Certificates of Professional Conduct (CPCs) are official legal documents signed by the registrar of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia or his or her delegate.
CPCs summarize a registrant’s qualifications and credentials and confirm the registrant’s registration and licensure history within a certain jurisdiction. They may also include summaries of any formal investigations or disciplinary actions concerning the registrant. Additionally, all open complaints and some previous complaints which have been disposed of by the College’s Inquiry Committee as being valid or sustained must be reported on CPCs. Other more serious matters such as those concerning convictions of criminal offences and certain professional litigation histories must also be reported. In short, CPCs must be both accurate and complete in their detail, in order to ensure that the receiving authority is aware of any conduct/competence concerns or any limits on licensure.
A Certificate of Professional Conduct cannot be provided to any third party without a registrant’s specific consent. Many third parties, such as our national certification bodies, other medical regulatory authorities, or British Columbia hospitals/health authorities require CPCs from the College. We note that in the United States physicians will also have to consent to a search of the national practitioner databank, which also has associated fees.
Under Section 25.3 of the Health Professions Act, a CPC or an equivalent document is required from every jurisdiction where a registrant has practised medicine or surgery during the registrant’s leave of absence from British Columbia.
Fees charged by the College for the production of CPCs are set annually by the Board and reflect associated administrative costs. The Board has determined that the costs associated with producing a CPC for non–health authority purposes (for example, the registrant chooses to hold licensure in another jurisdiction) must be assumed by the registrant, and not be subsidized by the full registrant pool through annual licence renewal fees. Annual licence renewal fees reflect the day-to-day costs of self-regulation.
Fees charged by other provincial colleges for producing CPCs range from $50 to $150.
—A.J. Burak, MD