Adding Regulatory Bodies
The Superintendent will have the authority to consider designating other professional regulators as regulatory bodies under the PGA, once the relevant sections of the PGA are implemented. This authority is not expected to be exercised until the five professional regulators named in the PGA have been established as regulatory bodies during the second phase of implementation. After the authorities for designating regulatory bodies are in place there will be opportunities for other professional regulators to apply to become regulatory bodies.
Why designate additional regulatory bodies?
The PGA provides a consistent governance framework for self-regulating professions that incorporates best practices of professional governance. The establishment of the OSPG also provides a dedicated, centralized resource to administer the legislation and develop guidance and best practices for professional governance.
The Superintendent’s recommendation on whether to designate a professional regulator as a regulatory body under the PGA must be based on whether the designation is in the public interest. Professional self-regulation addresses risks to the public and environment from incompetent and unethical practice of a profession. Criteria for determining whether it is in the public interest to grant rights for self-regulation of a profession typically consider the risks of professional practice, impacts to the costs of professional services, and benefits to the public and environment from self-regulation. These types of criteria may be established as the basis for the Superintendent’s recommendation.
Responsibilities and costs of regulatory bodies
Applicants will be required to submit a prescribed fee and provide information required by the Superintendent. The Superintendent may use this information to determine whether to conduct an investigation, such as a profile of what clients are served by professionals, the degree to which professionals exercise independent judgment in their practice, public (as opposed to professional) benefits of self-regulation, and other relevant information. Should the Superintendent decide to proceed with an investigation, an applicant may be required to provide further information. Costs of preparing an application and gathering any further information would be the responsibility of the applicant.
Regulatory bodies under the PGA are required to serve and protect the public interest with respect to the exercise of a profession and the governance of the profession. This duty entails having the capacity to form the required council and committees, develop required bylaws, hold annual general meetings, set and enforce registration standards, develop practice standards and guidelines, conduct practice reviews and audits, respond to complaints, and take appropriate enforcement actions. Regulatory bodies, in addition to their council and committees, need to support staff to run operations of the regulatory body such as annual fee collection. Applicants should consider whether their professionals can support self-regulation through their fees.
The PGA will also allow the Superintendent to make recommendations on whether to amalgamate existing regulatory bodies. The authority to make recommendations on amalgamation may come into effect at the same time as the authorities for designating additional regulatory bodies. Once these sections are in force the Superintendent can consider amalgamations of regulatory bodies that are governed under the PGA either on request, or on the Superintendent’s own initiative.
At this time the Superintendent does not have authority to contemplate amalgamation of regulatory bodies, as the focus of the OSPG will be on the initial implementation of the PGA for the five named professional regulators.