College of

TRADITIONAL

CHINESE MEDICINE

PRACTITIONERS +

ACUPUNCTURISTS

of British Columbia


Adapting to the New Normal

Since the middle of May, you have been delivering traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture care to patients in a manner, “the new normal”, that promotes safety and helps prevent the spread of the virus.

You had to adjust how you deliver in-person care, and both obtain and learn to properly utilize personal protective equipment. You were required to design and monitor traffic flow patterns within your office to ensure physical distancing. Registrants were mandated to regularly clean and sanitize premises, to maximize infection control. Many of you opted to make digital technology a central, “normal”, mode of care delivery. The College expected registrants to collaborate with peers when implementing these adjustments and to always use professional judgement in determining what would best serve patients.

We understand that operating during a pandemic, with necessary limitations, has been a challenge for many and may have initially impacted your ability to treat patients as you would like to. Public health officials have indicated that COVID-19 is expected to continue to circulate in the general population for an extended period. As such, measures to control the spread of the disease within registrants’ practices will be required for some time.

To keep patients and staff safe registrants must adhere to the BCCDC’s Infection Prevention and Control for COVID-19: Interim Guidance for Outpatient and Ambulatory Care Settings . This document covers everything you are likely to need including screening of staff and patients, the use of personal protective equipment, or PPE, best practices regarding cleaning and sanitizing your professional premises, on-site hand hygiene, physical distancing and coughing and sneezing etiquette.

Adherence to these guidelines, and to those provided by WorkSafeBC , is required to ensure a safe work environment for staff, including creating a culture ensuring that no one associated with the practice comes to work or attends as a patient when they have symptoms of illness.

Both the BCCDC and WorkSafeBC websites should be checked regularly for updates.

The following specific BCCDC and WorkSafeBC information is available through the College website:

BCCDC

WorkSafeBC

The College appreciates and recognizes the efforts made by everyone and we assure you that the guidance provided will be updated as understanding of the virus and its transmission grows.

Finally, a reminder, the College does not expect any registrant to provide treatment unless, in their professional opinion, it is safe to do so for both patients and staff.


COVID-19 Practice Resources

With COVID-19 expected to be affecting our communities for some time to come, the College understands that registrants are eager to have the latest, factual information regarding the virus and its prevalence in BC.

  • How and where is it transmitted, especially important now that your children are back at school?

  • Who is most at risk in our communities?

  • What do I do if I think I or someone in my practice has been exposed?

  • How long will it really be until there is a viable vaccine?

Our recent survey tells us that most registrants share these concerns. For your convenience, and to ensure you always have access to the latest factual information, the College has assembled the following sites, updated regularly.

Government of Canada

Current practical safety information, national case numbers, access to government subsidies, research, and the opportunity to subscribe to government email updates.

Public Health Agency of Canada

Up to the minute information on transmission numbers and daily statements from Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada.

WorkSafeBC

Information specifically concerning safety in the workplace including ventilation, PPE, safety plans and risk reduction.

BC Centre for Disease Control

Current case count information for BC and timely practical advice for both families and health professionals.

Government of BC

Information regarding the BC Restart Plan, our province’s phased approach to reopening. We are currently (late October 2020) in Phase 3. Look for details concerning school protocols, regulations for restaurants and performance venues, travel in BC and practical advice for celebratory occasions of recent and upcoming interest (Thanksgiving, Hallowe’en, Remembrance Day, Christmas etc.)

HealthLinkBC

HealthLinkBC provides non-emergency health information and advice for general health concerns in British Columbia including their excellent COVID-19 self-assessment tool.

The College appreciates and recognizes the efforts made by everyone. And just as a reminder, no registrant is expected to provide treatment unless, in their professional opinion, it is safe to do so for both patients and staff.


Board Appointments

The College is pleased to announce the Ministry of Health’s appointment of Ms. Holly-Marie Janet Page as a public representative to the CTCMA Board, effective September 18, 2020.

The Board of Directors provides leadership for carrying out the College’s mission, which is to serve and protect the public interest by regulating and advancing safe, ethical and quality traditional Chinese medicine practice in British Columbia. The Board is accountable to the public through the Ministry of Health.

