Volume 10 | No. 5 | Sep / Oct 2022 query_builder 4 minutes

Registrar’s message: the College rebrands—a summary of registrant feedback and an update on our progress

Dr. Heidi M. Oetter, Registrar and CEO


In October 2021, the College started a major rebranding initiative which will include retiring the crest, a distinctly colonial symbol which was adopted in 1886. The crest will be replaced with a new visual identity that reflects the College’s current-day values of accessibility and inclusivity for all British Columbians.

It is important to emphasize that a brand is not just a logo—it encompasses our organization’s behaviour, language, tone, attitude, and procedures. This project is just one of the steps the College is taking towards truth and reconciliation, as outlined in the 2021–2024 strategic plan.

A critical first step of this project was the discovery phase, which involved extensive research on the current perceptions of our audiences and their needs from the College. We sought feedback from registrants, members of the public, College board members and staff, and colleagues from other health and regulatory organizations.

Registrants were invited to participate in a virtual workshop, one-on-one interviews, and a survey. During this phase, we heard from close to 1,000 registrants who shared their honest feedback and helped identify opportunities for improvement.

We asked registrants whether a number of attributes should fit (or describe) the College as an organization, and whether they often fit currently. The results (see figure 1) illustrated that the majority of registrants surveyed think the words “accessible,” “approachable,” “transparent,” “trusted,” and “fair” should fit the College; however, few think these words often fit now. Conversely, while 43% of registrants think the word “authoritative” should fit the College, 74% think it often fits. This indicates there is a major opportunity for the new brand to strike a more equitable balance between being authoritative and the other more positive attributes, such as being approachable.

Figure 1


Registrants were also asked to share their thoughts on what the College can do to be more accessible, approachable, transparent, trusted, and fair. Some clear themes emerged.

A number of registrants described a need for more supportive engagement with the College. While the College’s role is to regulate the practice of medicine for the protection and safety of patients, providing registrants with resources and supports to assist them in their practice and help them to apply standards and guidelines is part of our job.

The College recently introduced a free coaching service for registrants seeking guidance on applying the standards and guidelines in their daily practice. We are also transitioning our educational workshops to interactive virtual learning opportunities in order to make them more accessible to busy registrants across the province. This project includes revamping existing courses such as the Prescribers Course and Medical Record Keeping, as well as developing new courses on practice standards that frequently elicit questions. As always, registrants can seek support on clinical questions from the College library.

Many registrants expressed a need to see more diversity at the College. The College has committed to increasing Indigenous membership on the Board and committees. We currently have two Indigenous members of the Board, and most panels of the Inquiry Committee include at least one Indigenous person recommended by the First Nations Health Authority. This is an ongoing journey, and we know that we have more work to do to ensure that the diversity of British Columbia is represented on College staff, Board, and committees.

Registrants also called for accessibility and transparency from the College. Transparency is one the College’s core values. Several recent initiatives have been driven by the goal of being more transparent and accessible, including our updated website and a new open call process for recruiting committee members. Further, one of the actions in the 2021–2024 strategic plan is to engage with registrants to ensure practice standards and guidelines are relevant, current, and easy to operationalize. We are committed to ensuring that our regulatory processes and policies are clear, accessible, and applied consistently, and that information about the work of the College is readily available and easy to understand.

The areas for improvement identified by registrants during the discovery phase are being carefully reviewed. We have also continued to seek registrant feedback during the design phase of this project, and your insightful comments will be considered as we progress in developing a new visual identity.

Thank you to all of you who have provided input throughout this process. Feedback from registrants, members of the public, and partner organizations is critical to ensuring that the new brand represents the College as an evolving, accessible, diverse, ethical, transparent, and dedicated organization.

We look forward to sharing the results of this exciting project with you in 2023.

Heidi M. Oetter, MD
Registrar and CEO

Comments on this or any other article published in the College Connector can be submitted to the communications and public affairs department at communications@cpsbc.ca.