Qp Date
This Act has "Not in Force" sections. See the Table of Legislative Changes.

Social Workers Act

[SBC 2008] CHAPTER 31

Assented to May 29, 2008

Contents
1Definitions
Part 1 — British Columbia College of Social Workers
2College established
3Duty and objects
4Board
5Election validation
6Oath of office
7Responsibilities of board
8Bylaws — administrative
9Bylaws — registration
10Application of bylaws
11Interjurisdictional cooperation
Part 2 — Registration
12Registrar and register
13Registration
14Review by registration committee
15Registration appeals committee
16Inspection of register
17Certificate as evidence
18Title protection
Part 3 — Inspections, Inquiries and Discipline
19Definition
 Division 1 — Search and Seizure
20Inspectors
21Powers and duties of inspectors
22Search and seizure under court order
23Detention of things seized
24Prohibition against obstructing inspection or search
 Division 2 — Inquiry Committee
25Criminal records review
26Complaints to be made to registrar
27Investigations by inquiry committee
28Report to be made if no remedial or disciplinary action taken
29Extraordinary action to protect public
30Complaint resolution agreement
31Citation for hearing by discipline committee
32Consent orders
 Division 3 — Discipline Committee
33Discipline committee hearing
34Action by discipline committee
35Appeal of discipline committee decision to Supreme Court
36Public notification
37Online registry
Part 4 — General
38Definition
39Employer's duty to report
40Registrant's duty to report
41Immunity
42Liability protection
43Responsibility of registrants not affected by incorporation
44Prohibitions regarding practice of social work
45Exception to prohibitions
46Offences
47Injunction to restrain contravention
48Confidential information
49Deemed receipt of documents
50Power to make regulations
51Transition
 52 Repeal
 53-57 Consequential Amendments
58Commencement

Definitions

1  In this Act:

"board" means the board of the college constituted under section 4;

"bylaw" means a bylaw of the college made under section 8 or 9;

"college" means the British Columbia College of Social Workers established under section 2 (1);

"former Act" means the Social Workers Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 432;

"inspector" means an inspector for the college appointed under section 20;

"registrant" means a person who is granted registration as a member of the college in accordance with section 13;

"registrar" means the person appointed as registrar for the college under section 12 (1);

"social work" means the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and evaluation of individual, interpersonal and societal issues through the use of social work knowledge, skills, interventions and strategies, to assist individuals, couples, families, groups, organizations and communities to achieve optimum psychological and social functioning;

"social worker" means a person who practises social work.

Part 1 — British Columbia College of Social Workers

College established

2  (1) The British Columbia College of Social Workers is established.

(2) The college is a corporation consisting of

(a) the members of the board referred to in section 4, and

(b) the persons who are registrants.

(3) For the purposes of this Act, the college has all the powers and capacity of a natural person.

(4) The Business Corporations Act does not apply to the college unless the Lieutenant Governor in Council, by order, provides that specified provisions of that Act apply to the college, in which case the specified provisions apply.

Duty and objects

3  (1) In carrying out its objects, it is the duty of the college at all times

(a) to serve and protect the public, and

(b) to exercise its powers and discharge its responsibilities under this Act in the public interest.

(2) The college has the following objects:

(a) to superintend the practice of social work;

(b) to govern registrants according to this Act;

(c) to establish the qualifications required for registration as a registrant;

(d) to establish and employ registration, inquiry and discipline practices which are transparent, objective, impartial and fair;

(e) to establish, monitor and enforce standards of practice and establish ethical standards to enhance the quality of practice;

(f) to establish and maintain a continuing competence program to promote high practice standards amongst registrants;

(g) to receive and investigate complaints against registrants and to deal with issues of discipline, professional misconduct, incompetence and incapacity;

(h) to administer the affairs of the college and perform other duties through the exercise of the powers conferred under this Act.

Board

4  (1) The board of registration for social workers under the former Act is continued as the first board under this Act until the time at which

(a) the board members referred to in subsection (3) (a) are first elected, and

(b) the board members referred to in subsection (3) (b) are appointed.

(2) The minister must specify the date on or before which a first election must be held to elect the board members referred to in subsection (3) (a).

(3) Following the first election referred to in subsection (1), the board must consist of

(a) not fewer than 4 registrants elected in accordance with the bylaws, and

(b) not fewer than 2 persons appointed by the minister.

(4) The number of persons appointed under subsection (3) (b) must not be

(a) less than 1/3 of the total board membership, and

(b) more than the number of persons elected under subsection (3) (a).

(5) Persons appointed under subsection (3) (b) must not be

(a) registrants, former registrants or persons qualified to be registrants,

(b) persons who are authorized by section 18 (2) to use the title "social worker", or

(c) members of the British Columbia Association of Social Workers.

(6) Subject to the board's direction, a member of the board who resigns or whose term of office expires may, even if a successor is elected or appointed, continue to serve as a member of a committee established under section 8 (1) or 2 (g) to complete work of the committee that began before the resignation or expiry.

(7) Despite subsections (3) and (4), a board duly constituted under subsection (3) continues to govern if for any reason the number of persons elected or appointed falls below the minimum requirements of those subsections.

Election validation

5  (1) Immediately after an election, the registrar must

(a) certify each person who is elected as a member of the board by issuing a certificate of membership to the person elected, and

(b) specify in the certificate the dates on which the member's term of office begins and ends.

(2) Subject to this section, a certificate under subsection (1) is conclusive evidence that the person named in the certificate has been elected a member of the board.

(3) A registrant may, within 30 days of the issue of a certificate under subsection (1), question the certificate by petition to the Supreme Court, setting out the grounds on which the registrant questions the certificate.

(4) A petition must be served on the registrar and on the person certified to be elected.

(5) A petition must be heard in a summary way.

(6) The court may give directions on procedure and on persons to be served with the petition.

(7) The court may decide that a person was elected or may order a new election and give directions.

(8) A decision of the court is not subject to appeal and the college and all other persons must be governed by it.

(9) Subsection (1) applies to, and subsection (3) does not apply to, a new election held under subsection (7).

Oath of office

6  (1) Before taking office, a person elected or appointed to the board must take and sign, by oath or solemn affirmation, a prescribed oath of office within the following applicable time limit:

(a) in the case of a person elected by acclamation, within 45 days after the date set for voting day had an election by voting been required;

(b) in the case of a person elected by voting, within 45 days after the declaration of the results of the election;

(c) in the case of a person appointed to office, within 45 days after the effective date of the appointment.

(2) The oath must be taken before a judge of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court or Provincial Court, a justice of the peace or the registrar, and the person taking the oath must obtain the completed oath or a certificate of it from the person administering it.

(3) A person appointed or elected to the board must present the completed oath required by subsection (1) or a certificate of it to the registrar within the applicable time limit under subsection (1) (a), (b) or (c) and before the person takes office on the board.

