Policy and Standards
The Ministry of Health develops, implements and monitors provincial policy, standards and guidelines governing the health authorities in several areas including home and community care, as well as health planning, administrative services and governance.
The Home and Community Care Policy Manual sets out ministry requirements for health authorities in planning and delivering publicly subsidized home and community care services including:
- services prescribed as being administered by the Home and Community Care Program under the Continuing Care Act, Continuing Care Fees Regulation and Continuing Care Programs Regulation;
- specific services provided by facilities licensed or registered under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act, Residential Care Regulation and Assisted Living Regulation;
- specific services provided by licensed private hospitals or extended care hospitals designated under the Hospital Act, and Hospital Act Regulation; and Hospital Insurance Act and Hospital Insurance Act Regulation.
The Home and Community Care Policy Manual also provides direction on eligibility criteria, the referral and assessment processes for accessing services, the amount clients pay for services, and what benefits are included as part of the services provided. While most of this information is explained on this website under the relevant topic heading, the Home and Community Care Policy Manual used by health authorities is available here:
Home and Community Care Model Standards for Continuing Care and Extended Care Services set out standards for several home and community care services.
Guidelines for Collaborative Service Delivery provide direction and support to regional providers in the development of policies and processes to meet the needs of adults with developmental disabilities in an integrated and sustainable manner. These guidelines reaffirm the commitment to provide appropriate specialized services for adults with developmental disabilities, and define the roles and responsibilities of the service partners.
Residents' Bill of Rights
In 2009 government passed a Residents' Bill of Rights to promote the rights of adults who live in residential care facilities. As there are many types of residential care, the bill of rights applies broadly to all facilities that provide residential care to adults. These facilities include those licensed under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act, which includes long term care facilities, mental health and substance use care facilities, community living homes and hospices, as well as private hospitals and extended care facilities licensed under the Hospital Act.
The Residents' Bill of Rights is a comprehensive set of rights that is grouped into four main themes: commitment to care; rights to health, safety and dignity; rights to participation and freedom of expression; and rights to transparency and accountability.
It is important that residents in care facilities have a publicly available, comprehensive list of their rights posted inside their care facility that is displayed in a place easy for them to see. Care facilities are required to post the Residents' Bill of Rights in a prominent location. To assist you with making these rights known, download the Residents' Bill of Rights:
July 2012 Amendment
British Columbia amended the Patients’ Bill of Rights, to provide more standardized protections and benefits for persons in care who live in private hospitals and extended care facilities regulated by the Hospital Act rather than the Community Care and Assisted Living Act. The present regulation was limited to specifying the manner and form in which the bill of rights must be posted. Additional protections will bring regulatory requirements into greater consistency with protections provided by the Residential Care Regulation (Community Care and Assisted Living Act) in the following areas:
- Advice on admission: an operator must advise persons who are being admitted of all fees, charges, and policies, and provide an avenue to file concerns or complaints.
- Harmful actions not permitted: persons in care must not be subject to any abuse or neglect, including deprivation of nourishment.
- Privacy: an operator must respect personal privacy and belongings.
- Access to persons in care: persons in care have the right to receive visitors and to communicate with them privately.
- Dispute resolution: persons in care must be provided with a fair and effective process to express concerns or complaints and to ensure a prompt response.
- Care Plans: an individualized plan of care must be developed and monitored on a regular basis.
To read the amendment to the Residential Care Regulation, go to:
For more information about this change to the Residential Care Regulation, see: