Fair Registration Practices Report

Foresters (2017)

The answers seen below were submitted to the OFC by the regulated professions.

This Fair Registration Practices Report was produced as required by:

  • the Fair Access to Regulated Professions and Compulsory Trades Act (FARPACTA) s. 20 and 23(1), for regulated professions named in Schedule 1 of FARPACTA
  • the Health Professions Procedural Code set out in Schedule 2 of the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) s. 22.7 (1) and 22.9(1), for health colleges.

Index

  1. Qualitative Information
  2. Quantitative Information
  3. Submission

1. Qualitative Information

a) Requirements for registration, including acceptable alternatives
i. Describe any improvements / changes implemented in the last year.

No change to membership requirements was implemented in 2017. Information packages sent to potential members and posted on the website have been edited and reorganized so that there are reduced in number and also rewritten to improve clarity.

Bridge Training modules for all professional forestry standards including Local Knowledge Assessment (Ontario Forest Legislation and Policy) are now available and being used.

ii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on applicants.

Revised information packages describe the membership requirements more clearly and succinctly. This is expected to help applicants better understand the membership requirements

Applicants benefit from the alternative means, accessible via the internet, to satisfy the Local Knowledge Assessment requirement and obtain training in the other professional forestry standards. 

iii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on your organization.
  1. The revised information packages are expected to reduce administrative costs by reducing follow-up correspondence
  2. Enables OPFA to direct applicants to an easily accessible set of acceptable training to fill in identified professional forestry gaps.
b) Assessment of qualifications
i. Describe any improvements / changes implemented in the last year.

No changes this year

ii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on applicants.

No changes this year

iii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on your organization.

No changes this year

c) Provision of timely decisions, responses, and reasons
i. Describe any improvements / changes implemented in the last year.

Readmission fees were eliminated for the first occurrence when a member seeks to be readmitted within 12 months of resignation. Members now have a period of time to rethink their resignation, i.e. a cooling off period  

ii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on applicants.

Reduces the financial cost to a resigned member that wants to be re-instated soon after resignation. It is expected to speed up a member's decision to be reinstated. 

iii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on your organization.

Reducing the financial barrier for readmission after resignation enables positive communications with members and speeds up decisions. 

d) Fees
i. Describe any improvements / changes implemented in the last year.

 

The fee schedule was revised in 2017. See: https://secure.opfa.ca/sites/default/files/registration/Fee%20Schedule%20effective%202017%2009%2026Final.pdf

Application fees were reduced. Readmission fees were eliminated for the first occurrence when a member seeks to be readmitted within 12 months of resignation.

ii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on applicants.

The fee reductions will benefit applicants and members monetarily. The application fee reduction recognizes that applicants have significant demands on their limited financial resources as they start their careers.

It simplifies reinstating members that resign who rethink and revoke their resignation within one year.

iii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on your organization.

It simplifies the administration of reinstating resigning members who rethink and revoke their resignation.

e) Timelines
i. Describe any improvements / changes implemented in the last year.

No changes this year

ii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on applicants.

No changes this year

iii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on your organization.

No changes this year

f) Policies, procedures and/or processes, including by-laws
i. Describe any improvements / changes implemented in the last year.

The 2017 Certification Standards for the Profession of Forestry in Canada were approved for implementation by the OPFA. They will be implemented after a phase-in period. Bylaws in 2017 were amended to recognize the new certification standards. Bylaws were also updated to accept relevant professional forestry experience and graduate study for part of the professional forestry experience requirement.

Sponsorship requirements for Associate members reduced from 4 to 2 sponsors and made the same as those required for Full Membership.

ii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on applicants.

2017 Certification Standards recognize that professional forestry is diversifying into different specialities. Applicants from a wider array of academic backgrounds are expected to meet professional forestry standards.

The 2017 bylaw changes

  1. rationalize the requirements for full and associate members.
  2. recognize the value of prior experience and graduate work in providing professional forestry experience.
iii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on your organization.

Changes to the certification standard have not had an impact as yet. The new certification standards provide Canadian post-secondary institutions greater clarity to develop their programs that will enable them to better serve changing employment needs.  

Bylaw changes make it easier to explain sponsorship requirements to all members and clarifies the value of prior experience and graduate work in providing professional forestry experience

g) Resources for applicants
i. Describe any improvements / changes implemented in the last year.

1) E-lecture held for all Student and Provisional members so that they could find out more about the OPFA’s registration processes, especially the Credential Assessment Process. Participants were able to ask questions and receive answers. The e-lecture and the discussion that followed has been posted on the OPFA’s website so that applicants have access to this resource.

