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Office of the Fairness Commissioner

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, 2006 (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. 
  1. Qualitative Information
  2. Quantitative Information

1. Qualitative Information

a) Requirements for registration, including acceptable alternatives

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

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.

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

d) Fees

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

e) Timelines

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

Licensing and Accreditation now clearly advises candidates making a request what the timeline is and when they shall receive a written decision or feedback. The processing timelines and expectations are available on the website, as well as in auto-generated emails to candidates making an inquiry or request. Types of requests include submitting a change to registration, term extensions, an additional attempt on an examination, reinstatement, accommodations and general response timelines when communicating with the Licensing and Accreditation Department.
 
Generally, the Licensing Process unit endeavors to respond to all communication within two business days (except during peak periods) and for other inquiries regarding special consideration or reinstatement, within 10 business days.

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

Response and decision timelines are clearly indicated on the website and in various written communications so that applicants can effectively plan and prepare for Licensing Process.

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

The Law Society is expecting that this will alleviate any potential frustration or uncertainty on the part of the applicant/candidate and allow the Society to manage their expectations appropriately.

f) Policies, procedures and/or processes, including by-laws

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

In regards to an applicant’s registration in the Law Society’s Experiential Training Program, new forms have been implemented to provide greater clarity on the process required for applying for abridged placements and the amount of time off that can be taken during the program. Additionally, the Law Society has made revisions to its articling recruitment procedures for licensing candidates and firms in two of its major centres in Ontario (Hamilton and London).

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

The changes to the recruitment procedures allow candidates seeking positions in markets outside Toronto and Ottawa to consider a wider range of offers across competing markets. In implementing this change, candidates are better positioned to select their preferred offer and, ultimately, be better placed in the long term to meet the requirements of the experiential training program.

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

Clarifying recruitment procedures requirements in two of the Law Society's major centres will assist in mitigating the number of queries to the Law Society from firms and candidates seeking articling placements in the London and Hamilton areas. This, in turn, will allow the Law Society to focus efforts and resources on implementing further enhancements to the experiential training program.

g) Resources for applicants

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

In early 2018, in collaboration with the Law Society’s Equity and Communications departments, the Articling Office created and implemented a tip sheet for candidates and articling principals titled “Preventing and Addressing Harassment and Discrimination”. The tip sheet for lawyer and paralegal licensing candidates and their supervisors serves to address the underlying issue of sexual harassment and racial and gender discrimination within the legal professions and bring attention to the matter for all stakeholders involved in the experiential training program for lawyers. The tip sheet also draws attention to the role of the Discrimination and Harassment Counsel Program on providing assistance to anyone who may have experienced discrimination or harassment on human rights grounds by a licensee, or a student member of the Law Society of Ontario.

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

All licensing candidates and supervisors are now provided with specific information about their rights and obligations as it pertains to ensuring that candidates are undertaking experiential training in a workplace that is free from discrimination and harassment. The information provides a detailed list of the available resources that are available to candidates and supervisors with a clear explanation (in an easily accessible chart-format) of what that resource can and cannot offer. This resource assists candidates with understanding and obtaining resources more effectively and efficiently.

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

No changes this year

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. 

Law Society staff attended a number of relevant conferences, training events and regulatory industry events, including but not limited to Ontario Regulators for Access Consortium (ORAC) Managing Cultural Differences Workshops, ORAC sessions on top legal issues for regulators and testing accommodations, Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation (CLEAR) Annual and Regional conferences, Canadian Network for Agencies for Regulation (CNAR) Annual conference, National Association of Law Placement (NALP) meetings, Schulich School of Business Certificate in Management Skills for Supervisors, and National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE). Staff also participated in internal training focussed on best practices in accommodations, mental health, the indigenous candidate experience, emerging issues relating to the transgender candidate experience and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion training.

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

Staff remain apprised of best practices in registration, licensure, accommodation and demographic changes and apply these principles to their handling of candidate applications. Additionally, as a result of new requirements to support cultural competence, and issues of equality, diversity and inclusion, new training and education has been provided to support staff competence in these areas when assisting applicants entering the Law Society’s licensing processes.

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

Staff remain apprised of best practices in registration, licensure and accommodation and apply these principles to their handling of candidate applications. New training initiatives assist staff with meeting new governance requirements for addressing the challenges faced by racialized applicants in the licensing process.

k) Mutual recognition agreements

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

In 2018, the Law Society's Licensing and Accreditation Department entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Federation of Law Societies of Canada.

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

The purpose of this MOU is to define the respective roles and responsibilities of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada and the Law Society of Ontario, in regards to how the two organizations will co-operate with respect to the administration of the National Committee on Accreditation examination sessions that are conducted in Toronto. The MOU sets out a structure for resource sharing and the provision of Law Society of Ontario support to the administration of National Committee on Accreditation examinations on a cost recovery basis.

