CRL Wrap-Up: Collaborating for Progress
| June 05, 2013
The leadership of real estate regulators from across Canada met in Calgary last week at the Canadian Regulators (Real Estate) Leadership (CRL) conference. Commission, Council and Board members joined senior staff from the regulatory bodies at the CRL conference, where a number of speakers led sessions designed to engage, inform and provoke discussion amongst the attendees.
The day kicked off with a presentation from Kit Krieger on the demise of the B.C. College of Teachers. Mr. Krieger was the Registrar for the B.C. College of Teachers when it ceased operations. Mr. Krieger’s presentation provided some advice for professional regulatory bodies based on the B.C. College of Teachers experience:
- Cultivate a professional identity that includes an understanding of the benefits of self-regulation and attention to the public interest
- Grow awareness that if the profession does not value the privilege of self-regulation, it is unlikely others will defend it.
Senior education staff from the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) and the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) provided an update on education initiatives of real estate regulatory bodies from across the country. The RECO update focused largely on RECO’s new continuing education program. The new RECO program is similar to the program RECA introduced in 2007. RECO administers the online-only program, which focuses on consumer protection, regulatory compliance and current industry issues. Registrants are required to complete one mandatory update course and two elective modules every two-year registration cycle.
The Alberta education update actually served as an update from regulators across the country, particularly relating to initiatives to harmonize education standards. In summary:
- regulators are increasingly involved in the development of education initiatives
- there is considerable support for competency-based workplace learning
- there is ongoing discussion regarding common education standards and course curriculum
- there is an increase in more flexible ways to provide learners access to pre-licensing and/or re-licensing education
James Casey, an Edmonton lawyer whose primary areas of practice are professional regulation, labour relations and administrative law, was the pre- and post-lunch speaker, covering a number of topics – including tips for regulatory tribunal panel members, recent regulatory court decisions, and recent developments and challenges for professional regulators. Mr. Casey’s presentations provided insight for professional regulators and tribunal panel members in terms of the challenges facing them and he made the point that identifying and managing key trends is essential to effective self-governance during a time of rapid change.
After a presentation from staff at RECO, RECA and the Organisme d’autoreglementation du courtage immobilier du Quebec (Quebec’s regulatory body) on public awareness strategies, the day concluded with a presentation from John Mayr. Mr. Mayr is the Executive Director of the British Columbia College of Social Workers. Mr. Mayr’s presentation, “Public Perception of Professional Regulation,” delved into the role of professional regulatory bodies, focusing on the perspective that the regulatory function should remain their primary focus – not advocacy.
CRL was a significant learning and networking experience for RECA staff and Council members, and for those from jurisdictions across Canada. By collaborating and sharing ideas at such events, each regulatory body is able to find the practices that will best serve its stakeholders.