Assisted Living Registry
Assisted living services include housing, hospitality services and one or two personal assistance services (referred to as prescribed services), such as regular assistance with activities of daily living, medication services, or psychosocial supports.
Both publicly subsidized and private-pay assisted living residences that meet the definition of an assisted living residence under the Act are required to be registered with the provincial assisted living registrar.
In British Columbia, assisted living services are regulated under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act (the Act).
The Assisted Living Registry is part of the Quality Assurance Branch of the Health Services Policy and Quality Assurance Division. The mandate of the assisted living registrar under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act is to protect the health and safety of assisted living residents. The registrar administers the assisted living provisions of the Act, which require assisted living operators to register their residences and meet provincial health and safety standards.
To meet this mandate, the registrar:
- administers the registration of all assisted living residences in British Columbia, whether they are publicly subsidized or private-pay.
- establishes and administers health and safety standards, and administrative policies and procedures.
- ensures timely and effective investigation of complaints about the health and safety of assisted living residents.
- has authority to inspect residences if there is a concern about the health or safety of a resident.
- refers issues that are not within the registrar’s jurisdiction to the appropriate authorities.
The authority, powers and duties of the registrar are specified in the Community Care and Assisted Living Act. Under the Act, the registrar has authority to:
- register residences that meet the definition of an assisted living residence in the Act;
- enter and inspect any premises related to the operation of an assisted living residence where the registrar has reason to believe that the health or safety of a resident is at risk or an unregistered assisted living residence is being operated;
- inspect and make a copy of or extract from any book or record at the premises, or make a record of anything observed during an inspection;
- apply conditions to registrations, vary conditions, and suspend or cancel registrations; and
- fine operators of unregistered assisted living residences.
The Act also requires the registrar to:
- provide applicants and registrants with 30 days’ notice of any intended action (i.e., refusal of registration, attaching conditions to or varying conditions on registration, and suspension or cancellation of registration); and
- reconsider these pending actions on request of operators.
Following reconsideration, the registrar will advise operators of the right to appeal final decisions about registration to the Community Care and Assisted Living Appeal Board.
The Assisted Living Registrar is the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Health Services Policy and Quality Assurance Division of the Ministry of Health. The registrar may delegate any powers or duties under the Act or regulations.
Guiding Principles of the Assisted Living Registry
The following principles guide the assisted living registry staff conduct and operations:
- protect the health and safety of residents
- value the perspectives of stakeholders — i.e., residents and their families/caregivers, community advocates for seniors and people with mental health and substance use problems, residents, operators, health authorities and other government agencies
- partner with stakeholders to update the health and safety standards
- promote client-centred services
- investigate complaints using an incremental, remedial approach
- ensure fairness, transparency and accountability in its administrative practices
Operators of assisted living residences must comply with all applicable legislation, which includes:
Community Care and Assisted Living Act
The Community Care and Assisted Living Act establishes a mandatory registration requirement for all assisted living residences and provides for an Assisted Living Registrar to administer the part of the Act that relates to assisted living residences. It also requires community care facilities, which house a more vulnerable and dependent population, to be licensed under the Act.
Assisted Living Regulation
The Assisted Living Regulation specifies the length of a registration, application and registration fees, and health and safety standards for medications.
Community Care and Assisted Living Regulation
The Community Care and Assisted Living Regulation defines the prescribed services. An assisted living operator may not offer more than two prescribed services to residents. By contrast, an operator of a community care facility may offer three or more prescribed services.
For other applicable legislation, please see the Operating an Assisted Living Residence page.