Ms. Page is a Labour Coordinator for United Way Greater Victoria and was previously Equity and Human Rights and Aboriginal Liaison Officer for the British Columbia Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU). She has also served as a Senior Organizer and Vice President for BCGEU.

Active in her community, Ms. Page is the United Way Representative on the Executive Council for the Victoria Labour Council. Previously she was a Member of the Aboriginal Human Rights Committees of the BC Federation of Labour, the National Union of Public and General Employees and the Canadian Labour Congress.

“We are excited to welcome Ms. Page and look forward to her expertise and viewpoints as we go forward,” notes Jonathan Ho, Registrar and CEO.

With a vacancy on the Board having recently arisen due to the resignation of Mr. Shawn-Poppi Sabhaney, the College also announces that, following a careful process, Dr. Eyal Lebel is appointed to fill the vacancy until December 31, 2021.  The full announcement can be found here.


Public Register

According to Section 21(2) of Health Professions Act (the Act), it is the registrar’s responsibility to “maintain a register setting out, for every person granted registration under this Act.

(a) the person's name, whether the person is a registrant or a former registrant, and, if the person is a registrant, the person's business address and business telephone number;

(b) the class of registrants in which the person is or was registered;

(c) if the person is a registrant, any limits or conditions imposed under this Act on the practice of the designated health profession by the registrant;

(d) a notation of each cancellation or suspension of the person's registration, including any cancellation or suspension that

(i) occurred or was recorded before the coming into force of this subsection, or

(ii) was imposed by the governing body for a health profession under a former enactment regulating the health profession;

(e) any additional information required under the regulations of the minister;

(f) any additional information required under the bylaws of the college;

(g) any additional information specified under subsection (5) by the registration committee, inquiry committee or discipline committee.”

The online directory of registrants is available on the College’s website. This makes it convenient for the public to find information regarding current registrants with whom they might wish to make an appointment.

The purpose of the registry is to identify and confirm the current registration status of registrants and to provide additional information such as practice limits and conditions. However, it is not a directory for the promotion of registrant businesses. Some registrants have concerns regarding privacy. As part of its mandate to protect the public, it is a requirement under the HPA that the College provides relevant registrant information so that the public can seek TCM and Acupuncture only from qualified professionals. The public registry lists the primary clinic’s address, telephone number and email address. Registrants are advised to keep their professional contact information distinct from their personal contact information so that they can keep professional correspondence with patients separate and safe.


Criminal Record Check

The provincial Criminal Records Review Act was enacted to protect children and vulnerable adults from individuals whose criminal record indicates that they pose a risk of physical or sexual abuse.

The Act requires that all applicants complete a Criminal Record Check (CRC) conducted by the Criminal Records Review Program (CRRP) through the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General and that all current registrants complete a CRC at least once every five years.

Please note that Police Information Check conducted by local or regional police departments or RCMP does not satisfy the mandatory provincial requirement for people working with children and vulnerable adults or who have unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults according to the provincial Criminal Records Review Act.

CRC can be applied for online by visiting the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General's website.  This is the fastest and most direct application method. Please be sure to use the full legal name that matches your IDs and to use a browser recommended for online application by CRRP. 

If a paper application is required from the applicant, it will take much more time for CRRP to process a CRC.  The applicant’s identity will also need to be verified by the College by including notarized ID copies in the application. Even more time will be required if an applicant’s fingerprints are required by CRRP. When additional verification is required it can add 3 months to the application process.  Failure to complete this process prior to expiry may have an impact on your registration status. For these reasons, the College highly recommends registrants ensure they begin this process well in advance to avoid any potential issues.

It is a registration requirement to have a valid CRC clearance. Detailed information is available on the College website - Criminal Record Check.


Continuing Competency Program Requirements Update

The Quality Assurance Committee has updated the definition for the Continuing Competency Program’s Category A (Direct Participatory, Formal Programs) Modal Activity A1.

