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The Official Publication of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia
We're Moving!

We’re Moving!

The College is happy to announce that we will be moving from our long-time location on 8th Avenue to what you may have heard referred to as ‘the HUB’, in Downtown Vancouver, effective Friday August 2, 2019.
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Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

To keep Registrants informed about important dates on the education front, Board-related events and other news and developments we think you’ll find interesting, the College continues with Upcoming Events, a new regular feature of Balance.
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September 2019 AGM: Where and When 

The 2019 Annual General Meeting will be held:

  • Date:            Sunday, September 22, 2019
  • Venue:          Radisson Hotel Vancouver Airport
  • Address:        8181 Cambie Road, Richmond, BC

This year’s AGM will be a half-day event. Here’s how the Agenda is shaping up:

  • 12:00 noon                 Registration Starts
  • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm      Education Seminar
  • 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm      AGM
  • 3:00 pm – 3:15 pm      Coffee Break
  • 3:15 pm – 4:00 pm      Question & Answers Session

The AGM provides an opportunity for the Board to report on its stewardship and for Registrants to discuss items of interest related to the mandate of the College. The College Bylaws require that the following matters be considered at the AGM:

  • Financial statements,
  • Report of the board, and
  • Report of the auditor (if any).

The AGM is open to members of the public, Registrants and College staff. Individuals unable to attend in person have the option of participating by webcast.

Prior to the AGM, Dr. Brad Matthews and Dr. David Cane will present Understanding the Practice Support Program – A Tool to Support the Development of your Practice. The College is in the final stages of developing and implementing the Practice Support Program (PSP), and Brad and David will talk about the ways Registrants can benefit from the program. Seminars are always well attended, and seating is limited, so it will be advisable to register early, as indicated in the Agenda shown above. Details will be shared as soon as they are finalized.

Continuing Education (CE) Credits will be given to those attending the Education Seminar and the AGM:

  • No CE credits given for the Q & A Session or for breaks.

  • In-person Attendees: CE certificates will be accorded for Registrants to document participation in their Continuing Competency Activity Log as Category A1 – Direct Participatory, Formal Programs.

  • Webcast Attendees: Registrants may document participation in their Continuing Competency Activity Log as Category C – Structured Interactive Activities.

Ample parking will be available at the Hotel, from 11:00 am through to 5:00 pm. 

Please mark your calendars now; we look forward to welcoming Registrants from around the province!

December 2019: Board Election Coming Up 

Have you ever wondered what goes on at Board meetings? What is discussed and how decisions are made? What it’s like to sit at the board table with peers? What it takes to be a CTCMA Board member? And would you be good at it?

You’re already knowledgeable in the sector—TCM—so that part is covered. Your skills, knowledge and experience are needed and your commitment to the College’s mandate, public safety, is invaluable. No doubt you have opinions and insights that would be helpful in focusing on that mandate. The College would welcome your participation and the range of experience you bring.

Board elections will be held in December. This year there are three positions available for the 2020-2022 term. These positions are open to Registrants in District 1 (Lower Mainland) or District 2 (the province of British Columbia outside the Lower Mainland), three candidates in total. This could be the time for you to consider serving on your College Board. Or perhaps you know of a fellow Registrant who would be a good candidate, someone who demonstrates these qualities:

  1. Ability to think and contribute strategically.
  2. Principled and ethical.
  3. Welcome the viewpoints of others.
  4. Good listener and communicator.
  5. Thrive on problem solving.
  6. Dedicated to serving the public.

Further information will follow regarding nominations and the election itself.

September 21, 2019: Next Board Meeting 

Please mark your calendar for the next Board meeting, September 21, 2019. Due to our office move we can’t yet announce the time and place, but we’ll advise you as soon as possible. A further note – the Public and Registrants are welcome to attend.

