All health professionals regulated under the Health Professions Act have a professional, ethical, and legal responsibility to report any unsafe practice or serious professional misconduct of any other regulated health practitioner to the regulatory body that the practitioner is registered with.
A regulated health professional who believes that the public is at risk because another health professional is not competent or is suffering from a physical or mental ailment, emotional disturbance, or alcohol/drug addiction that impairs their ability to practise, has a duty to report this regardless of whether the practitioner is from their own profession or a different health profession.
Traditionally duty to report notifications have been raised when a registrant’s competence is in question. Unethical and unprofessional conduct can also constitute a danger to the public.
The Health Professions Act provides legal immunity to health professionals who comply with this duty to report as long as the report is made in good faith and is based on reasonable and probable grounds.
Sexual misconduct must also be reported to a registrant’s health regulatory body; however, where concerns about sexual misconduct are based on information from a patient/client, the consent of the patient/client or their parent/guardian must be obtained before making the report. This duty to report is distinct from the requirement to report a child in need of protection as set out in section 14 of BC’s Child, Family and Community Service Act.
To learn more and find out how to make a report, visit the appropriate college website.
Please note that duty to report is separate from the complaint process for patients and clients.