Regulation Matters 2018 - Issue 2

Good Process Drives Good Decisions

If you’ve been paying attention to the news in the last few months, you’ll know that process can be a pretty important aspect of decision-making. The College has been delegated its authority to regulate the profession of dietetics by the provincial government.

As part of that delegation, certain decision-making processes are set-out in legislation and some are gleaned from best-practices. At the College, we take process very seriously. Proper process is foundational to ensuring that the decisions we make are fair and defensible. We are constantly reviewing and improving our processes and working on how we can increase awareness and understanding of those processes for members and members of the public.

A few years ago, I wrote about discretionary decision-making and what it means to the work we do. Having discretionary decision-making power is very much about process. Having flexibility in what decisions we can make only works if we have robust, best-practice processes in place. As I wrote in that article, “Regulatory discretion is acting with reasoned judgement, relevance, good faith, proper purpose and independence. It is NOT arbitrariness.” Notice that these are all elements of process, not results.

The College does not have a vested interest in any particular result – we don’t have quotas or targets for registration or complaints. We care about getting the right result in the circumstances, whatever that result is. When we follow good processes when making discretionary decisions, we can feel confident that the results are good ones. Good process drives good decisions.