posted Sept. 29, 2014
B.C.’s 22* health profession colleges recently agreed to standardize the publication of notices of action taken under the Health Professions Act regarding complaints. All health professionals in our province, regardless of profession, will now have the same information published about the content of consent agreements and disciplinary proceedings.
These changes will affect how CRNBC’s publishes notices and how we handle complaints, investigations and remedial action. These changes are in line with provincial legislation and also with our relational regulation philosophy.
One of the most visible changes is that a condition on practice now means that the nurse has agreed to take specific actions before returning to work as a nurse. For example, a nurse may be required to refrain from practising until successful completion of specified education.
A limit will now specifically restrict a nurse’s practice for a period of time or indefinitely. For example, a nurse may be limited from working in a certain area of practice or from carrying out a certain activity.
We will post public notices on our website for any limits, conditions, suspensions, and cancellations. Serious matters warrant these consequences and require public notices. Our notices in future will contain more detail and description about the complaint and consequences.
Remedial activities, which are generally for matters that are not serious, will not have public notices. Remedial activities may include taking a course, undergoing a series of practice consultations, or getting counselling. We believe this new approach is fairer and in line with our regulatory philosophy which includes using the minimum regulatory force required to achieve a desired result.
Depending on the circumstances, a nurse may be required to disclose remedial activities to key individuals, such as the nurse’s employer or direct supervisor, even in matters that do not result in public notification.
We value employers’ efforts in working to protect the public. Employers are often best suited to bring regulatory concerns about nurses’ practise to our attention.
Employers will continue to receive disposition letters summarizing outcomes of their complaint.
*The 22 colleges indicated are those governed by the Health Professions Act.