In Ontario, there are over 20 self-regulating health professions. This means that the Ontario Government has allowed these professions to develop rules to regulate that profession. In exchange for this privilege, these rules must protect the public’s right to competent, safe and ethical care.
The professions are regulated by organizations called colleges. The colleges are not schools and they exist to ensure that Ontario’s regulated health professionals put the interests of their patients and clients first and that they meet certain standards, among other things.
Colleges regulate the professions and protect the public by:
- setting requirements for entry to the profession so that only qualified individuals can practise.
- developing rules and guidelines for practice and conduct, including a code of ethics that practitioners must follow.
- implementing measures to prevent the sexual abuse of patients/clients by practitioners.
- investigating complaints about practitioners’ practice and disciplining if necessary.
- requiring practitioners to participate in a program to keep their knowledge and skills up-to-date and monitoring that participation.
Colleges restrict use of the profession’s title, such as kinesiologist, to those registered with the college. All colleges maintain on their website lists of individuals qualified to practise, which includes information such as practice location and any disciplinary action.
You can be assured that when you see a regulated health professional, you are receiving competent, safe and ethical services from a qualified individual who is required to meet standards and keep their knowledge and skills up to date. Regulated health professionals are held responsible by the colleges for the services they provide, and any concerns about a regulated health professional may be reported to their college and the college will investigate.
Colleges cannot address concerns about unregulated practitioners. These individuals have not shown that they are qualified to practise the profession, and they are not responsible for meeting standards set by colleges.
For more information on Ontario’s regulated health professions, visit the Ontario Health Regulators website.