BC Seniors Living Association (BCSLA) Launches Revitalized Seal of Approval Program

Innovative Assessment Tool Provides Seniors Living Communities the Ability to Respond in Real Time to Changing Operating Environments and Establish Continuous Quality Improvement

BCSLA’s new SoA program shows just how academia and industry can collaborate to creative truly innovative and creative programs.

BC Seniors Living Association (BCSLA), which represents the interest of the private pay independent, assisted and long-term care living operators, unveiled its new and revitalized assessment and standards program, the Seal of Approval (SoA).  

BCSLA’s SoA was established in 2009 as a way to set quality and performance standards for its member operators. Being a self-regulated sector, BCSLA took on the responsibility of ensuring a high level of standards for its members through the SoA program, providing reassurance to residents, public and regulators that members were operating in the best interest of seniors and ensuring active, engaged, and safe communities.  

The operating environments for seniors’ communities has changed in the ten years since the SoA was introduced and in 2019, BCSLA embarked on an ambitious revitalization of its SoA program to ensure that the assessment tool continued to be effective and reflective of today’s realities. In December of 2019, Think Research, a Canadian health technology and clinical standardization company, was engaged to build the SoA on a proprietary platform that would allow sites to not only participate in a virtual assessment tailored to their community but to collect community data that can be used to establish the baseline for a comprehensive continuous improvement program unique to the community. As an additional innovation and improvement, the new SoA digital platform will now provide communities with real time updates on provincial operating orders and guidelines. Even though this function was designed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, its importance has increased given the volume of directives from the Ministry of Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control.  

“This initiative reflects a significant investment and sends a very strong message that our private pay independent, assisted and long term care members are responsible operators who look to innovate at every opportunity,” said BCSLA CEO Lee Coonfer. “The new SoA has been over a year in the works and built with the input of our members, associate members who support our communities and groups such as AgeWell, the national organization supporting and promoting innovation in seniors living. This assessment tool places BC’s private pay operators as leaders in the sector,” he concluded.  

BCSLA has also partnered with UBC’s School of Nursing and its Masters in Health Leadership and Policy (MHLP) program and SFU’s School of Gerontology, where masters students will be participating in the program and act as assessors. “BCSLA’s new SoA program shows just how academia and industry can collaborate to creative truly innovative and creative programs to ensure a high level of standards and continuous quality improvements in a sector that has undergone tremendous scrutiny since COVID 19,” said Jennifer Baumbusch of UBC’s School of Nursing.  

“From an innovation perspective, BCSLA’s new SoA program is an example of where the seniors sector should be heading,” said Michael Chrostowski of AgeWell. “The new digital platform and continuous improvement focus opens the door for other innovations to be introduced into the seniors living space.” 

Tanya Snow of Bria Communities, and a beta test site participant said, “The digitized platform is intuitive and truly does assist the Senior Living Manager and their team to adopt continuous improvement metrics unique to their site and also provides valuable training opportunities for their site employees. This program is leaps and bounds ahead of other tools employed in similar jurisdictions.”     

Think’s Chief Administrative Officer and Seniors Care Lead Joanna Carroll said “Think Research is pleased to be expanding our footprint in the province of British Columbia through this partnership with the BC Seniors Living Association. We are honoured to have been chosen by the Association to revitalize and digitize its Seal of Approval. Achieving the highest standards and ensuring the latest best practices are instantly available through our software solutions are at the core of Think’s mission, and BCSLA has worked closely with our team sharing that vision throughout this project.” 

For more information:  

Please visit our website:  https://www.bcsla.ca/seal-of-approval-designation/ 
Social Media:   
Twitter: @BCSeniorsLiving, Facebook: BC Seniors Living Association  

BC Seniors Living Association:  
BC Seniors Living Association is a voluntary, membership-driven organization dedicated to being a valuable source for member development, education and growth. The organization works to promote and protect the best interests of its members in BC. The four cornerstones of BCSLA is actively advocating, educating, mediating and celebrating retirement communities and their residents.  

Media Contact:  

Sana Santosh, Communications Coordinator 604-689-5949 ext. 2, 7786813395 (cell) email: sana@bcsla.ca  

Think Research Corporation: 
Think Research is an industry leader in delivering knowledge-based digital health software solutions. The Company’s focused mission is to organize the world’s health knowledge so everyone gets the best care. Its evidence-based healthcare technology solutions support the clinical decision-making process, standardize care, and improve patient outcomes. For over a decade, Think Research’s cloud-based, EMR-agnostic digital tools have empowered clinicians around the world and positively impacted millions of patients across the continuum of care – including primary physician care, acute care hospitals and surgical suites as well as community and seniors care. Think Research is proud to serve as a trusted health system partner to a rapidly growing, global client base that spans five continents and more than 2,800 healthcare facilities. 

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Key Takeaways

  • BCSLA members commit to enhancing seniors living communities and embrace continuous improvement.



Sana Santosh

BC Seniors Living Association

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Vancouver, BC


604-689-5949 Ext. 2

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