College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, Rural Resources & CMPA Protection

CPSBC: Scope of practice update

As our provincial health system reorganizes itself to address the current COVID-19 crisis, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC has provided an update regarding redeployment of registrants to practice environments outside their usual scope.
While some registrants have seen a dramatic reduction in clinical services as a result of the cancellation of non-essential and elective procedures or surgeries, others are busier than usual, and health authorities are considering how best to redeploy health-care professionals to support critical care needs. In addition to re-registering recently retired physicians, the health authorities are providing just-in-time retraining, support and supervision for physicians to ensure they are prepared to provide services when and where they are needed.
To continue to support the health authorities in meeting health human resourcing needs during the pandemic, in certain circumstances, the College will waive the expectation that registrants must limit their scope of practice to recent training and experience. This will apply only to registrants who are privileged and working in a health-care setting operated by a health authority, which includes in-patient and out-patient care settings, as well as community-based COVID-19 assessment centres where the health authority has requested redeployment of a registrant to a practice environment outside their usual scope and is providing oversight of the registrant’s practice.

COVID-19 and CMPA Protection – What you need to know

March 13, 2020

During the COVID-19 crisis you may be asked to join the emergency response effort. This may necessitate work in a different clinical setting (e.g. emergency room) or in a different province where the need is greater.

You may be concerned about your CMPA protection.

Rest assured that the CMPA will do our part to facilitate safe care during this time of crisis. As a member, your medical-legal protection will not be a barrier to the required pandemic response. More specifically:

  • The CMPA will continue to provide members with liability protection for medical-legal difficulties arising as a result of care provided in Canada in the context of the COVID-19 efforts.
  • The Association would exercise its discretion to extend assistance to members who provide medical care outside their usual field of practice or who provide care in Canada, but outside their designated province of work.
  • During the pandemic, you are not required to inform the CMPA of a change in Type of Work (TOW) or Province of Work (POW) prior to commencing your efforts, but the CMPA would appreciate hearing from you when it is feasible or if you have any questions.
  • Physicians are encouraged to consult with the relevant medical regulators (Colleges) to ensure the appropriate licensing approvals are in place related to their province of work and scope of practice.
  • Despite the challenging conditions of a pandemic, physicians will be expected to continue to act professionally on behalf of their patients.
  • Members should document their rationale for decisions under crisis situations to assist in the event of medical-legal difficulties.
  • CMPA Physician Advisors are available to provide support throughout the pandemic and can be reached at 1-800-267-6522 Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET or through the CMPA member portal.

Retired Physicians

Physicians who are no longer members but are seeking membership in order to assist with the pandemic response will be able to do so.

If you last held membership more than 12 months ago you need to reapply using the online membership application. Visit this page and select “Reactivate Membership”. Your CMPA member number and a valid password are required.

If you last held membership less than 12 months ago you can either call us during business hours or visit this page and click on the fourth bullet “Membership or general inquiry using webmail” under the “Your online communications” heading. Your CMPA member number and a valid password are required.

Re-applications will be prioritized with a target processing time of no more than 2 business days. They will be registered in Type of Work (TOW) 8 (Humanitarian Category) which represents the lowest fee category.

CMPA Membership Services and Physician Advisors are available to provide support throughout the pandemic and can be reached at 1-800-267-6522 Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET.

Article posted at

CMPA – Frequently asked questions 

Check out the CMPA interactive FAQ page at:

Rapid Evidence & Knowledge Translation for Rural Providers During COVID-19


  • a personalized service for rural providers dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic
  • volunteers respond to specific questions posed by providers
  • responses are rapid and sent to the provider
  • …as well as contributing to our library of resources

Ask a question now:
See questions and answers: