Making a Complaint About Unlawful Practice & Unlawful Use of a Reserved Title

Unlawful practice & unlawful use of a reserved title

CSHBC takes the unlawful practice of audiology, hearing instrument dispensing, or speech-language pathology very seriously. Unlawful practice or unlawful use of a reserved title are subject to legal action.

Anyone providing services within the regulated scope of practice of a Registered Audiologist (RAUD), Registered Hearing Instrument Practitioner (RHIP), or Registered Speech-Language Pathologist (RSLP) in BC, who does not hold the required registration status with CSHBC, and is not being supervised by a registrant pursuant to Part 12 of the College Bylaws, is breaking the law. Performing aspects of practice reserved for these regulated health professionals is unlawful practice.

Use of the titles “audiologist”, “hearing instrument practitioner”, “speech-language pathologist”, or “speech therapist” without a valid CSHBC registration is unlawful use of a reserved title. See Reserved Titles for more information.

In addition, registrants who fail to renew their registration become non-registrants, and by continuing to practise after their registration has been cancelled are conducting unlawful practice and unlawful use a reserved title and are therefore subject to legal action.

Further, registrants who practise a restricted activity without the required Certified Practice certificate, including registrants who have failed to renew their Certified Practice certificate but are continuing to perform those certified activities, are conducting unlawful practice and are subject to legal action by CSHBC.

How to confirm if a practitioner is a CSHBC registrant

  • Search for the practitioner in the Public Register; and/or
  • Ask to see the practitioner’s Certificate of Registration and ensure that it is current.

Any Certified Practice certificates that a registrant holds will be listed on the Public Register.

Making a complaint about unlawful practice & unlawful use of a reserved title

If you are concerned that an individual may be conducting unlawful practice or unlawfully using a reserved title, please refer to the Public Register to confirm that the individual is not a CSHBC registrant or does not hold the relevant Certified Practice certificate. You may also request that the individual produce a current Certificate of Registration. If the individual or their Certified Practice certificate is not listed in the Public Register or if they cannot produce a valid Certificate of Registration, please inform the College by submitting a written complaint to CSHBC. Complaints about unlawful practice and unlawful use of a reserved title may be submitted through the following options: 

  • Use the secure Complaint Portal (after creating an account, which can be used to track your complaint).
  • Use the secure Complaint Form (no account needed).
  • Send an email to: [email protected].
  • Send a letter or fax to:
    • The Registrar
      College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of British Columbia
      900 – 200 Granville St
      Vancouver, BC, V6C 1S4
      Fax: 604.357.1185

Because this type of complaint often concerns individuals who are not registrants of the College, CSHBC will accept anonymous reports of unlawful practice and/or unlawful title use. In such matters, the complainant notice provisions provided under the Health Professions Act do not apply.

Services from practitioners outside British Columbia

If you receive services from an audiologist, hearing instrument practitioner, or speech-language pathologist who is not physically practicing in British Columbia – for example, providing virtual services from another province – please be aware that the practitioner may not be a CSHBC registrant. CSHBC regulates practitioners providing speech and hearing services in BC and requires them to be registered with the College. Registration requirements can vary based on the jurisdiction of the practitioner, so it is important to clarify whether the practitioner meets the regulatory requirements based on where you are receiving care. 

CSHBC’s role is to ensure its registrants meet minimum standards of practice as part of its mandate to protect the public. CSHBC cannot ensure the competence of non-registrants, although it can take regulatory action to prevent non-registrants from providing services restricted to CSHBC registrants, which is known as unlawful practice. If you receive speech and hearing services from a practitioner who is not regulated by CSHBC, that person may be engaging in unlawful practice. You have the right to ask for the credentials of anyone providing services to you and to know if they are regulated, and by whom.

The College maintains a Public Register that includes all current registrants. Check the register to see if your practitioner is a CSHBC registrant. If your practitioner is based in another province where speech and hearing services are regulated, you can also check the register in that province. 

If you would like to make a complaint about a CSHBC registrant, please see Making a Complaint About a Registrant. To report concerns about a practitioner that may be engaging in unlawful practice or use of a reserved title, see information above about how to make a complaint.

Court orders and injunctions

When CSHBC receives a report of unlawful practice or unlawful title use by a non-registrant, and the individual does not voluntarily agree to cease unlawful practice or unlawful use of a reserved title, the College may seek an injunction in civil court. Alternatively, or in addition, the College may seek a court order to perform a search and seizure of a premises.

Public notices

See Public Notices – Non-Registrants for the outcome of complaints about unlawful practice or unlawful use of reserved titles by non-registrants that have resulted in injunctions and/or court orders for search and seizures. Matters resolved by an individual voluntarily ceasing the unlawful practice or unlawful use of a reserved title are not published.

College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of British Columbia

900 – 200 Granville St
Vancouver, BC, V6C 1S4

Phone: 604.742.6380
Toll-free: 1.888.742.6380
Email: [email protected]