2) In-class presentations to inform students about professional forestry and membership processes were made to both Canadian universities that have accredited forestry programs.

3) All Bridge Training for Professional Foresters training modules are now available to all applicants. Over thirty different individuals have already availed themselves to these training modules.

ii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on applicants.

Positive feedback has been received from applicants on the lectures and bridge training modules. The majority of the forestry students signed up for membership after the in-class presentations.

An evaluation by applicants on the bridge training modules has been done. The applicants rated the accessibility and quality of the information as valuable.    

iii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on your organization.

It increased applicant inquires. This has resulted in greater engagement of applicants and OPFA staff.

h) Review or appeal processes
i. Describe any improvements / changes implemented in the last year.

No changes this year

ii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on applicants.

No changes this year

iii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on your organization.

No changes this year

i) Access to applicant records
i. Describe any improvements / changes implemented in the last year.

No changes this year

ii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on applicants.

No changes this year

iii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on your organization.

No changes this year

j) Training and resources for registration staff, Council, and committee members
i. Describe any improvements / changes implemented in the last year.

Annual training for the Registration Committee members and registration staff was conducted in May 2017. The session was attended by a representative of the FCO and a couple of members of OPFA’s Executive committee.

The Registrar presented and discussed with OPFA Council several registration-related information items throughout the year, to improve Council understanding of the OPFA registration processes, and FARPACTA fair access principles of Transparency, Objectivity, Impartiality and Fairness.

The Registrar attended several sessions throughout the year, including Ontario regulators for Access Consortium (ORAC) and OFC meetings, in which aspects of registration practices and legislative requirements were discussed. Information was shared with other OPFA staff.

ii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on applicants.

The training and discussion of membership requirements and registration processes resulted in continued improvement in consistency of registration-related decisions by the Registration Committee, and clear, consistent communication by staff to applicants in 2017

iii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on your organization.

OPFA Council understanding of membership requirements, the rationale for these requirements, and the legislative context in which OPFA must operate as a provincial regulator was enhanced in 2017.

k) Mutual recognition agreements
i. Describe any improvements / changes implemented in the last year.

The Canadian Federation of Professional Foresters Associations (CFPFA), of which OPFA is a regulatory member, approved successful completion of Ontario Bridge Training modules as a recognized means for the demonstration of core competencies required for registration as a professional forester. This recognition allowed for successful completion of Bridge Training modules to be used as evidence of competency in the specified professional standards in the Credential Assessment Process.

ii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on applicants.

The recognition of acceptable evidence of competency (Item K i above) has enabled a reduction in the workload for applicants. The required documentation for applicants for the Credential Assessment Process has been streamlined.

iii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on your organization.

Helps forest regulators including the OPFA to provide information to applicants about specific acceptable training that fulfils competency requirements.

l) Other (include as many items as applicable)
i. Describe any improvements / changes implemented in the last year.

In 2017, the OPFA continued to work on:

1) Bridge Training Program for Foresters (BTPF):

Funded by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International trade starting in 2014, the Bridge Training Program for Foresters was completed and fully implemented in 2017. Many applicants have already enrolled, completed training modules and received recognition for these competencies.

2) Review of re-admission processes. The OPFA’s Registration Committee reviewed the re-admission process and identified changes to written information provided to members. The changes recommended make the written material easier to understand.

3) Competency Review Project: Working with the other professional forester regulators in Canada a revised set of competency standards for have been developed. These have been accepted by the Council of the OPFA.

ii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on applicants.

Over 30 different Provisional members enrolled in different bridge training modules in 2017. Many completed their modules and their training has been accepted as proof of their competency in the subject area.

There has not been any impact on applicants related to Competency Review and the re-admission process.

The fee reduction for re-admission instituted in 2017 has not been used by anyone as yet.

iii. Describe the impact of the improvements / changes on your organization.

Bridge training opportunities make it easier to recommend opportunities for applicants to fill their professional competency gaps.

Describe any registration-related improvements/changes to your enabling legislation and/or regulations in the last year

No changes this year

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2. Quantitative Information

a) Languages
Indicate the languages in which application information materials were available in the reporting year.
Language Yes/No
English Yes
French No
Other (please specify)
Additional comments:
 
b) Gender of applicants
Indicate the number of applicants in each category as applicable.
Gender Number of Applicants
Male 25
Female 18
None of the above 4
Additional comments:
 
c) Gender of members
Indicate the number of members in each category as applicable. Select the option that best corresponds to the terminology used by your organization.
Gender Number of Members
Male 584
Female 124
None of the above 1
Additional comments:
 
d) Jurisdiction where applicants obtained their initial education
Indicate the number of applicants by the jurisdiction where they obtained their initial education1 in the profession or trade.
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown Total
33 5 1
India
2
Taiwan, Province Of China
1
Nepal
3
Sweden
1
Estonia
1
Total
8
0
47

1 Recognizing that applicants may receive their education in multiple jurisdictions, for the purpose of this question, include only the jurisdiction in which an entry-level degree, diploma or other certification required to practice the profession or trade was obtained.

