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This Act is current to June 11, 2024
See the Tables of Legislative Changes for this Act’s legislative history, including any changes not in force.

Health Professions and Occupations Act

[SBC 2022] CHAPTER 43

Assented to November 24, 2022

Contents
Part 1 — Interpretation and Guiding Principles
Division 1 — Interpretation
1General definitions
2If Administrative Tribunals Act applies
3-8Not in force
9Discrimination
10-13Not in force
Division 2 — Guiding Principles
14Guiding principles for persons acting under this Act
15Anti-discrimination measures
Part 2 to 8 — Not in force
16-434Not in force
Part 9 — Regulatory Oversight
Division 1 — Superintendent's Office
435Establishment of superintendent's office
436Members of superintendent's office
437Employees
438Deputy superintendent
439Retention of experts
440Not in force
441Minister's directions
442Administrative powers
Division 2 — Discipline Tribunal
443Establishment of discipline tribunal
444Director of discipline
445Deputy director of discipline
446Retention of experts
447Practice and procedure
448Process for appointing discipline panel members
449Appointment of discipline panel members
450Application of Administrative Tribunals Act
451Information and records
Division 3 — Appointment of Board Members
452Appointment processes
453Consultations and assistance
454Recommendations for appointments and rescindments
Division 4 — Not in force
455-461Not in force
Division 5 — Conduct of Oversight Processes
462-466Not in force
467If Indigenous matters
468-479Not in force
Division 6 — Not in force
480-484Not in force
Division 7 — Reports
485Director of discipline's annual report
486Superintendent's annual report
487Making reports
488Not in force
489Receipt of annual report
Part 10 and 11 — Not in force
490-533Not in force
Part 12 — Transitional Provisions, Repeal, Consequential Amendments and Amendment to This Act
Transitional Provisions
534-544Not in force
545Transitional regulations
546 Repeal
547-643 Consequential Amendments
644 Amendment to this Act
645Commencement

Part 1 — Interpretation and Guiding Principles

Division 1 — Interpretation

General definitions

1   In this Act:

"anti-discrimination measures" means measures taken, including implementing processes, for the purposes of conducting regulatory processes or providing health services in a manner that is consistent with one or more of the objectives referred to in section 15 [anti-discrimination measures];

"board" means a board of a regulatory college;

"conflict of interest" includes actual, potential and perceived conflicts of interest;

"director of discipline" means the person appointed under section 444 [director of discipline] as the person responsible for the management of the discipline tribunal;

"discipline panel" means a discipline panel appointed under section 169 [appointing discipline panels] to conduct a discipline hearing;

"discipline panel member" means a person appointed under section 449 [appointment of discipline panel members];

"discipline tribunal" means the discipline tribunal established under section 443 [establishment of discipline tribunal];

"discrimination" means discrimination as defined in section 9 [discrimination];

"governance activity" means an activity of a regulator with respect to the following:

(a) the exercise of powers and performance of duties under this Act or another enactment;

(b) without limiting paragraph (a),

(i) the administration and operation of a regulatory college or regulatory program, or

(ii) the governing of a designated profession or occupation;

"Indigenous governing body" has the same meaning as in the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act;

"Indigenous peoples" has the same meaning as in the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act;

"Indigenous practices" means the following:

(a) Indigenous cultural practices, traditions, values and beliefs;

(b) contemporary Indigenous practices that are based on, or originate in, traditional Indigenous practices;

(c) a combination of traditional and contemporary Indigenous practices;

"performance standards" means the performance standards referred to in section 456 [performance standards];

"regulator" means the following, as applicable in the context:

(a) a regulatory college;

(b) a health occupation director who is administering a regulatory program;

"regulatory college" has the meaning given to it in section 342 [regulatory colleges];

"regulatory performance" means the extent to which a regulator is conducting governance activities in accordance with the performance standards and best practices referred to in section 456;

"regulatory process" means the following:

(a) a process conducted for a regulator as part of governance activities, including, without limitation,

(i) a process used to make a decision with respect to an application made under this Act, and

(ii) an investigation or disciplinary proceeding;

(b) a process conducted by the minister, superintendent, director of discipline or a discipline panel in the performance of duties or the exercise of powers under this Act;

"superintendent" means the person appointed under section 436 (2) [members of superintendent's office] as the superintendent;

"superintendent's office" means the Office of the Superintendent of Health Profession and Occupation Oversight established under section 435 (1) [establishment of superintendent's office].

If Administrative Tribunals Act applies

2   Part 1 [Interpretation and Application] of the Administrative Tribunals Act applies for the purposes of a provision of this Act that incorporates by reference a provision of that Act.

Not in force

3-8   [Not in force.]

