Update on BC Health Regulatory Framework following MOH Meeting

September 15, 2020 BCPA participated in an early information session regarding modernization of the BC health profession regulatory framework. In preparation for this meeting, a survey was issued seeking membership feedback with respect to how paramedics may fit into the proposed regulatory framework (this survey is still open and seeking participants). With the October 24 provincial election the status of proposed regulatory changes with respect to future provincial legislation is unknown.

BCPA will continue to keep the membership apprised of this quickly developing situation. Continued membership feedback will be collected via ongoing survey. Click the link below to participate.

BC Health Profession Regulatory Framework Survey

Early paramedic survey results have brought forward several themes worth addressing:

Financial Cost of Professional Registration

While it is impossible to declare a precise yearly registration cost, it is possible to infer a probable cost range based on existing professional college and registration bodies. Presently Canada has self regulatory colleges in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba (in transition), New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Fees in the self regulated provinces are as follows:

Alberta: $525

Saskatchewan: $510

Manitoba: $550

New Brunswick: $400

Nova Scotia: $450

Canadian Average: $487

Of note the current model in other provinces is one with a single profession per college. The proposed changes to the BC regulatory framework would create professional colleges covering multiple professions per college (six regulators in total). The multi-professional college model of regulation, though new in North America, has been deployed in the United Kingdom. The UK Health and Care Professionals Council regulates multiple professions under a single regulator, including paramedics. Shared overhead costs may reduce the yearly registration fee of included professionals.

Why not an independent paramedic only regulator?

Presently BC has over 20 health professions regulated under the Health Professions Act. Both the Cayton Report and the Steering Committee on Modernization of Health Professional Regulation have identified a strong public appetite for health regulatory reform. Public consultation has resulted in moves to simplify the regulatory process, enhance accountability to the public, and guarantee merit based appointments to the respective regulatory boards. In keeping with the public’s desire to simplify process and enhance accountability, the current regulatory framework recommendation involves a reduction in the number of colleges to six from the previous number over twenty. As part of the reformation process, there exists the opportunity to incorporate the regulation of Emergency Medical Assistants (paramedics) into one of the newly formed regulatory colleges. Presently paramedicine is a regulated health occupation. Reformation under a regulatory college would include a transition to paramedicine being a regulated health profession.

In reviewing the available information, the multi-profession model presents both strengths and potential weaknesses. Public approachability, public accountability, and governance complexity all stand to improve under a multi-profession model. Risks to be mitigated include, loss of voice for professions with a small number of practitioners, inappropriately matched health professions within a given college, and a perceived loss of regulatory independence.

Current proposed health regulatory changes present the greatest opportunity paramedicine in BC has had to modernize paramedic practice regulation. The opportunity to develop a separate individual professional college is not presently on the table.

What could a professional college mean for educational standards?

In addition to regulating the practice of a given health profession, regulated health profession colleges have the ability to set and enforce minimum educational standards. In effect this allows professional colleges to evaluate the quality of an educational programme of study and determine if said programme meets the minimum standards for it’s graduates to pursue registration or licensure. If educational institutions fail to meet these standards graduates would not be eligible for registration with the governing professional college.

If for example the minimum entry to practice requirement for a profession is a baccalaureate degree, only those who have completed the required baccalaureate degree would be eligible for registration.

Which of the proposed health profession colleges are paramedics going to end up in?

This has yet to be determined. If paramedicine is moved under one of the proposed health professions colleges, the overseeing college is expected to be identified as part of the ongoing consultation process. Based on responses received from BCPA members thus far, Paramedics believe the proposed Regulatory College of Allied Health and Care Professionals to be the most appropriate fit.

Directly from Recommendations to modernize the provincial health profession regulatory framework, “One of the umbrella regulatory colleges, which will tentatively be referred to as the Regulatory College of Allied Health and Care Professionals, should include: dietitians, occupational therapists, opticians, optometrists, physical therapists, psychologists, and speech and hearing professionals, as well as diagnostic and therapeutic professions in the future.”

Of note diagnostic and therapeutic professions will likely include professions such as Respiratory Therapy, Medical Radiation Technology,  and Perfusion.

The potential for great change is at our doorstep.

Remember everyone, 

Education Builds the Dream

Ed Peters

Front-Line Input sought on Paramedic Healthcare Regulation in British Columbia

In the words of Monty Python, “We’re not dead yet.” After a longer than desired hiatus for personal, professional, and Pandemic reasons; the BCPA is ready to inform on Paramedicine as a regulated healthcare profession. I would like to personally thank each of you who continued to support the movement during this perceived lull in activity as we worked feverishly behind the scenes in many important areas. The road is long, but we will endure.

The work continues in seeking educational and regulatory reform. This can only occur via direct engagement of the membership. Specific to the subject of regulatory reform, BCPA has been invited to participate in an information session regarding the Ministry of Health steering committee “Recommendations to modernize the provincial health profession regulatory framework.” As this is clearly an opportunity to have our voices heard, it’s all the more important we seek to meet the membership’s needs and expectations.

