OFC: A Decade of Excellence
The Office of the Fairness Commissioner (OFC) celebrates its milestone tenth anniversary on March 21, 2017. The first institution of its kind in Canada, the OFC has worked together with Ontario's professional licensing bodies to ensure fair access to regulated professions for everyone who is qualified.
Helping internationally-trained professionals succeed grows Ontario's economy and deepens the richness of our communities. The OFC thanks our regulatory body partners for a decade of collaboration and excellence.
Transition at the OFC
As you are likely aware, legislation is currently before the provincial legislature that, if passed, would align the OFC's structure with that of similar provincial agencies. This proposed change is the result of an independent third-party review completed in the summer of 2015, as required of all provincial agencies every seven years.
The proposed administrative amendments to Fair Access to Regulated Professions and Compulsory Trades Act, 2006 (FARPACTA) are part of Bill 27, the Burden Reduction Act, 2016, which was referred to the Standing Committee on General Government at Second Reading. Public hearings on the entire omnibus Bill will be underway in the coming weeks. If passed, the legislation would change the OFC governance and reporting structure by allowing the OFC to have Ontario Public Service employees. Should Bill 27 receive Royal Assent, the OFC will begin to transition to a new organizational structure. The mandate of the OFC would remain unchanged as would the Fairness Commissioner's independence in the assessment of registration practices. The location of the office will not change.
In short, the important business of the OFC would continue after this proposed transition, and we will communicate updates as this process unfolds.
Findings from the Third Cycle of Assessments
The OFC launched a full assessment of regulators' registration practices in 2016. So far, the OFC has completed six assessments with early results indicating a positive movement towards fairer registration practices. The assessment is a rigorous process and, in this cycle, regulators have been especially engaged, prepared and cooperative. The OFC commends regulators whose assessments have been completed or who are in the process of being assessed for their cooperation during the transition process. In this cycle, seven new regulators are being assessed for the first time. Regulators are encouraged to contact their respective OFC adviser if they have any questions about the assessment steps and procedures.
You can read the full reports of the Ontario College of Teachers, College of Kinesiologists of Ontario, Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists and Ontario Association of Architects. Keep checking the OFC website as more reports become available.
2016 Fair Registration Practices (FRP) Reports
Regulators are in the process of completing their annual FRP reports for submission to the OFC by March 1st. Each year, the regulators are asked to submit reports about their registration practices and their compliance with FARPACTA or the Health Professions Procedural Code (the Code) set out in Schedule 2 of the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991. The data collected in these reports help inform the OFC about the transparency, objectivity, impartiality and fairness of regulators' registration practices. Data findings from the 2015 FRP reports can be viewed in the Infographics: Quick facts about professions and trades regulated by the fair access legislation.