What is a Regulatory College?

Important Note:

Under the Regulatory Bodies / Professional Associations section on our healthcare profiles you will find links that direct you to the appropriate Regulatory College and Professional Association websites of the health professional profile you are viewing.

What is a “Regulation”?

It is a set of rules established by the Government to protect the public from harm and to make sure that they get the highest possible standard of services. In other words, a regulation provides boundaries.

For many professions in Canada, these regulations (rules) are enforced by regulatory bodies or Colleges.

So, what is a Regulatory College?

A Regulatory College provides protection for the Public

  1. They are not institutions for teaching.
  2. They are under the authority of the provincial government and are granted specific powers and responsibilities to make sure they are serving the public interest. They do this through necessary regulations and standards that ensure the rules are being followed for safe, competent, and ethical healthcare that is provided to every person who goes to their professional members.

In short, they exist to protect the public.

How do Regulatory Colleges regulate their profession to protect the public?

  1. Registration with the college is mandatory for a member to obtain a licence to practice.
  2. Set the requirements for becoming a member of the profession.
  3. Make sure that only qualified and licensed professionals use their title.
  4. Keep up-to-date a publicly available registry of its members.
  5. Determine their scope of practise (boundaries for conduct and procedures).
  6. Provide guidelines for their professional practice.
  7. Monitor members participation in their ongoing professional development.
  8. Make available a procedure for the public to address their complaints of a professional who may have acted in a unprofessional, incompetent or unethical way.
  9. Manage a disciplinary process for their professional practitioners who do not meet the established standards of professional practice.

What do Regulatory Colleges have to do with your healthcare?

Rules and regulations make sure you are treated in a fair manner and that you are protected from risk of harm. This is done through their “code of ethics” and “standards of practice”.

Why is it important for you to see a regulated healthcare professional?

Because every Ontarian has rights regarding his/her healthcare.

Here is what you have the right to expect:

  1.  You can always find up-to-date information about your healthcare professional on his/her listing here at Health Locator. (ie, if he/she is still an active member of his/her Regulatory College, what services he/she provides, what   payment methods are accepted, etc.)
  2.  Your healthcare professional will clearly outline all fees or costs of treatments/services before commencing therapy.
  3.  Your healthcare professional will communicate and explain clearly any proposed treatment plan or procedure.
  4.  You will be considered an active partner in making decisions about your healthcare.
  5.  You can accept or refuse any treatment or procedure.
  6.  You can ask questions or express concerns.
  7.  You will be given the best treatment for your condition.
  8.  Your treatment will be given to you safely.
  9.  You will be treated with respect and understanding.
  10.  You will be given information about what to do if your health changes or gets worse.
  11.  Your personal information will always be confidential.
  12.  You can contact your healthcare professional’s Regulatory College to talk about a concern or to make a complaint.

Source: https://ontariohealthregulators.ca/learn/

How do I file a complaint/concern about my health care professional?

Every College has a standard procedure for filing a complaint. This makes sure that all parties have access to the same complete information.

Usually on the homepage of the College, you will find a tab with the word “Public” on it or a tab entitled “Filing a Complaint”. Under these tabs you will see how to “File a Complaint”.

A complaint must be received by the Registrar in writing, recorded on audio tape or on video, or other medium.  The complaint should include the name of the Health Practitioner, as well as the time, place, date(s) and details of the event(s).

How many Regulatory Colleges are there in Ontario?

There are 26 Regulatory Colleges in Ontario – Visit the Federation of Health Regulatory Colleges of Ontario (FHRCO) website for more details. Click here

What laws and acts govern Regulated Health Professionals in Ontario?

In Ontario, Regulated Health Professionals are governed under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991. S.O. 1991, CHAPTER 18 and the Protecting Patients Act, 2017 (Bill 87) 

Administration of Act:

The Minister is responsible for the administration of this Act. 1991, c. 18, s. 2. “Minister” means the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care; (“ministre”)

Duty of Minister:

It is the duty of the Minister to ensure that the health professions are regulated and co-ordinated in the public interest, that appropriate standards of practice are developed and maintained and that individuals have access to services provided by the health professions of their choice and that they are treated with sensitivity and respect in their dealings with health professionals, the Colleges and the Board.  1991, c. 18, s. 3.

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 view “Contents of Register”; Section 11 (2)


Related Topics:

What is a Professional Association? – A Voice for their Members

What is a Public Register? – Protection & Accountability

Public Protection – Safe & Effective Health Care

Quality Assurance – A Marker for Safety & Quality

Transparency – Commitment to Openness