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.

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.

A professional guideline reflects a recommended course of action established based on the values, principles and duties of the medical profession. Physicians and surgeons may exercise reasonable discretion in their decision making based on the guidance provided. 

Legislative guidance provides physicians and surgeons with assistance in navigating legislation applicable to medical practice. These documents are meant to be used as a helpful resource and should be read in conjunction with the legislation they refer to.

The College endorses the Canadian Medical Association’s Code of Ethics and Professionalism as the common ethical framework to which all physicians and surgeons are bound in the province. All registrants are expected to practise according to its principles.

Registrants seeking specific advice or clarification on any of the documents or other professional matters should contact the College and make an appointment to speak with a member of the College's registrar staff.

Code of Ethics and Professionalism

The CMA Code of Ethics and Professionalism articulates the ethical and professional commitments and responsibilities of the medical profession. It is founded on and affirms the core values and commitments of the profession and outlines responsibilities related to contemporary medical practice.

Privacy Toolkit

This BC Physician Privacy Toolkit has been prepared by the Doctors of BC, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for BC, as a general guide to assist physicians to meet their obligations under the Personal Information Protection Act