Join Us for Canada’s Premier Event in Professional Regulation
Time: 10:55 – 11:05 | Session Type: Plenary
Stephanie Price, CNAR Chair
Time: 11:00 – 12:00 PM | Session Type: Plenary
Time: 12:00 – 12:30 PM
VIRTUAL NETWORKING EVENT
Time: 12:30 – 1:30 PM | Session Type: Plenary
Quest to Improve the Quality of the Inquiry Process: A Multi-College Exploration of User Experiences in BC Is quality improvement on your regulatory agenda yet it gets pushed to the back of the “to do” list in favour of other priorities? Do you worry that quality improvement findings will result in more work when you are already over-loaded? Well, we are here to share the experience of a quality improvement initiative, focused on the inquiry process, undertaken by eight health regulatory colleges in BC. You will leave the session convinced this kind of project is doable and worth the effort. Session participants will hear from project representatives including a researcher, public member of an Inquiry Committee, senior staff member responsible for inquiry matters and a Registrar. Presenters will discuss the genesis for this project, the phased approach including primary document analyses, building of inquiry process maps, semi-structured interviews with complainants, registrants, investigators, and members of the Inquiry Committee, analysis of findings and development of recommendations. The project’s lessons learned including challenges, key findings and recommendations for improvement will be shared. The presentation will conclude with a discussion about how the project partners have used the outcomes to improve their processes and suggestions on future calls to action.
Time: 1:30 – 1:45 PM
Time: 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM | Session Type: General Session
All regulators want to protect the public the best way they can. Meeting their mandate requires innovation, adaptation, and at times even creativity. In doing so, regulatory investigators employ a variety of techniques and strategies to get the job done. Some of these efforts can be controversial. This session examines three such controversial approaches and allows for a debate between two enthusiastic, and arguably, opinionated speakers, each trying to outwit, out class, and win the day over the other. Of course, all in a respectful yet spirited fashion. The subjects to be debated are:
Following the debates, which will be 10 minutes each, the audience will be polled so they can vote on who won each debate topic. In addition, there will be a wrap up discussion with the debaters exploring the three topics in greater depth.
Time: 2:45 – 3:00 PM
Time: 3:00-4:00 PM | Session Type: General Session
It is not uncommon for regulated health professionals to face criminal charges as well as disciplinary proceedings in connection with the same or related conduct. The intersection of criminal law and proceedings and professional misconduct investigations and proceedings is not always a simple one. This Panel will discuss some of the law and practice issues in this area over the past few years, including:
The session will provide participants with an overview of the intersection of criminal and administrative law and a discussion of emerging issues, particularly in sexual abuse cases. This proposal is for a concurrent workshop.
Time: 11:00 – 12:00 PM | Session Type: Plenary
The global pandemic has upended conventional regulatory processes and provided opportunity to change the way we regulate. Bold ideas and action will bring a paradigmatic shift to the complaints and discipline processes. There are 4 key trends which we believe will shape the future of the complaints and discipline process. We touch on each of these briefly to examine their impacts and future role in professional regulation:
Time: 12:00 – 12:15 PM
Time: 12:15 – 1:15 PM | Session Type: General Session
Ontario, Nova Scotia, Alberta
In order for regulators to achieve excellence they must be aware of the legal framework in which they operate particularly the judge-made legal framework which changes with each important new case that is decided. We will summarize and analyze the most interesting recent American, Canadian and other Commonwealth cases in regulatory law, pulling together themes and highlighting differences between countries including discipline, registration and human rights issues. We will also give the audience tips for managing and applying those decisions in the regulatory setting.
Time: 1:15 PM – 1:30 PM
Time: 1:30 -2:30 PM | Session Type: General Session
Many criticisms have been levelled against regulators for their handling of sexual abuse complaints. One concern is that the process itself – which aims to achieve a just result – can be re-traumatizing for the complainant. This can cause the public to lose confidence in the regulator’s ability to effectively address sexual abuse allegations. How can regulators ensure that complainants are adequately supported? How must a regulator balance their obligations to provide a fair process to the registrant? Bringing together perspectives from a regulator, a prosecutor, and a leader in gender-based violence advocacy, this panel will discuss:
This presentation will be of interest to staff working in complaints and investigations, investigators, committee and council members, and lawyers.
Time: 2:30 PM – 2:45 PM
Time: 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM | Session Type: PECHA KUCHA
Discipline Committees are specialized tribunals with recognized expertise in matters of professional conduct. Consequently, in light of their own expertise, why do discipline panels require expert evidence to adjudicate allegations of misconduct before them? Certainly there are circumstances where expert evidence may not be required – for example, where alleged misconduct can be characterized as being disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional or is so egregious that it clearly fails to meet the standards of the profession, such as allegations of sexual abuse. However, like all adjudicators, there will also be circumstances where matters fall outside the panel’s expertise and knowledge, or where the panel will not be permitted to rely on its own expertise to make findings of professional misconduct. In those circumstances, the assistance of an independent expert will be required to understand and evalua te the evidence. But there are also limits and risks inherent with the use and reliance on expert evidence, as aptly demonstrated by the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in R. v. Slatter. In this presentation, we will explore these concepts and the proper role of expert evidence in discipline proceedings.
National, Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the world, and the regulatory world was not immune. Organizations had to pivot in order to continue meeting their public protection mandate. This includes regulatory activities that were transitioned to a virtual environment such as
1) governance and Board engagement,
2) disciplinary activities and
3) examination development.
Most regulatory authorities are governed by a Board of Directors or a Council. Boards/Councils typically met in an in-person format on a regular basis. Conducting these activities in a virtual environment resulted in several challenges that were addressed with some modifications to the process. In the initial stages of the pandemic, most regulators deferred disciplinary hearings until they could be conducted in person but this was not a tenable long-term position. At the heart of a virtual disciplinary hearing is the concept of procedural fairness to the member. There are a number of best practices that have evolved over time and served to preserve the integrity of the disciplinary process. As part of entry to the profession, many regulators also conduct assessments for entry-to-practice applicants and internationally educated professionals. Many of these activities are conducted by a representative sample of subject matter experts (SMEs). Convening SMEs in a virtual environment can be both challenging and rewarding. Best practices on virtual examination development activities, while still preserving exam integrity, will be shared. There is increasing evidence that some of these activities may persist in a virtual environment beyond the pandemic. These may become a permanent part of the regulatory process and regulators could benefit from “the best of both worlds”.
This PechaKucha will explore recent appellate court decisions reviewing assessments of credibility by Discipline Committees or Trial Judges, to extract lessons for performing and documenting credibility assessments in contested cases.
This session will summarize the experience of the College of Paramedics of Manitoba, who became the regulator of paramedic practice in the Province of Manitoba on December 1, 2020. Using an analogy of NASA launch terms, the T-minus planning phase for the College will be described. Rapid acceleration into the actual Launch period has been followed by immediate E-minus post launch encounters of great complexity and variety. Lessons learned for other professions advocating for self-regulation will be shared, with an emphasis in particular for paramedic practice. Lastly the implementation challenges and silver linings as a result of the pandemic will be summarized.
Chronic and possibly progressive cognitive impairment is an important issue for all professional regulatory bodies. This session will present the results of a mixed method scoping review that sought to inform The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta of key elements in the published literature about the management of cognitive impairment amongst physicians. There is a threshold of impairment below which limitations in cognitive function contribute to an inability of the physician to make sound clinical decisions. Identifying that threshold is a challenge encountered by medical regulatory bodies and one that is critically important to patient safety as well as to physician health and wellness. Medical regulatory bodies must not restrict membership on the basis of disability yet they must ensure quality of patient care and are mandated to protect the public. A conceptual framework that is adaptable to other regulatory authorities, other licensed health care professionals and other sectors will be presented. Opportunities to enhance understanding of the benefits and risks of various approaches to identifying, assessing, monitoring and responding to cognitive impairment in professionals through collaboration between regulatory bodies will be explored. Now is the time for dialogue…
Delay is an issue that all regulators grapple with. In some cases, it may take years for a matter to be investigated and reach a discipline hearing. Where that occurs, some registrants may seek to stay or quash the proceedings on the basis that there has been undue delay. However, since the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) decision in Blencoe v British Columbia (Human Rights Commission) in 2000, that has been extremely difficult, as the SCC set forth a very high standard for staying an administrative hearing due to delay and cautioned that it would be extremely rare for such challenges to succeed. But that may be changing. In Abrametz v Law Society of Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal (SKCA) overturned a decision of the Law Society of Saskatchewan’s (LSS) discipline tribunal and stayed the proceedings due to delay. Citing criminal and civil cases from the SCC released since Blencoe, the SKCA stated that there had been an “evolution” in the SCC’s understanding of the impact of delay in the administration of justice, which justified a more rigorous approach to delay in administrative proceedings and an “incremental step” forward from Blencoe. The LSS sought leave to appeal to the SCC, which was recently granted. With the SCC set to reconsider the law on delay in administrative proceedings, the implications for regulators could be immense. Depending on the outcome of the appeal, regulators may need to revamp their processes, hire additional staff, or take other action to curtail levels of delay that was once considered acceptable. This session will educate delegates on the law of delay in administrative proceedings, how it may change, and how those changes could impact regulators. Delegates will also learn strategies for avoiding successful applications to stay discipline proceedings on the basis on delay.
Time: 3:45 – 4:00 PM