Standards and Guidance Development


Modernizing core regulatory functions and establishing patient-centred standards for all oral health professionals is a strategic focus for BCCOHP. 

Standards are the requirements oral health professionals must comply with to practice safely.  

When BCCOHP came into existence in 2022 via amalgamation , pre-existing standards from the legacy colleges transferred over unchanged. As a result, there are currently four sets of standards in place. Work is in progress to develop one modernized set of standards for oral health professionals.  

The first step in the standards project was for BCCOHP’s Standards and Guidance Committee to establish a standards development process. This was completed in May 2023.  

Staff then developed a Standards Framework to format BCCOHP standards.  

The framework consists of:  

  • Professional standards, which are the core requirements that oral health professionals must meet to act professionally and ethically, and  
  • Practice standards, which are additional requirements for high-risk areas of oral health care, such as sedation and infection prevention and control.  

The Standards Framework was approved by the committee in May 2023 for early consultation with the Oral Health Professionals Advisory Panel. There were no substantial changes identified in the consultation and the framework was approved in July 2023. 

In July 2023, the Standards and Guidance Committee approved an internal working group to draft the professional standards with the support of subject matter experts.  

Aligned with the framework, the professional standards document will be structured using the following hierarchy: 

Principles (at the top) are fundamental beliefs that serve as a:  

  • foundation for oral health care, and 
  • guide for how oral health professionals practice and BCCOHP regulates.  

Professional standards and patient outcomes build on the principles. Professional standards define the actions and behaviours expected of oral health professionals. The principles also guide patient outcomes, which are what patients should expect from oral health professionals.  

Guidance supports the standards. This provides extra information on how to meet the standards aimed at supporting oral health professionals. 

The first step in developing professional standards is to establish overarching principles for oral health care. These principles will set and organize the professional standards.  

Once the principles are approved, we will consider patient outcomes and corresponding professional standards required to meet each of the principles. The standards will include guidance with information for oral health professionals on how to meet the standards.  

We plan to consult with BCCOHP’s audiences early and often. For example, in early 2024, we are engaging with targeted members of the public and oral health professionals on the overarching principles for oral health care which will inform the drafting of the standards.  

Stay tuned for upcoming consultation opportunities on the professional standards. 

In July 2023, the Standards and Guidance Committee approved the development of practice standards for areas of oral health care that present a higher risk to patients and corresponding terms of reference for working groups to do this work. This includes practice standards for sedation and general anesthesia, infection prevention and control, and recordkeeping.  

We also anticipate development of practice standards for Indigenous cultural safety and prevention of sexual misconduct to be developed by working groups of subject matter experts.  

Staff are currently working on templates and guidelines for the development of practice standards to support the working groups.  

Work on the practice standards will be done in tandem with the professional standards and there will be consultation opportunities coming soon.  

Current work:


Current work 

Professional standards 

Early consultation with BC Public Advisory Network (Spring 2024) 

Sedation and general anesthesia practice standard 

Working group established by the Board in December 2023 

How you can get involved:

We are committed to consulting with our audiences early and often. Future engagement and consultation opportunities around standards will appear here. In the meantime, sign up for our oral health professionals advisory panel to stay in the loop on future engagement opportunities.

Who’s listening:

Renée Mok, Policy Management Lead,

Note: This project is overseen by the Standards and Guidance Committee who approved a project charter to develop standards for BCCOHP in early 2023. 

Key milestones

Timeline for OHP advisory panel

Standards framework

Professional standards

Practice standards