What is a Professional Association?

What is a Professional Association? 

A voice for the Professional Association’s members, so the public can know who they are and what they do. They promote the profession.

  • Associations are not supervised by a government authority.
  • They are self-governing with a Board of Directors that is made up of members of the association.
  • Most associations will promote the profession they represent.
  • Membership in an association is voluntary.
    • Members pay membership dues and volunteer for association tasks to carry out the needs of the association.
    • Often, members of an association are also members of a Regulated College.

Benefits of joining an Association

  1. Provides a voice:  To the general public, referring health professionals, the media, the insurance industry, the government and other organizations on a regular and consistent basis regarding their scope of practice and the benefits of their professional services.
  2. Up-to-date Information for its members:  Readily available information and trends that will affect their members’ practice, ie; changes in billing practices.
  3. Actively markets their profession:  Pushes the value of the profession and counters any negative press that may harm it through multimedia venues.
  4. Creates Opportunities:  Builds on current research that allows doors to open for their profession.  Builds alliances to enhance their credibility and position.
  1. Professional Development:
    • Associations are constantly creating and providing professional development opportunities for their members. This may be done through other institutes, associations, conferences and workshops with industry leaders. – in order for their members to maintain their membership privileges.
    • They support their members in the achievement of competent and ethical practices by providing and promoting ongoing professional development and training in ethical practices.
    • They work to ensure fair compensation for their members and continuously elevate their professional image across Ontario.

Each association has requirements that members must meet yearly to maintain their certification. Professional development credits, hours performing the services under their scope of practice etc..


In Ontario, Regulated Health Professions are governed under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, SO. 1991, c.18

  • Scroll down to “section 23(1) Register”

Protecting Patients Act, 2017 (Bill 87)

This Act introduced major changes to the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991. It’s an important piece of legislation that strengthens the protection of and response to patient sexual abuse by health professionals.

  • Scroll down to “Contents of register”

Related Topics:

What is a Regulatory College? – Public Protection

Public Register?  Protection & Accountability

Public Protection – Safe & Effective Health Care

Quality Assurance – A Marker for Safety & Quality

Transparency – Commitment to Openness