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

Though aspirational in nature, the MOU serves as a mechanism for the Law Society to develop a mutual supportive relationship with the National Committee of Accreditation in their administration of examinations in Toronto. In turn, the National Committee on Accreditation benefits by leveraging resources of the Law Society on a cost recovery basis, including the Law Society's expertise in administering high stakes licensing examinations and administrative support.

l) Other (include as many items as applicable)

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

m) 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

Yes

Other (please specify)

 

Additional comments:

b) Gender of applicants 

Indicate the number of applicants in each category as applicable.

Gender

Number of Applicants

Male

 1166

Female

 1392

None of the above

1

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

34,611

Female

25,374

None of the above

0

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

1507

295

92

Afghanistan  1
Argentina  1
Australia  49
Barbados 2
Belarus  1
Belgium  1
Brazil  7
Cameroon  1

Cayman Islands  1

China  13
Dominican Republic  1
Ecuador  1
Egypt  1
France  2
Germany  1
Ghana  4
Guyana  2
Hong Kong  5
Hungary  1
Iceland  1
India  110
Iran  8
Iraq  1
Ireland  4
Israel  1
Italy  2
Jamaica  3
Kenya  1
Korea, Republic Of  3
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya  1
Malaysia  1
Mexico  1
Netherlands  1
New Zealand  2
Nigeria  26
Pakistan  16
Peru  1
Philippines  7
Poland  3
OTHER  8
Russia  5
Senegal  1
Singapore  1
S. Africa  10
Spain  1
Sri Lanka  3
Syrian Arab Republic  1
Taiwan, Province Of China  1
Trinidad  3
Turkey  1
Uganda  2
Ukraine  3
U.K.  335
Venezuela  1
Viet Nam 1

Total  665

0

2559 

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: 
The figure for OTHER reflects the number of applicants that obtained their initial education in Quebec (Civil Law Degree).

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
1438 261 79

Afghanistan  1
Argentina  1
Australia  71
Bangladesh  2
Barbados  3
Belarus  1
Brazil  2
Cameroon  2

Cayman Islands  1
China  11
Egypt  2
Ethiopia  1
Hong Kong  5
India  30
Iran  3
Ireland  8
Israel  1
Jamaica  4
Jordan  1
Kenya  2
Mexico  1
Netherlands  1
Nigeria  13

Pakistan  5
Palestinian Territory, Occupied  1
Philippines  3
OTHER  4
Russia  2
Singapore  2
S. Africa  3
Sri Lanka  4
Sudan  1
Syrian Arab Republic  1
Tanzania, United Republic Of  1
Turkey  1

U.K.  265
Venezuela  4
Zimbabwe  1

Total 465

0 2243

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:
The number reflected in the OTHER column is the number of applicants who obtained their initial education from Quebec (Civil Law Degree)

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

46,303

8,767

0 Other 4,600
Total  4,600
315 59,985 

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:

The Law Society's Membership database does not track country of training outside of Canada. Therefore, the number of lawyer licensees trained in the USA and in other countries are not known. The numbers in the 'Other International' figure above are reflective of a global figure.

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

1507

295

92

665

0

2559

Applicants actively pursuing licensing (applicants who had some contact with your organization in the reporting year)

1822

402

143

1044

0

3411

Inactive applicants (applicants who had no contact with your organization in the reporting year)

0

0

0

0

0

0

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

1438

261

79

465

0

2243

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

0

12

0

0

0

12

 

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:

Pursuant to By-Law 4, candidates are entitled to three licensing years to complete the licensing process requirements. Therefore, the number of candidates actively pursuing licensing at any given time will exceed the number of applicants in a reporting period.

h) Classes of certificate/license

Indicate 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)

L1

A licensee who holds a class L1 Licence is entitled to practise law in Ontario as a barrister and solicitor.

b)

L2

A licensee who holds a Class L2 Licence is entitled to practise law in Ontario as a barrister and solicitor in the employ of the Attorney General for Ontario, or if appointed under the Crown Attorneys Act, as a Crown Attorney or as an assistant Crown Attorney.

c)

L3

A licensee who holds a Class L3 Licence must be a member of the Barreau du Quebec in good standing and as a member of the Ontario Bar, would be restricted to practise Quebec civil law and Canadian Federal law as a barrister and solicitor of Ontario.

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

143

26

15

43

0

227

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                    

643

Staff involved in appeals process

163

Staff involved in registration process

39

Additional comments:

The number of staff indicated in the Appeals Process area above refers to the department that handles the Good Character Review procedures, which are a pre-requisite to licensure.

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If you have specific questions about the Licensing Process, you may contact:

Licensing and Accreditation - Professional Development and Competence Department
Law Society of Ontario 
130 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N6
Email: licensingprocess@lso.ca
Telephone: 416-947-3315 Toll Free: 1-800-668-7380, extension 3315