(4) If a person elected or appointed to the board does not take and sign the oath required by subsection (1) or does not comply with subsection (3) within the time limits set by those subsections, the office to which that person was elected or appointed is vacant and the vacancy may be filled under section 4 (3) (a) or (b), as the case may be.

Responsibilities of board

7  (1) The board must govern, control and administer the affairs of the college in accordance with this Act.

(2) The board must submit to the minister an annual report respecting the college, including information that the minister may prescribe, not later than 120 days after the end of the fiscal year for the college.

(3) The board may do any of the following:

(a) establish standards, limits or conditions for the practice of social work by registrants;

(b) establish standards of professional ethics for registrants;

(c) establish professional standards of conduct for registrants;

(d) establish requirements for continuing education and for continuing competence for registrants;

(e) establish a quality assurance program.

Bylaws — administrative

8  (1) Subject to this Act and the regulations, the board must, by bylaw, establish a registration committee, a registration appeals committee, an inquiry committee and a discipline committee.

(2) Subject to this Act and the regulations, the board may make bylaws to do any of the following:

(a) regulate the time, place, calling and conduct of meetings of the board and general meetings of registrants;

(b) establish the quorum for meetings of the board, resolutions of the board, the annual general meeting and other meetings of registrants;

(c) establish the terms of office of elected members of the board, the grounds and procedures for removing elected members of the board before their terms of office have expired and the manner by which vacancies on the board may be filled;

(d) establish forms for the purpose of giving effect to the bylaws and requiring registrants to use the forms;

(e) provide for the appointment, removal, functions and duties of officers of the college;

(f) regulate and prohibit advertising or types of advertising by registrants;

(g) establish a quality assurance committee and other committees the board determines are necessary or advisable;

(h) in respect of a committee established under subsection (1) or paragraph (g) of this subsection, provide for the following:

(i)   subject to the regulations, the composition of the committee, including the appointment of non-board members and the appointment and removal of committee members;

(ii)   procedures to be followed by the committee, including the quorum for the committee;

(iii)   the duties and powers of the committee;

(iv)   the delegation of a duty or power of the board to the committee, other than the power to make bylaws;

(v)   the delegation of a duty or power of the committee to panels of the committee;

(vi)   the publication of decisions and other documents of the committee;

(i) provide for remuneration of the members of the board and of committees established under subsection (1) or paragraph (g) of this subsection;

(j) establish a tariff of costs to partially indemnify the college for the expenses incurred by the college for investigations under section 27;

(k) establish a tariff of costs to partially indemnify parties for their expenses incurred in the preparation for and conduct of hearings under section 33, other than for investigations under section 27;

(l) establish requirements for registrants concerning

(i)   the collection of personal information from clients,

(ii)   the creation of client records containing personal information, and

(iii)   the creation of administrative and accounting records;

(m) establish rules respecting access to client records;

(n) establish rules for the protection of client information, including rules respecting the retention, disclosure, storage and destruction by registrants of

(i)   client records, and

(ii)   administrative and accounting records;

(o) provide for the general administration and operation of the college.

(3) A tariff of costs established under subsection (2) (j) must not provide for recovery of the remuneration paid to inspectors or members of the inquiry committee.

(4) A tariff of costs established under subsection (2) (k) must not provide for recovery of the remuneration paid to members of the discipline committee.

Bylaws — registration

9  (1) Subject to this Act and the regulations, the board may, with the approval of the minister, make bylaws to do any of the following:

(a) establish the number of members of the board to be elected, and the time, manner and procedure for the election of registrants to the board under section 4 (3) (a);

(b) establish classes of registrants and specify if members of a class are eligible to be elected or to vote in an election referred to in section 4 (3) (a);

(c) provide that different classes of registrants may be subject to registration for a limited period of time and may be permitted to practise only in limited ways;

(d) establish requirements for

(i)   the registration of a person as a member of the college,

(ii)   the issue, display, renewal and expiration of registration certificates, and

(iii)   procedures for an application for review and the practice and procedure for proceedings under sections 14 and 15;

(e) provide for the recognition of registrants as specialists in a field of the practice of social work;

(f) specify the manner by which registrants may hold themselves out as specialists in a field recognized under a bylaw made under paragraph (e);

(g) establish the obligations that must be discharged by a registrant whose registration is suspended;

(h) establish the qualifications required for registration as a registrant;

(i) authorize a committee established under section 8 (1) to determine if an academic program meets the requirements of paragraph (h) of this subsection;

(j) delegate to the registrar the power to determine whether an application for registration meets the requirements of the bylaws;

(k) establish requirements for maintenance of professional liability insurance coverage by registrants;

(l) establish fees payable to the college by applicants for registration, by registrants, or for reinstatement of former registrants;

(m) provide for special fees levied under the bylaws to be payable by registrants;

(n) establish requirements for renewal, suspension, cancellation and reinstatement of the registration of persons practising social work, including providing for the suspension or cancellation of the registration of a registrant for late payment or non-payment of fees;

(o) establish the maximum fine that the discipline committee may impose under section 34 (4) (e);

(p) defining, for the purposes of a bylaw, conduct unbecoming a professional and professional misconduct;

(q) defining any other terms necessary to give effect to the bylaws.

(2) The minister must not approve a bylaw made under subsection (1) unless satisfied that appropriate provision has been made respecting

(a) each of the objects referred to in section 3 (2), and

(b) the election of registrants to the board under section 4 (3) (a).

(3) The board may do the things described in subsection (1) only by bylaw.

Application of bylaws

10  (1) This section applies to sections 8 and 9.

(2) Provisions in a bylaw made under this Act may be different for different classes of registrants.

(3) The minister may request the board to amend or repeal an existing bylaw for the college or to make a new bylaw for the college if the minister is satisfied that this is necessary or advisable.

(4) If the board does not comply with a request under subsection (3) within 90 days after the date of the request, the minister may amend or repeal the existing bylaw for the college or make the new bylaw for the college in accordance with the request.

(5) A bylaw may not be made, amended or repealed under subsection (4) unless notice of the proposed bylaw, amendment or repeal is given to the college

(a) at least 3 months before the bylaw, amendment or repeal comes into force, or

(b) within a period, shorter than that set out in paragraph (a), that the minister specifies as appropriate in the circumstances.

(6) The board must

(a) maintain a complete and accurate record of the bylaws that are in effect for the college,

(b) publish the bylaws electronically on the college website at least 3 months before the bylaws come into force, unless the board specifies a shorter period of notice as appropriate in the circumstances,

(c) make the bylaws available for inspection by registrants and the public at the office of the college and electronically on the college website, and

(d) notify the minister and the registrants of amendments to the bylaws.

