Proposed Amendment: Designation of Psychotherapists

The Ministry of Health is proposing amendments to the Health Professions Designation and Amalgamation Regulation. The proposed amendments would designate psychotherapy as a regulated health profession under the Health Professions Act.

This proposed change would not immediately result in the regulation of psychotherapy, as the development of profession-specific regulations would still need to be completed to establish aspects such as scope of practice, reserved titles, and the name of the college that would regulate the profession.

The notice period required by the Health Professions Act before the proposed regulations amendments can be enacted begins on May 24, 2024.

The proposed regulation changes are posted on the Ministry of Health website, along with additional background.

The Ministry requests that any comments on these proposed regulation amendments be submitted on an expedited timeline no later than June 24, 2024. 

Please submit comments by e-mail to:

PROREGADMIN@gov.bc.ca

Professional Regulation and Oversight Branch
Health Sector Workforce and Beneficiary Services Division
Ministry of Health
1515 Blanshard Street
Victoria, BC

Draft Bylaws for New, Multi-Professional College Available for Public Feedback

A set of bylaws for the College of Health and Care Professionals of BC has been drafted and are now available for public feedback until June 14, 2024, at 4:30 pm.

These bylaws are based on the bylaws of the existing College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC) and the other six regulatory colleges that will amalgamate on June 28, 2024, to form the College of Health and Care Professionals of BC.

The bylaws will be revised throughout the public notice period based on feedback. Revised bylaws will be posted on the amalgamation website.

For the most up-to-date version of the bylaws, please visit https://c7amalgamation.com/bylaws/.

A final set of bylaws will be approved by the new Board of the College of Health and Care Professionals of BC and filed with the Ministry of Health so that they come into force on June 28, 2024.

Read more about the draft bylaws and how you can submit feedback.

Internationally Educated Occupational Therapist Credential Assessment and Education Bursary Program

A bursary is available to assist Internationally Educated Occupational Therapists (IEOTs) with the costs of becoming licensed to work in BC.

Health Match BC (HMBC), in partnership with the BC Ministry of Health (MoH), will support eligible IEOTs who want to work in BC by offering financial support to help pay for the credential assessment, English language proficiency testing, and eligible supplemental education. The bursary became available on January 15, 2024.  

In BC, occupational therapists (OTs) must be licensed by COTBC to practice as occupational therapists. For IEOTs, the process begins through ACOTRO, the national credentialing body. To become licensed in BC, IEOTs must first apply for ACOTRO’s SEAS Program. ACOTRO will use the SEAS Program to evaluate whether an IEOT’s educational qualifications and competencies are substantially equivalent to those of a Canadian-educated occupational therapist. 

Find out more about bursary eligibility requirements.

Visit ACOTRO for more resources.

Ministry of Health Confirms Name of New Multi-Profession College

The Ministry of Health has deposited regulation changes that reflect the final name for the new multi-profession regulatory college that will amalgamate:

  • The College of Occupational Therapists of BC
  • The College of Dietitians of BC
  • The College of Optometrists of BC
  • The College of Opticians of BC
  • The College of Physical Therapists of BC
  • The College of Psychologists of BC
  • The College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC

The name for this new multi-profession college is the College of Health and Care Professionals of BC.

COTBC will amalgamate with the other six colleges to form the College of Health and Care Professionals of BC on June 28, 2024. Until then, COTBC and the other six colleges will continue to regulate health professionals.

CEOs Appointed for Two Future Multi-profession Colleges

CEOs have been appointed in anticipation of the amalgamation of 11 regulatory health colleges to form two new multi-profession colleges on June 28, 2024.

Carin Plischke, currently the Registrar and CEO of the College of Occupational Therapists of BC, has been appointed CEO of the new multi-profession college that will amalgamate the College of Chiropractors of BC, College of Massage Therapists of BC, College of Naturopathic Physicians of BC, and College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of BC on June 28, 2024. She will assume the CEO role part-time while continuing to oversee the College of Occupational Therapists of BC (COTBC) until amalgamation.

Dianne Millette, currently the Registrar of the College of Physical Therapists of BC, has been appointed CEO of the new multi-profession college that will amalgamate COTBC, the College of Dietitians of BC, College of Optometrists of BC, College of Opticians of BC, College of Physical Therapists of BC, College of Psychologists of BC, and College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC on June 28, 2024.

Dianne will also continue to oversee her college while taking on the CEO role part-time until amalgamation. With more than three decades of experience in health profession regulation, Dianne has the knowledge and skill set to successfully lead this new college after amalgamation.

Role of the CEOs before amalgamation

Before amalgamation, the two CEO roles will focus on establishing the new colleges’ staffing and culture to ensure continuity of regulatory operations, business and budget planning, and building relationships with partners.

Proposed new college name

The Ministry of Health has proposed the following name for the new college that will amalgamate COTBC and six other colleges: The College of Health and Care Professionals of BC. The deadline for feedback on the name was January 12, 2024. We will share the new college’s name once the Ministry has decided.

As a reminder, COTBC is being directed by the Ministry of Health to amalgamate with the six other colleges. This amalgamation is part of the Ministry of Health’s multi-year initiative to modernize BC’s health profession regulatory framework. More information is available on the Ministry of Health’s Professional Regulation webpage.

We will continue to keep you updated on our website as the amalgamation work progresses.

If you have questions about this announcement, including Carin Plischke’s role in the period before amalgamation, email her at info@cotbc.org.