impacts of racism on patient care.

As part of our duty to protect the public, each BCHR college has well-established processes to investigate complaints about the conduct or competence of registrants, including complaints of racism, that impact patient care and safety. Complaints may be made by members of the public or regulated health professionals.

Declaration of Commitment

On March 1, 2017, registrars of all colleges in BC Health Regulators (BCHR) signed the “Declaration of Commitment – Cultural Safety and Humility in the Regulation of Health Professionals Serving First Nations and Aboriginal People in British Columbia”. The signing ceremony formalized their commitment to integrating cultural safety and humility into their practices as health profession regulators. BCHR’s historic commitment followed the landmark commitment to cultural safety and humility made by the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), the BC Ministry of Health, and the six other BC health authorities in 2015.

Declaration of Commitment – Cultural Safety and Humility in the Regulation of Health Professionals

Declaration of Commitment – Cultural Safety and Humility in the Regulation of Health Professionals

Signing the Declaration launched a partnership with FNHA to support the incorporation of cultural safety and humility in alignment with the regulators’ public interest mandates. BCHR has actively supported relationship-building and joint activities with FNHA and hosted two educational events to promote awareness and understanding, including:

  • A learning session for health regulatory colleges on the connection of cultural safety and humility to the Health Professions Act; and
  • An education symposium for 140 board, committee, and staff members of the regulatory colleges to uncover and explore biases and blind spots in our journey toward becoming more culturally competent as individuals and organizations.

A number of BCHR colleges have also participated in specific activities to advance the integration of cultural safety and humility within their organizations.

In March 2018, BCHR published One year in: A report on the achievements following the signing of the Declaration of Commitment to Cultural Safety and Humility (PDF).

In June 2020, BCHR published Three years in: A report on the achievements since signing the Declaration of Commitment to Cultural Safety and Humility (PDF)

Cultural Safety Task Force

In April 2019, BCHR launched the Cultural Safety Task Force, including staff representatives from the Colleges of Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Nurses and Midwives, Dental Hygienists, and Pharmacists. The task force is coordinating ways to support all regulatory colleges in fulfilling their commitment to the Declaration. The task force participated in the Gathering Wisdom Forum, held January 14-16, 2020, as an exhibitor. See the BCHR Cultural Safety Task Force report on the 2020 Gathering Wisdom Forum (PDF).