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Dean Review Consultation Questions

Written submission to Dean review

Submission number: DR-65

Name of organisation making submission: DR-65 Ontario College of Trades Construction Boilermaker Trade Board

Responses to questions in submission form


Section A - The Public Interest in this Review

1. What do you understand by public interest?

Public interest is the general population with regards to the impacts of health and safety. We agree with Mr. Dean's quote that the "The public is the intended beneficiary of regulation, not the members of the profession." Regulation of industry ensures that the health and safety of the public is protected, through standardization and regulation. The definition of the public can be viewed in very broad terms, but it can be agreed upon that the "public" includes health and safety, consumer protection, environmental protection and the impact on the economy; all of which could be impacted through decisions made to self regulate trades and other professions.


2. Who should the College serve? Who is “the public” in the public interest and what groups make up the public?

The public includes all residents, all workers, and all visitors in Canada, and as such should be served by the mandates of the College when regulating trades.


3. How should the College make decisions in the public interest where different segments of the public may have opposing interests?

In order for the College to make informed and practical decisions, it is imperative that all views are considered. To reach a broad spectrum of the public, in setting standards, greater importance should be given to matters that would impact the health and safety of the public. Our thoughts are that the use of Subject Matter Experts to panel discussions and provide knowledge and experience will assist in aligning conflicting interests of the public. Not only can Subject Matter Experts provide much needed knowledge, but members of the public, local governments and health care providers can all submit evidence that will help the College reach decisions.


4. Is the College currently protecting the public interest?

Currently, the College is not protecting public interest, as it has halted the Classification Review in order to realign the process. Classification reviews are imperative to protect the health and safety of the public.


5. How should the College advance the public interest?

By creating standards and enforcing those standards, the College will be advancing the public interest. The College needs to reclassify voluntary trades to compulsory certification, where the trades' scope of practice proves to impact public safety.





Section B - Issues Related to Scopes of Practice (SoPs)

6. What impact do SoPs in regulation have on your daily work activities or on the way you conduct business? What aspects of an SoP are important to the work of your trade? Please explain.

The Scope of Practice (SoP) for the trades is a guideline that defines equipment worked on by the trade. The SoP also serves to establish training standards; in addition to, defining the roles and responsibilities of workers. Currently, the SoP has a limited impact on our daily work activities. Scope of Practices, for voluntary trades, do not encompass the standards and regulations that protect the health of the public.


7. Do you agree with the suggestion that trades may have core elements as well as peripheral elements?

We do agree that there are both core and peripheral elements to the trade; however, peripheral elements are important in the development of the skills required to perform core elements correctly. Peripheral elements are a learning ground for apprentices to hone skills. However, peripheral elements are also integral to the overall success of core elements.


8. What should be the key elements of an SoP? In particular, should the SoP for a trade list all of the tasks, activities or functions in which an apprentice should be trained, only those that are unique to the trade, or only those that may pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople or other workers on the job? Please explain.

The key elements of a Scope of Practice should include the equipment that is being constructed, maintained or retrofitted. Tasks, activities, and functions should be included in training standards, not in the SoP. OCOT has trade boards that regulate training standards.


9. How should a review or change in SoP be carried out?

A change, review or amendment to the SoP should only be carried out by the trade board. OCOT currently engages equal representation from employers, employees, and Subject Matter Experts giving a broad range of knowledge and experience to the process. We agree with Mr. Dean that a common approach to concepts, formats, and structures is mandatory to ensure consistency amongst all trades.


10. Can or should the existing SoP provisions support the College’s diverse functions (e.g., apprenticeship training, enforcement, classification reviews)? Please explain.

Currently, existing SoP provisions do support enforcement through identification of equipment that each trade is allowed to work on. However, the SoP does not support apprenticeship training without the development of thorough training standards that are currently developed through the trade boards. It should be noted that information from the SoP is limited; thereby, giving the review panel minimal insight into the trades' specific activities and the impact those activities have on the health and safety of the public.


11. Should the entire SoP for a compulsory trade be enforceable or be subject to enforcement? Please explain.

Yes, the entire SoP for a compulsory trade should be subject to enforcement. While not all aspects of every job will impact the health and safety of the public, these tasks are crucial in the learning process for new apprentices. Additionally, without full compulsory classification, it could open the door for confusion over what is and is not considered to be compulsory work, on a job site. Unqualified and untrained workers could easily move from a non compulsory job to one that is deemed compulsory; thereby, putting the public at risk.


12. Could the College benefit from a distinct list of compulsory activities that may pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople or other workers on the job? Please explain.

A distinct list of compulsory activities that could pose a risk of harm to the public would not be beneficial. It would be very difficult to include all compulsory activities, as the tasks undertaken by each trade are so diverse from the equipment worked on, substances handled, and tools utilized. In addition, as technology changes, the list would require updating daily.


13. What is your understanding of what an overlap between SoPs is?

An SoP overlap is equipment that is listed between two or more trades, giving each trade the opportunity of work on said equipment.


14. Do overlaps between SoPs in regulation have an impact on your daily work or on the way you conduct business? Please explain.

No, overlaps between SoPs do not have a great impact on daily work, or business. However, when one piece of equipment is worked on by both a compulsory trade and a voluntary one, there is a need for alignment to ensure the health and safety of the public is protected through reclassification of the voluntary trade to a compulsory one.


