The OFC uses the name “Entry-to-Practice Reviews” for what the fair-access legislation refers to as “reviews of registration practices.” This has been done to clearly distinguish them from (and avoid confusion with) Fair Registration Practices Reports.
Entry-to-Practice Reviews provide an opportunity for regulatory bodies to assess their registration requirements and practices systematically. The main goal is to ensure that registration requirements are necessary and relevant and that the practices are transparent, objective, impartial and fair. A regulatory body may undertake a review voluntarily (a voluntary review) or the Fairness Commissioner can ask a regulator to conduct a review and submit a report about it to the OFC (a mandatory review).
The OFC will require a regulatory body to do a mandatory review, on a case-by-case basis, when all of the following conditions are present:
- The OFC has identified an issue concerning a registration practice or requirement that is posing unfair barriers to access to the profession. The OFC may have identified the issue in assessments or during regular monitoring of the regulatory body’s registration practices.
- The issue is persistent. The OFC has raised it with the regulator in writing on more than one occasion, and with the minister responsible for the regulator (with the regulator’s knowledge).
- The issue requires a more systematic analysis in order to consider ways to eliminate or reduce any negative impacts on applicants.
The fair-access law requires that all mandatory reviews treat the following in each review:
- efficiency and timeliness of decisions
- reasonableness of fees
- necessity and relevance of one or more entry-to-practice requirements
The OFC developed a guide to help Ontario regulators when conducting Entry-to-Practice Reviews: Conducting Entry-to-Practice Reviews: Guide for Ontario’s Regulatory Bodies. Regulators are at liberty to refer to the guide when conducting voluntary reviews; however, it must be followed when undertaking a review at the request of the Commissioner.