The BC Public Advisory Network (BC-PAN) is a public advisory group that is operated as a multi-college initiative between ten BC health regulatory colleges. The intent of the BC-PAN is to provide members of the public with the opportunity to convene and discuss important issues related to health care regulation in the province. The feedback gathered from the BC-PAN helps guide college practice standards and policies, strategic priorities, and communications directed at the public.
The BC-PAN holds two to three meetings each year. When these meetings are held virtually, they are split over two half-days. When they are held in-person, they run over one full day.
The BC-PAN currently consists of 16 public advisors, who were selected to help reflect the diversity of BC’s population. The public advisors live in various regions across the province, and bring unique perspectives from various ethnic backgrounds, ages, and gender identities.
In BC, individual health care professionals are regulated by health regulatory colleges. Regulatory colleges are responsible for protecting the public by ensuring that health professionals provide qualified, safe, and ethical care. Regulators’ roles include:
- Managing registration and licensing.
- Providing a registry of licensed professionals to the public.
- Developing and updating standards and guidelines.
- Investigating complaints about health care professionals.
- Reprimanding health care professionals or imposing other sanctions.
- Administering quality improvement programs and initiatives.
The BC-PAN is funded by the college partners involved in the BC-PAN.
The BC-PAN meetings are run by an external facilitator, Susanna Haas Lyons. Susanna is a public engagement specialist who develops strategy and provides training for better conversations between the public and decision-makers. Bridging online and face-to-face methods, she has worked on some of North America’s largest and most complex citizen engagement projects and has been an asset to the BC-PAN.
Creating a joint mechanism to place the public at the center of health care reflects regulatory colleges’ mandate to serve and protect the public. The BC-PAN is a way that regulatory colleges can demonstrate accountability, promote transparency, and gather meaningful public feedback to help guide their work.
The BC-PAN promotes the sharing and consideration of the public perspective, so that the values and priorities of the public are considered in decision making to improve health outcomes. By learning from the public advisors involved in the BC-PAN, regulatory colleges can make more informed decisions regarding practice standards and policies, strategic priorities, and communications directed at the public.
Regulatory colleges have used the BC-PAN’s input to revise standards and policies, conduct surveys and questionnaires, and validate strategic decisions. BC-PAN’s conversations have also been shared with relevant stakeholders. For example, CPSBC and BCCNM used the BC-PAN’s feedback on discrimination in health care to guide their draft Cultural Safety and Humility practice standard. More details on college actions can be found in BC-PAN’s end of year summary. See the Impact page for more details.
Members of the public who do not work (or have not worked) as a regulated health care professional can become a public advisor by submitting an application. The BC-PAN is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion – anyone who would like to share their patient experience interacting with health care professionals is encouraged to apply. Applicants selected for an interview will be contacted, however, space is limited and the BC-PAN is not always seeking new public advisors.
The college partners involved in the BC-PAN value the public advisor’s time and expertise. Public advisors are paid an honorarium for attending each BC-PAN meeting throughout the year. They are also compensated for any ad-hoc engagements opportunities facilitated by individual regulatory colleges.
Public advisors are asked to attend three meetings per year and spend no more than two hours reviewing pre-reading material for each meeting. There are also optional ad-hoc engagement opportunities that public advisors may participate in, which consists of surveys and questionnaires.
Agenda topics are brought forward by regulatory colleges to ensure that the topics discussed are relevant and can be acted upon. The agenda setting process involves a voluntary working group of college partners that initially meet to refine discussion topics, then collaborate with the facilitator to draft the agenda. Public advisors are then consulted to provide input on perspectives and insights to consider when crafting the final agenda. The final agenda is brought forward to all college partners for review and approval.
The BC-PAN’s main channels of communication includes the BC-PAN twitter page, @BC_PAN_, and the BC-PAN website, www.bcpan.ca. All reports and meeting summaries can be found on the BC-PAN website. Meeting summaries highlight key takeaways from BC-PAN discussions and are an excellent resource for individuals and organizations to review the work of the BC-PAN.
Interested in Joining Us?
Apply to become an advisor
Members of the BC Public Advisory Network will be asked to provide their feedback on important issues related to health care regulation, such as professional standards and policies, strategic priorities and communications directed at the public, and will be compensated for meeting attendance, as well as for travel and accommodation costs.