BC HPRB: Labour mobility, reciprocal registration and US licensees

The Health Professions Review Board (HPRB) addressed the ability of an applicant to obtain “reciprocal” registration with a health college in British Columbia, based on his former unregulated practice in another Canadian jurisdiction, and his current licensed practice in a U.S. jurisdiction. The HPRB agreed a bylaw granting registration to an applicant who “holds” registration or licensure in another Canadian jurisdiction required current registration, and that licensure in Florida was not sufficient, in Applicant v. College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of BC, Decision No. 2010-HPA-0079(a) (October 12, 2011).

The applicant practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture practiced in Ontario from the early 1970s until his move to Florida in 1991, where he was licensed. Ontario did not then, and does not now, regulate TCM practitioners. When the applicant applied for registration in BC, the College decided he was not eligible for “reciprocal registration” under by-law s. 48(3), despite his former practice in Ontario, and his current practice in Florida. Bylaw s. 48(3) only provided full registration to an applicant who “holds registration or licensure in another Canadian jurisdiction….”

Although the HPRB rejected the College’s application for summary dismissal, the College agreed that s. 48(3) did not apply, [21] such that the applicant had to meet requirements under s. 48(1), which included successful completion of an acupuncture examination. [18] The HPRB agreed that s. 48(3) required current registration in Ontario, [21] which requirement the applicant could not meet as Ontario does not yet regulate the practice of acupuncture, [22] and “clearly Florida is not a Canadian jurisdiction.” [25] Further, the applicant was not a person to whom the registration committee had to grant registration under BC’s Labour Mobility Act. [28]

Applicant v. College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of BC, Decision No. 2010-HPA-0079(a) (October 12, 2011)