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Professions and Trades

Registration Practices Assessment Report 2012- Chiropodists

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Registration Practices Assessment Report — Summary
COLLEGE OF CHIROPODISTS OF ONTARIO (COCOO)

Introduction

In February 2012, Ontario’s Office of the Fairness Commissioner assessed the way the College of Chiropodists of Ontario   registers people who apply for a licence to practise in Ontario, to ensure that the registration practices are fair and continue to improve.  

This summary of the assessment includes commendable practices that are under way and recommendations for improvement.

The College of Chiropodists of Ontario is subject to Ontario's fair access law, which amended the law about health professions, the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA). The law spells out the college’s obligation to have transparent, objective, impartial and fair registration methods and requirements.

The Office of the Fairness Commissioner

To encourage accountability under the fair access law, the Office of the Fairness Commissioner (OFC) works with professions’ regulatory bodies to improve the way they register people who apply for professional licences. As a result of the OFC’s work, qualified people, no matter where they were originally trained, will have faster, fairer access to their licence to practise here.

In its work with regulators so far, the OFC has found that they have succeeded in streamlining their registration processes, but they need to do more. For example, regulators need to be more transparent and hold their assessment agencies more accountable for fairness.

To encourage, and hold regulators accountable for, continuous improvement, the OFC assesses their licensing practices in a two-year cycle. This cycle includes recommending improvements where needed and monitoring the bodies’ action plans that address the OFC’s concerns. This approach benefits applicants, the professions and the province.

You can read more about the OFC’s strategy for continuous improvement and its guide for assessments elsewhere on this site.

For more information about this particular assessment, contact the OFC.

Note: The words license, register and certify all refer to authorizing a person to practise a profession.

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Commendable Practices

The College of Chiropodists of Ontario (COCOO) is demonstrating many commendable practices, in the following areas. (These areas correspond to the sections of the assessment guide, and are derived from the fair access legislation.)

Information for Applicants

  • The registrar is in close contact with applicants and provides information that is specific to their circumstances.
  • The COCOO uses plain language to inform applicants of its registration policies and to explain how applicants may satisfy the COCOO's registration requirements through acceptable alternatives.

Assessment of Qualifications

  • To determine whether an applicant meets its education requirement, the COCOO uses clear and easy-to-understand criteria. In general, if an applicant applies from a school that is on the COCOO's list of approved schools, the COCOO assumes that the applicant meets its education requirement. If an applicant is a graduate from a school/program that the COCOO did not assess previously, the COCOO's education committee conducts a thorough review of the program. Once the committee completes the review, the council makes a decision regarding approval of the program. This approach minimizes subjectivity in decision-making.

Fairness

  • The COCOO does not have specific requirements for Canadian or Ontario work experience.

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Recommendations

The OFC recommends improvements in the following areas. (These areas correspond to the sections of the assessment guide, and are derived from the fair access legislation. Recommendations marked "Required" correspond to the practices regulators must demonstrate in order to meet the specific duties in the legislation. Recommendations marked "Good" correspond to the practices the OFC encourages a regulatory body to adopt in order to meet the general duty to provide registration practices that are transparent, objective, impartial and fair.)

Information for Applicants

Status
  • Update the website as follows, in a way that is feasible within the COCOO's resources:
 
  • Provide information that will help applicants understand what represents an "approved program." [Required]
Checked
May 2013
  • Identify all requirements that are subject to exemptions. [Good]
Checked
May 2013
  • Identify steps in the registration process that an applicant can do or start outside of Canada. [Good]
Checked
May 2013
  • Provide details about the following: qualifications assessment criteria, and how those criteria are linked to standards for entering the profession; the time the COCOO needs to assess qualifications; opportunities to appeal or have the results of qualifications assessments reviewed; and any policies relating to accommodation of special needs. [Required]
Checked
May 2013
  • Inform applicants how long the registration process takes. [Required]
Checked
May 2013
  • Inform applicants about the estimated time for each stage of the application process that is under the COCOO's control and about variables that may slow down the normal registration process. [Good]
Checked
May 2013
  • Inform applicants about which documents are kept by the COCOO and which documents are returned to applicants upon written request, either by posting these details on the website or by including them in the checklist document. [Good]
Checked
May 2013
  • Develop a formal process for periodically reviewing registration information for accuracy and completeness. [Good]
 

Documentation of Qualifications

 
  • For each document type required for registration, describe clearly the required content and format of the document, and the way that the document must be sent to the COCOO. [Required]
Checked
May 2013
  • Tell applicants how to contact the COCOO to explore what alternate documentation may be acceptable if they cannot get the required documentation. [Required]
Checked
May 2013

Access to Records

 
  • Inform applicants about the following details, either by posting them on the website or by including them in the checklist document: the way that an applicant can ask for records; the way in which records are available; who may access the records; how long the records are kept; and what limitations (if any) exist on the right to access the records. [Good]
Checked
May 2013

Transparency

 
  • Clarify what applicants must do, and what supporting documents they must submit, to demonstrate conduct that meets the COCOO's registration requirements. [Good]
Checked
May 2013
Blank = Implementation is in progress.
Checked = Recommendation is implemented.
Acceptable alternative = Regulator implements acceptable alternative to this recommendation.
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