About the College

What is the College?

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC regulates the practice of medicine in British Columbia. The primary function of the College is to ensure that physicians and surgeons are qualified, competent and fit to practise medicine. The College administers processes for responding to complaints from patients and for taking action if a physician or surgeon is practising in a manner that is incompetent, unethical or illegal. 

All physicians and surgeons who practise medicine in British Columbia must be registered with the College.

The College also administers quality assurance and accreditation programs to ensure that every physician and surgeon in the province is practising according to professional standards and that all of BC’s diagnostic and private medical and surgical facilities are accredited.

Who does the College serve?

The College’s overriding interest is the protection and safety of patients. The College’s role is to ensure physicians and surgeons meet expected standards of practice and conduct when caring for patients. Read more about the College’s mission, mandate and values here.

How is the College governed?

The College is governed by the Health Professions Act and the Bylaws made under the Act. Relevant federal and provincial Acts that affect the practice of medicine are also listed below.

Who governs the College?

While the College often collaborates with stakeholders and partners in the public interest, the College is an independent body, separate from government and other organizations, such as Doctors of BC. 

The College Board governs, controls and administers the College’s affairs in accordance with the Health Professions Act, Regulations and Bylaws. The Board is comprised of 10 peer-elected physicians and six members of the public appointed by the Minister of Health. Specifically, the Board is required to:

  • set strategic direction and empower management
  • evaluate performance measures
  • shepherd resources
  • account to the public through legislature, stakeholders and registrants

Under the legislation, the College has committees made up of board members, medical professionals and public representatives who review issues and provide guidance and direction to the Board and the College staff, ensuring a well-balanced and equitable approach to regulation. The daily operations of the College are administered by the registrar and CEO, and other medical and professional staff.