Discrimination

9   (1) In this Act, "discrimination" means, subject to subsection (2), conduct that is prohibited under the Human Rights Code and that is undertaken in relation to one or more of the following:

(a) the functions under this Act of the superintendent's office or the Health Professions Review Board.

(b) to (e) [Not in force.]

(2) [Not in force.]

Not in force

10-13   [Not in force.]

Division 2 — Guiding Principles

Guiding principles for persons acting under this Act

14   (1) [Not in force.]

(2) In exercising powers and performing duties under this Act, a person must act in accordance with the following principles:

(a) to protect the public from harm and discrimination;

(b) to support and promote awareness of all of the following, as they relate to the oversight and review of regulators, the governance of designated professions and occupations and the provision of health services:

(i) reconciliation with Indigenous peoples;

(ii) the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;

(iii) the need to address racism and anti-racism issues that are specific to Indigenous peoples, including acknowledging the rights, interests, priorities and concerns that are specific to First Nations peoples, Métis peoples and Inuit peoples, based on distinctions among them;

(c) without limiting paragraphs (a) and (b), to take and promote anti-discrimination measures;

(d) to act in a fair manner, including by demonstrating respect for the principles of procedural fairness;

(e) to act in a manner that is respectful of the privacy of persons who participate in regulatory processes.

(3) Unless it would conflict with a principle under subsection (2), in exercising powers and performing duties under this Act, a person must act in accordance with the following principles:

(a) to promote a holistic health care system that encourages collaboration between regulators and between persons who provide different types of health services;

(b) to identify and remove barriers to the practice of a designated profession or occupation, in British Columbia, by extrajurisdictional practitioners;

(c) to act in a manner that is transparent, including by providing opportunities for meaningful public engagement.

(4) [Not in force.]

Anti-discrimination measures

15   (1) The objectives of anti-discrimination measures in conducting regulatory processes and providing health services include both of the following:

(a) to foster physically, culturally, socially, emotionally and spiritually safe practices;

(b) to adopt anti-racism approaches and tools to support these approaches.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the objectives of anti-discrimination measures in conducting regulatory processes include all of the following:

(a) to treat regulatory participants respectfully;

(b) to foster meaningful communication between regulators and persons who participate in those processes, including by promoting respectful, open and effective dialogue that encourages participation;

(c) to engage regularly in processes to identify discriminatory practices, policies, programs, structures, values and attitudes that perpetuate discrimination or create conditions in which discrimination may occur;

(d) to meet prescribed objectives.

(3) [Not in force.]

Part 2 to 8 — Not in force

Not in force

16-434   [Not in force.]

Part 9 — Regulatory Oversight

Division 1 — Superintendent's Office

Establishment of superintendent's office

435   (1) The Office of the Superintendent of Health Profession and Occupation Oversight is established as an office of the government.

(2) The purposes of the superintendent's office are as follows:

(a) to give advice and recommendations to the minister respecting

(i) the administration of and amendments to this Act and the regulations,

(ii) the improvement of the regulatory performance of regulators, and

(iii) any other matter the minister requests;

(b) to promote awareness of and adherence to the guiding principles as described in section 14 [guiding principles for persons acting under this Act];

(c) to develop and implement a merit-based selection process for the appointment of members to boards of regulatory colleges;

(d) to promote consistency among regulators with respect to the exercise of powers and performance of duties under this Act;

(e) to superintend regulators in the exercise of powers and performance of duties under this Act, including reporting on regulatory performance and recommending improvements;

(f) to publish information and records that the superintendent determines to be in the public interest;

(g) to exercise additional powers and perform additional duties as prescribed.

Members of superintendent's office

436   (1) The superintendent's office consists of the following:

(a) the superintendent;

(b) the discipline tribunal;

(c) employees required to carry out the functions of the office.

(2) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may appoint the superintendent in accordance with the Public Service Act.

Employees

437   (1) The superintendent may appoint, in accordance with the Public Service Act, the employees the superintendent considers necessary to assist the superintendent and the discipline tribunal to exercise powers and perform duties under this Act.

(2) The superintendent is a deputy minister for the purposes of applying the Public Service Act to subsection (1) of this section.

Deputy superintendent

438   (1) As soon as reasonably practicable after taking office, the superintendent must appoint one deputy to act in the superintendent's absence.

(2) The deputy superintendent must be an employee of the superintendent's office.

Retention of experts

439   (1) The superintendent may retain consultants, experts, specialists and other persons who, in the opinion of the superintendent, are necessary to assist the superintendent to exercise powers and perform duties under this Act.

(2) The superintendent may establish the remuneration of persons retained under this section and other terms and conditions of their retainers.

(3) The Public Service Act does not apply with respect to persons retained under this section.

Not in force

440   [Not in force.]

Minister's directions

441   The superintendent must comply with any general or special direction made by order of the minister with respect to the superintendent's exercise of powers and performance of duties under this Act.