Interjurisdictional cooperation

11  (1) In this section, "governing body" means the governing body of a social work profession in another province or a foreign jurisdiction.

(2) The board may promote cooperation with a governing body by doing one or more of the following:

(a) entering into agreements with one or more governing bodies concerning the interjurisdictional practice of social work;

(b) entering into agreements with one or more governing bodies concerning the interjurisdictional practice of social work, interjurisdictional credential recognition or competence assessment for registration purposes, or other labour mobility matters;

(c) entering into information-sharing agreements, as defined in section 69 (1) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, to allow the disclosure of information about a registrant to a governing body, including information about practice restrictions, complaints, competency and discipline.

(3) The minister may, by order, approve an agreement described in subsection (2) if the minister is satisfied it is in the public interest to do so.

(4) An agreement described in subsection (2) has no effect until it is approved by the minister.

Part 2 — Registration

Registrar and register

12  (1) The board must appoint a registrar for the college and may appoint a deputy registrar for the college.

(2) The registrar must maintain a register setting out, for each registrant, the following:

(a) the registrant's name, business address and business telephone number;

(b) the class of registration, including areas of specialization and related credentials;

(c) terms, conditions and limitations imposed by the college on the practice of social work by the registrant;

(d) a notation of each cancellation or suspension of registration;

(e) any additional prescribed matters.

(3) The registrar must include in the register a notation of any cancellation or suspension of registration that occurred or was recorded before the coming into force of this section.

(4) The registrar must cancel the registration of a registrant in the register if

(a) the registrant requests or gives written consent to the cancellation,

(b) the registrant has failed to pay a fee for registration or for renewal of registration or another fee within the required time,

(c) the registration of the registrant has been cancelled under section 34 (4) (d),

(d) the registrant has failed to pay a fine levied under section 34 (4) (e), or

(e) notification is received of the registrant's death.

(5) Subject to this Act, the registrar may, on grounds the registration committee considers sufficient, cause the registration of a former registrant to be restored on the register on payment to the college of

(a) any fees or other sums in arrears and owing by the former registrant to the college, and

(b) any reinstatement fee required by the bylaws.

Registration

13  (1) The registrar must grant registration in the college and issue a certificate of registration to every person who, in accordance with the requirements of the bylaws,

(a) applies to the college for registration,

(b) satisfies the registrar that he or she is qualified to be a registrant, and

(c) pays the required fees, if any.

(2) Despite subsection (1), the registrar may refuse to grant registration if the registrar determines that

(a) the person's entitlement to practise social work has been suspended or cancelled at some time in British Columbia or in another jurisdiction,

(b) an investigation, review or other proceeding is under way in British Columbia or in another jurisdiction that could result in the person's entitlement to practise social work being limited, suspended or cancelled,

(c) the person's entitlement to practise as a registered social worker has been voluntarily relinquished at some time in British Columbia or in another jurisdiction with the effect of preventing the commencement or completion of an investigation, review or other proceeding that could have resulted in the person's entitlement to practise being suspended or cancelled, or

(d) the person has been convicted of an indictable offence.

(3) The registrar must provide written reasons to the applicant for refusing to grant registration under subsection (2).

(4) Before the registrar refuses to grant registration to a person who has been convicted of an indictable offence, the registrar must be satisfied that the nature of the offence or the circumstances under which it was committed give rise to concerns about the person's competence or fitness to practise social work.

(5) [Repealed 2013-8-54.]

(6) A person must not apply for registration or continue to be registered as a member of the college if that person knows that he or she is not qualified to be a registrant.

(7) A registrant may practise social work and, if practising, must do so in accordance with this Act, the regulations and all standards, limits and conditions for the practice of social work established by the board.

Review by registration committee

14  (1) An applicant for registration may apply in writing to the registration committee for a review of the registrar's decision under section 13 (2) to refuse registration.

(2) An application under subsection (1) must be made within 30 days after the day on which the person received notice of the registrar's decision.

(3) Despite subsection (2), the registration committee may extend the time to file an application for review under subsection (1) if

(a) the time to file has expired, and

(b) the registration committee is satisfied that special circumstances exist.

(4) The registration committee may hold any combination of written, electronic and oral hearings.

(5) After giving the applicant an opportunity to make submissions, the registration committee may

(a) confirm the decision of the registrar to refuse registration,

(b) grant registration, or

(c) grant registration that

(i)   is for a limited period,

(ii)   requires the applicant to undergo additional training, education or testing,

(iii)   attaches terms and conditions to a grant of registration, or

(iv)   is for a class of registration that is different from the class of registration for which the applicant applied.

(6) The registration committee must provide written reasons to the applicant for a decision made under subsection (5).

Registration appeals committee

15  (1) An applicant for registration who is adversely affected by the registration committee's decision under section 14 (5) (a) or (c) may apply in writing to the registration appeals committee for a review of the decision.

(2) An application under subsection (1) must be made within 30 days after the day on which the person received notice of the registration committee's decision.

(3) Despite subsection (2), the registration appeals committee may extend the time to file an application for review under subsection (1) if

(a) the time to file has expired, and

(b) the registration appeals committee is satisfied that special circumstances exist.

(4) The registration appeals committee may hold any combination of written, electronic and oral hearings.

(5) After giving the applicant an opportunity to make submissions, the registration appeals committee may

(a) confirm the decision of the registration committee,

(b) substitute a decision that could have been made by the registration committee in the matter, or

(c) refer the matter back to the registration committee with directions.

(6) The registration appeals committee must provide written reasons to the applicant for a decision made under subsection (5).

(7) For the purpose of this section, members of the registration appeals committee hearing an appeal under this section must be different from the members of the registration committee who made the decision being appealed.

Inspection of register

16  (1) Subject to subsection (2), the register of the college must be open to inspection by any person free of charge at all reasonable times during regular business hours.

(2) The registrar may refuse a person access to the register if the registrar reasonably believes that

(a) the access could threaten the safety of a registrant, or

(b) the person seeking access is doing so for commercial purposes.

(3) If access is refused under subsection (2), the registrar may disclose information from the register that the registrar determines is appropriate in the circumstances.

Certificate as evidence

17  A certificate signed by the registrar is proof, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, of the matters stated in the certificate that relate to the records of the college.

Title protection

18  (1) Subject to subsection (2), no person other than a registrant may use

(a) the title "social worker" or "registered social worker", or

(b) a title prescribed under this Act.

(2) Subsection (1) does not prevent a person from using the title "social worker", or an abbreviation of that title, if that person is a social worker who is, or works for, a prescribed person.

Part 3 — Inspections, Inquiries and Discipline

Definition

19  In this Part, "registrant" includes a former registrant.

Division 1 — Search and Seizure

Inspectors

20  (1) The inquiry committee may appoint persons as inspectors for the college.

