What is a profession?

Profession is a vocation requiring some significant body of knowledge that is applied with high degree of consistency in the service of some relevant segment of society.

— Hodge and Johnson



What does it mean to be a professional?

A professional can be described as a highly educated person, who enjoys a degree of work autonomy, and renders specialized services based on theory, knowledge, and skills that are most often particular to their profession. Professionals hold themselves ultimately accountable for the quality of their work with the client.



What is the purpose of regulation?

The criteria for regulation are whether there is risk of harm to public health safety or well-being and whether such risks are likely to occur. Regulation then provides a framework to carry out and enforce the provisions of legislation. In health care, regulation exists to ensure the public is protected when they seek or receive health care.



What does it mean to be self-regulating?

Self-regulation is based on the concept that members of a profession, based on their knowledge, skills and judgment, are best suited to govern their profession in the public interest. Self-regulation is a privilege, not a right, granted by government on behalf of the public.



Why does regulation matter?

Regulation provides assurance to the public that the members of colleges are highly educated health professionals who are accountable to a regulatory body for the quality of care they provide. Members of the public can bring concerns about a regulated care provider directly to their college.



What is the role of a health regulatory organization?

Health regulatory organizations are often called “colleges”. Colleges protect the public by implementing, administering and enforcing healthcare legislation:

  • Setting and enforcing standards and guidelines for the practice and conduct of their members.
  • Making sure that regulated health professionals meet their training and educational standards before they can practice or use a professional title.
  • Developing programs to help members continually improve their skills and knowledge, upholding the quality of care.
  • Acting on concerns about their member’s provision of health care with authority to sanction a member following a complaint



How are Colleges run?

Colleges are governed by a board of directors, sometimes called a council. Each board of directors/council consists of members of the profession (elected by their peers) and one or more government-appointed public members (public members are also involved in


College complaints and discipline processes). Public members provide valuable public input, oversight and representation into College policy and decision making processes.


The board’s role is to regulate the profession and oversee the college’s management, actions and policy development within the framework of the legislation.



How is a college different from a professional association?

  • Colleges are organizations that are delegated the authority to govern the practice of the members of a profession in the public interest. The College's fundamental purpose is public protection.
  • Associations are member-centric or member-oriented organizations that promote and advocate for the profession and support of the member.




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