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The Official Publication of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia
COVID-19 Advertising and Marketing

COVID-19 Advertising and Marketing

Advertising and Marketing Claims Regarding COVID-19
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This is a reminder to all registrants that the advertising and marketing of services and/or products must be compliant with section 92 of the College Bylaws. Any false or misleading claims regarding products or therapies to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19 is illegal and will be forwarded to the inquiry committee for investigation.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has not approved any products or therapies to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19 therefore any advertising and marketing that goes beyond information made available by the public health authorities will be taken very seriously. This includes advertising treatment and/or products that implicate prevention of COVID-19 infection by way of boosting the immune system.

If you are aware of any false or misleading claims being advertised by a registrant of the College, please contact us at [email protected].

We strongly encourage registrants to continue to keep informed of the evolving situation, the College’s bylaws, Code of Ethics and Standard of Practice by using the resources included in the “Communication to Registrants Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) – March 10, 2020”.

Title Restriction

Title Restriction

CTCMA registrants are regulated under the Health Professions Act, the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists Regulation and the College’s Bylaws.
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The legislation and bylaws, along with standards of practice and professional code of ethics, are in place to ensure public protection in the provision of safe, ethical and effective care. Reserved titles prescribed under section 12 of the Act are for the exclusive use of registrants and are a central and critical public protection measure. Therefore, the public is not being served when registrant titles are used in a way that is confusing and/or misleading.

The following are reserved titles protected by law in British Columbia (“BC”):

  • “Acupuncturist” (R.Ac)

  • “Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner” (R.TCM.P)

  • “Traditional Chinese Medicine Herbalist” (R.TCM.H)

  • “Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine” and “Doctor” (Dr./Dr. TCM/D.TCM)

Only CTCMA registrants can legally use these titles or the abbreviations in BC. They are exclusive to registrants who have been granted the title by CTCMA, therefore anyone who is not a CTCMA registrant is prohibited from using these titles. It is also the registrant’s responsibility to ensure the correct use of title to describe themselves or their work on any advertisements. This responsibility extends to all social media and websites – even those not owned by the registrant.

Several training programs have presented graduates with a “Diploma of TCM” (DTCM) or “Doctor of TCM Diploma” (D.TCM Dip). The use of credentials such as “DTCM” after a registrant’s name may be misleading to the public and/or result in confusion, with members of the public requesting clarification from CTCMA on whether the registrant is a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is the responsibility of the practitioner to ensure the use of title relates to registration to practice and distinguishes that application from any educational credentials when used in clinical practice so that there is no misunderstanding.

In the case of foreign graduates who have been registered to practice or credentialed as a doctor in another jurisdiction but are not registered as a doctor by CTCMA or another college in BC, the use of “Doctor” or “Dr.” is not permitted in clinical practice within BC if you are not registered to practice as such in the province.

The College’s duty requires that disciplinary action be taken in the event that a registrant violates these laws. As professionals delivering health care expected in this province, registrants are required to act ethically and to advance the profession’s assurance of public protection.

One Association

One Association

Several registrants have expressed interest to CTCMA in creating a single unified TCM association to serve the common needs of members as opposed to the nine associations that currently exist.
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While these associations were likely formed for valid reasons such as varied clinical interest or practice philosophy, it is felt by some that a single association speaking with one voice would be a powerful tool when speaking on behalf of the profession in the TCM community.

The College appreciates the situation, understands that such a unified association could indeed serve the profession and its members well and acknowledges the important work that the current associations do. The College is, however, mandated to work in the public interest and not specifically in the interests of the profession. It cannot therefore speak for the profession on this matter.

We look forward to a single association initiative on the part of registrants and would welcome the opportunity to work with such a unified organization.

Update from the Board

Update from the Board

This article will highlight the last two Board meetings of 2019 and the most recent March 7, 2020 meeting.
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Highlights – September 21, 2019 

2019 AGM

The Board was briefed about the planned AGM agenda including a presentation of a new video concerning the Board’s makeup and function.

2019 Board Election

The Board was advised that the upcoming election would be for three (3) Registrant positions whose terms expire January 15, 2020; further, all six (6) publicly appointed Board Members have agreed to reappointment.

Communication Update

The Board was updated on upcoming communications activities and plans.

Financial Snapshot

The College continues to enjoy sound fiscal management. Statements for the first three months of the current fiscal year (April 1, 2019 to June 30, 2019) were provided. At the end of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019 total actual income was reported as $1,875,890.16 and total actual expenses were noted as $470,325.27. This resulted in net income of $1,405,564.89 which has been factored into budget planning for fiscal 2020.

Miscellaneous Items

  • The potential for holding Board meetings on weekdays was discussed.

  • The move to the BCHR Regulatory Hub was reported to have been largely positive.

