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Appeal decisions: Decisions made by a WCAT panel or chair about appeal matters.

Decisions of interest: Court decisions about administrative law or workers’ compensation issues.

Judicial review decisions: Decisions made by a court after completing a review of an appeal.

Lawfulness of policy decisions: Chair decisions about application of WorkSafeBC policies in special circumstances.

Note: You can also find these decisions as well as judicial review decisions of other tribunals or boards on the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) website.

In a legal proceeding that involves suing for damages, the court may be asked to decide whether the injured person has the right to sue. If an injury, disability or death is part of a court action, the court or any party to the court action can request a decision from the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT) to determine whether the injury, death or disability is work-related, and whether parties to the court action were workers or employers.

Request a certificate to court

The following resources may help you get a better understanding of medical conditions or terminology for your appeal or provide input when working with a medical expert as they prepare their opinion or report. Information on these websites is not considered medical evidence and is not reviewed or endorsed by WCAT.

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
American College of Rheumatology
B.C. Centre for Disease Control
B.C. Cancer Agency
HealthLinkBC
Canada’s National Workplace Health and Safety Website
Canadian Cancer Society
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)
Canadian Health Network (Workplace Health)
Centre for Disease Control and Prevention
College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia (Recommended Online Resources)
Google Scholar
Gray, Henry.1918.Anatomy of the Human Body
Health Canada – Diseases and Conditions
Health Canada – Environmental and Workplace Health
Healthfinder.gov (United States)
Health Information Resources (United Kingdom)
Health on the Net Foundation
The Merck Manual – Home Edition
The Mayo Clinic
MedBroadcast
MedicineNet.com
Medline Plus
Mesothelioma.net
Multilingual Glossary of Technical and Popular Medical Terms
MSP Diagnostic Code Descriptions
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
National Library of Medicine
Occupational Safety & Health Administration
On-Line Chinese-English Medical Dictionary
PubMed
Royal College of Surgeons of England (Patient Information-Internet Sources)
UK NHS Direct
Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System

Manual of Rules of Practice and Procedure (MRPP)

The Manual of Rules of Practice and Procedure (MRPP) defines how WCAT operates according to legislation. It includes rules of practice and procedure, practice directives and guidelines to make sure that appeals are handled in a just, timely, efficient and effective way.

The current version is effective June 3, 2021.

To search the PDF manual by keyword or phrase:

  • Press “Control + F”
  • Enter a search term or phrase
  • Press “Enter” to move through each search result

Unless otherwise indicated, statutory provisions and items referenced in parentheses in the category headings refer to the Workers Compensation Act and to the MRPP.

Chapter 1: Introduction (PDF, 2.0MB)

  • 1.1 Workers’ Compensation Appeal System
  • 1.2 The Manual of Rules of Practice and Procedure
  • 1.3 Role of WCAT
  • 1.4 Guiding Principles
  • 1.5 Administrative Law Concepts
    • 1.5.1 Introduction
    • 1.5.2 Jurisdiction of Tribunals
    • 1.5.3 Procedural Fairness
      • 1.5.3.1 The Right to be Heard
      • 1.5.3.2 The Right to a Decision from an Unbiased Decision Maker
      • 1.5.3.3 The Right to a Decision from the Person who Hears the Case
      • 1.5.3.4 Fettering Discretion
      • 1.5.3.5 The Right to Reasons
      • 1.5.3.6 Failing to Decide a Matter (Missed Issue)
      • 1.5.3.7 Effect of a Breach of Procedural Fairness

Chapter 2: Structure of WCAT (PDF, 2.0MB)

  • 2.1 Composition
  • 2.2 Role of the Chair
    • 2.2.1 Delegation by the Chair
    • 2.2.2 Incapacity of the Chair
  • 2.3 Vice Chairs
    • 2.3.1 Incapacity of Vice Chairs and Members
  • 2.4 Tribunal Counsel Office
  • 2.5 Registrar’s Office
  • 2.6 Officers of WCAT
  • 2.7 Panels
    • 2.7.1 Three Member Non-Precedent Panels
    • 2.7.2 Precedent Panels
    • 2.7.3 Presiding Member
    • 2.7.4 Single Member Panel Unable to Complete Duties

Chapter 3: Jurisdiction (PDF, 2.0MB)

  • 3.1 General
    • 3.1.1 Compensation Issues
    • 3.1.2 Employer Issues Concerning Assessments and Monetary Penalties
    • 3.1.3 Occupational Health and Safety Issues and Monetary Penalties
    • 3.1.4 Direct Appeals
    • 3.1.5 Certification to Court (18)
    • 3.1.6 Application for Reconsideration (20.2.1 and 20.2.2)
  • 3.2 Matters Not Appealable to WCAT
    • 3.2.1 Preliminary or Procedural Decisions by a Review Officer
    • 3.2.2 Orders under the Occupational Health and Safety Provisions
      • 3.2.2.1 Order Later Relied Upon to Impose an Administrative Penalty
    • 3.2.3 Other Substantive or Merit Decisions of a Review Officer
  • 3.3 Scope of Appeal
    • 3.3.1 Issues in Decision(s) Appealed
    • 3.3.2 Termination of Short-term Disability (Wage Loss) Benefits
    • 3.3.3 Personal Injury (Section 134) and Occupational Disease (Section 136)
    • 3.3.4 Entitlement to Interest
    • 3.3.5 Unappealed Decisions
    • 3.3.6 Adverse Effect
    • 3.3.7 Other Claim Files Involving the Same Worker
  • 3.4 Other Matters
    • 3.4.1 Constitutional Questions
    • 3.4.2 Human Rights Code
    • 3.4.3 Administrative Tribunals Act (ATA)
    • 3.4.4 Regulations

Chapter 4: Who May Appeal (PDF, 2.0MB)

  • 4.1 Workers’ Compensation
  • 4.2 Employer Assessment and Classification
    • 4.2.1 Employer Cost Transfer Appeals (Section 249)
  • 4.3 Occupational Health and Safety
  • 4.4 Discriminatory Action
  • 4.5 Reopening on Application
  • 4.6 Deceased Worker – Standing of Estate
  • 4.7 Employer Standing
    • 4.7.1 Employer of Record
      • 4.7.1.1 Change in Status
  • 4.7.2 Other Employers
  • 4.7.3 Deemed Employers
    • 4.7.3.1 Organized Groups of Employers
  • 4.8 Who May Respond
  • 4.9 Federally Regulated Workers

Chapter 5: How to Appeal (PDF, 2.0MB)

  • 5.1 Initiating an Appeal
    • 5.1.1 Notice of Appeal Must Be in Writing
    • 5.1.2 Telephone Notification of Intent to Appeal
    • 5.1.3 Incomplete Notice of Appeal
      • 5.1.3.1 Withdrawal of incomplete Appeal
    • 5.1.4 Decision or Order Appealed
    • 5.1.5 Outcome Requested
  • 5.2 Authorizations
    • 5.2.1 For Representatives to Act (6.3.1)
    • 5.2.2 For WCAT to Obtain Evidence (9.3 to 9.3.3)
  • 5.3 Service and Delivery of Documents
    • 5.3.1 Change of Address
    • 5.3.2 Returned Mail

Chapter 6: Registration of Appeals (PDF, 2.0MB)

  • 6.1 Registration
  • 6.2 Acknowledging Receipt
  • 6.3 Representatives
    • 6.3.1 Representative Authorizations
  • 6.4 Board Notification
  • 6.5 Notification of Respondents (4.8)
    • 6.5.1 Participating Respondents
    • 6.5.2 Non-Participating Respondents
    • 6.5.3 Unregistered Employer Charged with Claims Costs (Section 263)
    • 6.5.4 Certificate Appeals (Sections 55, 58 and 59)
  • 6.6 Participating Person/Representative Group
    • 6.6.1 In Assessment Appeals
    • 6.6.2 In Employer Relief of Costs Appeals (Section 240(1)(d))
    • 6.6.3 In Employer Cost Transfer Appeals (Section 10(8))
    • 6.6.4 In Administrative Penalty Appeals (Section 95)
    • 6.6.5 In Certificate Appeals (Sections 55, 58 and 59)
    • 6.6.6 Other 44
    • 6.6.7 Participation by the Board
  • 6.7 Posting a Notice in Occupational Health and Safety Appeals

Chapter 7: Preliminary Processes (PDF, 2.0MB)

  • 7.1 Streaming: Regular or Specialty
  • 7.2 Joining or Combining Appeals
    • 7.2.1 Joining Appeals Regarding the Same Worker
    • 7.2.2 Combining Appeals
  • 7.3 Facilitated Settlement and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
    • 7.3.1 Mediation
  • 7.4 Pre-Hearing Conferences
  • 7.5 Appeal Method

Chapter 8: Summary Decisions (PDF, 2.0MB)

  • 8.1 Dismissing Appeals
  • 8.2 Extension of Time to Appeal
    • 8.2.1 Application for Extension of Time
    • 8.2.2 Special Circumstances Precluded
      • 8.2.2.1 Representative Acts or Omissions
    • 8.2.3 Injustice
  • 8.3 Stay of Decision under Section 294
    • 8.3.1 Application for Stay of Decision
  • 8.4 Suspension of an Appeal
    • 8.4.1 Suspension for Referral of an Undetermined Matter Back to the Board under Section 297(3)
    • 8.4.2 Suspension to Obtain Independent Health Professional Advice under Section 302
    • 8.4.3 Suspension for Referral to the Chair for Lawfulness of Policy under Section 304
    • 8.4.4 Suspension Pending a Board Decision on a Related Matter under Section 305
  • 8.5 Withdrawals

Chapter 9: Nature of WCAT Proceedings (PDF, 2.0MB)

  • 9.1 General Principles
  • 9.2 Panels’ Authority
  • 9.3 Panel Inquiries
    • 9.3.1 Investigation by the Board under Section 297(2)(b)
    • 9.3.2 Other Panel Inquiries under Section 297(2)(a)
    • 9.3.3 Panel Site Visit
  • 9.4 Statutory Provisions affecting WCAT Deliberations
    • 9.4.1 Merits and Justice
    • 9.4.2 Application of Policy
    • 9.4.3 Legal Precedent Not Binding
    • 9.4.4 Except Precedent Panel Decisions

Chapter 11: Evidence (PDF, 2.0MB)

  • 11.1 Introduction
  • 11.2 Types of Evidence
  • 11.3 Relevance
  • 11.4 Admissibility
    • 11.4.1 Categories of Privilege
    • 11.4.2 Evidence Received in Confidence
  • 11.5 Weight, Credibility and Reliability
    • 11.5.1 Weight
      • 11.5.1.1 Leading Questions
    • 11.5.2 Credibility
    • 11.5.3 Reliability
  • 11.6 Expert Evidence
  • 11.7 Orders (Subpoenas) for the Production of Existing Evidence and Attendance of Witnesses
  • 11.7.1 Depositions
    • 11.7.2 Non-Participating Party
    • 11.7.3 Failure to Comply
    • 11.7.4 Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA)
  • 11.8 Production of Evidence by the Board
  • 11.9 Documents in Languages other than English

Chapter 12: Independent Medical Assistance or Advice (IHP Process) (PDF, 2.0MB)

  • 12.1 General
  • 12.2 Who May Serve
    • 12.2.1 Remuneration
    • 12.2.2 Form of IHP
    • 12.2.3 Exclusions
  • 12.3 Terms of Reference
  • 12.4 Suspension Pending Health Professional’s Report
  • 12.5 Medical Examination
    • 12.5.1 Expenses for Medical Examination
    • 12.5.2 Failure to Attend or Obstruction of the Examination
  • 12.6 Written Report
  • 12.7 Decision
  • 12.8 Other Medical Advice or Clarification

Chapter 13: Written Submissions (PDF, 2.0MB)

  • 13.1 Filing Submissions
    • 13.1.1 Submission Process
    • 13.1.2 General
    • 13.1.3 Submissions Complete
    • 13.1.4 Late or Unsolicited Submissions
  • 13.2 New Evidence Obtained by the Panel
  • 13.3 Avoidance of Third Party Personal Information and Identifiers (14)

Chapter 14: Oral Hearings (PDF, 2.0MB)

  • 14.1 Before the Oral Hearing
    • 14.1.1 Practice Directive on Scheduling
    • 14.1.2 Postponements
    • 14.1.3 Communication of the Postponement Decision
    • 14.1.4 New Documentary Evidence
  • 14.2 Attendance at the Oral Hearing
    • 14.2.1 Presence of the Appellant
      • 14.2.1.1 Presence of the Appellant’s Representative
    • 14.2.2 Late Appearance
    • 14.2.3 Failure to Appear for an Oral Hearing
      • 14.2.3.1 Appellant
      • 14.2.3.2 Adequate Reasons
      • 14.2.3.3 No Show Decision
      • 14.2.3.4 Respondent
  • 14.3 Procedure at the Oral Hearing
    • 14.3.1 Conduct of Oral Hearings
    • 14.3.2 Maintaining Order at the Oral Hearing
      • 14.3.2.1 Security
  • 14.4 Who May Attend the Oral Hearing
    • 14.4.1 Representatives
    • 14.4.2 Witnesses (11.7)
      • 14.4.2.1 Affirmation or Oath (Appendix 8)
    • 14.4.3 Interpreters (11.9)
  • 14.5 Record of the Oral Hearing
  • 14.6 Unsolicited Post-Hearing Evidence or Submissions
  • 14.7 New Evidence Obtained by the Panel

