All physicians and surgeons who are licensed to practise in British Columbia are registrants of the College. Members of the public can raise issues of concern about a College registrant through our complaints process.

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Are you wondering if you should submit a complaint?

The College’s complaints process is legislated by the Health Professions Act. Here is information on what complaints the College can investigate and what to expect in the process.

What to expect before filing a complaint

Submitting a complaint with the College can lead to better health and well-being for all patients.

We encourage people to share their concerns about a physician or surgeon’s (registrant’s) professionalism or clinical competence if they think there is a risk to the public.

Here are some things people can expect when they submit a complaint with the College.

  • It is the beginning of a regulatory and legal process.
  • The process takes place primarily through written correspondence.
  • We are required to share all complaints with the registrant(s) involved.
  • The registrant(s) involved must provide a written response to the College. 

Who we can investigate and cannot investigate

As the regulator of BC’s physicians and surgeons, we can investigate:

  • all physicians and surgeons licensed with the College

While the College can investigate a physician's office practices, it has no jurisdiction over medical office staff. As their employer, the College expects a physician to assume appropriate accountability for their staff's actions and/or behaviour.

We cannot investigate the performance of any other regulated health-care professional.

A complaint may involve team-based care provided at a hospital or other community facility. In these cases we recommend consulting the Patient Care Quality Office in a regional health authority.

What we can do

Registrants being investigated have to provide a response and relevant medical records. We review their care and conduct to determine if they met the College’s practice standards and guidelines.

We strive to be fair and reasonable with our decision-making process. A complaint may sometimes reveal issues that need to be addressed. In such cases, we have a range of remedial and disciplinary measures to help the registrant improve their practice.

What we cannot do

We regulate the practice of medicine under provincial law and, as such, cannot do the following:

  • direct the clinical care of an individual patient
  • arrange for the transfer of care to a different registrant
  • compel a registrant to apologize
  • provide or insist on financial compensation
  • overrule opinions given in independent medical examinations (e.g. independent medical examinations for WorkSafeBC, ICBC or other matters)
  • withhold the identity of a complainant who wishes to remain anonymous

What is the nature of the complaint?

Select the type of complaint to be filed and learn about the complaint process

Click here if the concern is about a registrant’s clinical performance or professional behaviour.
Click here if the concern involves a registrant’s inappropriate sexual behaviour.

Are you ready to file a complaint?

Download the complaint form to get started with complaint process

Complaint form

Commitment to cultural safety and humility

We are working on making our complaints process more accessible to Indigenous people

See what we are working on

Do you have questions?

Contact us