Taking Time Away

Registrants who have paid their annual licence renewal fee may request a change in their registration status to temporarily inactive, and may be eligible for a waiver or refund of fees (subject to a processing fee). The request for a change in status must be based on a legitimate reason such as an absence due to health reasons or parental leave. Requests for a leave of absence for other reasons are reviewed on an individual basis.

Note: Requests for a change in status to temporarily inactive for items such as humanity aid work or sabbatical time are not granted.

Learn more:
Changing Registration Status to Temporarily Inactive During an Absence from Medical Practice

Requesting Temporarily Inactive Status 

Parental Leave
Registrants who wish to change their status to temporarily inactive – parental leave must download and complete the Temporarily Inactive – Parental Leave form. The completed form must be emailed to registration@cpsbc.ca

Health Leave 
Registrants who wish to change their status to temporarily inactive – health leave must download and complete the Temporarily Inactive – Health Leave form. The completed form must be faxed to 604-694-6135 or emailed to monitoring@cpsbc.ca. Registrants may also contact the monitoring department to speak with a health monitor. 

Registrants may seek advice on these issues by contacting the College and asking to speak with a member of the registrar staff, or by seeking advice of legal counsel, including the CMPA.

Questions and Answers

I am taking a parental leave. Am I required to inform the College?

It is not mandatory to inform the College of your parental leave from work. However, if you are seeking a refund or to be exempt from paying your annual fees, you must advise the College that you wish to take a parental leave and change your registration status to temporarily inactive.

How do I inform the College that I am taking a parental leave?

Download the Temporarily Inactive – Parental Leave. Return the completed form to the College by fax or mail. Once the form has been received and processed (please allow two weeks), you will be sent a letter outlining additional steps and information regarding your status change.

How much notice do I have to give the College for parental leave?

Two weeks’ notice is required to process a parental leave status change. Please also factor this in when planning your return to work.

What happens when my registration status changes to temporarily inactive?

Once your registration status changes to temporarily inactive, your registration status will no longer be active for the practice of medicine, including providing clinical care, consultations or prescribing drugs (note that refills written while still active will no longer be filled). However, registrants listed as temporarily inactive, must still complete the Annual Licence Renewal Form and are expected to comply with section 2-6 of the Bylaws by being enrolled in the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) continuing professional development programs.

Can I do a short term locum while on parental leave from the College?

No. While your status is temporarily inactive, you are not authorized to practise medicine in British Columbia. If you would like to perform a locum, you would need to reactivate your registration and pay the balance of your annual licence fees.

How do I get a refund for parental leave?

Once the College is notified of the start date of your parental leave, the balance of your annual fees will be refunded to you, less a three-month processing fee. You are not required to pay your annual fees while on parental leave.

What will my refund be for parental leave?

Assuming that annual fees have been paid in full, a pro-rated refund of the balance of the fees to the end of the fiscal year will be issued, less the three-month processing fee. (The fiscal year runs from March 1 through to the end of February each year.)

Do I have to pay my annual fees if they come due while temporarily inactive?

No, you are not required to pay your annual fees while your status is temporarily inactive. However, you are still required to fill out the Annual Licence Renewal Form so that the College has your current information. A pro-rated portion of your fees will be due when you return to practice.

I have been on a parental leave from my workplace for a month, but forgot to notify the College. Can I “backdate” my change of status and get a refund for the last month?

No. Your registration status changes to temporarily inactive on the date that the College receives your signed Temporarily Inactive – Parental Leave. Until that time, your status is listed as active, practising and you will not qualify for a retroactive refund.

What happens to my patients' prescriptions while I am temporarily inactive?

While your status is temporarily inactive, you no longer have prescribing privileges (note that refills written while still active will no longer be filled). For methadone prescribers, this includes any prescriptions written for daily witnessed ingestion of methadone. You will need to make appropriate arrangements with those patients who require medication refills in your absence.

How do I bill if I intend to employ a locum during my parental leave?

If you plan to employ a locum tenens to cover your practice during your parental leave, you must contact Practitioner Account Services at MSP (1-866-456-6950) to make appropriate arrangements.

What do I need to do when I am ready to return to practice after a parental leave?

Download the Temporarily Inactive – Parental Leave (Return to Work) form. Return the completed form to the College by email to registration@cpsbc.ca. Once received and processed, (please allow two weeks), you will be required to submit the balance of your annual fees online. After this has been done, your status returns to active, practising and you may return to practice. You will receive a final letter confirming your status change.

What if I return to practice but forget to notify the College?

If you do not notify the College or fail to pay the balance of your annual fees, your registration status remains as temporarily inactive. In this class of registration, you are not authorized to practise medicine in British Columbia and therefore will not be able to bill through MSP or have prescriptions filled. You also may not have CMPA coverage. The College is unable to backdate status changes.

How long can I stay temporarily inactive?

College registrants may maintain registration and be in temporarily inactive status for 12 consecutive months. At the discretion of the registrar (or designate), a registrant may remain as temporarily inactive – parental leave for two further 12-month periods, for a maximum of 36 months, with fees waived. Registrants must provide a written request asking for an extension of their parental leave beyond the initial 12-month period. 

Note: Registrants who do not return to active practice after 36 months of parental leave must resume full payment of annual license renewal fees, although they will continue to have temporarily inactive – parental leave status and will not be licensed to practise medicine. Registrants who do not wish to return to active practice may also choose to retire/resign from practice. For more information on retirement from practice, click here.