Chapter 15: Confidentiality (PDF, 2.0MB)

  • 15.1 Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA)
    • 15.1.1 Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and WCAT Proceedings (13.3)
  • 15.2 Disclosure to Third Parties

Chapter 16: Expenses and Costs (PDF, 2.0MB)

  • 16.1 Expenses
    • 16.1.1 General
    • 16.1.2 Parties’ Attendance at Oral Hearings
      • 16.1.2.1 Travel Expenses
      • 16.1.2.2 When the Oral Hearing does not Proceed
      • 16.1.2.3 When the Appellant has Moved
    • 16.1.3 Reimbursement of Expenses (Witness and Other Evidence) (Section 7(1)(b) of the Appeal Regulation)
      • 16.1.3.1 Reimbursement of Expenses for Expert Evidence
        • 16.1.3.1.1 Attendance of an Expert at an Oral Hearing
      • 16.1.3.2 Evidence Previously Submitted to the Board
    • 16.1.4 Representatives’ Fees
    • 16.1.5 WCAT Investigations
  • 16.2 Costs
    • 16.2.1 Legal Costs

Chapter 17: WCAT Decision Making (PDF, 2.0MB)

  • 17.1 Time Frame for Decision Making
    • 17.1.1 General
    • 17.1.2 Extension of Time for Complexity
  • 17.2 The Written Decision
    • 17.2.1 Hallmarks of Quality Decision Making
    • 17.2.2 Decision-Making Principles
      • 17.2.2.1 Disclosure of Prior Decisions
  • 17.3 Reasonable Apprehension of Bias and Conflict of Interest
    • 17.3.1 Reasonable Apprehension of Bias
    • 17.3.2 Conflict of Interest
    • 17.3.3 Procedure
  • 17.4 Appeal Outcome
    • 17.4.1 Findings versus Recommendations
    • 17.4.2 Signing Decisions
  • 17.5 Notice of Decision
    • 17.5.1 Filing Final Decision in Supreme Court

Chapter 18: Certification to Court (PDF, 2.0MB)

  • 18.1 Introduction
  • 18.2 Jurisdiction
    • 18.2.1 General
    • 18.2.2 Definition of Court and Action
    • 18.2.3 Scope of Determination(s)
  • 18.3 Who May Apply
    • 18.3.1 Deceased Person – Standing of Estate
    • 18.3.2 Who May Respond
  • 18.4 Preliminary Matters
    • 18.4.1 Court Action Prohibited (Statutory Bar)
    • 18.4.2 Application for Compensation
    • 18.4.3 Registration with the Board as an Employer
  • 18.5 How to Apply
    • 18.5.1 Initiating an Application
      • 18.5.1.1 Notice of Application Must Be In Writing
      • 18.5.1.2 Incomplete Notice of Application
      • 18.5.1.3 Determination(s) Requested
    • 18.5.2 Authorizations
      • 18.5.2.1 For Representatives to Act
      • 18.5.2.2 For WCAT to Obtain Evidence
    • 18.5.3 Service and Delivery of Documents
      • 18.5.3.1 Service and Delivery of Documents by WCAT to Parties
      • 18.5.3.2 Service and Delivery of Forms, Correspondence, Submissions, and Evidence by Representatives on Other Participants
      • 18.5.3.3 Service and Delivery of Forms, Correspondence, Submissions, and Evidence by Parties to WCAT
  • 18.6 Registration of Applications
    • 18.6.1 Registration
    • 18.6.2 Acknowledging Receipt
    • 18.6.3 Representatives
    • 18.6.4 Board Notification
      • 18.6.4.1 Board Subrogation to Rights of Worker to Pursue Court Action
      • 18.6.4.2 Disclosure of Board Claim Files
    • 18.6.5 Notification of Respondents
      • 18.6.5.1 Participating Respondents
      • 18.6.5.2 Non-Participating Respondents
    • 18.6.6 Notification of Interested Person(s)
    • 18.6.7 Participating Person/Representative Group
  • 18.7 Preliminary Processes
    • 18.7.1 Usual Processes Apply
    • 18.7.2 Streaming: Specialty
    • 18.7.3 Joining Applications
      • 18.7.3.1 Related Court Actions
      • 18.7.3.2 Related Appeals
  • 18.8 Order of Processing
    • 18.8.1 General
    • 18.8.2 Holding Period
    • 18.8.3 Request for Priority Processing
  • 18.9 Summary Decisions
    • 18.9.1 Stay of Decision
    • 18.9.2 Withdrawals
      • 18.9.2.1 Withdrawal by Applicant
      • 18.9.2.2 Deemed Withdrawal
      • 18.9.2.3 Effect of New Application
  • 18.10 Written Submissions and Evidence
    • 18.10.1 Transcripts of Examinations for Discovery
    • 18.10.2 Copies of WCAT Decisions, Board Policies and Court Decisions
  • 18.11 Oral Hearings
  • 18.12 Confidentiality
  • 18.13 Expenses and Costs
  • 18.14 WCAT Determination(s)
    • 18.14.1 Effect of Determination(s) on Court Action
    • 18.14.2 Post-Determination