(2) The registrar is an inspector.

Powers and duties of inspectors

21  (1) During regular business hours, an inspector may investigate, inquire into, inspect, observe or examine one or more of the following without a court order:

(a) the premises, the equipment and the materials used by a registrant to practise social work;

(b) the records of a registrant relating to the registrant's practice of social work, and may copy those records;

(c) the practice of social work performed by or under the supervision of a registrant.

(2) The inquiry committee may direct an inspector to act under subsection (1) or undertake any aspect of an investigation under section 27.

(3) If an inspector acts under this section as a consequence of a direction given under subsection (2), the inspector must report the results of those actions in writing to the inquiry committee.

Search and seizure under court order

22  (1) A person authorized by the inquiry committee may apply to the Supreme Court for an order that authorizes an inspector for the college

(a) to enter into the premises or land of a person named in the order at any reasonable time and conduct an inspection, examination or analysis,

(b) to require the production of any record, property, assets or things and to inspect, examine or analyze them, and

(c) on giving a receipt, to seize and remove any record, property, assets or things inspected, examined or analyzed under paragraph (a) or (b) for further inspection, examination or analysis.

(2) Unless the court otherwise directs, an application under subsection (1) may be made without notice to any person and may be heard in private.

(3) On application under subsection (1), the court may make an order under this section if satisfied on oath that there are reasonable grounds for believing that evidence may be found

(a) that a person who is not a registrant has contravened this Act, or

(b) that a person who is a registrant

(i)   has contravened this Act,

(ii)   has failed to comply with a limit or condition imposed under this Act,

(iii)   has acted in a manner that constitutes professional misconduct,

(iv)   is not competent to practise social work, or

(v)   is suffering from a physical or mental ailment, an emotional disturbance or an addiction to alcohol or drugs that impairs the person's ability to practise social work.

(4) In an order under this section, the court

(a) must identify the premises or land to be entered and must generally describe any thing to be searched for and examined, audited or seized,

(b) may include any limitations or conditions the court considers proper, including the time of entry, the disposition of things seized and the access by any person to the things seized, and

(c) may direct that section 23 does not apply to a thing specified in the order

(i)   if all limitations and conditions included under paragraph (b) are met, and

(ii)   unless, within 21 days of the seizure of the thing, a person who owned or controlled the thing at the time of the seizure requests by registered mail addressed to the inquiry committee that section 23 apply to the thing seized.

(5) A person who, while conducting or attempting to conduct an entry or search under this section, finds any thing not described in the order that the person believes on reasonable grounds will provide evidence in respect of a contravention of this Act may seize and remove that thing.

Detention of things seized

23  (1) For the purposes of subsection (2), the person who makes a seizure under section 22 must report the seizure as soon as practicable to a judge of the Supreme Court, who must be the judge who issued the order under which the seizure was made unless this is not practicable.

(2) On receiving a report under subsection (1), the judge must

(a) order the thing that was seized returned to its owner or other person entitled to it unless satisfied that an order under paragraph (b) should be made, or

(b) order the thing detained if satisfied that the detention is required for the purposes of this Act.

(3) An inspector may make one or more copies of any record detained under subsection (2).

(4) A document purporting to be certified by a representative of the inquiry committee to be a true copy made under the authority of subsection (3) is evidence of the nature and content of the original document.

(5) Subject to an order under section 22 (4) (b), the person from whom any thing is seized under this section or the owner of the thing, if he or she is a different person, is entitled to inspect that thing at any reasonable time and, in the case of a record, to obtain one copy of the record at the expense of the board.

(6) A record must not be detained under this section for a period longer than 3 months from the time of its seizure unless, before the expiration of the period, either

(a) the person from whom it was seized agrees to its continued detention, or

(b) the Supreme Court, on application and after being satisfied that its continued detention is justified, orders its continued detention for a specified period of time.

Prohibition against obstructing inspection or search

24  (1) A person must not obstruct an inspector in the lawful performance of duties or the lawful exercise of powers under this Act.

(2) A person must not obstruct a person acting under section 22 or 23 or under an order made under those sections.

Division 2 — Inquiry Committee

Criminal records review

25  (1) For the purpose of sections 15 (2) (b) and 16 (1) of the Criminal Records Review Act, if the college is required under that Act to investigate or review an individual's registration or application for registration, the investigation or review must be conducted by the inquiry committee.

(2) If the inquiry committee makes a decision arising from a determination under the Criminal Records Review Act and the decision adversely affects the registrant, the registrant may appeal the decision to the Supreme Court and, for those purposes, the provisions of section 35 respecting an appeal from a decision of the discipline committee apply to an appeal under this section.

Complaints to be made to registrar

26  (1) A person who wishes to make a complaint against a registrant must deliver a written complaint to the registrar.

(2) The registrar, if authorized by the board, may dismiss all or part of a complaint without reference to the inquiry committee if the registrar determines that any of the following apply:

(a) the complaint is trivial, frivolous, vexatious or made in bad faith;

(b) the complaint is a matter over which the college does not have jurisdiction;

(c) the complaint gives rise to an abuse of process;

(d) the complaint is filed for an improper purpose or motive;

(e) there is no reasonable prospect the complaint will be substantiated;

(f) the substance of the complaint has been appropriately dealt with in another proceeding.

(3) If a complaint is disposed of under subsection (2), the registrar must

(a) deliver a written report to the inquiry committee about the circumstances of the disposition,

(b) notify the complainant and the registrant, in writing and with reasons, respecting the circumstances of the disposition, and

(c) advise the complainant that, within 30 days after receipt of the notice under paragraph (b), the complainant may make a further submission to the inquiry committee by delivering additional information to the registrar respecting the complaint.

(4) A disposition under subsection (2) takes effect 60 days after the delivery of the written report described under subsection (3) (a) unless, within that 60 day period, the inquiry committee decides to investigate the matter.

(5) Unless the registrar dismisses a complaint under subsection (2), as soon as practicable after receiving the complaint the registrar must deliver to the inquiry committee a copy of the complaint, an assessment of the complaint and any recommendations of the registrar for the disposition of the complaint.

Investigations by inquiry committee

27  (1) If a complaint is delivered to the inquiry committee by the registrar under section 26 (5), the inquiry committee must investigate the matter raised by the complainant as soon as practicable.

(2) The inquiry committee may, on its own motion, investigate a registrant regarding any of the following matters:

(a) a contravention of this Act;

(b) a conviction for an indictable offence;

(c) a failure to comply with a standard, limit or condition imposed under this Act;

(d) professional misconduct;

(e) a finding of misconduct in social work or a similar profession

(i)   by a licensing body established under another enactment, or

(ii)   under a law enacted by the government of Canada, another province of Canada or a foreign jurisdiction;

(f) conduct unbecoming a professional;

(g) competence to practise social work;

(h) incapacity or impairment that prevents a registrant from engaging in the practice of social work with reasonable skill, competence and safety to the public.

(3) The inquiry committee may require the registrant who is the subject of an investigation under this section to provide it with any information, documents or records the inquiry committee considers necessary, and the registrant must cooperate with the inquiry committee.

(4) After considering any information, documents or records provided by the registrant, and any other information gathered during the investigation, the inquiry committee may

(a) take no further action, if the inquiry committee is of the view that the matter or complaint is trivial, frivolous, vexatious or made in bad faith or that the conduct to which the matter or complaint relates is satisfactory,

(b) act under section 30, or

(c) direct the registrar to issue a citation under section 31.

(5) The inquiry committee may only act under subsection (4) (b) or (c) on the basis of subsection (2) (b) if the inquiry committee is satisfied that the nature of the offence or the circumstances under which it was committed give rise to concerns

(a) about the registrant's competence or fitness to practise social work, or

(b) that the registrant has engaged in professional misconduct or conduct unbecoming a professional.

(6) The inquiry committee must notify both the complainant and the registrant of the inquiry committee's decision under subsection (4).

Report to be made if no remedial or disciplinary action taken

28  (1) If the inquiry committee does not direct the registrar to issue a citation regarding a matter investigated under section 27, it must report to the board, in writing, regarding its decision and the results of its investigation.

(2) The board may, on its own motion after considering the report of the inquiry committee under subsection (1),

(a) confirm the inquiry committee's decision, or

(b) set aside the decision of the inquiry committee and

(i)   direct that no further action be taken,

(ii)   direct the inquiry committee to act under section 30, or

(iii)   direct the registrar to issue a citation under section 31.

(3) The board must notify the complainant, if any, and the registrant, in writing and with reasons, of any decision under subsection (2).

Extraordinary action to protect public

29  (1) If the inquiry committee considers that action is necessary to protect the public during the investigation of a registrant or pending a hearing of the discipline committee, it may, without providing the registrant an opportunity to make submissions,

(a) set limits or conditions on the practice of social work by the registrant, or

(b) suspend the registration of the registrant.

(2) If the inquiry committee acts under subsection (1), it must notify the registrant and his or her employer in writing of its decision, of the reasons for the decision and of the registrant's right to appeal that decision to the Supreme Court.

(3) A decision under subsection (1) is not effective until the earlier of

(a) the time the registrant receives the notice under subsection (2), and

(b) 3 days after the notice is mailed to the registrant at the last address for the registrant recorded in the register of the college.

(4) If the inquiry committee determines that action taken under subsection (1) is no longer necessary to protect the public, it must cancel the limits, conditions or suspension and must notify the registrant and his or her employer in writing of the cancellation as soon as possible.

(5) A registrant against whom action has been taken under subsection (1) may appeal the decision to the Supreme Court and, for those purposes, the provisions of section 35 respecting an appeal from a decision of the discipline committee apply to an appeal under this section.

Complaint resolution agreement

30  (1) In relation to a matter investigated under section 27, the inquiry committee may request in writing that the registrant do one or more of the following:

(a) undertake not to repeat the conduct to which the matter relates;

(b) undertake to take educational courses specified by the inquiry committee;

(c) agree to a reprimand;

(d) undertake or agree to any other action specified by the inquiry committee.

(2) If an undertaking or agreement given in respect of a request under subsection (1) relates to an investigation under section 27 (1), the inquiry committee must deliver a written summary of the undertaking or agreement to the complainant.

(3) If a registrant refuses to give an undertaking or agreement requested under subsection (1), or if a registrant fails to comply with an undertaking or agreement given in response to a request under subsection (1), the inquiry committee may direct the registrar to issue a citation under section 31 for a hearing by the discipline committee regarding the matter.

Citation for hearing by discipline committee

31  (1) If directed by the inquiry committee or the board, the registrar must issue a citation that

(a) names the affected registrant as respondent,

(b) describes the nature of the complaint or other matter that is to be the subject of a hearing by the discipline committee,

(c) specifies the date, time and place of the hearing, and

(d) advises the respondent that the discipline committee is entitled to proceed with the hearing in his or her absence.

(2) The registrar must have a citation either delivered to the respondent by personal service or by mailing it by registered post to the respondent at the last address for the respondent recorded in the register referred to in section 12 (2) not fewer than 30 days before the date of the hearing.

(3) If the subject matter of a citation is a complaint, the registrar must notify the complainant in writing of the date, time and place of the hearing not fewer than 14 days before the date of the hearing.

(4) The inquiry committee or the board may direct the registrar to cancel a citation that has been issued on its direction if the inquiry committee or board afterwards determines that a hearing by the discipline committee is not required, and the registrar must then cancel the citation and notify the respondent and the complainant, if any, of the cancellation.

Consent orders

32  (1) The registrant may give the inquiry committee a written proposal, at any time before the commencement of a hearing under section 33,

(a) stating the nature of the complaint or other matter that is to be the subject of the hearing,

(b) consenting to the making of an order under section 34 (4) or (8) as set out in the proposal,

(c) consenting to indemnify the college for the investigation under section 27 in an amount not to exceed the costs for the inquiry calculated under the tariff of costs established under section 8 (2) (j), and

(d) if the registrant gives the proposal to the inquiry committee fewer than 7 days before the hearing is scheduled to commence, consenting to indemnify the college for preparing for the hearing in an amount not to exceed the costs of preparing for the hearing calculated under the tariff of costs established under section 8 (2) (k).

(2) If the hearing under section 33 has commenced,

(a) the registrant may give to the discipline committee a written proposal

(i)   described in subsection (1) (a) to (c), and

(ii)   consenting to indemnify the college for preparing for and conducting the hearing in an amount not to exceed the costs of preparing for and conducting the hearing calculated under the tariff of costs established under section 8 (2) (k), and

(b) the discipline committee may accept or reject the proposal in its discretion.

(3) The inquiry committee or the discipline committee may accept or reject a proposal received under subsection (1) or (2) based on the investigations described in section 27 respecting the complaint.

(4) If the inquiry committee or the discipline committee accepts a proposal received under subsection (1) or (2),

(a) an order under section 34 (4) is deemed to be made as set out in the proposal,

(b) section 34 (2) and (3) apply to the order under paragraph (a) as though it had been made by the discipline committee, and

(c) a hearing on the citation need not proceed and may end without disposition.

(5) If the inquiry committee or the discipline committee rejects a proposal received under subsection (1) or (2),

(a) a hearing of the citation must proceed as though the proposal had not been made, and

(b) the discipline committee must not consider the written proposal described in subsection (1) in determining the matter or in making an order under section 34.

