News Bulletin VO. 25 NO. 4

Upcoming Legislative Requirements Changes

As we’ve shared over the last year and particularly during the Annual Meeting in May, the CRNS, along with other health profession regulatory bodies, will be embracing changes to our legislative requirements in the coming months.

How did this start?

The Network of Interprofessional Regulatory Organizations (NIRO) group—the collective of Saskatchewan health professional regulators—collaborated on developing legislative amendments in 2019 and into 2020. The purpose of the amendments was to seek change that would remove legislative barriers that limit regulatory effectiveness or do not serve the public interest. In October of 2020, NIRO submitted a legislative proposal. The amendments, referenced as Bill 120, were introduced to the legislative assembly in December 2022.

Bill 120 moved to the Third Reading and Royal Assent during the spring session on April 10, 2023. An Order in Council (O/C) was required to bring Bill 120 into force. O/C 206/2023 was signed on May 10, 2023, and came into effect on May 15, 2023, as we have previously shared.

What changes can you expect to see?

Based on Bill 120 coming into force, the Registered Nurses Act, 1988, (the “Act”) was amended to incorporate the various changes. As processes are being developed and adjusted to best support the amended legislation, we’ve highlighted below some of the changes you can expect to see in the coming months and year:

  • Name change: With the implementation of the amended Act the CRNS officially completed the name change process to the College of Registered Nurses of Saskatchewan from the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association.
  • Duty and objects clause: This amendment states in legislation that the regulator's primary responsibility is to serve and protect the public, and act in the public interest and not in the interests of the registrants or members. The CRNS officially adopted this change with the name change and the move to a single mandate.
  • Bylaw-making process: As outlined in the amended Act, there is a revised process that enables health profession regulatory Councils to adopt bylaws without registrant or membership approval. This will allow for a public voice and for Councils to make bylaw amendments and submit them directly to the Minister in a more efficient process. However, it’s important to stress that the partner and stakeholder consultation remains the same, meaning CRNS registrants will still be consulted and will continue to have a voice.
  • Changes to Council formation and composition: The amended Act provides for a revised Council formation and composition. Best practice in regulatory councils includes a more equal public/professional representation using a competency-based framework. The CRNS Nominations Committee and the Governance and HR Committee are currently working on a process and plan to implement these changes to our current process in 2024.
  • Amendments to the Investigation Committee: The amended Act further expands the responsibilities of the Investigation Committee, allowing for implementing a fitness to practice process. This will allow for an additional option for complaint resolution as opposed to having a registrant go through the professional conduct process.

More information on these changes will be shared following the November Council meeting and in the upcoming months.

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