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Orientation to Regulation of Professions in Ontario

Ontario's Regulated Professions

Regulation in Ontario

There is no universal definition of a self-regulated profession. According to the Office of the Fairness Commissioner’s (OFC) website, as of 2010, there are 40 regulatory bodies in Ontario that share the following characteristics:

  • The authority of the regulatory body to protect the public interest is delegated from government by an Ontario statute
  • Professionals need the authority of the regulatory body to practise their profession in Ontario, to use a professional designation, or both.

Of the 40 self-regulated professions, twenty-six (26) are health professions; the others represent a wide range of disciplines. Each profession has a regulatory body with statutory authority to establish requirements for entry to the profession or professional designation as well as standards of practice and competence. To practise as a member of a regulated profession or use a professional designation, all applicants-whether Canadian trained or international - must meet the requirements of the relevant regulatory body which often requires obtaining a license to practise. To see a current list of all regulated professions in Ontario, you can go to the OFC website.

Orac is a voluntary organization. For a list of professions that currently are members of ORAC, click here.

General Discussion:

Self Regulation is generally understood to mean that the profession regulates itself rather the having regulation done by a government department or agency. The regulating body is governed by a Board or Council which is mostly composed of Members of the profession elected by their peers, though the government appoints some additional persons including non-Members.

While such delegation of a regulatory role is uncommon in the rest of the world, it is growing in Canada and particularly Ontario. Several of the current regulatory bodies have been recently created and are still in formative stages.

ORAC's focus is registration, one of the regulatory functions. Each profession has a set of standards and criteria to assure others of the competence and ethics of new Members. Applicants need to review the rigorous requirements of each profession as the need processes vary as significantly as the professions themselves. Each are available via their websites;many also have career path information.