Moving toward a single oral health regulator
BC’s four oral health regulators have made significant progress towards the amalgamation of the four oral health colleges since we reached out to seek your feedback last year. This update is intended to provide an overview of what’s been accomplished to date and what’s ahead.
We are excited about the opportunity to create a truly new regulatory body for oral health professions that will embrace the framework for modernization of health professions regulation in BC. The new regulator will ensure patient safety, increase public confidence through transparency and accountability, and ultimately achieve better health outcomes for patients and the public. The increased collaboration will allow us to support the coordination of safe, team-based care for patients and the broader community.
Recommendations for the design of a single regulator have been drafted, and we have begun the work of integrating our regulatory processes.
As a reminder, the amalgamation partners are the College of Dental Hygienists of BC (CDHBC), College of Dental Technicians of BC (CDTBC), College of Dental Surgeons of BC (CDSBC) and College of Denturists of BC (CDBC). The new regulator will oversee all six oral health professions in the public interest: certified dental assistants, dental hygienists, dental technicians, dental therapists, dentists, and denturists. Each of the six oral health professions will remain distinct in the design of the new regulator.
Amalgamation project leadership
Transition Steering Committee
The amalgamation project is being led by a Transition Steering Committee (TSC) comprising two members from each college board.
A project team has been established to support the design and implementation of the new college, comprised of subject matter experts from the existing oral health colleges, as well as external consultants with relevant experience.
The TSC has selected Dr. Chris Hacker, current registrar/CEO of CDSBC, as interim registrar to oversee the integration of the four oral health regulators. As interim registrar, Dr. Hacker will oversee the project and enable a smooth transition for staff, registrants, patients and the public. Registrars for each legacy college will continue to lead their organization as they prepare for amalgamation (including Dr. Hacker) who now has a dual role as interim registrar and registrar/CEO of CDSBC.
Leadership and governance of the new oral health college
The appointment process for the new college’s first board is underway. The TSC has recommended that the Minister appoint 12 board member positions, including a member of each of the six professions being regulated.
Continuity is vital to a successful amalgamation. In November, all board members of the legacy colleges were invited to apply to be on the board of the new oral health regulator.
The TSC engaged an objective third-party to assess the applications and make the candidate recommendations to the Ministry and the government agency responsible for board appointments (Crown Agencies and Board Resourcing Office).
Key criteria for candidate selection includes a balance of professional perspective from the four existing oral health colleges; distribution across geographical services areas (metropolitan, urban/rural and remote communities); a balance of professional and public members, as well as diversity of experience, expertise, and cultural safety.
The Minister’s appointment of the first board will be a critical milestone for the BC Oral Health Amalgamation Project.
All current committee members of all four existing colleges have been invited to apply to sit on one of the new college’s committees, which will be identified within the new college bylaws (currently being drafted for TSC and Ministry approval). Appointments will be made by the first board once in place. This will allow the necessary time to identify the committee structure of the new organization, review applications and complete the recommendations for committee positions.
Commitment to communication
One of the goals of the amalgamation project is to provide a smooth transition to the new college for patients and the public, with significant focus on staff and registrants. This involves keeping everyone informed about what’s ahead.
Amalgamation project website: As work progresses, the colleges are committed to ongoing, timely and transparent communication with oral health professionals, patients and the public, and other stakeholders. To facilitate this, we have developed this website specific to the amalgamation project, where you can access background information, progress updates and supporting resources.
You will also find an opportunity to submit questions and feedback on the Contact Us page.
Informative video: We have also developed which provides a backgrounder and overview on amalgamation, including the benefits and process to get there. This informative video is intended to enhance transparency and help all stakeholders understand how an amalgamation will strengthen oral healthcare in BC by promoting team-based dental care, and providing one point of contact for patients, the public and registrants.
Last year, registrants of the four oral health colleges were invited to complete an anonymous online survey conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights. The survey focused on the future of oral health regulation in BC and how regulatory changes might impact your practice and the public. We would like to thank all registrants who completed the survey; your feedback has helped shape our communications about amalgamation plans.
Highlights from the survey:
- Respondents confirmed that your regulatory colleges play an important role in enabling them to provide safe and effective patient care.
- Most respondents agreed that there are important public benefits that could result from the amalgamation.
- Respondents indicated that the four colleges should take the lead in the amalgamation process and the goal should be to transition to the new oral health college with limited or no impact to processes in each college.
Pursuing a unified regulator
The project team is identifying aspects of a unified regulator we can pursue independently, and we are already seeking ways to harmonize our regulatory and support processes where possible.
Formal amalgamation requires the leadership of the Ministry of Health, such as the amalgamation date, name of the new regulatory college, and the appointment of the first board. We have made a formal submission to the Minister last month and will provide further information when it is available.
Questions, comments or feedback?
Please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Chris Hacker, Interim Registrar
BC’s new oral health regulatory college
The College of Dental Hygienists of BC (CDHBC), College of Dental Technicians of BC (CDTBC), College of Dental Surgeons of BC (CDSBC) and College of Denturists of BC (CDBC) have agreed to pursue amalgamation and create a single oral health regulator that will govern the six oral health professions in the public interest.