Administrative powers

442   (1) The superintendent may, by order, set requirements respecting the form and manner of submitting oversight complaints under section 462 [making oversight complaints], information, records, notices, fees and reports, other than annual reports, to the superintendent by

(a) boards and health occupation directors, and

(b) persons making oversight complaints.

(2) With respect to any matter over which the superintendent may, under this Act, set requirements or impose limits or conditions, the superintendent

(a) may establish classes of persons, processes and other matters,

(b) may set different requirements, limits or conditions for different classes, and

(c) must publish the requirements, limits and conditions.

Division 2 — Discipline Tribunal

Establishment of discipline tribunal

443   (1) The discipline tribunal is established within the superintendent's office.

(2) The discipline tribunal consists of the following members:

(a) the director of discipline;

(b) discipline panel members.

Director of discipline

444   (1) The director of discipline is responsible for the management of the discipline tribunal.

(2) The minister may appoint the director of discipline in accordance with the Public Service Act.

(3) The person appointed as the director of discipline must be a member or former member of the Law Society of British Columbia or a law society of another province of Canada.

Deputy director of discipline

445   (1) As soon as reasonably practicable after taking office, the director of discipline must appoint one deputy to act in the director's absence or in circumstances in which the director has a conflict of interest.

(2) The deputy director of discipline must be

(a) a discipline panel member, and

(b) a member or former member of the Law Society of British Columbia or a law society of another province of Canada.

Retention of experts

446   (1) The director of discipline may retain consultants, experts, specialists and other persons who, in the opinion of the director, are necessary to assist the director or discipline panel members to exercise powers and perform duties under this Act.

(2) The director of discipline may establish the remuneration of persons retained under this section and other terms and conditions of their retainers.

(3) The Public Service Act does not apply with respect to persons retained under this section.

Practice and procedure

447   (1) Subject to the regulations, the director of discipline may issue practice directives respecting practices and procedures to facilitate the just and timely conduct of discipline hearings.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the director of discipline

(a) may issue practice directives for any matter described in section 11 (2) of the Administrative Tribunals Act, and

(b) must issue practice directives as referred to in section 12 (1) of that Act.

(3) Sections 11, 12 (3) and (4) and 13 (1.1) and (3) of the Administrative Tribunals Act apply to practice directives issued under subsection (2) of this section.

Process for appointing discipline panel members

448   (1) The director of discipline must establish or adopt, and publish, policies and guidance respecting

(a) the education, training, experience and other qualifications that are necessary or desirable for discipline panel members to have, and

(b) the processes and best practices for selecting persons to be appointed as discipline panel members, including, subject to the regulations,

(i) factors that must or must not be considered,

(ii) requirements for consultation, and

(iii) objectives to be achieved, including with respect to ensuring that discipline panels will benefit from a diversity of perspectives.

(2) The director of discipline must ensure that appointment processes and best practices reflect the principle of merit and conform to any prescribed requirements, limits and conditions.

(3) For the purposes of establishing or adopting appointment processes and best practices, the director of discipline may establish or adopt requirements, limits and conditions that apply with respect to appointees individually or collectively, or both.

Appointment of discipline panel members

449   (1) The director of discipline must appoint persons as discipline panel members.

(2) The director of discipline must ensure that the discipline tribunal

(a) has, for each designated health profession, one or more discipline panel members who hold a licence to practise the designated health profession, and

(b) is composed of discipline panel members who, collectively,

(i) represent diverse groups of people,

(ii) have expertise in assisting persons who have experienced conduct that is in the nature of sexual misconduct, sexual abuse or discrimination,

(iii) have expertise in mitigating any potential trauma that may arise from an adversarial process, and

(iv) have other relevant experience or qualifications.

(3) The director of discipline may terminate the appointment of a discipline panel member for cause.

Application of Administrative Tribunals Act

450   (1) Section 10 of the Administrative Tribunals Act applies to discipline panel members.

(2) [Not in force.]

Information and records

451   The superintendent may access, at any time, information or records of the discipline tribunal, including information or records that contain personal information.

Division 3 — Appointment of Board Members

Appointment processes

452   (1) The superintendent must establish or adopt, and publish, policies and guidance respecting

(a) the education, training, experience and other qualifications that are necessary or desirable for board members to have, and

(b) processes and best practices for selecting persons to be appointed as board members, including, subject to the regulations,

(i) factors that must or must not be considered,

(ii) requirements for consultation, and

(iii) objectives to be achieved, including with respect to ensuring that boards will benefit from a diversity of perspectives.

(2) The superintendent must ensure that appointment processes and best practices reflect the principle of merit and conform to any prescribed requirements, conditions and limits.

(3) For the purposes of establishing or adopting appointment processes and best practices, the superintendent may establish or adopt requirements, limits and conditions that apply with respect to appointees individually or collectively, or both.

