Practice standards and professional guidelines

The College develops practice standards, professional guidelines and legislative guidance to assist physicians and surgeons in meeting high standards of medical practice and conduct. The topics addressed focus on specific issues that are relevant to the practice of medicine.

Registrants are encouraged to become familiar with these documents and review them regularly as they are routinely updated over time.

Practice standards

A practice standard reflects the minimum standard of professional behaviour and ethical conduct on a specific topic or issue expected by the College of all physicians and surgeons in British Columbia.

Standards also reflect relevant legal requirements and are enforceable under the Health Professions Act, RSBC 1996, c.183 (HPA) and College Bylaws under the HPA.

Practice standardAdditional information
Access to Medical Care Without Discrimination 
Advertising and Communication with the PublicRegistrant resource, public resource
Blood-borne Viruses in RegistrantsExposure-prone procedures list
Cannabis for Medical Purposes 
Care Coverage Outside Regular Office Hours 
Changing Registration Status to Temporarily Inactive During an Absence from Medical Practice 
Charging for Uninsured ServicesPublic resource
Complementary and Alternative TherapiesPublic resource
Conflict of Interest 
Consent to TreatmentEquity considerations for registrants, online course for registrants
Disclosure of Adverse or Harmful Events 
Ending the Patient-registrant RelationshipPublic resource, online course for registrants
Independent Medical ExaminationsPublic resource
Indigenous Cultural Safety, Cultural Humility and Anti-racismFAQs, learning resources, public resource, videos
Injection of Botulinum Toxin, Dermal Fillers and Venous Sclerotherapy 
Intravenous Therapy in the Community Setting 
Job Shadowing/Observing 
Laser Safety 
Leaving PracticeOnline course for registrants
Medical Assistance in DyingFAQs
Medical Certificates and Other Third-party Reports 
Medical Records DocumentationOnline courses for registrants
Medical Records ManagementOnline courses for registrants
Non-sexual Boundary Violations 
Photographic, Video and Audio Recording of PatientsPublic resource
Physical Examinations and ProceduresVideo
Prescribing Methadone 
Primary Care Provision in Walk-in, Urgent Care and Multi-registrant ClinicsFAQs, public resource
Promotion and Sale of Medical Supplies and Devices 
Reporting a Child in Need of Protection 
Requests from Defence Lawyers 
Safe Prescribing of Opioids and SedativesFAQs, online courses for registrants
Sale and Dispensing of DrugsPublic resource
Sexual MisconductPublic resource
Treatment of Self, Family Members and Others Close to YouPublic resource
Virtual CarePublic resource, online course for registrants
Withdrawal of Medical Services During Job Action 

Interim guidance

Interim guidance from the College provides information to express or clarify the College’s view on a particular matter. It is intended as guidance for registrants in areas where research and current practice are evolving or changing rapidly, the implementation of processes and procedures may be premature, or it is timely to communicate the College’s stance on an issue before a practice standard or professional guideline is developed.

The legislation that provides a common regulatory framework for health professions in BC
The College Bylaws under the Health Professions Act
Additional resources to help patients understand regulation of medical practice in BC