Public trust in the regulatory system and in the professionals working in our Province is of utmost importance. Understanding how to make a complaint requires understanding the nature of the complaint or concern you have.
Complaints to Office of Superintendent of Professional Governance
Complaints or concerns that are about systemic or general matters relating to professional governance by regulatory bodies can be made to the Superintendent by contacting the OSPG.
When we receive a complaint, we may reach out to the complainant to gather more information before determining a course of action. If a complaint made to the Superintendent can be better addressed by another body, the Superintendent may refer a person to that appropriate body.
The Superintendent may not able to investigate matters that relate to an individual registrant but may be interested in these cases as they contribute to knowledge about systemic or general issues related to the profession.
Until the PGA is fully in force, the Superintendent’s powers to investigate and take action are limited; however, understanding the concern may help ensure sound policy is developed during the implementation of the PGA, and guidance is provided to regulatory bodies.
Once the PGA is fully in force, the Superintendent may conduct an investigation or audit into:
- any aspect of the administration or operation of a regulatory body,
- the state of practice of a profession in BC,
- an exercise of a power or a performance of a duty, or the failure to exercise a power or perform a duty, under the PGA,
- offences under PGA related to
- use of reserved titles and reserved practices,
- duty to report and reprisals,
- filing declarations of competency and conflict of interest,
- contravention of a s. 67 order made by a regulatory body to impose limits or conditions on a registrant’s practice or suspend a registrant’s registration in the public interest,
- obstruction of the Superintendent,
- or obstruction of an inspection or search.
Following an investigation, the Superintendent may issue a guideline or a directive to a regulatory body, or in extreme cases, appoint a public administrator to assume management of the regulatory body. The Superintendent may also charge a person with an offence under the PGA or issue an administrative penalty.
Complaints to Regulatory Bodies
If your complaint is regarding a professional registrant in the practice of their profession, the complaint should be made to the registrant’s regulatory body. The PGA specifies that complaints may be made against a registrant for:
- incompetence, in relation to the performance of duties undertaken while engaged in a regulated practice, including
- a lack of competence or fitness to engage in the regulated practice, or
- an incapacity or impairment that prevents a registrant from engaging in the regulated practice with reasonable skill, competence and safety of the public
- professional misconduct, meaning misconduct by a registrant as a professional, relating to the performance of duties while engaged in a regulated practice, including a failure to comply with, or a breach of, the Act, the regulations or the bylaws
- conduct unbecoming a registrant, meaning conduct of a registrant that
- brings the regulatory body or its registrants into disrepute,
- undermines the standards, methods or principles that are the foundation of the profession, or
- undermines the principle of holding paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public, including the protection of the environment and the promotion of health and safety in the workplace in the manner that reflects the stewardship of a given profession by each regulatory body.
The regulatory body should also be notified about a person who is not a registrant and who may be practicing in a reserved practice or using a reserved title. For example, Engineers and Geoscientists BC (EGBC) should be notified about someone who is representing themselves as a professional engineering or geoscience licensee (P.Eng., P.Geo., Struct. Eng., Eng.L, or Geo.L) and/or practicing independently within the scope of practice of engineering or geoscience, but who has not registered with EGBC. The College of Applied Biology (CAB) should be notified about someone who is practicing within the scope of applied biology and representing themselves as a Registered Professional Biologist (RPBio), Registered Biology Technologist (RBTech) or Applied Biology Technician (ABT), but who is not registered with CAB.
Please refer to the regulatory body websites for more information about their complaints and discipline processes.
Complaints to the Office of the Ombudsperson
If your complaint is related to unfair decisions, actions, omissions or procedures of a regulatory body, and no right of appeal exists in respect of the matter, it may be appropriate to file a complaint with the BC Ombudsperson. Please refer to the Office of the Ombudsperson website for more information about their complaints process and resolution options.