The purpose of regulation is to ensure that professionals practice in a safe, competent, ethical manner. Regulation is the compilation of all activities which contribute to achieving this function.
Self – regulation means that the government grants a group of professionals the privilege and responsibility to regulate their own conduct in order to protect the public from harm that may occur during the course of providing professional service.
The Manitoba government has granted audiologists and speech – language pathologists the privilege and responsibility of self – regulation. The regulatory body is known as the College of Audiologists and Speech – Language Pathologists of Manitoba (the College). The College regulates two health professions: audiology and speech – language pathology.
Self – regulation acknowledges that audiologists and speech – language pathologist themselves are in the best position to regulate the professions effectively because of the specialized body of knowledge they possess; external regulation is less effective and efficient.
Three key mechanisms are applied to meet the College’s responsibilities to self – regulate:
- Audiologists and speech – language pathologists are involved in determining the rules that govern the professions by electing, from amongst themselves, representatives to Council;
- The Minister of Health appoints public representatives to Council, ensuring full, meaningful, effective public participation in the governance of the College;
- Audiologists and speech – language pathologists are accountable for their own professional conduct respecting the rules of the College, with the College providing assistance and oversight.
The privilege of self – regulation is maintained because the College upholds the public interest and refrains from activity that may be perceived to have a professional self – interest. The College upholds the public interest by:
- Establishing and maintaining criteria for registration with the College. This ensures that those who are granted registration as either audiologists or speech – language pathologists are qualified and competent to practise,
- Setting and maintaining the standards of practice and a code of ethics that registrants must adhere to ensure safe, competent, ethical service,
- Receiving complaints about the practice or conduct of registrants; resolution is determined following fair investigation, and appropriate remedial or disciplinary actions are prescribed as required.