Regulatory Reform

In April 2019, British Columbia’s Ministry of Health released a report authored by Harry Cayton, former Chief Executive of the United Kingdom’s Professional Standards Authority and an internationally-recognized expert on professional regulation. Mr. Cayton’s report, An Inquiry into the performance of the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia and the Health Professions Act (PDF), provides recommendations about how the Health Professions Act could be modernized and improved to better promote and enhance patient and client safety. BC Health Regulators and a number of BC health regulatory colleges submitted information that was incorporated in the report.

In November 2019, BC’s Ministry of Health followed up on the Cayton Report with Modernizing the provincial health profession regulatory framework: A paper for consultation (PDF).

Developed by the Ministry of Health’s Steering Committee on the Modernization of Health Professional Regulation, the consultation paper outlines a proposal for significant changes to the province’s health professional regulatory system.

The proposed changes would:

  • Ensure regulatory colleges put the public interest and patient and client safety ahead of professional interests;
  • Improve effectiveness of regulatory college boards and ensure they are composed of members appointed based on merit and competence;
  • Reduce the number of regulatory colleges from 20 to five to improve efficiency and support for all regulated professions (no professions will be de-regulated);
  • Make it easier for new professions to become regulated; and,
  • Simplify and increase transparency in the public complaints and professional disciplinary process.

Next steps

Members of the public, community groups, and health-sector stakeholders were invited to submit feedback on the consultation paper by January 10, 2020. BCHR and a number of BC health regulatory colleges submitted feedback.

The steering committee will use information from the consultation to refine its proposal to modernize the province’s regulatory framework for health professions.

The Ministry of Health – Professional Regulations website provides more detail and background information on regulatory reform.