Chapter 19: Public Access to WCAT Decisions (PDF, 2.0MB)

  • 19.1 General
  • 19.2 Writing Decisions Without Identifiers
    • 19.2.1 Confidentiality and Privacy
    • 19.2.2 Names
    • 19.2.3 Representatives
    • 19.2.4 File or Appeal Numbers
    • 19.2.5 Payroll, Revenue Data, and Salary Information
    • 19.2.6 Geographic Locations
    • 19.2.7 Quotations
    • 19.2.8 Corrections or Revisions – Inadvertent Error
    • 19.2.9 Certification to Court
    • 19.2.10 Second Level of Editing in Exceptional Circumstances
    • 19.2.11 Exception
  • 19.3 Noteworthy Decisions

Chapter 20: Post-Decision (PDF, 2.0MB)

  • 20.1 Amendments to Final Decisions
    • 20.1.1 Corrections
    • 20.1.2 Clarifications
    • 20.1.3 Incomplete Decision
  • 20.2 Reconsideration of Final Decisions
    • 20.2.1 Reconsideration Based on New Evidence (Section 310)
    • 20.2.2 Reconsideration to Cure a Jurisdictional Defect
      • 20.2.2.1 Limits on WCAT’s Reconsideration Power
    • 20.2.3 Reconsideration on Both Grounds
    • 20.2.4 Time Limit
    • 20.2.5 One Time Only
  • 20.3 Reconsideration Applications
    • 20.3.1 Reconsideration not to Proceed
    • 20.3.2 Reconsideration to Proceed
  • 20.4 Judicial Review
    • 20.4.1 Reconsideration and Judicial Review
    • 20.4.2 Time Limit for bringing a Judicial Review
    • 20.4.3 Standards of Review
    • 20.4.4 Publication of Judicial Review Decisions
  • 20.5 Effect of Application for Reconsideration or Petition for Judicial Review

Chapter 21: Codes of Conduct (PDF, 2.0MB)

  • 21.1 For Parties and Participating Persons/Representative Groups
    • 21.1.1 General
    • 21.1.2 Duties of Parties and Participating Persons/Representative Groups
  • 21.2 For Representatives
    • 21.2.1 General
    • 21.2.2 Duties of a Representative
  • 21.3 For WCAT Members
    • 21.3.1 Involvement in Legal Proceedings
  • 21.4 For WCAT Employees

Appendices (PDF, 2.0MB)

  • Appendix 1 A Short History of the Workers’ Compensation Appeal System
  • Appendix 2 Rules
  • Appendix 3 Practice Directives
  • Appendix 4 Regulations
    • Compensation Act Appeal Regulation , Order in Council No. 1039/2002 (B.C. Reg. 321/2002)
    • Transitional Review and Appeal Regulation , Order in Council No. 1040/2002 (B.C. Reg. 322/2002)
    • Fishing Industry Regulation, Order in Council No. 1041 (B.C. Reg. 323/2002) and Order in Council No. 1150 (B.C. Reg. 384/2002)
  • Appendix 5 Standing of an Estate – Statutory Declarations
  • Appendix 6 Combined Appeals – Authorization to Release Information
  • Appendix 7 Orders (to Testify and for the Production of Documents)
  • Appendix 8 Oaths and Affirmations
  • Appendix 9 Current Fee Schedules
  • Appendix 10 Code of Conduct for WCAT Members

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