Division 3 — Discipline Committee

Discipline committee hearing

33  (1) Subject to section 32, the discipline committee must hear and determine a matter set for hearing by citation issued under section 31.

(2) Members of the discipline committee holding a hearing must not

(a) have taken part before the hearing in any investigation of the subject matter of the hearing, other than as a member of the board acting under section 28, and

(b) subject to subsection (3) of this section, communicate directly or indirectly about the subject matter of the hearing with any person or with any party or representative of a party, except on notice to all parties and with the opportunity for all parties to participate.

(3) The discipline committee may seek legal advice from an adviser independent from the parties.

(4) The respondent and the college may appear as parties and with counsel at a hearing of the discipline committee.

(5) A complainant may be represented by legal counsel, at the complainant's cost, at a hearing of the discipline committee.

(6) Subject to subsection (7), a hearing of the discipline committee must be in public.

(7) The discipline committee may make an order excluding the public from a part of the hearing if the committee is satisfied that

(a) financial, personal or other matters may be disclosed at the hearing that are of such a nature that the principles of confidentiality and privacy outweigh the desirability of adhering to the principle that hearings be open to the public,

(b) a person involved in a criminal proceeding or in a civil suit or proceeding may be prejudiced, or

(c) the safety of a person may be jeopardized.

(8) If the respondent does not attend, the discipline committee may

(a) adjourn or proceed with the hearing in the respondent's absence on proof of service in accordance with section 31 (2), and

(b) take any action that it is authorized to take under this Act without further notice to the respondent.

(9) The discipline committee may order a person to attend at a hearing to give evidence and to produce records in the possession of or under the control of the person.

(10) On application to the Supreme Court by a person authorized by the discipline committee, a person who fails to attend or to produce records as required by an order under subsection (9) is liable to be committed for contempt as if he or she were in breach of an order or judgment of the Supreme Court.

(11) If the discipline committee considers that action is necessary to protect the public between the time a hearing is commenced and the time it makes an order under section 34 (4), the discipline committee

(a) may set limits or conditions on the practice of social work by the registrant or may suspend the registration of the registrant, and

(b) must notify the registrant and his or her employer in writing of its decision under paragraph (a), of the reasons for the decision and of the registrant's right to appeal that decision to the Supreme Court.

(12) A decision under subsection (11) (a) is not effective until the earlier of

(a) the time the registrant receives the notice under subsection (11) (b), and

(b) 3 days after the notice is mailed to the registrant at the last address for the registrant recorded in the register of the college.

(13) If the discipline committee determines that action taken under subsection (11) (a) is no longer necessary to protect the public, it must cancel the limits, conditions or suspension and must notify the registrant and his or her employer in writing of the cancellation as soon as possible.

(14) A registrant against whom action has been taken under subsection (11) may appeal the decision to the Supreme Court and, for those purposes, the provisions of section 35 apply to an appeal under this section.

Action by discipline committee

34  (1) On completion of a hearing, the discipline committee may

(a) dismiss the matter, or

(b) determine that the respondent

(i)   has not complied with this Act,

(ii)   has not complied with a standard, limit or condition imposed under this Act,

(iii)   has committed professional misconduct or conduct unbecoming a professional,

(iv)   has incompetently practised social work, or

(v)   suffers from an incapacity or impairment that prevents the respondent from engaging in the practice of social work with reasonable skill, competence and safety to the public.

(2) If the discipline committee dismisses the matter under subsection (1) (a) on the basis that the matter was without merit, it may award costs to the respondent against the college, based on the tariff of costs established under section 8 (2) (k).

(3) Costs awarded under subsection (2) must not exceed, in total, 50% of the actual costs to the respondent for legal representation for the purposes of the investigation under section 27 and the hearing.

(4) If a determination is made under subsection (1) (b), the discipline committee may, by order, do one or more of the following:

(a) reprimand the respondent;

(b) impose limits or conditions on the respondent's practice of social work;

(c) suspend the respondent's registration;

(d) cancel the respondent's registration;

(e) fine the respondent in an amount not exceeding the maximum fine established under section 9 (1) (o).

(5) An order of the discipline committee under subsection (4) must

(a) be in writing,

(b) include reasons for the order, and

(c) be delivered to the respondent and to the complainant, if any.

(6) If the discipline committee acts under subsection (4), it may award costs to the college against the respondent, based on the tariff of costs established under section 8 (2) (k).

(7) Costs awarded under subsection (6) must not exceed, in total, 50% of the actual costs to the college for legal representation for the purposes of the hearing.

(8) If the registration of the respondent is suspended or cancelled under subsection (4), the discipline committee may

(a) impose conditions on the lifting of the suspension or on the respondent's eligibility to apply for reinstatement of registration,

(b) direct that the suspension be lifted or the respondent become eligible to apply for reinstatement of registration on

(i)   a date specified in the order, or

(ii)   the date on which the discipline committee or the board determines that the respondent has complied with the conditions imposed under paragraph (a) of this subsection, and

(c) impose conditions on the respondent's practice of social work that apply after the lifting of the suspension or the reinstatement of registration.

(9) If an order under subsection (4) is appealed under section 35 within 30 days after it is made, the discipline committee, on application of the respondent under this section, may

(a) stay the order pending the hearing of the appeal, and

(b) set terms and conditions on the practice of social work by the respondent during the stay.

(10) The discipline committee may act under subsection (4) respecting a registrant as though a determination has been made under subsection (1) if, at any time, the registrar advises the disciplinary committee, or the registrant admits, that the registrant has, before or after being granted registration under section 13, done or failed to do any act or thing in another jurisdiction that, in the opinion of the discipline committee, constitutes professional misconduct under this Act.

(11) The discipline committee may act under subsection (10) without a citation under section 31 or a hearing under section 33.

(12) The discipline committee must not act under subsection (10) before the registrant has been provided an opportunity to make submissions, which may be limited to an opportunity to make submissions in writing.

(13) For the purposes of this section, a certified copy of a record of the finding made or actions taken in respect of a registrant by a governing body of social work in another jurisdiction is proof, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, of the findings made or actions taken, without proof of the signature of the person purporting to have signed on behalf of that body.

Appeal of discipline committee decision to Supreme Court

35  (1) A respondent aggrieved or adversely affected by an order of the discipline committee under section 34 (4) may appeal to the Supreme Court.

(2) An appeal under this section must be commenced within 30 days after the date that the respondent bringing the appeal received written notice of the discipline committee's action under section 34 (4).

(3) An appeal under this section must be commenced by filing a petition in any registry of the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court Civil Rules respecting petition proceedings apply to the appeal, but Rule 18-3 of those rules does not apply.

(4) The petition commencing an appeal under this section must, within 14 days of its filing in the court registry, be served on the college, effected by service on the registrar.

