How Regulation Protects You

Health regulation protects you by ensuring that British Columbia’s regulated health professionals have the appropriate training and skills to provide qualified, safe, and ethical care.

In BC, members of 27 regulated health professions are registered with one of 21 health regulatory colleges governed by provincial legislation and regulations. Each college maintains a public register of qualified professionals who have met the requirements to practise safely within their own profession.

Protecting professional titles

All health professionals must be college registrants to use the professional titles that are “protected” by their own college. For example, only registrants of the BC College of Nursing Professionals are authorized to use the title “nurse” while practising their profession in this province.

Knowing that your health professional is registered helps you to recognize qualified professionals who have demonstrated the requirements to practise safely.

Responding to complaints

You are also protected by each regulatory college’s power to respond to complaints. Colleges are able to investigate and act when alleged unsafe, unethical, or unprofessional practice is reported.

Colleges respond to complaints about registrants and complaints about non-registrants who unlawfully represent themselves as regulated professionals. Under the Health Professions Act, registrants are legally obligated and have a duty to report certain types of conduct by other practitioners, including unsafe practice/professional misconduct.

The BC Ministry of Health is conducting a review of the province’s framework for health profession regulation and is working on a plan for modernizing and strengthening the regulatory system. Find out more about regulatory reform in BC, and read the latest news, on how health profession regulators are evolving.