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Bill 49, the Labour Mobility Act (the “LMA”), seeks to streamline the registration process in Alberta for applicants who are currently registered with the same regulated profession in another province or territory in Canada.
The LMA is largely a continuation of the Fair Registration Practices Act (the “FRPA”), which came into effect on March 1, 2020. The primary difference is who the Act applies to. Once the LMA comes into effect, the LMA will apply to applicants who are registered with a similar regulatory body in Canada, whereas the FRPA will apply to all other applicants (i.e. internationally trained individuals).
Many of the provisions in the LMA are similar to the FRPA, but there are differences. This article will highlight the most important items in the LMA that professional regulators should be aware of.
Section 4 sets out information that the regulatory body must provide to applicants or prospective applicants, including:
- registration practices, registration decision processes, and internal review or appeal processes;
- length of time to process registration;
- requirements for registration or alternatives to meet requirements;
- supports available to applicants;
- fees for registration; and
- any legitimate objectives that apply and procedures that the applicant must follow.
Section 5 sets outs information that the regulatory body must make publicly available, including:
- the documents to accompany a registration application to show proof of the applicant’s qualifications; and
- any alternative proof of the applicant’s qualifications that may be accepted by the regulatory body if the regular documents cannot be obtained.
Regulatory bodies will have to ensure this information is available once the LMA comes into effect, and should start thinking about this communication now.
Section 6 limits what the regulatory body can require the applicant to provide to make a registration decision, which includes only:
- proof that the applicant holds a certification in a Canadian jurisdiction, and
- anything else prescribed in the regulations.
This means that unless something is specifically itemized in the regulations, the only information that the regulator can ask for is proof of certification in Canada. Things like proof of good character, limits to practice, complaint proceedings, etc. cannot be asked of an applicant unless they are in the regulations. This is something that regulators will want to work with government on.
Timelines for Registration
Section 8 establishes a set of fairly strict timelines for the registration process:
- within 10 days after receiving an application, the regulator must provide written acknowledgement of receipt;
- within 20 business days after receiving an application and all required information, the regulator must make a decision on the registration;
- the regulator can request an extension of this period from the Minister of up to 10 additional business days;
- within 10 business days after making a decision, the regulator must provide written communication advising of the decision, the reasons, and the right to an internal review or appeal; and
- within 10 business days after making an internal review or appeal decision, the regulator must provide written communication advising of the decisions and the reasons.
For example, if an application contains all the required information, then the regulator must decide on the registration within 20 business days after receiving the application and must provide written communication within 10 business days of the decision. This could be a challenging turn-around and regulators will want to ensure they have the proper processes and communications in place beforehand.
Internal Review or Appeal
Section 9 provides a right to applicants for an internal review or appeal of a decision that refuses registration or puts restrictions, limitations or conditions on registration. The regulatory body must provide a process for the review or appeal, and the applicant must be given an opportunity to make submissions.
Section 10 requires the regulatory body to ensure that those who assess applications and those who make registration decisions, including on review or appeal, have received training regarding their role.
Section 12 sets out powers and duties of the Minister, including, but not limited to, the ability to:
- review the registration and assessment practices of a regulatory body for the purposes of determining compliance with the Act;
- conduct an audit of a regulatory body on notice with respect to its registration practices, registration decision processes, internal review or appeal processes, and its compliance with the Act;
- review a registration decision or an internal review or appeal decision after the internal review or appeal decision has been made for that applicant.
Section 13 gives the Minister the power to issue an order to the regulatory body requiring compliance with the Act.
The LMA has passed third reading in the Legislature and will come into effect on the day of Proclamation. Regulators should be starting the process to comply with the Act, and may want to be engaged with the Government about the regulations. Should you have any question about the LMA or its implications, please reach out to a member of our Professional Regulatory team.
This post is meant to provide information only and is not intended to provide legal advice. Although every effort has been made to provide current and accurate information, changes to the law may cause the information in this post to be outdated.