  • CTCMA’s Registrar was reconfirmed as President of CARB-TCMPA and the decision to hire an Executive Director was noted, which will mitigate some of the workload currently handled by BC.

  • Strategic Plan 2019 – 2022: The Registrar reported that 10 out of 11 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) included in the second quarter of 2019, had been completed.

Highlights – December 7, 2019 

Election of Chair and Vice-Chair 2020-2021

Dr. Peter Stevenson-Moore elected Chair, by acclamation. Dr. Kimberley Graham elected Vice-Chair, effective January 2020 and, additionally, appointed as a Director of CARB-TCMPA to represent the College.

Bylaw Amendments

Amendments regarding Registration were approved by the Board and will be posted on the College website for public consultation.

Modernizing the Provincial Health Profession Regulatory Framework

Following on the release of the Cayton Report in April, the Steering Committee’s resulting proposal was circulated, and a briefing note provided to the Board. Potential for amalgamation was discussed as was the value of organizing a facilitated discussion to help focus and formulate the College’s response.

BCHR Regulatory Hub

The Registrar briefed the Board on the College’s move to the “HUB”, stating that many intangible benefits have been realized in addition to the sharing of services in finance, HR and communications made available on a cost-recovery basis. Lease cost is slightly below what had been budgeted. A formal cost-benefit analysis will be provided.

Dr. Weija Tan

Dr. Tan was thanked for her long service to the Board, her dedication to the profession and her commitment to regulatory excellence.

Strategic Plan 2019-2022

The Board was briefed on key tactics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) associated with the plan and covering the years 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 and supporting the three goals therein concerning Registrant competence, stakeholder relationships and organizational effectiveness.

Practice Standards

Having conducted a survey with subject matter experts, Staff presented a top-10 list of issues that need to be addressed in terms of regulation.

Miscellaneous Items

  • A presentation titled “The New Deal in Professional Regulation” was followed by a Q & A session.

  • Following on discussion at the September meeting, the Board agreed to continue to meet on weekends.

  • The Minister of Health has reappointed all six public Board members.

  • The Quality Assurance Committee moved that the PSP Career Span Competencies, the Comprehensive Self-Assessment process, the Client Feedback process and the Development Plan all be approved. Board consensus.

  • A Registrant Statistics Analysis Report was provided to the associations as one action associated with the stakeholder relationship KPI.

  • An ongoing initiative to identify trends that will inform future Inquiry Committee policy and process and generally enhance regulatory effectiveness in this area continues. The HUB hosted a collaborative meeting to explore collaborative options and the Director of Compliance will continue to update the Board on progress.

Highlights – March 7, 2020 

Presentation from the Chair

The Chair presented “Governing in the Public Interest”, with thanks to Mr. Carl Roy, Board Chair of the College of Dental Surgeons of BC (CDSBC) for content. Attached presentation.

New Board Members

Dr. Jennifer Gao was welcomed as a new Member, and Dr. Kimberley Graham and Dr. Weidong Yu were welcomed as returning Board members.

Strategic Plan 2019-2022

The Board was updated by the Registrar on key tactics and KPIs associated with the plan and covering the years 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022. He focused on six Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which were due for completion in the fourth quarter of 2019, providing reports on three of those in the Public session and an additional three In-Camera.

Communication Update

All website deficiencies identified by the Ministry of Health have been addressed. Social media strategies, the Consolidated Communications Strategy and the new Employee Manual were all circulated to the Board.

Bylaw Amendment – Schedule H

Programs offered by the Vancouver Career College were accepted as meeting CTCMA standards and the Bylaws will be amended to reflect same.


The Registrar reported that, at the direction of Dr. Bonnie Henry, public inquiries regarding COVID-19 should be referred to the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).

Governance Committee

A document outlining Committee Succession Planning, and the new Board Governance Manual were circulated, discussed and approved by the Board.

Miscellaneous Items

  • The Registrar updated the Board on CARB-TCMPA and announced that Mr. Daniel Garcia has been appointed as Executive Director.

  • Finance Committee presented statements reflecting income and expenses for the first nine months of the fiscal year April 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019. The Board later approved the operating budget and cash budgets for FY2021 as presented.

  • Committee vacancies were reviewed. The appointment of members to the Quality Assurance Committee and the Public Relations Committee will be deferred to the next meeting. However, Mr. Guo Dong was appointed to the Education and Examination Committee; Dr. Weidong Yu reappointed to the Quality Assurance Committee, and Ms. Jocelyn Stanton and Dr. Weija Tan reappointed to the Education and Examination Committee. The Executive Committee will be reduced to the minimum number of members required.

  • The Board approved the Inquiry and Discipline Department’s recommendation to authorize the Registrar to investigate and resolve matters in accordance with s. 32(3) of the Health Professions Act.