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A review of the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia

15 Jun 2016 | Professional Standards Authority
  • International Reports

The College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia requested a review of their performance. We carried out the review in 2015/16.


This report follows a request from the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia (the College) for a review of their performance as a regulator of registered nurses and nurse practitioners in British Columbia against our Standards of Good Regulation.

The College wished to benchmark its performance against other regulators, to confirm where it was performing well and to identify any areas for improvement. The Standards of Good Regulation were adapted to reflect the particular context and statutory responsibilities of regulators in British Columbia. Our review examined the College’s approach to and compliance with 33 standards of good regulation covering four regulatory functions (Guidance and Standards, Education, Registration, Complaints) and governance. The review was carried out between July 2015 and April 2016.

In section 2 of this report we set out the scope of our review and the way in which we approached it. In section 3 we set out some of the key features of the College’s model of regulation and the legislation underpinning it. In sections 5-9 we set out the standards of good regulation, as amended for the College. We state the standard and describe the evidence we have considered in coming to our view about the College’s performance against a standard. We also highlight areas of good practice which other regulators may wish to note, and any recommendations arising from our analysis and discussion of the evidence.

The Professional Standards Authority (the Authority) undertakes annual performance reviews of the nine health and social care professional regulatory bodies in the UK as part of our statutory responsibilities. We publish the outcome of those reviews annually to the UK Parliament and the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We have also, following requests from the organisations concerned, conducted reviews for the Medical Council of New Zealand, the General Teaching Council for England, the General Social Care Council in England, the Nursing Council of New Zealand, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, and the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario. All of these reports are available on our website. We welcome the willingness of the College to submit itself to this review and the active co-operation we received.

Although the Authority has no statutory oversight of the College, we consider that there are mutual benefits in this review. There are benefits to the College in having an independent assessment which benchmarks its performance in relation to other regulators internationally. At the same time we have the opportunity to learn about different approaches to professional regulation and regulatory practice which, following publication of this report, will be shared with regulatory bodies in the UK, Canada and internationally. There is value to the international community of regulators learning from each other and we are grateful to the College for its contribution to this by commissioning this report.

We thank the Board and staff of the College for their positive engagement and co-operation with this review, for their readiness to provide us with the background information, paperwork and case files we needed, and for the many hours they spent between them answering our questions and explaining their processes. This report has depended greatly on their openness and co-operation and regular contact between us over a period of ten months. We have also benefited from the perspectives of other stakeholders who we met in British Columbia.