Additional comments:
 
e) Jurisdiction where applicants who became registered members obtained their initial education
Indicate the number of applicants who became registered members in the reporting year by the jurisdiction where they obtained their initial education1 in the profession or trade.
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown Total
26 4 0
n/a
0
Total
0
0
30

1 Recognizing that applicants may receive their education in multiple jurisdictions, for the purpose of this question, include only the jurisdiction in which an entry-level degree, diploma or other certification required to practice the profession or trade was obtained.

Additional comments:

Includes those approved for Full and Associate membership

f) Jurisdiction where members were initially trained
Indicate the total number of registered members by jurisdiction where they obtained their initial education1 in the profession or trade.
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown Total
549 138 3
Albania
1
Croatia
1
Germany
2
Romania
1
Poland
1
Nepal
2
Serbia
1
U.K.
3
Iran
1
Slovakia
1
China
1
Ethiopia
1
Total
16
3
709

1 Recognizing that applicants may receive their education in multiple jurisdictions, for the purpose of this question, include only the jurisdiction in which an entry-level degree, diploma or other certification required to practice the profession or trade was obtained.

Additional comments:
 
g) Applications processed
Indicate the number of applications your organization processed in the reporting year:
Jurisdiction where applicants were initially trained in the profession (before they were granted use of the protected title or professional designation in Ontario)
from January 1st to December 31st of the reporting year Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown Total
New applications received 40 8 1 8 0
57
Applicants actively pursuing licensing (applicants who had some contact with your organization in the reporting year) 55 9 1 14 0
79
Inactive applicants (applicants who had no contact with your organization in the reporting year) 38 3 0 9 0
50
Applicants who met all requirements and were authorized to become members but did not become members 0 0 0 0 0
0
Applicants who became FULLY registered members 26 4 0 0 0
30
Applicants who were authorized to receive an alternative class of licence3 but were not issued a licence 0 0 0 0 0
0
Applicants who were issued an alternative class of licence3 2 0 0 0 0
2

1 An alternative class of licence enables its holder to practice with limitations, but additional requirements must be met in order for the member to be fully licensed.

Additional comments:
 
h) Classes of certificate/license
Inidcate and provide a description of the classes of certificate/license offered by your organization.

You must specify and describe at least one class of certificate/license (on line a) in order for this step to be complete.

# Certification Description
a) Full (R.P.F.) Description (a)

Able to practice any aspect of professional forestry in which they are competent.

b) Associate Description (b)

Able to practice professional forestry within a specified individual scope of practice.

c) Non-Resident Description (c)

Practicing, but not in Ontario unless they are granted a Temporary Permit.

d) Other Description (d)

There are other categories of membership, however, they are not entitled to practice

Additional comments:
 
i) Reviews and appeals processed
State the number of reviews and appeals your organization processed in the reporting year (use only whole numbers; do not enter commas or decimals).
Jurisdiction where applicants were initially trained in the profession (before they were granted use of the protected title or professional designation in Ontario)
from January 1st to December 31st of the reporting year Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown Total
Applications that were subject to an internal review or that were referred to a statutory committee of your governing council, such as a Registration Committee 0 0 0 0 0
0
Applicants who initiated an appeal of a registration decision 0 0 0 0 0
0
Appeals heard 0 0 0 0 0
0
Registration decisions changed following an appeal 0 0 0 0 0
0
Additional comments:
 
j) Paid staff
In the table below, enter the number of paid staff employed by your organization in the categories shown, on December 31 of the reporting year.

When providing information for each of the categories in this section, you may want to use decimals if you count your staff using half units. For example, one full-time employee and one part-time employee might be equivalent to 1.5 employees.

You can enter decimals to the tenths position only. For example, you can enter 1.5 or 7.5 but not 1.55 or 7.52.

Category Staff
Total staff employed by the regulatory body 2
Staff involved in appeals process 1
Staff involved in registration process 2
Additional comments:
 

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3. Submission

Submission
I hereby certify that:
Name of individual with authority to sign on behalf of the organization:
Fred Pinto
Title:
Executive Director & Registrar
Date:
2018/02/26

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