Coming Soon—A Regulating Agency for PSWs
/ Author: Ian DeWaard 2274 Rate this article:

Coming Soon—A Regulating Agency for PSWs

A PSW agency will enhance the value and stature of PSWs. But some questions still need to be worked out

By Ian DeWaard, Ontario Director

In April 2021, Ontario announced plans to establish a first of its kind regulating agency for PSWs. Unlike teachers, doctors, registered nurses, and lawyers, the profession of PSW has never before been regulated.

Various unions and worker advocacy groups have long lobbied for a PSW registry and regulating body.

The objectives of the new agency are

•  to establish and maintain educational and skills-based qualifications for each class of registrants;

•  to promote the provision of safe, competent, ethical, and high-quality health services and supportive care services by registrants to members of the public; and

•  to establish and maintain codes of ethics applicable to each class of registrants in relation to the health services or supportive care services they provide to members of the public.

A regulating body generally establishes the scope of practice that only its members may perform. It is granted disciplinary functions (including expulsion or loss of registration) for members who violate ethical or technical standards for conduct established by the agency.

To date, the full function of the new regulating body is yet to be determined, and it is not yet operative. Further regulations and bylaws are necessary, and a board of directors still needs to be appointed.

CLAC has generally been supportive of a PSW registry and a self-regulated PSW agency that establishes education standards and recognized credentials and that enhances the value and stature given PSWs. But there are some key questions that have yet to be answered:

•  Will membership in the agency be mandatory?

•  Will the agency be able to suspend or revoke a PSW’s credentials?

•  What will be the cost of membership for a PSW?

In the coming months, we’ll be advocating for clarity of the new agency’s mandate and for limited or no cost to PSWs.

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