Consultations and assistance

453   In establishing, adopting or reviewing processes and best practices for appointing board members, the superintendent

(a) must consult with regulatory colleges and prescribed persons,

(b) may consult with the public and any other person, and

(c) may, by order, require a regulatory college to provide information and conduct surveys and assessments with respect to one or more of the following:

(i) necessary or desirable education, training, experience and other qualifications;

(ii) the demographic composition of the board;

(iii) the recruitment or retention of board members;

(iv) matters that are relevant to whether the objectives of the appointment processes and best practices are being met;

(v) a matter identified by the minister or superintendent.

Recommendations for appointments and rescindments

454   The superintendent must manage the implementation of processes and best practices for appointing board members, including by making recommendations to the minister respecting the following:

(a) the persons to be appointed as board members;

(b) the rescindment of a person's appointment if the superintendent has reasonable grounds to believe that the person has

(i) contravened a provision of this Act, the regulations or the bylaws, or

(ii) failed to meet performance standards.

Division 4 — Not in force

Not in force

455-461   [Not in force.]

Division 5 — Conduct of Oversight Processes

Not in force

462-466   [Not in force.]

If Indigenous matters

467   (1) [Not in force.]

(2) The superintendent must, in collaboration with Indigenous governing bodies and other entities representing Indigenous peoples, establish policies and procedures for the nomination of persons by those Indigenous governing bodies and other entities for the purposes of this section.

Not in force

468-479   [Not in force.]

Division 6 — Not in force

Not in force

480-484   [Not in force.]

Division 7 — Reports

Director of discipline's annual report

485   The director of discipline must make an annual report to the superintendent respecting all of the following:

(a) the exercise of powers and performance of duties under this Act by the director and by discipline panel members;

(b) any matter that, in the opinion of the director, should be included in the report;

(c) other matters as prescribed and as directed by the minister.

Superintendent's annual report

486   (1) The superintendent must make an annual report to the minister respecting all of the following:

(a) the exercise of powers and performance of duties under this Act by the superintendent and the discipline tribunal;

(b) [Not in force.]

(c) any matter that, in the opinion of the superintendent, should be included in the report;

(d) other matters as prescribed and as directed by the minister.

(2) The superintendent's annual report must include the director of discipline's annual report.

Making reports

487   (1) The annual report of the superintendent and discipline tribunal must be made in the form and manner required by the minister.

(2) After giving an annual report to the minister, the superintendent must do both of the following:

(a) give a copy of the report to each board and health occupation director;

(b) publish the annual report.

Not in force

488   [Not in force.]

Receipt of annual report

489   After receiving the superintendent's annual report, the minister may, by order, require the director of discipline to provide to the superintendent supplemental information.

Part 10 and 11 — Not in force

Not in force

490-533   [Not in force.]

Part 12 — Transitional Provisions, Repeal, Consequential Amendments and Amendment to This Act

Transitional Provisions

Not in force

534-544   [Not in force.]

Transitional regulations

545   (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to more effectively bring this Act into operation, including regulations

(a) to prevent, minimize or otherwise remedy any transitional difficulties encountered in bringing this Act into operation, and

(b) to facilitate the transition from the operation of the former Act to the operation of this Act.

(2) The authority to make or amend a regulation made under subsection (1), but not the authority to repeal a regulation made under that subsection, ends 3 years after the date that this section comes into force.

Repeal

Section(s)Affected Act
546Health Professions Act

Consequential Amendments

Section(s)Affected Act
547-548Access to Abortion Services Act
549Attorney General Statutes Amendment Act, 2018
550Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act
551Community Care and Assisted Living Act
552-561Criminal Records Review Act
562-564E-Health (Personal Health Information Access and Protection of Privacy) Act
565Emergency Health Services Act
566Evidence Act
567Firearm Violence Prevention Act
568Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
569Health Authorities Act
570Health Planning Statutes Amendment Act, 2002
571Health Professions Amendment Act, 2003
572Health Professions (Regulatory Reform) Amendment Act, 2008
573Health Statutes Amendment Act, 2007
574-575Hospital Act
576Insurance Corporation Act
577-579Insurance (Vehicle) Act
580Interpretation Act
581-585Laboratory Services Act
586-588Labour Mobility Act
589Labour Relations Code
590Liquor Control and Licensing Act
591-596Medicare Protection Act
597Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act (No. 2), 2012
598Opioid Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act
599-604Pharmaceutical Services Act
605-629Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act
630-635Pill Press and Related Equipment Control Act
636Public Health Act
637Veterinary Drugs Act
638-639Vital Statistics Act
640Wills, Estates and Succession Act
641-643Workers Compensation Act

Amendment to this Act

Section(s)Affected Act
644Health Professions and Occupations Act

Commencement

645   This Act comes into force by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.