Lunar New Year and COVID One Year Later
Happy New Year!
The Lunar New Year coincides with the date of the new moon in Asia where it will be celebrated on February 12; February 11 here in British Columbia. The College wishes you the best for the coming year, and may your homes be filled with happiness, luck, and good memories.
It’s just about a year since the first BC case of COVID-19 was announced. For 12 months now each of you has made sacrifices and risen to the challenge of providing care for British Columbians.
You made changes to the way you run your practices. You coped with the stress of adjusting operations during a time when you couldn’t function as usual. You made financial and other accommodations in the service of patient safety. You have successfully implemented the public health measures and regulatory guidance required to reduce virus transmission.
Such actions on behalf of your patients have shaped the health and safety of the entire community. As these collective measures contribute to flattening the curve here in BC, you know that it is more important than ever to remain vigilant.
Patient and Practitioner Safety
The College’s role is to ensure that the delivery of TCM/A care is safe. We are pleased to note that the incidence of COVID-19 transmission from registrants’ operations is extremely low and case counts among our TCM professionals are minimal. This confirms the good work you are doing to prevent transmission. You can stay up to date on this subject by clicking here.
As the vaccine is rolled out over the coming months, continued adherence to public health orders and directives are crucial. We know the recommended control measures are effective in reducing transmission and it is important to remain compliant. Please continue to check the College website for updates, directives and announcements in this regard, designed to protect your patients, your staff and yourselves.
BC’s Immunization Plan
We all have questions about when we will be eligible to receive a vaccination. The Ministry of Health recently shared the strategy for the province’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan. The answers to everyone’s concerns and inquiries are expected to become clearer as the next few weeks go by and the vaccine supply challenges are overcome.
Regardless of challenges beyond our control, the government’s plan is focused on saving lives by prioritizing those British Columbians most vulnerable to severe illness and those charged with their immediate care and support.
Age is the most significant factor impacting an individual’s risk of severe illness and death. That risk is increased by the presence of certain chronic diseases and illnesses. As such, priority to receive the vaccine is based on age, beginning with those living in long-term care facilities.
Professional and Ethical Conduct
Now more than ever, it is critically important for you as registrants to be compliant with the College’s expectations for professional and ethical behaviour. Just weeks after an independent investigation confirmed widespread racism in BC’s healthcare sector, there have now been reports of racism related to COVID-19. Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister Dix have spoken out against this, and the three provincial political parties issued a joint statement :
“The disturbing examples related to COVID-19 cases in Indigenous communities and the recent report by Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond into systemic racism in our health care system highlight the need for each of us to take an active role in stopping anti-Indigenous racism and racism in all its forms, everywhere. That is an act of reconciliation in which every one of us as individuals has a clear and critical role.”
This reminds us that all patients deserve care that is free of discrimination and racism.
Finally, we would like to thank you for your continued commitment and vigilance on behalf of the patients you care for. As trusted professionals, we have the responsibility of leading by example and providing the safest care possible for British Columbians.
Be safe and well,
Dr. Peter Stevenson-Moore
Registrar & CEO
Registration Renewal Requirement 2021
The Renewal Period for 2021 begins February 25, 2021 and ends March 31, 2021, providing registrants with more than 4 weeks in which to renew current registration. This also applies to new registrants, that is, those who may have been registered for less than one year as of March 31. All registrations expire on March 31, 2021.
Please ensure you complete the online renewal form and provide payment on or before March 31, 2021 to ensure your registration is renewed. Failure to renew your registration(s) on or before 11:59pm on March 31, 2021 will result in immediate cancellation of your licence on April 1, 2021 meaning that you will be required to stop practicing TCM/A at that time and will have to apply for reinstatement.
It’s a good idea to check now and ensure that you will be able to meet all requirements for registration renewal. Also, plan to complete your registration renewal online, as early as possible to receive confirmation of renewal before your registration expires. If for any reason you are not able to renew your registration by 11:59pm March 31, 2021, your practice could be negatively affected.
Detailed information is available on the Registration Renewal page on the College website. Here is a quick overview.
Full registrants: To renew your registration, just complete your online renewal through the Registrant Portal and pay the registration fee.
Student registrants: To renew your registration and continue to undertake clinical training in BC, complete your online renewal through the Registrant Portal. Follow the instructions on the Student Registration Renewal webpage, pay the registration fee, and submit the required documentation. We recommend that you submit your documentation early to allow for processing time.
Dual registrants: An email has been sent from the College to all dual registrants in early February 2021 (except the newly registered dual registrants)requesting you to confirm if you would like to renew one or both of your registrations. Follow the instructions in the email, including submitting a completed “Registration Cancellation Request Form” if you intend to cancel one of your registrations and renew the other. Please reply to the email by the requested deadline (February 16, 2021). All dual registrants will then have their accounts set up to renew online in the Registrant Portal during the renewal period.
Check to make sure your invoice for renewal reflects the registration(s) you are renewing before paying the renewal fee online.
If you have exceptions to declare in Section 7 of the Online Renewal Form, a review and an approval by CTCMA is required before you can make the registration renewal payment. When your exceptions are approved, likely in 2-3 business days, the invoice will appear in your account for payment.
Deferment Due to Financial Hardship
Registrants experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic are invited to email a signed request letter to [email protected] with “Seeking Deferment of Registration Renewal Fee” in the subject line and include the request letter as an attachment. Wait for instructions from CTCMA staff regarding renewal payment. Please submit requests early to allow processing and review time. Be sure to complete and submit the online registration renewal form by the March 31, 2021 deadline even if you will be claiming financial hardship.