(5) Within 14 days of being served with the petition under subsection (4), the college must provide notice of the appeal to the complainant if the matter relates to a complaint.

(6) On request by a party to an appeal, or a party contemplating an appeal, under subsection (1) and on payment by the party of any disbursements and expenses in connection with the request, the registrar must provide that party with copies of part or all, as requested, of the record of the proceeding before the discipline committee.

(7) An appeal under subsection (l) is a review on the record unless the court is satisfied that a new hearing or the admission of further evidence is necessary in the interests of justice.

(8) On the hearing of an appeal under this section, the court may

(a) confirm, vary or reverse the action of the discipline committee,

(b) refer the matter back to the discipline committee, with or without directions, or

(c) make any other order it considers appropriate in the circumstances.

(9) A decision of the Supreme Court on an appeal under subsection (1) may be appealed to the Court of Appeal if leave to appeal is granted by the Court of Appeal.

Public notification

36  (1) If, subject to subsection (2), the discipline committee considers it in the public interest, the registrar must notify the public of

(a) the name of a registrant who has been disciplined by the discipline committee, and

(b) the reasons why the disciplinary action was taken.

(2) The registrar must withhold notification of some or all of the reasons referred to in subsection (1) (b) if the discipline committee considers that notification of the reasons would cause significant hardship to a person who was harmed, abused or exploited by the registrant.

(3) The notification required under subsection (1) may be made by posting a notice on the college's website.

Online registry

37  (1) The board must establish, and the registrar, using information collected under section 12 (2), must maintain, an online registry for the purpose of providing the public with the following information about each registrant:

(a) the registrant's name;

(b) with the consent of the registrant, the business address and business telephone number of the registrant;

(c) the current status of the registrant's certificate of registration;

(d) a record of any suspensions or cancellations of the registrant's certificate of registration;

(e) a record of disciplinary action taken by the board with regard to the registrant for

(i)   misconduct that involved

(A)  physical harm,

(B)  sexual abuse or sexual exploitation, or

(C)  significant emotional harm, or

(ii)   conduct that breached the board's standards of professional conduct or competence.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), the record in the online registry of the matters referred to in subsection (1) (d) must state the reasons why the disciplinary action was taken.

(3) The board may withhold or remove from the registry a statement of the reasons referred to in subsection (2) if the board considers that the statement, if included in the registry, would cause significant hardship to a person who was harmed, abused or exploited by the registrant.

(4) After a record referred to in subsection (1) (e) has been on the registry for at least 5 years, the registrant whose misconduct is recorded may apply to the board to have that record removed from the registry, and the board may remove that record if it is in the public interest to do so.

Part 4 — General

Definition

38  In sections 39, 40, 43 and 49 (1), "registrant" includes a former registrant.

Employer's duty to report

39  (1) An employer who terminates, suspends or disciplines a registrant for misconduct that is committed in the course of practising social work and that involves physical or significant emotional harm to or sexual abuse or exploitation of a client must, promptly after the termination, suspension or discipline, file with the registrar a written report setting out the reasons.

(2) If an employer intended to terminate, suspend or discipline a registrant for misconduct that was committed in the course of practising social work and that involved physical or significant emotional harm to or sexual abuse or exploitation of a client, but the employer did not do so because the registrant resigned, the employer must, promptly after the resignation, file with the registrar a written report setting out the reasons on which the employer intended to act.

(3) If a person

(a) has reason to believe that the continued practice of a registrant might expose a member of the public to physical harm, sexual abuse or exploitation or significant emotional harm, and

(b) for a reason described in paragraph (a), dissolves a partnership or association that the person has with the registrant,

that person must, promptly after dissolving the partnership or association, file with the registrar a written report respecting the matter.

(4) On receiving a report under subsection (1), (2) or (3), the registrar must deliver the report to the inquiry committee which may, under section 27 (2), investigate the matter.

Registrant's duty to report

40  (1) A registrant who has reason to believe that another registrant, in the course of practising social work, is causing or has caused physical or significant emotional harm to or is or has engaged in sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a client, must promptly provide to the registrar a written and signed report on the matter.

(2) Subsection (1) applies even if the information on which the belief is based is confidential and its disclosure is prohibited under another Act.

(3) A registrant is not required to file a report under subsection (1) if the registrant does not have information to identify, or that permits the registrar to identify, the registrant who would be the subject of the report.

(4) If a registrant is required to file a report under subsection (1) because of information obtained from one of the registrant's clients, the registrant must use his or her best efforts to advise the client of the requirement to file the report before doing so.

Immunity

41  No proceeding may be instituted against a person for filing a report under section 39 or 40 unless the report is filed in bad faith.

Liability protection

42  (1) No action for damages lies or may be brought against a member of the board or a person acting on behalf of or under the direction of the college or board because of anything done:

(a) in the performance or intended performance of any duty under this Act, or

(b) in the exercise or intended exercise of any power under this Act.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person referred to in that subsection in relation to anything done or omitted by that person in bad faith.

(3) Subsection (1) does not absolve the college from vicarious liability for an act or omission by a person referred to in that subsection for which the college would be vicariously liable if this section were not in force.

Responsibility of registrants not affected by incorporation

43  (1) The liability of a registrant for professional negligence is not affected by the fact that the registrant practises social work as an employee of a corporation.

(2) The relationship of a registrant to a corporation, whether as a shareholder, director, officer, agent, trustee, contractor or employee of the corporation, does not affect, modify or diminish the application to the registrant of this Act.

(3) Nothing in this Act affects, modifies or limits any law that applies to the fiduciary, confidential or ethical relationships between a registrant and a person receiving the professional services of a registrant.

(4) The relationship between a corporation and a person receiving services provided by the corporation is to be treated the same as, and is subject to all applicable law relating to, the fiduciary, confidential and ethical relationships that exist between a registrant and the registrant's client.

Prohibitions regarding practice of social work

44  (1) If a regulation made under section 50 (2) (b) limits the services that may be performed in the course of the practice of social work by a registrant, a registrant must limit his or her practice of social work in accordance with the regulation.

(2) If a regulation made under section 50 (2) (c) prescribes a service that may be performed only by a registrant,

(a) a person, other than a registrant, must not perform the service, and

(b) a person must not recover a fee or remuneration in any court in respect of the performance of the service unless, at the time of performance, he or she was a registrant entitled to perform the service.

Exception to prohibitions

45  Despite section 44, nothing in this Act prohibits a person from practising a profession, discipline or other occupation in accordance with another Act.

Offences

46  (1) A person who contravenes section 13 (6), 18 (1), 24 (1) or (2) or 48 (1) or (2) commits an offence.

(2) Section 5 of the Offence Act does not apply to this Act.

(3) A prosecution of an offence under this Act must not be commenced after the expiration of 2 years from the date the alleged offence first became known.

