Protecting Society's Vulnerable
The Reward of being a Community Care Licensing Officer
Rewarding. Dynamic. Diverse. That’s how Nicole Byrne describes her job as a Community Care Licensing Officer (CCLO) with Northern Health in Terrace, British Columbia.
She travels extensively throughout northern BC to enforce regulations that help to protect children, youth and adults in licensed community care facilities.
“Each day is different - there is nothing typical about my job and it’s certainly never boring,” she laughs. “One day I might carry out an inspection or investigate complaints, while the next I might deliver classroom presentations to early childhood education or nursing students about how provincial law is applied to licensed care facilities. My role is extremely varied.”
A former childcare provider, Byrne made the decision to transition to a career in community care licensing 14 years ago. Since then, she’s monitored the health, safety and care standards of hundreds of facilities. It’s a role she doesn’t take lightly.
“What I love most about my job is that it’s aimed at protecting and promoting the health, safety and care of our most vulnerable people. It’s important and satisfying work,” she says. “Had I stayed in childcare, I’d likely never have traveled to the places I’ve had the opportunity to visit and never encountered some of the incredible people I’ve been lucky enough to work with. The rewards are really too many to count.”
Years ago, when Byrne applied for her position, formal CCLO educational opportunities didn’t exist. Rather, CCLOs received on the job training while also drawing upon prior experiences as community care or healthcare providers.
That’s about to change. Justice Institute of British Columbia has just launched an Advanced Specialty Certificate in Community Care Licensing. As a member of the program’s Advisory Committee, Byrne helped develop the curriculum for the fully online credential. She says the new program is tailored specifically for today’s CCLO.
“I’m delighted this credential is finally being made available – I’m also proud that so much of the program’s course content came directly from recommendations from our field,” she says. “I have every confidence that even the most seasoned CCLO will take something from this program that he or she might not have known, or had forgotten along the way. Offering a formal credential will also encourage new people to enter this exciting profession.”
In addition to her various professional responsibilities, Byrne intends to enroll in the new JIBC CCLO program sometime in the near future. The initiative’s online platform will allow her to complete her education at her own pace while also working full-time.
Last updated October 3, 2014