Regulation Overview

Professional regulation plays a vital role in setting and enforcing the standards of professional behaviour, competence and ethics underpinning the day-to-day interactions patients and the public have with regulated health care providers.

Professional regulation is there to ensure the protection of the public while ensuring acceptable practice standards and requirements are being maintained by the profession. Self-regulation is based on the concept of a group of professionals working in conjunction with the government to formally regulate the activities of its members. As a condition of the delegation of such regulatory powers, the governing or regulatory body is required to apply such powers in a manner that is guided by the public interest.

Professional self-regulation is a regulatory model that enables the government to have some control over the practice of a profession and the services provided by its members, but without having to maintain the special in-depth expertise required to regulate a profession that would be required under direct regulation. The reason why professions are sanctioned by law and accorded this privilege is that the government trusts these professionals to be able to put aside their self-interest in favour of promoting the public interest and knowledgeable professionals of such disciplines are best suited to regulate their own members.

Professional regulatory professions:

  • Set standards of competence, conduct, and ethics which professionals must meet to register and practice.
  • Check the quality of education and training courses, including practice placements, to ensure trainees develop the knowledge, skills and qualities to practice competently and safely.
  • Maintain a public register of professionals that anyone can search.
  • Investigate complaints about registered professionals and make decisions about whether they should be allowed to continue to practice.

For more in-depth information individuals are encouraged to review the relevant provisions of the legislation.