(4) In any prosecution under this Act, it is sufficient to prove that the accused has committed a single act of unauthorized practice or has committed on one occasion any of the acts prohibited by this Act.

Injunction to restrain contravention

47  (1) The registrar may apply to the Supreme Court for an interim or permanent injunction to restrain a person from contravening any provision of this Act.

(2) A contravention may be restrained under subsection (1) whether or not a penalty or other remedy has been provided by this Act.

Confidential information

48  (1) Subject to the Child, Family and Community Service Act, the Ombudsperson Act and the Representative for Children and Youth Act, a person must preserve confidentiality with respect to all matters or things that come to the person's knowledge while exercising a power or performing a duty or function under this Act unless the disclosure is

(a) necessary to exercise the power or to perform the duty or function, or

(b) authorized as being in the public interest by the board.

(2) Insofar as the laws of British Columbia apply, a person must not give, or be compelled to give, evidence in a court or in proceedings of a judicial nature concerning knowledge gained in the exercise of a power or in the performance of a duty or function under Part 3 unless

(a) the proceedings are under this Act, or

(b) disclosure of the knowledge is authorized under subsection (1) (b) or under the bylaws or regulations made under this Act.

(3) The records relating to the exercise of a power or the performance of a duty or function under Part 3 are not compellable in a court or in proceedings of a judicial nature insofar as the laws of British Columbia apply unless

(a) the proceedings are under this Act, or

(b) disclosure of the knowledge is authorized under subsection (1) (b) or under the bylaws or regulations made under this Act.

Deemed receipt of documents

49  (1) If a notice or other document is required to be delivered to a person under this Act, it is deemed to have been received by the person 7 days after the date on which it was mailed, if it was sent by registered mail,

(a) in the case of a document to be delivered to a registrant, to the last address for that registrant recorded in the register referred to in section 12 (2), and

(b) in any other case, to the last address of that person known to the sender.

(2) For the purpose of proving deemed receipt of a document referred to in subsection (1), proof of receipt may be made by affidavit as to the date on which the document was sent by registered mail.

(3) If a notice or document is not served in accordance with this Act, the proceeding is not invalidated if

(a) the contents of the notice or document were known by the person to be served within the time allowed for service,

(b) the person to be served consents, or

(c) the failure to serve does not result in prejudice to the person, or any resulting prejudice can be satisfactorily addressed by an adjournment or other means.

Power to make regulations

50  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations referred to in section 41 of the Interpretation Act.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations as follows:

(a) specifying services that may be performed by registrants;

(b) specifying limits or conditions on the services that may be performed by registrants;

(c) specifying services that may be performed only by registrants;

(d) specifying services that may be performed by a registrant despite a limitation or prohibition under another enactment;

(e) prescribing the oath of office for the purpose of section 6;

(f) specifying information required in an annual report under section 7 (2);

(g) prescribing a change in the composition of a committee established under section 8 (1) or (2) (g), or of panels of a committee;

(h) requiring that the board or a committee established under section 8 (1) or (2) (g) open its meetings, subject to section 48, to attendance by the registrants or members of the public;

(i) in respect of a regulation under paragraph (h), specifying the circumstances in which the board or a committee established under section 8 (1) or (2) (g) may exclude registrants or members of the public from meetings of the board or the committee;

(j) establishing a deadline for a committee established under section 8 (1) or (2) (g) to complete a stage of its work respecting the registration of applicants to the college or the disposal of matters under Part 3, and establishing that the committee must report to the minister, or a person specified by the minister, if the deadline is missed;

(k) specifying information that the registrar must collect and include in the register described in section 12 (2);

(l) specifying how the registrar is to establish, maintain, make open to the public and otherwise administer the register described in section 12 (2);

(m) prescribing additional titles for the purpose of section 18 (1) (b);

(n) prescribing persons for the purpose of section 18 (2);

(o) defining any word or expression used but not defined in this Act.

(3) Subject to subsection (4), notice of a proposal to make, amend or repeal a regulation under this section must be given to the college at least 3 months before the regulation, amendment or repeal comes into force.

(4) A notice period of less than 3 months applies for the purposes of subsection (3) if the minister specifies this shorter notice period.

(5) Regulations may provide differently for different classes of registrants.

Transition

51  (1) On the coming into force of this Act,

(a) the registrar of the board of registration for social workers under the former Act continues as the registrar of the college under this Act for the same term of office unless the term is terminated earlier under this Act, and

(b) if, under section 56 of the Rules of the Board of Registration for Social Workers in British Columbia under the former Act, a referral has been made that a hearing should be held, and the hearing has commenced but is not concluded, the members of the hearing panel continue as members of the hearing panel for the purposes of the hearing until it is concluded, as if this Act had not come into force and the former Act had not been repealed.

(2) The Rules of the Board of Registration for Social Workers in British Columbia under the former Act in effect on the coming into force of this Act, insofar as applicable and not inconsistent with this Act, are the bylaws of the college until amended or repealed.

(3) On the coming into force of this Act, a person who is registered as a social worker under the former Act is deemed to be a registrant under this Act and is subject to the same conditions as under the former Act until the person's registration expires or is cancelled under this Act.

(4) On the coming into force of this Act, an application for registration, renewal or reinstatement made under the former Act that has not been concluded must be concluded in accordance with this Act.

(5) For the purposes of subsection (4), the powers and duties of

(a) the registrar of the board of registration for social workers under the former Act are vested in and may be exercised by the registrar under this Act, and any reference to the registrar in the former Act is deemed to be a reference to the registrar under this Act,

(b) the registration committee of the board of registration for social workers under the former Act may be exercised by the registration committee of the college under this Act, and any reference to the registration committee in the former Act is deemed to be a reference to the registration committee under this Act, and

(c) the board of registration for social workers under the former Act are vested in and may be exercised by the board under this Act, and any reference to the board in the former Act is deemed to be a reference to the board under this Act.

(6) Any complaint made on or after the coming into force of this Act that relates to conduct occurring all or partly before the coming into force of this Act must be dealt with under this Act.

(7) On the coming into force of this Act, any proceeding with respect to a complaint made under the former Act that has not been referred to a hearing panel must be referred to the inquiry committee established under this Act, and the complaint must be concluded in accordance with this Act.

(8) The definitions of "government body" and "government corporation" in section 1 of the Financial Administration Act do not apply to the first board of the college described in section 4 (1) of this Act.

Repeal

[Note: See Table of Legislative Changes for the status of sections 52 to 57.]

Section(s)   Affected Act
52   Social Workers Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 432

Consequential Amendments

53   Adoption Act
54   Attorney General Act
55   Final Agreement Consequential Amendments Act, 2007
56   Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
57   Medical Practitioners Act

Commencement

58  This Act comes into force by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.