Government can designate other professions under the PGA, following an investigation and recommendation by the Superintendent.
Why designate additional professions?
The PGA provides a consistent governance framework for self-regulating professions that incorporates best practices of professional governance. OSPG also provides a dedicated, centralized resource to administer the legislation and develop guidance and best practices for professional governance. Designating new professions may bring other currently regulated professions under the PGA or may add professions that lack a regulatory framework.
The Superintendent’s recommendation on whether to designate a profession 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 include a profession under the PGA or 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 considered as the basis for the Superintendent’s recommendation.
Responsibilities and costs of potential regulatory bodies
Applicants will be required to provide information to the Superintendent. They may also be required to submit a fee. 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. Any 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 governance of the profession. This duty entails forming the required council and committees, developing required bylaws, holding annual general meetings, setting and enforcing registration standards, developing practice standards and guidelines, conducting practice reviews and audits, responding to complaints, and taking 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 following documents provide additional information regarding the process for assessing a profession:
- Policy and Procedures: 85 Applications for Designation
- OSPG Guidance: Application for Designation under the Professional Governance Act
- OSPG Guidance: Designating Professions – Initial Decision Criteria
The PGA will also allow the Superintendent to make recommendations on whether to amalgamate existing regulatory bodies. The Superintendent can consider amalgamations of regulatory bodies that are governed under the PGA either on request, or on the Superintendent’s own initiative.