B.C. GENDER and SEX Standard

The Government of British Columbia Gender and Sex Standard aims to provide consistency and guidance for gender and sex information data collection within British Columbia’s health care community. It is intended to support improved delivery of provincial health programs and services, as well as:

  • Standardizes definitions and terminology for gender and sex;
  • Improving culturally safer care and health outcomes for gender diverse communities like transgender, non-binary, and Two-Spirit peoples, and
  • Improving information practices, which include the principles, policies and processes of defining, collecting, organizing, sharing and using gender and sex data in EHR systems;

The Gender and Sex Standard is meant to assist any B.C. health system provider capture, maintain and validate a link between a person’s identifying information and the demographic information used to locate or confirm the identity of a person.


The scope of this standard is limited to defining the data definitions and terminology required to provide consistency to record details about the individual's:

  • Gender, including administrative and legal gender, in addition to gender identity, expression and gender pronouns.
  • Sex, used to describe a testable observation about a biological property of the person based on a person’s reproductive system and other physical characteristics.

The standard also ensures the minimum amount of data is captured for each electronic health record (EHR) – and within this context, refers to collections of an individual’s lifetime health history and care records which will promote consistency and complete data in all health care domains (e.g., doctor’s offices, hospital and pharmacy systems) that have a Gender and Sex demographic data element as a part of the patient record.


The B.C. Gender and Sex Standard is governed by the provincial Health Information Standards Standing Committee (HISSC).

Current Status

Version 1.0 of the draft standard is under review and will be available for download in the near future.


Significant analysis and review of documents and specifications were undertaken to make sure the standards developed would be applicable and attainable to the various stakeholder groups.

Wherever possible, content templates defined and reviewed by standards bodies were referenced, and appropriate constraints for the B.C. context applied.

The content of the standard may require post-production edits, additions and/or maintenance to address issues identified by technical validation. Additional adjustments may be required over time to reflect requirements in B.C. or to align with emerging pan-Canadian standards developments.


  • In development


Last updated: Jan 2021