Fairness Commissioner Releases First Study on Ontario's Regulated Professions

    TORONTO, June 26 /CNW/ - Hon. Jean Augustine, Ontario's Fairness
Commissioner, has issued the first-ever comprehensive study of registration
and licensing in Ontario's regulated professions. The summary report, entitled
Ontario's Regulated Professions: Report on the 2007 Study of Registration
Practices, was released today.
    Her office oversees the registration practices of many of Ontario's
self-regulated professions.
    "We've gathered comprehensive information and published vital findings,"
said Augustine. "Now we will be able to measure progress toward improved
access to the professions."

    Highlights of the report:
    -   The regulated professions are moving towards transparent, objective,
        impartial and fair registration.
    -   Overall, applications to the professions are going up, but
        applications from internationally trained individuals are going down.
    -   Many regulatory bodies base registration decisions on assessments by
        agencies over which they claim to have little influence.
    -   Many professions require Canadian experience before certification,
        but it is difficult for some internationally trained professionals to
        get that experience.
    -   Some Canadians go overseas for their professional training, expecting
        to land at the head of the queue when they return to Ontario and
        apply for registration.

    "Faster, fairer access to the professions is good for individuals," she
said. "It's also good for Ontario, as it allows highly skilled people to work
at their full potential and contribute to a vibrant economy."

    Background information attached

    Report and all 34 studies about individual professions:

    Background Information

    About the office:
    The Office of the Fairness Commissioner is an arm's length agency of the
Ontario government. Its mandate is to ensure that certain regulated
professions have registration and licensing practices that are transparent,
objective, impartial and fair.
    The first agency of its kind in Canada, it was established in April 2007
under the Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act, 2006.
    The office oversees the registration practices of 35 regulatory bodies
(sometimes called colleges) in Ontario. It requires them to review their
practices, submit reports about them and undergo audits to make sure they are
meeting their obligations under the law.
    The office is independent of the government and the professions and plays
no role in advocacy or credential assessment on behalf of individuals.

    About the report:
    -   Presents findings about the registration practices of 34 of Ontario's
        regulatory bodies in 2007 (One new body does not yet register
    -   Summarizes information from 34 individual studies.
    -   Includes 21 health professions and 13 non-health professions.
    -   Covers application processes, documents and credentials, academic
        requirements, work experience, exams, language requirements, fees,
        and appeals
    -   Presents statistics for 2005, 2006 and 2007.
    -   Builds on existing surveys and reports, adding current information
        from the regulatory bodies and other organizations
    -   Points to 11 areas for further investigation

    About the commissioner:
    Hon. Jean Augustine, PC, was appointed as the first fairness commissioner
in March 2007. Ms. Augustine was born in Grenada and came to Canada in 1960.
She attended the University of Toronto, where she earned bachelor of arts and
master of education degrees. She was an elementary school principal in Toronto
and chaired the Metro Toronto Housing Authority. She was the first
African-Canadian woman to be elected to the House of Commons, serving as
Secretary of State and Minister of State for Multiculturalism and the Status
of Women.

    Report and all 34 studies about individual professions:

For further information:

For further information: and interview requests: Beatrice Schriever,
Office of the Fairness Commissioner, (416) 325-9511,

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