A Self-regulated Profession
Self-regulation comes about when the government acknowledges that a profession has the skill and knowledge required to set standards and judge the conduct of its members through peer assessment, and therefore allows the profession to act as an agent of government in regulating its own members. Self-regulation is contingent on the profession having a commitment to acting in the public interest.
The Role of the College in Self-Regulation
As noted above, the role and powers of the College are established in legislation. In general, the College is granted the authority to:
- regulate the practice of the profession in accordance with the relevant legislation;
- develop, establish and administer fair and appropriate entry to practice (registration) requirements;
- develop, establish, maintain and enforce standards of professional practice and conduct;
- promote the ability of members to respond to changes affecting practice;
- develop programs to help individuals exercise their rights under the legislation; and
- promote positive relationships with members, the public and other stakeholders.
The College and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
The Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
It is the duty of the Minister to ensure that:
- the health professions are regulated and coordinated in the public interest;
- appropriate standards of practice are developed and maintained;
- individuals have access to services provided by the health professions of their choice; and
- the public is treated with sensitivity and respect in their dealings with health professionals, the Colleges and the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board.
Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council (HPRAC)
The Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council, (HPRAC) was created under the Regulated Health Professions Act to assist the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. HPRAC advises the Minister on:
- whether unregulated professions should be regulated;
- whether regulated professions should no longer be regulated;
- suggested amendments to the legislation;
- matters concerning Colleges’ quality assurance programs; and
- matters referred to it by the Minister.
The Advisory Council also has the duty to monitor each College’s patient relations program.
Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (HPARB)
The Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (HPARB) consists of twelve to twenty persons appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council on the Minister's recommendation. Decisions of the Registration Committee and complaints decisions of the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (except those referred to the Discipline Committee) may be appealed to HPARB.
Health Services Appeal and Review Board (HSARB)
The Health Services Appeal and Review Board created under the Ministry of Health Appeal and Review Boards Act has five or more persons appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council. Decisions of the Optometry Review Committee may be appealed to HSARB.