What does the membership want to know about forthcoming changes to health practitioner regulation? How do paramedics see themselves fitting into regulatory changes? What does the membership envision as ideal health practitioner regulation and how does that align with the needs of the public? I implore every Paramedic reading to contemplate these considerations, read the steering committee’s current recommendations, and fill out the linked survey. Best representation requires engagement. Allow us the privilege of providing the best representation possible. 

PLEASE Complete this survey on the future of Paramedic regulation in BC to have your voice heard and brought forward in this consultation: https://forms.gle/o2saWFVoh963m2Uz9

With respect to the composition of the executive, we will be putting forward a call for nominations to fill each of the executive roles as part of a voluntary, open and transparent professional representation organization. In keeping with the current public health situation, voting will be online so as to maintain appropriate physical distancing throughout the process. Nominations for available positions will also be completed through an online process.

As for continuing education initiatives, keep an eye out for new interactive continuing education sessions this fall.

We’ll keep building bridges and partnerships and advocating for educational reform, regulatory reform, and quality Paramedic practice, but we need your support and participation. 

Education builds the dream.

Edward Peters

BCPA President

Critical Care Paramedic

COVID-19 Crisis Resource for BCYPA Members

We recognize the courage, fortitude and commitment of our members during this unprecedented, challenging time. Thank you. We have the deepest gratitude for the sacrifices you make every day – especially during this pandemic.

Our members and their families may be dealing with anxiety, stress, fear, isolation or other difficult emotions. We want you to know that they are not alone. We are here for you.

·       In partnership with Crisis Text Line, Kids Help Phone is offering crisis response across Canada, for all ages. In this moment of heightened anxiety, we are always there in any moment of need to support you. Text FRONTLINE to 741741 to access free, confidential 24/7 mental health support in both official languages.

·       We have partnered with the Government of Canada and other partners to create a web-based platform for mental health and addictions support services, called Wellness Together Canada. This service is available to adults in Canada for free, 24/7.

·       We published a number of online tools and clinically-researched resources on our website for supporting the young people in your life during COVID-19. This may be helpful to you as your members support the young people closest to them. Our confidential, 24/7 phone-based counselling service (1-800-668-6868) and texting service for youth (CONNECT to 686868) are available to young people everywhere.

BCPA Regulated Health Profession: Paramedic Feedback Survey

Individuals and Organizations now have an opportunity to provide input into the reform of regulated health professions in British Columbia. As part of this process the BCPA will be providing a written submission to the government.

We are seeking input from members and British Columbia Paramedics to inform our submission to the government.

Please take the time provide input to the British Columbia Paramedic Association for consideration in our submissions.

Thank you

PRESS RELEASE – British Columbia Paramedic Association Supports Auditor General’s Report on BCEHS

For Immediate Release
February 28, 2019

British Columbia Paramedic Association Supports Auditor General’s Report on BCEHS

Vancouver, BC — The British Columbia Paramedic Association (BCPA), an independent body representing paramedic clinical and professional practice in British Columbia, supports the findings of the BC Auditor General’s Report on the British Columbia Emergency Health Services (BCEHS). Executive Director, Scott Ramey a Critical Care Paramedic says “It appears to be a well balanced report; emphasizing the positive improvements well underway, while outlining within the recommendations some areas BCEHS has already identified for on-going enhancement.


In particular BCPA shares the view expressed within the auditor’s report that a comprehensive clinical quality assurance and improvement program would serve to improve overall patient care standards. In the interest of public safety such a program would encompass the full emergency health services response profile, ranging from first responder through paramedic treatment and transport. Quality assurance practices previously only applied to paramedic levels of care would serve to enhance patient safety once applied across all levels of care, including first responders. BCPA President, Edward Peters, a Critical Care Paramedic, shared that “The BCPA strives to continually improve patient care through the enhancement of paramedic education and by supporting sound clinical oversight.”


The auditor general made particularly valid recommendations regarding several areas of clinical practice and patient care in British Columbia. The expansion of advanced levels of paramedic care to suburban and rural areas should be further explored and is long overdue.


All levels of responders contribute greatly to the emergency health system. There are areas the BCPA sees opportunities to rapidly and significantly enhance patient care. Of note, the Auditor General emphasized the ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) program in the report. The BCPA supports the addition of Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) 12-lead ECG acquisition, 12-lead interpretation and STEMI bypass. These skills and procedures have to date been restricted to Advanced Care Paramedics (ACP) in BC while other provinces have proven the effectiveness of a PCP STEMI program in broadening accessibility to life saving STEMI care in a timely and safe manner.


BCPA would be delighted to see greater evaluation of the rural and remote inter-facility transport system in future system status reports. BCEHS is a lifeline for rural and remote patients requiring referral to specialty care; often in urgent and emergent conditions far from where these patients reside. The evaluation of these critical care transport services was excluded from the report and is not on the current BCEHS list of active projects outlined within.


The British Columbia Paramedic Association is committed to the translation and application of pre-hospital clinical research for the enhancement of patient care through paramedic derived evidence based medicine. Any opportunity for the BCPA to work with BCEHS toward the enhancement of paramedic education, clinical practice, quality, risk, safety and improved patient outcomes is welcomed.

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Contact:
Scott Ramey, CCP
Executive Director
Scott.Ramey@paramedicsbc.ca
(604)801-9696