The establishment of a chiropractic school in BC dates back to discussions with the University of Victoria in 1989 and with BC Institute of Technology/Simon Fraser University (BCIT/SFU) in 1997.
In 2008, presentations and discussions at the Annual General Meetings of the Chiropractic College of BC (CCBC) and the BC Chiropractic Association (BCCA) led to a fund raising effort by members toward the establishment of a chiropractic school in BC. The school was seen as a means to support good patient outcomes through high professional standards and ongoing professional development.
These discussions involved a construction development consortium, Burnaby Mountain Sports and Medicine (BMSM), which has been superseded by Collegiate Infrastructure Systems (CIS). CIS has been working since 2015 with SFU to secure a lease for several acres of land owned by SFU adjacent to the SFU campus. CIS intends to erect a 100,000sqft structure to become the home for chiropractic education, research and practice. The proximity to SFU is a significant strategic factor in the choice of location.
In November 2014, the Pacific Academic Institute of Chiropractic Foundation (PAIC) was incorporated with the objective to develop the second chiropractic education institution in English speaking Canada and the only one in Western Canada. PAIC established a Board of senior members of the chiropractic community and individuals with post-secondary, legal, and financial background. A team of consultants with extensive experience in public and private post-secondary education in the US and Canada is working with the PAIC Board on all aspects of business, academic, and development planning.
Early project development was financially supported by the BC Chiropractic Association. As of November 2014, project funding has been provided by the College of Chiropractors of BC from its dedicated Education Fund to which individual practitioners contribute annually with a target of $5million.
As of February 2015, SFU and CIS are collaborating on the basis of a MOU which was approved by the SFU Board after a community consultation process. CIS is currently working with PAIC on financing arrangements for the construction of the physical facility. In December 2014, PAIC entered into a MOU with Portland’s University of Western States, one of the oldest and most respected chiropractic education institutions in the world. The two organizations are exploring the potential for a partnership arrangement which would greatly reduce the start-up risks associated with the development of a new academic institution and would bring instant credibility to the program.
Since 2015, a number of discussion papers focused on aspects such as technology strategy, academic networking, research strategy, marketing strategy, program accreditation, provincial registration, and human resource planning. In addition to the Business Plan, a strategic plan and development plans for major phases of the project have been approved by the Board. Fundraising efforts are continuing. Financial planning informed the fundraising goals to cover capital and operating costs for the first four years of the program until tuition fees are expected to cover ongoing operating costs. Various funding options are under consideration for the construction of the building on leased land adjacent to the core SFU campus.
The academic focus currently is on formalization of a BC based clinical practice program for students in their last phase of chiropractic education from existing chiropractic education programs in North America and possibly beyond. This initiative, funded by CCBC, involves:
a) attracting existing multi-disciplinary clinics into a network of PAIC Academic Clinics
b) implementing the BC Health Science Placement Network (HSPnet) for the PAIC Academic Clinics. HSPnet is used across Canada as student placement system for all health professions, linking the education institutions, the preceptor sites, and the students for information, coordination and record keeping purposes
c) developing preceptor training modules for practicing chiropractors, similar to those employed for most other health professions. Preceptors are responsible for supervision of students in direct patient care environments.