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Taking action on concerns about practice

​​​What's my responsibility?

As a regulated health professional, you have a responsibility to take action when you see unsafe practice, neglect or unprofessional conduct that puts client safety or well-being at risk. This includes a legal and ethical duty to report regulated health professionals to their professional college for conduct such as:

  • incompetent practice
  • impaired practice 
  • unethical conduct 

The professional conduct of BCCNM registrants is guided by the Health Professions Act, the BCCNM Bylaws, the Midwifery Regulation, and Standards and Guidelines.

Understanding when to report, what to report, how to report, who to report to, and what is required of you, both legally and ethically, is important.

What behaviours are of c​​​oncern?

Practice or conduct that poses a danger to the public or is otherwise contrary to the standards and guidelines is concerning. Define the behaviour by asking yourself:

  • Has the practice or behaviour harmed or put clients at risk? How and when?
  • Is the individual failing to provide competent care? How and when?
  • Is the individual's behaviour breaching accepted standards for ethical practice? How and when?
  • Is th​​e individual failing to provide culturally safe care? How and when?

If you can answer “yes" to any of these questions, you have a responsibility to take action.

What can I do to take ac​tion?

Decide if you want to discuss your concerns with the person involved. This can be a difficult decision. Ask yourself:

  • If it were you, how would you want the situation addressed?
  • What is your relationship with the person (e.g., reporting relationship, co-worker, personal relationship)?
  • Can you create an opportunity to discuss your concerns privately?
  • Can you discuss your concerns objectively?
  • What is the likelihood of the person being receptive to your concerns?
  • How will yo​​u know if your conversation will have the desired effect, and protect clients?

If you discuss your concerns with the person and the matter is resolved, it may not be necessary for you to take further action. If the conversation does not resolve your concerns or you decide that talking to the person involved would not be safe or helpful:

Share information about the situation only with those who require it.

​​When should I report to BCCNM?

The Health Professions Act requires you to report an individual if you have reasonable and probable grounds, based on evidence, that their continued practice might constitute a danger to the public.

Behaviours of concern to the college include those that put clients at risk and are practice related. These include behaviour related to racism, culturally unsafe care, drug use, boundary violations, sexual misconduct, abuse and fraud. Those issues likely to be outside the college's mandate/authority include: interpersonal conflicts, rudeness, complaints against health care facilities, clinics or agencies, and other regulated or non-regulated care providers.

Complaints must be in writing and have enough detail to allow BCCNM to evaluate the information and know what specifically to investigate.

As much as possible, the complaint should outline the evidence available to support your concerns. This may include witness reports, results of health records audits/reviews, examples of specific incidents with dates, times and those involved and other relevant, specific information that supports the allegations in the complaint. Here are examples of letters of complaint:

See Complaints and concerns to learn more about submitting a written complaint to BCCNM.

Reporting to other regulatory bodies

Reporting to the appropriate regulatory body is required when there is a reason to believe that there is a risk to clients if the person continues to practise. B.C.'s health regulatory bodies each have a process for investigating and resolving complaints about the health care professionals they regulate. Visit the B.C. Health Regulators website for more information.


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Vancouver, BC  V6C 1S4

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We acknowledge the rights and title of the First Nations on whose collective unceded territories encompass the land base colonially known as British Columbia. We give specific thanks to the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking peoples the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations and the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh-ulh Sníchim speaking Peoples the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), on whose unceded territories BCCNM’s office is located. We also give thanks for the medicines of these territories and recognize that laws, governance, and health systems tied to these lands and waters have existed here for over 9000 years.

We also acknowledge the unique and distinct rights, including rights to health and wellness, of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples from elsewhere in Canada who now live in British Columbia. As leaders in the settler health system, we acknowledge our responsibilities to these rights under international, national, and provincial law.​