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Backgrounder(s) & FactSheet(s):Backgrounder




For Immediate Release


Dec. 11, 2008

Ministry of Health Services




VICTORIA – The professions of audiology, speech-language pathology and hearing instrument dispensing will come under the Health Professions Act through a new regulatory college for speech and hearing professionals, Health Services Minister George Abbott announced today.


Abbott also appointed members to the new college’s board for the first year. The appointed board will be in place until the college is fully operational and has completed the initial registration process. The board members from the professions will then be elected, with the first election occurring in summer 2010.


“The College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals will give British Columbians a new level of accountability, protection and transparency in dealing with speech and hearing professionals,” said Abbott. “This is the first time British Columbia has established a new umbrella college for multiple distinct professions, and it represents the collaboration of many people who worked hard to make it happen.”


Effective Dec. 15, 2008, the three professions will come under the Health Professions Act and a single regulatory college will be established. The Ministry of Health Services will work with the new college throughout 2009 to ensure that it is fully operational by 2010. The new college is expected to start registering professionals by late 2009 and will start regulating professional conduct for the licensing year commencing April 1, 2010.


The new college will be required to report annually to the Minister of Health Services and its records will be publicly accessible through the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.


We are pleased to have had the opportunity to be involved in the planning for the new college,” said Louise Parton, president of the Hearing Instrument Specialists Society of BC. “A single regulatory college that governs hearing instrument practitioners, speech-language pathologists and audiologists will provide the public with assurance that the three professions are competent and accountable to this new regulatory body and the public who use the services of these professions. We would also like to take this opportunity to extent our appreciation to the Board of Hearing Aid Dealers and Consultants for their many years of service to the hearing instrument practitioners and public of British Columbia.”


Hearing instrument practitioners are currently regulated by the Board of Hearing Aid Dealers and Consultants. The board will continue to operate until April 1, 2010, at which point it will be dissolved. Audiology and speech-language pathology are currently unregulated professions in B.C.


“We are fully supportive of the move to regulate the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology by creating the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals,” said Jennifer Moll, president of the British Columbia Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists. This is something we have worked towards for many years, and we look forward to continuing to work with our colleagues to ensure that the interests of the public are protected.”


The Province has made a number of changes to increase the accountability and transparency of health professions in B.C., while ensuring patients have expanded access and choice to health professionals, making it one of the most comprehensive pieces of legislation governing health professions in Canada. Every new member of a board of a health profession college is now required to sign an oath to ensure that they are guided by the public interest in the performance of their duties and, as of Nov. 1, 2008, all health profession colleges in British Columbia must publicly post the outcome of disciplinary proceedings that result in actions against health professionals. The Province is moving additional health profession colleges under the act and will also establish the new Health Professions Review Board in 2009.



 1 backgrounder(s) attached.





Bernadette Murphy

Media Relations Manager

Ministry of Health Services

250 952-1887 (media line)

250 213-9590 (cell)


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