More than 20 health professions in BC are regulated under the Health Professions Act (HPA). All health professionals regulated under the HPA 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).
This means that if a CDSBC registrant believes that the public is at risk because a practitioner is not competent or is suffering from a physical or mental ailment, emotional disturbance or alcohol/drug addiction that impairs their ability to practise, they have a duty to report this regardless of whether the practitioner is from their own profession or a different health profession.
The HPA 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, the consent of the patient or their parent/guardian must be obtained before making the report. Note that this duty to report is distinct from the requirement to report a child in need of protection as set out in section 14 of B.C.’s Child, Family and Community Service Act.
Because the duty to report under the HPA applies across the health professions, where you are required to make a formal report you must submit it in writing to the regulatory body with which the health professional in question is registered. Practitioners are advised to contact the college of the individual they are reporting to discuss the format and procedure for submitting their concern.
Several practitioners who share a concern may submit one report; however, it must be signed by all the practitioners submitting it.
For more information about your duty to report under the HPA, read our Duty to Report FAQ.