Update from the Board

Update from the Board

Financial Snapshot / Cayton Report / Office Move / Communications Update / Miscellaneous Items
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Financial Snapshot 

The College is fortunate to enjoy sound fiscal management due in no small part to our Board’s Finance Committee and to CTCMA staff. At the June 8, 2019 Board meeting, total actual income and expenses from the pre-audited financial statements for fiscal 2019 (April 1, 2018 – March 31, 2019) were reported:

  • total income $1,987,389.64
  • total expenses $1,925,283.78.

This results in a net income of $62,105.86 which has been factored into budget proposals for fiscal 2020.

Cayton Report 

As you are likely aware, the Ministry of Health appointed Mr. Harry Cayton CBE, former chief executive of the UK’s Professional Standards Authority, to review governance and operations at one college and to make recommendations concerning the overall regulation of healthcare in our province.

The Board discussed the content and potential impacts surrounding the April release of the Cayton Report. Sections 9 and 10 specifically address issues surrounding regulation of the health professions in the interest of public safety, as per the existing Health Professions Act. Overall, it is acknowledged that change in healthcare regulation is coming and that such change will help to ensure public safety. It is expected that there will be some level of amalgamation of colleges for both practical/operational reasons, as well as the development of shared standards of practice and mechanism for the adjudication (not instigation) of complaints, and an updated Health Professions Act. 

Office Move 

The move to the BCHR Regulatory Hub is scheduled for August 2, 2019. The College has a five-year lease arrangement with the BC College of Nursing Professionals at 200 Granville Street and all related costs are anticipated to be within the fiscal 2020 operating budget. A communications program is underway to advise (primarily) Registrants of the move and logistics of attending at the new location.

Communications Update 

As a means of continuing to improve both the content and the means of communications to our Registrants, the public and internally to staff and the Board, each of these groups has been surveyed in the last few months. Plans for this new fiscal include execution of a Public Education campaign (essentially re-using materials developed for 2018) and development of communications workshops for staff and the Board.

Miscellaneous Items 

  • A funding submission has been made to Ministry of Health by 12 registrars, including CTCMA’s, to cover costs associated with the IT Consortium project (information systems upgrade) led by the BC College of Nursing Professionals (BCCNP).

  • Work to digitize physical stored College records continues.

  • The Canadian Alliance of Regulatory Bodies of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists (CARB-TCMPA) has approved their Strategic Plan and their High-Level Implementation Plan is in progress.

  • Two federal funding proposals have been submitted whereby projects facilitating credential recognition for foreign-trained individuals could be supported.

  • A joint meeting of the Education and Examination Committee and the Registration Committee was held on April 24, 2019. The draft amendments of Part IV of the Bylaws were presented to both. Committee members provided feedback and agreed to submit a recommendation to the Board.

  • Amendments to the College Bylaws, Parts I and IV were approved by the Board in principle, to be submitted to the Ministry of Health.

CTCMA Annual Report & Financial Statements 2018-2019

CTCMA Annual Report & Financial Statements 2018-2019

The College’s Annual Report for 2018-2019 and the 2018-2019 Financial Statements to March 31, 2019 will be posted this month.
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Cultural Safety and Humility

Cultural Safety and Humility

In 2017, 23 BC health regulators, including CTCMA, declared their commitment to making the healthcare system more culturally safe for First Nations and Aboriginal Peoples.
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The Colleges are committed to create a climate for change, engage and enable stakeholders, and implement and sustain change in cultural safety and humility in health services to First Nations and Aboriginal peoples in BC.  This is a high priority for all the Colleges’ public protection mandate.

On May 8 of this year several Board members and College staff attended the BC Health Regulators 2019 Spring Symposium, “Cultural Safety & Humility”, and on June 25 the Council on Licensure, Enforcement & Regulation (CLEAR’s) Vancouver Regional Symposium, “Cultural Awareness: Valuing Indigenous and Minority Populations in Professional Regulation” to learn more about this important subject.

The joint declaration opens the door to formally encouraging all healthcare professionals to complete cultural safety training through programs such as the San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training offered by the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA).  Healthcare providers and practitioners, including our Registrants, are encouraged to learn more about cultural safety and cultural humility in healthcare and to make personal commitments to change their everyday practices. All healthcare professionals can be powerful agents of change.

