PHYSIO ADVOCATE

Standing up for physiotherapists and public health

Check out our main website at: bcphysio.org

The Act, the Bylaws, the Regulations – What Does it All Mean? 

I cannot think of a more exciting topic to start the week with. I am not kidding. A lot of people find the legalese and jargon of regulation to be confusing, but I have always been fascinated with how the pieces intertwine. You will soon learn that I am a bit of a political junkie, and most weekdays I will have “=question period on when I am in the office.  

Since coming to PABC four months ago, I have had a chance to dig in to where we stand in terms of our regulation, scope of practice discussions and government advocacy. We have a lot of work ahead of us to advocate for important changes with government, but I am looking forward to it!  

On January 23rd, the government published proposed updates to the Physical Therapy Regulation. We hope that all physiotherapists will provide a submission to the government outlining your thoughts, concerns and hopes. But we also know that they have made it clear that this is not an exercise to enhance the scope of practice, but rather to ensure that physical therapy is aligned under the current Health Professions Act before amalgamation occurs in June. 

Very good. That means we are in a great space to collect all the scope changes people want, knowing that they will not likely all be approved, but it gives us a great place to start our next advocacy efforts. 

In the meantime, a little bit of a refresher for those who are trying to figure out how these regulations come together! 

The Act 

The College (CPTBC for now) is governed by the Health Professions Act (HPA) and the Bylaws made under the Act. The Act is umbrella legislation that provides a common regulatory framework for health professions in British Columbia. 

Click here to take a look at the current Health Professions Act  

Of course, for those who have been following along, the HPA will be replaced (target of 2025) with the Health Professions and Occupations Act (HPOA). This Act has already been passed (November 2023) and received Royal Assent. That means it will be enacted by Cabinet when they think they are ready. We will have a LOT more to say about the HPOA in the weeks to come and look forward to hearing your thoughts on this Act. It is long, confusing, and leaves many questions unanswered, so ensuring you have the information you need to understand what is about to happen is important to us and will take place throughout 2024. 

Click here to take a look at the Health Professions and Occupations Act 

Regulations 

Regulations are created by the government for each individual health profession governed under the Act. Each regulation defines reserved titles, contains a statement about the scope of practice and outlines a set of restricted activities describing what members of that profession are authorized to do. 

Click here to read the Health Professions General Regulation 

Click here to read our existing Physical Therapy Regulation 

Of course, this is what is currently being proposed for amendments by the Government. This version is the ‘red line’ which shows any changes marked off in red, so it is easy to see what is changing with this updated version. 

Click here to review the proposed amendments to the Physical Therapy Regulation  

If you are interested in writing a response to these proposed amendments, we are here to help. Click here to see a sample Regulatory Tracking Sheet that we use to refine our thoughts down to a reasonable response.  If you want to use this tool, feel welcome to click on the link below (but please put it into your own words). We welcome you to send it to PABC (forms@bcphysio.org) too, as we will pull together all the responses we receive to contribute to the over-arching document. If you want to learn more about how to write a letter and what should be in it, check out our free workshop on March 13th at 6:30 and we will provide tips and tricks for getting advocacy heard!

Click here to create your own Regulatory Tracking Sheet (PDF).

Click here to register for the March 13th webinar. 

Bylaws 

Each regulatory college has its own bylaws. The bylaws set out the details of the operation of the organization, including: the duties and responsibilities of a governing board, committees, and the registrar; qualifications for registration and licensing; the regulation of professional conduct and ethics; and fee schedules. 

CPTBC Bylaws 

Health Professions Review Board 

The Health Professions Review Board (HPRB) is an administrative tribunal made under the HPA to provide an independent review of certain decisions made by the College.  

HPRB website 

BC Health Regulators 

The BC Health Regulators (BCHR) brings all health regulatory colleges in BC together to collaborate on improving regulatory practice across the Colleges. Its shared mandate is to serve and protect all British Columbians, ensuring regulated health care providers deliver qualified, safe, and ethical care to their patients and clients. 

BCHR Website 

Coalition of Professional Health Associations of BC (CPHABC) 

Like the Regulators, Association CEOs and Executive Directors have formed a Coalition where we discussed shared concerns, ideas, and advocacy efforts. We recognize that sometimes speaking with one voice provides a much stronger advocacy approach than trying to replicate the same work in our professional siloes. 

In Conclusion? 

There really is not a conclusion to regulatory changes or advocacy. Once you achieve one goal, you immediately look forward to thinking about what you want to do next.  

For PABC, our current priorities with government are the proposed Regulations and the Health Professions and Occupations Act. We welcome contributions, ideas, suggestions, and even criticisms from all our members as we navigate forward. 

You can look forward to hearing more from us about the HPOA and how it will impact you as a practitioner and the profession. Please keep your eyes open for future webinars on this important topic! 

Andrea Burton