Click on the links below to see our FAQ’s

No. The Health Professions Act (the Act) only allows complainants to apply for a review of complaint dispositions.

The Act does not give the review board authority to reinvestigate a complaint once a college has made its disposition. At this point, the review board can only review the adequacy of the investigation and the reasonableness of the disposition.

The review board does have authority to take over a complaint investigation in specific circumstances:

  • a college must have notified the parties of their right to request a timeliness review when a complaint investigation has taken longer than the time allowed by the Act
  • AND either the complainant or the registrant applies for a timeliness review
  • AND the review board determines that it should take over the investigation

The review board’s Rules of Practice and Procedure under the Health Professions Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 183 (the Rules) set out how the review board’s review hearings are conducted.  The Rules specify procedures to ensure a fair, transparent, timely and consistent hearing process.  They are made under the authority of the Administrative Tribunals Act (s.11(1)) and the Act (s.50.64).

In complaint reviews, the review board’s authority is limited to a review of the reasonableness of the inquiry committee’s disposition and the adequacy of the investigation. The review board can make one of the following three orders after a review:

  • confirm the decision
  • direct the inquiry committee to make a decision that it could have made in the matter, or
  • send the matter back to the inquiry committee for reconsideration with directions

In registration reviews, the review board can review certain registration decisions made by a college’s registration committee. After its review, the review board can make an order to:

  • confirm the registration decision,
  • direct the registration committee to make a decision that it could have made,
  • send the matter back to the registration committee for reconsideration with directions, or
  • direct the college to register an applicant ONLY IF
    • The review board determines that the registration committee did not act fairly
    • AND
    • the registration committee’s decision
      • a. was made arbitrarily or in bad faith,
      • b. was made for an improper purpose,
      • c. was based entirely or predominately on irrelevant factors, or
      • d. failed to take requirements under this Act into account
    • AND
      • the applicant’s knowledge, skills and ability are substantially equivalent to the standards of academic or technical achievement and the competencies or other qualifications required for registration in a class of Registrants
    • AND
      • the applicant meets any other conditions or requirements for registration in the class of registrants

In timeliness reviews, the review board can make an order sending the matter back to the inquiry committee with directions to continue and complete the investigation by a specific time, or the review board can investigate and dispose of the matter itself.

If the registration committee makes decisions that the review board can review, it is required by the Act to inform the applicant.  These are:

  • refusal of a grant of registration as a member of the college, except for refusals under ss.20(2.1) or (3) of the Act;
  • a grant of registration in a class of registrants under s.20(2) of the Act with limits or conditions on the practice of the designated health professions by the registrant, except limits or conditions imposed under ss.20(2.1) or (3); or
  • refusal of certification as a certified non-registrant

No. The review board has no authority to order financial or any other compensation.

The Act does not give the review board authority to direct registrants to do anything. Our authority relates to colleges only.

The review board does not have the authority under the Act to do any of the following:

  • issue a new/different decision from the one you received from the college
  • order monetary compensation (damages, money or compensation for loss)
  • discipline or suspend registrants
  • conduct a new investigation or independently investigate the complaint
  • change/adapt the college record of investigation
  • change the professional opinion of a health care provider

No, the review board does not automatically get a copy of every complaint/registration decision. When an inquiry or registration committee issues its decision, it must inform the complainant/applicant of their right to request a review, but it is not required to send the review board a copy of the disposition.

It is a review of all the documented material related to the review (a college’s complaint investigation/registration file). This information shows how an inquiry committee dealt with a complaint, or how a registration committee made its decision on whether to grant an applicant registration in the college.  The review board obtains this information from the college, and it is the main focus of the review.

To ensure transparency and fairness, the review board Rules require all the parties to send all communications to every other party to the review, on the same day. This ensures that all parties have access to the same information at the same time.  See information sheet “Responsibility to Communicate with the Review Board.”

To start the review process, the review board only needs the completed application and the inquiry committee disposition/registration committee decision you want reviewed.

The case manager will invite the parties to submit any additional information they want the review board to consider at the right time in the hearing process.  The review process works best when information and submissions are received in an orderly way. There is no benefit to submitting information before the case manager invites you to do so.

