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Encouraging Continuous Improvement

The Fairness Commissioner encourages regulatory bodies to improve the way they register people who apply for licences to practise professions or trades in Ontario.

2013-14 Assessment of Professional Licensing

In the summer of 2013, the Office of the Fairness Commissioner (OFC) began its second round of assessments of regulatory bodies’ registration (licensing) practices. These assessments focus on problems identified two years ago in the first cycle of assessments.

Their purpose is to pinpoint where regulators need to make improvements.

Because of this work, qualified people will have faster, fairer access to their professions.

You may read more about the about the OFC’s 2013-14 assessments:

2011-12 Assessment of Professional Licensing

In 2011, the Office of the Fairness Commissioner embarked on an ambitious endeavour: the first comprehensive assessment of professional registration practices to be conducted in Canada.

Between September 2011 and August 2012, the OFC completed 37 assessments. While the process found regulators to be generally working in good faith to adhere to their fair-access duties, it highlighted 12 key areas for further improvement and made wide-ranging recommendations.

Internationally trained applicants struggle to take their place in Ontario professions. Applications and membership both climbed at slower rates for internationally trained applicants than for Ontario applicants.

Since the introduction of the fair-access law, the number of internationally trained professionals licensed to practise in Ontario has grown almost 20%. Nevertheless, applicants continue to experience challenges with regard to recognition of international training and experience, as well as the length, cost and complexity of the registration process.

To read a summary of the 2011-12 registration practices assessment report for a particular profession: click on Professions & Trades in the navigation bar above, choose the profession you are interested in from the list and click on it, and then click on either the 2011 or the 2012 tab.

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A Fair Way to go

12 key areas for further improvement

Top 12 areas for improvement How improvements contribute to fair access
  1. Provide clear rationales for requirements.
  2. Recognize acceptable alternatives for meeting registration requirements.
  3. Identify exemptible requirements.
  4. Strengthen assessment criteria and methods.

To ensure no one is excluded unfairly, regulators must be able to explain why requirements are necessary and relevant for safe and competent professional practice.

Assessment needs to be more flexible, going beyond a narrow focus on academic credentials to recognize the variety of ways individuals develop professional knowledge and skills.

  1. Improve information for applicants.
  2. Address the burden of fees.
  3. Ensure reasonable and transparent timelines.
  4. Facilitate opportunities to start the registration process outside Canada.
More accessible information and efficient processes would help all qualified professionals both begin and complete the registration process without unnecessary expense or delay.
  1. Increase focus and rigour of training for decision-makers.
  2. Provide anti-discrimination training.
Well-trained decision-makers ensure consistent, fair and impartial assessments and registration decisions.
  1. Offer better information about reviews and appeals.
  2. Enhance access to records.
Improved information and better access to records for
applicants are critical to ensuring effective access to appeals.