Changing to Non-practicing Registration
Registrants wishing to apply for Status Transfer to change from practising status to non-practising status should submit a separate application with all required documents and fees. Status Transfer applications should be submitted as early as possible as processing can be delayed at this busy time of year. HERE is the application. Non-practicing registrants are permitted to state that they are currently registered with the College if it is also stated that they are “non-practising”.
Remember also that you must renew your registration ONLINE by the March 31, 2021 deadline, even if you wish to change your status to non-practising.
Detailed information for reinstatement can be found HERE.
Continuing Education (CE) Requirement and CE Audit
Full practising registrants are required to complete 50 hours of CE activities within a 2-year reporting period. Registrants can check if their CE activities are due by logging into the Registrant Portal. Detailed CE Information (Program Requirements, Recent Update, Activity Log Template) is available on the College website
Continuing Education Activity Record and Audit
CTCMA will notify by email those who are randomly selected to be audited for completion of the CE requirement in 2021.
This year, a group of registrants whose CE is due on April 1, 2021 will be notified in early February 2021. They will be required to submit a copy of the Continuing Compentency Activity Log confirming that they have completed their CE between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2021. A second group of registrants will be contacted in April 2021. Those requested to do so are required to submit a copy of their Continuing Competency Program Activity Log to the College.
Others are required to keep a copy in their Registrant Record and make a declaration during online registration renewal that they are in compliance with the CE requirement as set out by the Quality Assurance Committee.
Continuing Competency Program Information (Program Requirements, Recent Update, Activity Log Template) is available on the College website.
CTCMA has received questions on two parts of the current Continuing Competency Program:
1. Minimum 6 hours in-person (face-to-face) activity requirement
The in-person requirement can be completed in Category A1 and/or C in the Continuing Competency Program. Category A1 refers to live, in-person or online, formal educational programs. Category C refers to “structured interactive activities” with peers, for example, case conferences. Please note that pre-COVID, “in-person” hours referred to hours completed while physically present at the event(s).
Please note that the definition of Category A1 was updated in October 2020 to include live online webinars and conferences. While these live hours are part of Category A1, they do not count as “in-person” hours. Similarly, not all Category C hours are “in-person” hours.
Over the course of the pandemic, and with safety protocols in place, fewer than the normal number of in-person CE activities have been offered. For this reason, the minimum 6 in-person hours can be met with activities on the following list which, the Quality Assurance Committee notes, includes training that should help registrants practise safely.
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 and 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
2. Minimum 4 hours Ethics requirement
These hours are part of the 50 hours reported and a registrant should be prepared to confirm where within that 50 hours the ethical training was incorporated. The ethics requirement can be obtained through one or more of categories A, B, or C.
The CE focus on “ethical practice in TCM/A” can include a wide spectrum of activities. They may be part of a formal course, an individual course, self-study, and/or interactive activities with health care peers or other professionals.
Some examples of CE activities that can be counted as “Ethics” hours:
Category A: Take a formal course on Bioethics; part of a formal training course on how to communicate with patients in a culturally sensitive manner; a course on patients’ rights, such as right to refuse; online webinars on conflict of interests or informed consent.
Category B: Review of practice advisories, Code of Ethics (Schedule A of the College Bylaw); reading articles and books on ethical/medical dilemmas, such as confidentiality of patients’ information; research on ethics-related topics such as autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and how they relate to provide health care.
Category C: Discussion of certain practice issues that are related to ethics with colleagues e.g., accountability and responsibility as a health professional; respect for clients; ethical care; duty to report; conflicts of interest; patient safety; or ethical considerations when providing care during COVID-19.
New Information for Claiming Acupuncture Service with WorkSafeBC or ICBC
Be advised that the Acupuncture Fee Schedule was updated February 1, 2021.
Within the first eight (8) weeks following the date of injury, there can be one claim made for the initial visit and up to seven (7) subsequent visits related to that injury. Changes to the billing system should result in faster and more direct approval and billing than was previously the case. You will find the details regarding new guidelines and the fee schedule on WorkSafeBC’s website.
ICBC will be rolling out their Enhanced Care Program in May 2021. They have developed an information package to assist health practitioners in learning about this new program and to provide answers to questions that you may have. You will find the information package here.
What does Enhanced Care mean for patients? Please explore this interactive presentation.
How will ICBC support patients in Enhanced Care? This video explains how ICBC will work with health care providers.
ICBC will also be hosting some webinars for health care providers and clinic/office administrations later in February 2021:
The sessions are as follows:
Enhanced Care for Health Care Providers
Enhanced Care for Health Care Providers
Enhanced Care for Administrators
Enhanced Care for Administrators
Practice Support Program Update
We are busy behind the scenes developing and building some of the assets and systems that will drive the PSP and be available to everyone. We’re creating the learning resources and developing a robust system that will allow registrants to document their learning activities. So, while it may seem that we’ve been quiet on this front, there’s a considerable amount of work going on.
Later this year we will be able to provide more information about the PSP and will provide an opportunity for registrants to ‘test drive’, or try out, the new tools and resources that will enable you to gauge your level of performance relative to 14 career-span competencies (CSCs), to help focus your ongoing learning.
The PSP will take a supportive approach to facilitate:
your ability to reflect on your own skills and abilities
your willingness to accept feedback
your commitment to continued learning.
Participation in the PSP will help you to take responsibility for your own professional growth and ensure that continued learning impacts your workplace performance. It will:
Help you identify your strengths, and areas for growth
Identify gaps between how others rate you and how you rate yourself
Help build your personal professional development plan
Help you assess your progress towards enhanced workplace performance.