Definition of Category A1 Activities

The Quality Assurance Committee has updated the definition for the Continuing Competency Program’s Category A (Direct Participatory, Formal Programs) Modal Activity A1 as follows:

A1 Live (including in-person or online) interactive workshop, seminar or training

when attendance is taken and monitored;

This means that online real-time courses can now be counted as Activity A1. This can be counted retroactively to CE activities from October 1, 2020. Updated Continuing Competency Program Requirements (October 2020) is available on the College website - Continuing Education

Allowance to Substitute the Required Minimum 6 hours of In-person CE Activities for Registrants Who Are Due to Report CE Hours by April 2021

For registrants who are required to report / declare their CE hours by April 2021, the minimum 6 hours of “in- person” activity can be fulfilled by the following activities:

  • Self-Study of the College’s Covid-19 Clinical Resource Package* as included in Category B can be counted to a maximum of 4 hours. These hours can be in addition to the maximum 16 hours per reporting period limit for Category B activity.

  • Self-Review and Update of the Covid-19 Safety Plan for Clinical Practice* as included in Category B can be counted to a maximum of 2 hours. These hours can be in addition to the maximum 16 hours per reporting period limit for Category B activity.

  • Online webinars / seminars as included in Category A with topics related to the following areas can be counted to a maximum of 6 hours.

    • Infection Prevention & Control

    • Risk Management for Emergency and Emerging Situations

    • Patient Record Keeping

  • Structural Interactive Activities as included in Category C that are conducted virtually (remotely) AND live with topics related to the following areas can be counted to a maximum of 6 hours. These hours can be in addition to the maximum 10 hours per reporting period limit for Category C activity.

    • Infection Prevention & Control
    • Risk Management for Emergency and Emerging Situations

All registrants reporting CE by April 2021 are expected to complete of 50 hours of CE every 2 years and to be able to provide proof when asked as specified under Bylaw S. 57(1)(a), 58(1)(a), 58(2)(a), 58(3)(a).


Registration Examinations During Covid-19

The new Computer-Based Test (CBT) Pan-Canadian Examinations were held by CARB-TCMPA in October.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the exams were delivered using a remote proctor format. In this way the October 2020 administration did not need to be postponed or cancelled, which could have adversely delayed admission for registration. Thank you to all the candidates for working with the College and CARB-TCMP in the transition. Results are expected to be released by mid-December. We all can learn from this experience and keep improving in the delivery and administration of the new CBT exams.

At this time, the College and CARB-TCMPA are already busy preparing the next administration of PCE in April 2021, likely the week of April 19. Please check the College and CARB-TCMP websites for updates and the release of the administration schedule which will include deadlines for application, request for accommodation, and application withdrawal. The information is expected to be available in late November / early December.

The College is also preparing for the next administration of the Dr.TCM Examination scheduled for May 2021 (Written Examination) and July 2021 (Clinical Examination). The College is closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation and will adjust the exam administration plan accordingly. Important information for the Dr. TCM Examination schedule and deadlines is now available on the College website.


Tips for Receiving Communications from the College in a Timely Fashion

The College sends out important and urgent information through mass email communications and postings on the College website. This ensures that the College can reach out to a large number of registrants at the same time.

The College website is also a resource site for practice standards, guidelines, and information.

Here are some tips to avoid missing important and urgent information from the College.

  • Set up CTCMA Homepage as one of the ‘Startup’ pages for your Browser. The right column shows the latest announcements in reverse chronological order. Check the College website regularly for information.

  • It is important that registrants keep their contact information current. Registrants can update their contact information online at the Registrant Portal.

  • For emails, watch out if any of CTCMA’s mass emails get filtered to your spam box automatically. Make sure CTCMA email addresses (e.g. info@ctcma.bc.ca; registration@ctcma.bc.ca) are in your contacts list or safe senders list. Your email program will usually assume that if an email is from someone in your contacts list, then it is likely not spam.

  • CTCMA only sends communication emails to the primary email address you provided for application or registration purposes, and that email address is only used for the purpose of communicating regulatory matters related to you being a candidate, applicant, or registrant of the College. Try searching something like “How to whitelist email in Gmail” or “Instruction to safelist email in Outlook” for specific instructions related to your email provider.