Skip to main content

Provincial government introduces new legislation to replace the Health Professions Act

Nov 25, 2022

​Updated Feb. 3, 2023, to add link to government FAQs

B.C.'s Minister of Health on Oct. 19, 2022, introduced new legislation to replace the Health Professions Act (HPA), the umbrella statute by which the government has established a common regulatory system for the province's health professions.

The new Health Professions and Occupations Act (HPOA), which received Royal Assent on Nov. 24, 2022, lays the groundwork for transforming how regulators fulfill our mandate to protect the public. This new legislation reflects Harry Cayton's 2018 review of both the HPA and the former College of Dental Surgeons of BC, and the subsequent recommendations from the all-party Steering Committee on the Modernization of Health Profession Regulation in 2020.

It is now up to Cabinet to determine when this new Act will take effect. For now, BCCNM continues to operate under the current HPA.

What will this mean for nurses and midwives?

BCCNM is reviewing the new HPOA and assessing how it will impact our work. Some notable provisions include:

  • A significant focus on discrimination and anti-racism​​

  • Enabling colleges to create and update bylaws without requiring ministerial approval

  • Eliminating the election of registrant board members in favour of fully appointed boards

  • Setting out requirements for the creation of a new oversight body with responsibility for functions such as managing the board appointment process and running disciplinary hearings

  • Requiring colleges to publish the outcome of all disciplinary actions​

  • Changing the terms "registration" to "license" and "registrants" to "licensees"

  • Legislative options and a path for amalgamations, to reduce the number of health profession regulators from fourteen to six

The new Act's focus on discrimination aligns with BCCNM's own cultural safety and humility journey and our work to tackle anti-Indigenous racism and other forms of discrimination. And with the amalgamation of B.C.'s three nursing regulators in 2018 to form the BC College of Nursing Professionals (BCCNP), and BCCNP's subsequent amalgamation with the College of Midwives of BC (CMBC) in 2020 to form BCCNM, our college is ahead of the curve in many respects. We do not anticipate further amalgamations at this time.

We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the Ministry, registrants, fellow regulators, and the public to advance a vision for health profession regulation that is efficient, consistent, effective, and firmly focused on the public interest. We will provide nurses and midwives with regular updates over the coming months.


900 – 200 Granville St
Vancouver, BC  V6C 1S4

​Toll-free 1.866.880.7101 (within Canada only) ​

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.​