Unlawful practice & unlawful use of a reserved title
The unlawful practice of audiology, hearing instrument dispensing, or speech-language pathology by a non-registrant is a serious matter. 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), 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” is unlawful use of a reserved title. Unlawful practice or unlawful use of a reserved title are subject to legal action. 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.
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.
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. You may also request that the individual produce a current Certificate of Registration. If the individual is not listed in the Public Register or cannot produce a Certificate of Registration, please inform the College by submitting a 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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
- The Registrar
Because this type of complaint concerns individuals who are not registrants of the College, CSHBC will accept anonymous reports of unlawful practice and/or unlawful title use.
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.
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.