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Registration Practices Assessment Report — Summary


In January 2012, Ontario’s Office of the Fairness Commissioner assessed the way the College of Midwives of Ontario   registers people who apply for a licence to practise in Ontario, to ensure that the registration practices are fair and continue to improve.  

This summary of the assessment includes commendable practices that are under way and recommendations for improvement.

The College of Midwives of Ontario is subject to Ontario's fair access law, which amended the law about health professions, the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA). The law spells out the college’s obligation to have transparent, objective, impartial and fair registration methods and requirements.

The Office of the Fairness Commissioner

To encourage accountability under the fair access law, the Office of the Fairness Commissioner (OFC) works with professions’ regulatory bodies to improve the way they register people who apply for professional licences. As a result of the OFC’s work, qualified people, no matter where they were originally trained, will have faster, fairer access to their licence to practise here.

In its work with regulators so far, the OFC has found that they have succeeded in streamlining their registration processes, but they need to do more. For example, regulators need to be more transparent and hold their assessment agencies more accountable for fairness.

To encourage, and hold regulators accountable for, continuous improvement, the OFC assesses their licensing practices in a two-year cycle. This cycle includes recommending improvements where needed and monitoring the bodies’ action plans that address the OFC’s concerns. This approach benefits applicants, the professions and the province.

You can read more about the OFC’s strategy for continuous improvement and its guide for assessments elsewhere on this site.

For more information about this particular assessment, contact the OFC.

Note: The words license, register and certify all refer to authorizing a person to practise a profession.


Commendable Practices

The College of Midwives of Ontario (CMO) is demonstrating many commendable practices, in the following areas. (These areas correspond to the sections of the assessment guide, and are derived from the fair access legislation.)

Information for Applicants

  • The CMO's website identifies the registration requirements that may be satisfied through acceptable alternatives, for internationally trained midwives who cannot satisfy the registration requirements for reasons beyond their control. The website includes an Internet link to the International Midwifery Pre-Registration Program (IMPP).


  • In 2010, the CMO approved the policy, Training Existing and New Registration Committee Members and Staff, which requires that comprehensive, timely, and ongoing training be given to existing and new registration committee members and CMO staff members involved in the registration process.
  • Staff members who deal with applications receive:
    • anti-discrimination training from CMO's legal counsel
    • ongoing training in understanding cultural differences and avoiding culture-related bias in
  • Registration committee members receive training that includes orientation to the Health Professions Procedural Code in the RHPA.

Access to Records

  • If an applicant asks for access to documents related to his or her application, CMO staff mail copies of the documents to the applicant, along with a cover letter describing the documents. CMO staff also send an email informing the applicant that the documents have been sent.



The OFC recommends improvements in the following areas. (These areas correspond to the sections of the assessment guide, and are derived from the fair access legislation. Recommendations marked "Required" correspond to the practices regulators must demonstrate in order to meet the specific duties in the legislation. Recommendations marked "Good" correspond to the practices the OFC encourages a regulatory body to adopt in order to meet the general duty to provide registration practices that are transparent, objective, impartial and fair.)

Information for Applicants

  • Add the following to the CMO website:
December 2011
  • information on policies or procedures for accommodating special needs [Required]*
December 2011
  • information about the special requirements for workplace experience for internationally trained applicants [Good]*
December 2011

Access to Records

  • On the CMO website, state how long applicants' records are kept. [Good]*
December 2011

* The CMO implemented all recommendations marked with an asterisk before the OFC completed its assessment. The OFC commends the CMO for such prompt action.

Blank = Implementation is in progress.
Checked = Recommendation is implemented.
Acceptable alternative = Regulator implements acceptable alternative to this recommendation.