New legislation: Health Professions and Occupations Act

The Government of British Columbia has introduced new legislation to replace the Health Professions Act, which currently governs health regulatory colleges in BC. The new legislation, the Health Professions and Occupations Act, will undergo a series of reviews before coming into effect; however, COBC has already begun collaborating with our colleagues in other health regulatory colleges on plans for its implementation.

According to a government press release from October 19, 2022, highlights of the new Act include:

  • A streamlined path to reduce the number of regulatory colleges through amalgamation.
  • The creation of an oversight body for regulatory colleges.
  • Improved transparency around complaints.
  • A commitment to cultural safety and humility.
  • Greater information sharing.
  • Improved governance.

Additional information about the plans for amalgamation can be found in the press release, which specifically notes the government’s intention to “combine the colleges for dietitians, occupational therapists, opticians, optometrists, physical therapists, psychologists, and speech and hearing professionals into one regulator.”

We will continue to update to our registrants and stakeholders as we learn more about the new legislation and the timeline for its approval and implementation.