The Act requires the review board to focus its review on the complaint investigation/registration file. However, the Act allows the review board to consider additional information if it is reasonably required for a full and fair disclosure of the issues under review. The review board has to decide if the additional information is “reasonably required” for “full and fair disclosure” before it admits it.

The Act requires the review board to focus its review on the complaint investigation/registration file. However, the Act allows the review board to consider additional information if it is reasonably required for a full and fair disclosure of the issues under review. The review board has to decide if the additional information is “reasonably required” for “full and fair disclosure” before it admits it.

Once a decision is issued, it is final, and the review is over. Parties have 30 days to request that the review board modify the final decision, but only to clarify it: the review board cannot change its final decision.

Section 57 of the Administrative Tribunals Act allows 60 days from the date of the decisions for parties to file an application for judicial review if a party believes the review board made an error of law or procedural fairness in a decision. The review board cannot assist with the judicial review process. You may wish to contact a lawyer for assistance.

If the review board orders a college to do something, it is the college’s responsibility to comply with the order. The review board has no authority to ask the college to report back on how it has complied with an order.

If the review board confirms a complaint disposition or registration decision, the application for review is dismissed.

No. A party can only apply to the review board for clarification of a decision, not to change it. The panel chair will decide whether or not to amend the decision to make it clearer. The application must be made within 30 days of the date the decision is sent out. Otherwise, once a decision has been issued, it can only be amended to correct a clerical or typographical error, accidental or inadvertent error or omission, or an arithmetical error.

A party can write the review board chair to explain why they think the review process was unfair. The review board chair will determine if the process was unfair, and if the application needs to be re-opened to address this.

The Record will contain a complete copy of the complaint investigation/registration file, including all clinical and other personal information.

Applications to withhold information from a party to the review may be made under s.42 of the Administrative Tribunals Act. Such applications are usually made by a college when it produces the Record to the review board. The college is in the best position to know what the Record contains, because it did the investigation. However, a complainant or registrant may be aware of information exchanged during the investigation that they believe should be withheld from another party. In this case, they may wish to consult the college directly if they believe a s.42 application is needed. Likewise, under rule 15(5) a college may consult with the registrant and/or the complainant where it believes that particular information may raise an issue for that party. See the information sheet “Withholding information in the Record from a Party”.

No. The review board’s policy is not to disclose the names or identifying information of any party or witness (except for the names of colleges and the parties’ agents) in published decisions. See our Decision Publication Policy.

Review board tribunal members are appointed by the Lieutenant Govenor in Council through a merit-based selection process. The appointment of review board members by cabinet ensures that they perform their adjudicative functions independently and at arms-length from the colleges and government. Members cannot be government employees, or members or registrants of any health profession or health professions regulatory body.

Under Rule 57 and s. 32 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, “a party may represent themselves in a review or be represented by legal counsel or agent.” You have the right to retain a lawyer, and if you choose to hire a lawyer, you are responsible for paying the cost.

The review board’s process is meant to be straightforward for self-represented parties. Case managers are assigned to help all parties to navigate the review process. They are required to be neutral and unbiased and will not take the side of any party.

To keep the review process orderly and transparent, once a party has appointed a representative such as an advocate, agent or legal counsel, this is the person review board staff will communicate with.

No. The review board is an independent, neutral decision maker. A case manager can assist you to understand and navigate the review board’s process; however, review board staff or members do not advocate for any party, and do not provide advice to parties.

No. The review board provides a neutral forum for members of the public as well as any health professionals, to resolve issues or seek review of registration committee and inquiry committee decisions.

The Act specifies that the college is the party for the purposes of the review process.

The review board encourages the resolution of applications for review through mediation. If the parties are amenable, the review board will appoint a neutral mediator at no cost to the parties. In mediation the parties can agree to a broader range of possible outcomes than a formal review.  This may result in more satisfaction for the parties. If mediation is not successful, the parties still have the right to proceed to a written hearing.  See Mediation FAQs for more information.