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Legislation and Regulations

The role of the College, its authority and powers are set out in the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA); the Health Professions Procedural Code (which is Schedule 2 to the RHPA); and the Midwifery Act, 1991. In addition there are specific regulations made under both the RHPA and the Midwifery Act.

Legislation: Acts or Statutes

An Act or a statute is a written law passed by a legislature at the provincial or federal level. Statutes set forth general propositions of law that courts apply to specific situations. A statute may forbid a certain act, direct a certain act, make a declaration, or set forth governmental mechanisms to aid society. A bill is enacted or becomes an Act or a statute when it is passed by the Legislative Assembly after its third reading and receives Royal Assent.


Regulation is a law that is made by a body whose authority to make the law is set out in a statute (e.g. Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA)). Usually the authority is given to the Lieutenant Governor in Council. Sometimes the authority is given to a Minister of the Government or to another person or body, such as a regulatory college. Regulations are considered “delegated legislation” because the authority to make them is delegated by the Legislative Assembly in a statute. A regulation deals with topics related to the statute under which it is made; the purpose of a regulation is to provide details to give effect to the policy established by the statute. The process for amending a regulation is usually shorter than the process for amending a statute.

The RHPA, through the Code, and the Midwifery Act, 1991, gives the College the authority to develop regulations that establish various kinds of obligations for members (e.g. registration requirements, components of the quality assurance program, etc.). Any regulation that is developed by the College must be circulated to all members for their feedback. A proposed regulation must also be approved by the Ministry of Health, a provincial government cabinet committee, and finally it must be signed into law by the Lieutenant Governor of the province. All approved regulations are filed with the Registrar of Regulations and are assigned a number based on the order in which they are filed in a given year. Regulations in Ontario are cited using the abbreviation O. Reg., followed by the regulation number. For example: The Registration Regulation, made under the Midwifery Act, 1991, is cited as O. Reg. 168/11. This means it was the 168th regulation filed in 2011.

Please follow the links for more information on the key legislation and regulations governing midwifery.

Legislation and Regulations