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Program Review of the Ontario Personal Support Worker Registry

13 Dec 2016 | Professional Standards Authority
  • International Reports

Independent program review of the Personal Support Worker Registry of Ontario, commissioned by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in 2015, completed January 2016.


The Professional Standards Authority has been commissioned by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to undertake a program review of the Ontario Personal Support Worker Registry. The scope of the review and the methods of assessment are discussed in chapter 3 of this report. The review started in September 2015 and concluded in December 2015.

In this final report we provide an evaluation of the potential merits and challenges associated with alternatives to the current model, including alternative hosting arrangements for the PSW Registry, taking into account the legislative framework and policy mechanisms in Ontario. We make a recommendation on the model we believe to be the most appropriate for the PSW workforce in Ontario.


The Authority is authorised under the Health and Social Care Act (2012) to set and to publish accreditation criteria for voluntary registers of health and care occupations not regulated by statute in the UK and accredit those that meet the criteria. The criteria are set out in our Standards for Accredited Registers. Organisations applying for accreditation must meet all eleven of our standards which include being committed to public protection, risk management, education and training, governance, setting standards for registrants, providing information, managing complaints and managing the register effectively.

In our original proposal for this review we said that we would assess the Registry against some relevant standards which we set for Accredited Voluntary Registers in the UK. We list the standards we adapted for this specific review in line with the deliverables of the project in Annex 3. However, we found that the Registry carries out very few functions compared to Accredited Registers in the UK so fully assessing it against our standards would add little value. That said the gap analysis allowed us to identify the standards which we would recommend to improve and strengthen the Registry. We will also suggest how some of these standards could be achieved based on our knowledge and experience of voluntary registers.

We thank the Ontario Community Support Association’s Board and the Personal Support Worker Registry’s staff for their positive engagement and co-operation with this review, for their readiness to provide us with the majority of the background information, paperwork and case files we needed and for the many hours they spent between them answering our questions and explaining their processes. We have also benefited from the perspectives of other stakeholders who submitted a response to our call for information and who we met face to face and by telephone.