Grey Areas

SML’s Grey Areas newsletter has been in publication since July 1992 and discusses the latest developments in professional regulation. New issues are published monthly – subscribe below to learn more about recent studies, case law and legislative updates in the regulatory world. Explore our catalogue below.

Issues published before 2020 can be found on CanLII.

Surprisingly little has been written about policy making by regulators. Thus, the UK’s Professional Standards Authority’s (PSA) consultation paper on the topic is a welcomed introductory read.
Regulators of professions have adopted several different approaches to governance. Popular with some is a variation of the Policy Governance model created by John Carver. A recent governance review (Report) prepared for the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario (CDHO) by Harry Cayton and Deanna Williams has challenged the suitability of this approach for professional regulators (at least without significant
Canadian policy makers and regulators have been looking to other countries for insights into, and alternative ways of, regulating professions. Generally, the systems examined are from the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. To a lesser extent, regulators have looked to the European Economic Community. Rarely have regulatory systems elsewhere been examined in detail.
Regulators are increasingly moving towards “compassionate regulation”. These initiatives sometimes follow instances of self-harm by registrants facing complaints, investigation, and discipline.
In the last issue of Grey Areas, we analyzed the allocation of the attention by Boards of Directors of regulators within four categories: 1. Public Protection 2. Governance 3. Education of the Board, and 4. Board-Level Operations.
A precious resource for regulators is the time, energy, and attention of their Board of Directors (sometimes called their Council). As the highest-level decision maker within the organization, a Board needs to prioritize its efforts to ensure that the regulator is effective. Board members typically are volunteers (honoraria tend to be modest) who devote only a part of their professional