What is Cultural Safety and Humility?

Cultural Safety is an outcome based on respectful engagement that recognizes and strives to address power imbalances inherent in the healthcare system. It results in an environment free of racism and discrimination, where people feel safe when receiving healthcare. 

Cultural Humility is a lifelong process of self-reflection to understand personal and systemic biases and to develop relationships based on mutual trust. Cultural Humility involves humbly acknowledging oneself as a learner when it comes to understanding another’s experience.

A Cultural Safety and Humility framework provides a set of protocols for health professionals, organizations to follow in their partnerships and relationships with First Nations and Aboriginal individuals, families, communities and nations on their health and wellness journeys.  We can all work to remove bias, stereotyping and discrimination within the healthcare system and offer high-quality care.  The College and practitioners should strive to be culturally competent and help create a climate conducive to cultural safety. Started early this year, at College’s meetings, we acknowledge the Indigenous territory on which the meetings are taking place.  This is a small but essential step toward reconciliation.  This CBC article discusses the rationale and purpose of acknowledging the Indigenous land we stand on:

If you are identified as Indigenous and/or you work with the First Nations and Aboriginal population regularly in your practices, we would like to hear your perspectives and to engage with our Registrants to develop strategies to take actions for cultural safety and humility in health service delivery.

Online Resources

Creating a Climate for Change Resource Booklet by First Nationals Health Authority:

San’yas Indigenous Cultural Training Program by the Provincial Health Services Authority in BC:

First Nations Health Authority’s Cultural Safety and Cultural Humility Webinars series:

Things Practitioners Need to Know!

Things Practitioners Need to Know!

Registrants have responsibilities to provide ethical and safe care to the public. They are accountable for the information they provide to the public.
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Ethics and Accountability to the Public 

Did you know that the Cayton Report, discussed above, refers to patients lacking confidence in the colleges and in health regulation generally (9.12), concluding that “it is unacceptable that patients lack confidence in the ethics of health professionals”?

How much do you know about the current Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for Registrants?

These documents set out the core guiding principles for Registrants to maintain in their everyday activities of professional practices; currently Schedules A and B in our Bylaws.

  • The Code of Ethics for Registrants sets out guidelines for ethical acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine herbology and traditional Chinese medicine practice. The Code is based on a set of core values which Registrants must uphold in their relationships with their clients, members of their own profession, other health care providers and the public.

  • Registrants are professionals who act in a manner that enhances the reputation of and inspires public confidence in the profession. They have a responsibility to follow this Code of Ethics, and to keep informed about the laws and developments in professional standards that affect ethical health care practice.

Advertising and Websites 

One area that Registrants can monitor is the information provided to the public on their websites as regulated health service professionals. Many sections of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice are concerned with this. Registrants need to fully inform patients about the effects and risks of treatment and strive to ensure that patients receive complete and accurate information about their treatment, and that such information is understood.

Learning from other health professions can be helpful in this regard. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency provides a self-assessment tool that helps regulated health service providers provide honest accurate information about healthcare services.  Also helpful is their information detailing the kinds of  advertising claims that don’t meet legal requirements (in Australia) and how to make them compliant.

Recent News

Recent News

Reports on past College Events
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Dr. TCM Examination 

45 candidates undertook the Dr. TCM written examination on May 3, 2019.  Candidates who pass will go on to take the Clinical Exam on July 13 and 14, 2019.

TCM School Session 

On April 24, 2019 representatives from 8 TCM schools and the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) at the Ministry of Advanced Education discussed the new Pan-Canadian Examination format as well as topics concerning school operation and student management.

PSP Pilot Study 

The College has been actively providing information to Registrants in both Chinese and English. The pilot study was administered in March and April, and a report to the QAC Committee from the project consultant and practice advisor is expected at the next meeting.

News from Other Regulatory Colleges

News from Other Regulatory Colleges

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC is pleased to offer an educational session that is open to all regulated health-care professionals.
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