15. Does the application of the third legal interpretation principle on overlapping SoPs pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople, or other workers on the job? Please explain. If so, what can and should be done about it?

It would appear evident that when the College has classified one trade as compulsory, and the SoP for a voluntary trade has the same equipment included in their scope, the college has the responsibility to reclassify the voluntary trade to a compulsory classification, in order to protect the health and safety of the public.





Section C - Classification or Reclassification of Trades as Compulsory or Voluntary

16. What makes a compulsory trade compulsory and what makes a voluntary trade voluntary?

A compulsory trade is defined by the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, which has proven to have met minimum standards for those working in the trade. This standard includes workers holding certificates of qualification; as well as, holding a registered training agreement with OCOT. Diversely, some voluntary trades have similar apprenticeship programs, training, and curriculum as compulsory ones, but they are not required to adhere to minimum standards, and anyone can practice the trade without certification, or being assessed by a governing body to ensure their competency.


17. Is the current classification of trades as either compulsory or voluntary aligned with the College’s duty to serve and protect the public interest?

Where the health and safety of the public is at risk, voluntary trades should be reclassified as compulsory, in order for the College to uphold its responsibility.


18. Is it reasonable to assume that there may be elements in the SoP for a trade that are inherently hazardous or that may pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople, or other workers on the job?

Without a doubt, it is reasonable to assume that there are elements in the SoP for a trade that are inherently hazardous, or that may pose a risk to the public, as defined in question 1 of this submission.


19. Could compulsory certification be limited to either the core elements of a trade or those tasks, activities, or functions that may pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople or other workers on the job? What kind of impact would these approaches have on your daily work or on the way you conduct business?

By limiting compulsory certification to only core elements of a trade, the College would be putting the public, tradespeople and other workers on the job at risk. Unqualified workers doing non core tasks could engage in hazardous activities, defined as core elements, through either confusion, lack of training and knowledge, or a desire for advancement. Additionally, this would create enforcement difficulties for OCOT, as identification of who is qualified and who is not becomes a gray area.


20. Should the College continue to rely on an adjudicative review panel approach (i.e., the Ontario Labour Relations Board model) or should a different model be considered? Please explain.

The current adjudicative review panel approach is one that engages both employee and employer representatives, and an impartial chair, which is consistent with the board of directors, the trade boards and review panels throughout the College. This representation is a fair and equal approach that allows for all opinions to be heard, and a variety of knowledge, skill and experience to be considered.


21. How should expert opinion be obtained?

Expert opinion for classification reviews should be promoted through the Ontario College of Trades. 'Expert opinion' should be proven, to the review board, through an applicant's knowledge, experience and documentation showing competency in opinions expressed.


22. Are the current criteria for trade classification reviews set out in O. Reg. 458/11 consistent with the public interest? Please explain.

Currently, the criteria for trade classification reviews are consistent with public interest. By gaining an understanding of the SoP, the panel gains an understanding of the complexities of the jobs undertaken by the trade. Additionally, information provided, through submissions, offers insight into the intricacies of the the work; such as, hazardous materials, substances encountered, tools used, ergonomics, potential impacts to environment, the health and safety of the public and workers and the economic impacts for employers. However, not all criteria should be weighted equally; for example, safety sensitive tasks have a greater impact on public safety, and should be given greater consideration.


23. Are the criteria specific, clear and measurable enough to inform you of what data and evidence are needed to meet those criteria?

The criteria are specific and clear; however, potential impacts are not part of the criteria and should be considered when reviewing classification. Potential, although often not realized, needs to be addressed in all classification reviews. All serious accidents, losses of life, and environmental incidents were unrecognized potentials at one time.


24. Are the existing criteria the right criteria?

The existing criteria are appropriate; however, the addition of another criterion that studies the overlap of SoPs between trades would increase the understanding of the review panel and assist in making more knowledgeable decisions with regards to keeping trades in alignment.





Section D - Decisions of the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB)

25. Do the scopes of practice (SoPs) in regulation reflect the way in which work is actually assigned in your trade or sector?

The Scope of Practice is a reflection of the decisions made throughout history, by the Ontario Labour Relations Board. These work assignments are a result of OLRB, not the scope of practice.


26. Do you agree with the notion that most jurisdictional disputes arise from peripheral elements of the trades? Please explain.

The Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) mediates jurisdictional disputes. The Ontario College of Trades enforcement sector enforces the Scope of Practice. It is our understanding that OCOT enforcement officers should be engaged in protecting workers and the public through enforcement of compulsory qualifications.


27. What consideration should the College give, if any, to the decisions made by the OLRB in jurisdictional or work assignment disputes under the Labour Relations Act? If the College were to adopt the OLRB's decisions, what impact would that have on your trade and the way you conduct business? Please explain.

OCOT's mandate should be to ensure that individuals performing work are qualified to do so, and not become involved with what work belongs to what trade. The OLRB regulates and determines work assignments, when disputed. The adoption of the OLRB's decisions by OCOT would not impact our trade, as we are currently a voluntary trade.





Section E - General Response and Comments

28. Please provide additional comments below, if any.

Respondent did not provide a response to this question