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Introduction

In February 2014, Ontario’s Office of the Fairness Commissioner (OFC) performed a targeted assessment of the way the College of Dental Technologists of Ontario (CDTO) registers people who apply for a licence to practise in Ontario, to ensure that the registration practices are fair and continue to improve.

Assessment is one of the Fairness Commissioner's mandated roles under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA).

Assessment Cycle

To hold regulatory bodies accountable for continuous improvement, the OFC assesses their licensing practices using a two-year assessment cycle.

Assessment cycles alternate between full assessments and targeted assessments:

  • Full assessments address all specific and general duties described in the RHPA.
  • Targeted assessments focus on the areas where the OFC made recommendations in the previous full assessment.

This approach establishes continuity between the assessment cycles.

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Focus of This Assessment and Report

The February 2014 targeted assessment of the CDTO focused on the areas where the OFC made recommendations in the full assessment it completed in April 2012.

The OFC’s detailed report captures the results of the targeted assessment. The assessment summary provides the following key information from the detailed report:

  • duties that were assessed
  • an overview of assessment outcomes for specific-duty practices
  • an overview of comments related to the general duty
  • commendable practices
  • recommendations

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Availability of Report

The OFC encourages the CDTO to provide the detailed report to its staff, council members, the public, and other interested parties.

To receive a copy of the detailed report, click here.

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Assessment Methods

Assessments are based on the Registration Practices Assessment Guide – For Health Regulatory Colleges. The guide presents registration practices relating to the specific duties and general duty in the RHPA.

A regulatory body’s practices can be measured against the RHPA’s specific duties in a straightforward way. However, the general duty is broad, and the principles it mentions (transparency, objectivity, impartiality and fairness) are not defined in the legislation.

As a result, the specific-duty and general-duty obligations are assessed differently (see the Strategy for Continuous Improvement of Registration Practices).

Specific Duties

The OFC can clearly determine whether a regulatory body demonstrates the specific-duty practices in the assessment guide. Therefore, for each specific-duty practice, the OFC provides one of the following assessment outcomes:

  • Demonstrated – all required elements of the practice are present or addressed
  • Partially Demonstrated – some but not all required elements are present or addressed
  • Not Demonstrated – none of the required elements are present or addressed
  • Not Applicable – this practice does not apply to this regulatory body

General Duty

Because there are many ways that a regulatory body can demonstrate that its practices, overall, are meeting the principles of the general duty, the OFC makes assessment comments for the general duty, rather than identifying assessment outcomes. For the same reason, assessment comments are made by principle, rather than by practice.

For information about the OFC’s interpretations of the general-duty principles and the practices that the OFC uses as a guideline for assessment, see the Registration Practices Assessment Guide – For Health Regulatory Colleges.

Commendable Practices and Recommendations

Where applicable, the OFC identifies commendable practices or recommendations for improvement related to the specific duties and general duty.

Sources

Assessment outcomes, comments, and commendable practices and recommendations are based on information provided by the regulatory body. The OFC relies on the accuracy of this information to produce the assessment report. The OFC compiles registration information from sources such as the following:

  • Fair Registration Practices Reports, audits, Entry-to-Practice Review Reports, annual meetings
  • the regulatory body’s:
    • website
    • policies, procedures, guidelines and related documentation templates for communication with applicants
    • regulations and bylaws
    • internal auditing and reporting mechanisms
    • third-party agreements and related monitoring or reporting documentation
    • qualifications assessments and related documentation
  • targeted questions/requests for evidence that the regulatory body demonstrates a practice or principle

For more information  about the assessment cycle, assessment process, and legislative obligations, see the Strategy for Continuous Improvement of Registration Practices.

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Assessment Summary

Specific Duties

Specific duties assessed

As a result of the recommendations made in the full assessment completed in April 2012, the CDTO has been assessed in the area(s) marked below:

None Unchecked
Information for Applicants Checked
Internal "Review" Unchecked
Information on Appeal Rights Unchecked
Documentation of Qualifications Unchecked
Assessment of Qualifications Checked
Training Unchecked
Access to Records Unchecked

Outcomes

The CDTO has demonstrated all of the practices in the following specific-duty area(s):

  • Information for Applicants

For practices that are partially demonstrated or not demonstrated, see the Recommendations section later in this summary.

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General Duty

Assessment Method

The CDTO selected the method marked below for the assessing of its adherence to the general-duty principles, and informed the OFC:

a. OFC assesses based on the practices listed in the assessment guide Checked
b. Regulatory body self-assesses based on the practices in the assessment guide Unchecked
c. Regulatory body self-assesses using a system-based approach, in which it explains what it does to ensure that its practices are adhering to the general-duty principles Unchecked

Principles assessed

As a result of the recommendations made in the full assessment completed in April 2012, the CDTO has been assessed on the principle(s) marked below:

None Unchecked
Transparency Checked
Objectivity Unchecked
Impartiality Checked
Fairness Unchecked

Comments

The OFC found that since the last assessment, the College of Dental Technologists of Ontario (CDTO) has taken measures to ensure a transparent and impartial registration process.

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Commendable Practices

A commendable practice is a program, activity or strategy that goes beyond the minimum standards set by the OFC assessment guides, considering the regulatory body’s resources and profession-specific context. Commendable practices may or may not have potential for transferability to another regulatory body.

The CDTO is demonstrating commendable practices in the following area(s).

Information for Applicants

  • Since the last assessment, the CDTO has updated its website to provide clearer and more comprehensive information about the registration process in its entirety. For example, the CDTO has developed:
    • a process flowchart that describes each step of the process and lays out the sequence in which the steps are taken
    • a table of timelines that shows the key process steps sequentially, and gives the approximate time frame that applicants can anticipate for each step. If timelines vary, an explanation is provided.

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Recommendations

The CDTO should improve in the following areas:

Assessment of Qualifications

Status
  • Document the scoring and marking procedures for all exams. (Practice 5.1)
 
  • Document the CDTO’s process for ensuring the currency and accuracy of its information about educational programs. (Practice 5.4)
 
  • Ensure that the scope of the CDTO’s review of exams includes both the registration and eligibility exams and addresses the objectivity, validity and reliability of the criteria, tools and procedures for both exams. (Practice 5.5)
 
  • Develop and maintain a structure that provides the opportunity to appeal the results of the eligibility exam or to have the results reviewed. (Practice 5.7)
 
  • Address gaps in information about qualifications assessment by doing the following:
 
  • Clarify the criteria for the registration and eligibility exams (for example, applicants would benefit from understanding the content areas, the weighting of questions, and how the passing score is determined). (Practice 5.8a)
 
  • Provide information explaining how the criteria for the registration and eligibility exams are linked (or the process that the CDTO uses to ensure that the criteria are linked) to the Competency Profile for Canadian Dental Technicians/Technologists. (Practice 5.8b)
 
  • Develop a formal process and provide information for applicants who are taking the eligibility exam about:
    • opportunities to appeal (Practice 5.8d)
    • special considerations (Practice 5.8e)
  • The CDTO needs to ensure that this information is accurate, clear, and accessible on its website. (Practice 5.8a, b, d, e)
 
Blank = Implementation is in progress.
Checked = Recommendation is implemented.
Acceptable alternative = Regulator implements acceptable alternative to this recommendation.

Assessment History

In the previous assessment, the OFC identified eight recommendations for this regulatory body.

They have all been implemented.

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