Changes to RECA’s Discipline Publication Guidelines
| February 28, 2023
RECA’s Discipline Publications Guidelines is a document that outlines when and how RECA publishes disciplinary decisions. These guidelines are set under section 55 of the Real Estate Act, which gives the Registrar, the Board, and the Industry Councils the discretion to publish disciplinary information in the public interest. These guidelines have changed over the years, most recently in 2018, when the Council at that time determined all disciplinary decisions should remain published indefinitely, and all levels of discipline, including letters of reprimand, should be published with identifying information. Previously, decisions remained published for two years, and Letters of Reprimand contained no identifying information.
RECA has always taken the position that the publications of disciplinary decisions is primarily done to increase consumer protection and to educate licensees.
RECA has also modified its enforcement strategy recently, focusing discipline on breaches that affect consumer protection, rather than breaches without a consumer protection element. For example, moving forward RECA will rarely issue discipline for breaches of Rules around notification requirements (i.e., where licensees must notify RECA of certain events), or for advertising breaches, when there is no consumer harm resulting from those breaches. RECA will instead handle these breaches with communication, information, and education with the licensee involved.
Due to this shift in enforcement strategy, and based on stakeholder feedback concerning the Guidelines, the Registrar, the Board, and Industry Councils recently reviewed the Guidelines and allowed for the following amendments, effective immediately:
RECA will not publish personal information on letters of reprimand. These will identify the individual who received the discipline by industry and licence class only
RECA will only publish news releases for disciplinary decisions when there is a consumer protection need. Administrative suspensions that have no consumer harm related to the suspension, will not have a public news release.
If a previously published disciplinary decision is overturned on appeal, RECA will automatically publish a retraction in a manner similar to the publication of the original infraction, unless the licensee involved requests a retraction not be published.
Thank you to all stakeholders who provided their feedback on the publication of disciplinary decisions through RECA’s various stakeholder engagements in the past year.
See the full Discipline Publication Guidelines on reca.ca.