The purpose of health professions regulation is the advancement of the public interest and this is the fundamental ground on which everything else is built.
There are more than 9,000 dentists in Ontario. With 20,000 + dentists in the country, Ontario plays an influential role in the health care community in both Ontario and Canada.
Self-regulation is a privilege, not a right, granted to professions by government. It is like an unwritten contract between society and the profession: the profession receives the opportunity to govern itself in return for protection of the public interest. Now, as a new member of the College, you too share in that privilege.
The role and authority of the College is set out in the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA) and the Dentistry Act. The profession is accountable to the public for effective self-regulation through the provincial government’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.
In the last several decades, the formal models of self-regulation have undergone a fairly dramatic transformation. The emphasis has shifted from a focus on protection of the profession to the protection of the public.
This is quite different than a professional association where the organization is only accountable to its members. The College has clear legal responsibilities set out in legislation to a wide variety of government and other bodies.
The College takes these responsibilities very seriously and strives to ensure its decisions are based on three key touchstones: accessibility, accountability and transparency.