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, regulated health professionals are registered with one of 19 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 Nurses and Midwives 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.
On August 27, 2020, the BC Ministry of Health announced a plan to modernize and strengthen the province’s health regulatory system. Find out more about regulatory modernization in BC, and read the latest news on how health profession regulators are evolving.