Analytic Quality Glossary
Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2004-21, Analytic Quality Glossary, Quality Research International, http://www.qualityresearchinternational.com/glossary/
This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 18 June, 2021 , © Lee Harvey 2004–2021.
A regulatory body, in the context of higher education, is an external organisation that has been empowered by legislation to oversee and control the educational process and outputs germane to it.
A regulatory body is like a professional body but it is not a membership organisation and its primary activity is to protect the public. Unlike professional bodies, it is established on the basis of legal mandate.
In some countries, regulatory bodies control aspects of education. For example, the General medical Council has regulatory power over medical education in the UK.
Professional and regulatory bodies were first introduced in Canada for the dual purposes of protecting the professional status of practitioners, as well as protecting the public’s interest and safety. Today there are 38 diverse occupational regulatory bodies in Ontario. Current accountability mechanisms are limited. In general terms, by virtue of the fact that occupational regulatory bodies are created and given their mandates by public statute, they are responsible to the Government of Ontario, which is in turn accountable to the public.
What is a regulatory body? A regulatory body is like a professional body but it is not a membership organisation and its primary activity is to protect the public. Unlike professional bodies, it is established on the basis of legal mandate.
Regulatory bodies exercise a regulatory function, that is: imposing requirements, restrictions and conditions, setting standards in relation to any activity, and securing compliance, or enforcement. They cover a wide variety of professions, for example the General Medical Council registers doctors to practice medicine in the UK....
Not all professions are regulated. Some professions are self-regulating in that the same body both represents and regulates the profession, for example the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. However, within these professional bodies there is a clear separation between the two functions. For those that are regulated there is a restriction on your right to practice based on evidence of your qualification – physiotherapists; social workers and patent attorneys are all examples of regulated professions. With unregulated professions there is no restriction on your right to practice – these include economists and archaeologists. This does not mean you are not qualified, just that you do not need to be registered with a regulatory body in order to do your job.
Additionally some professional titles are regulated even where the profession itself is not. Examples of these are Chartered Engineer and Charted Marketer. These are awarded by professional bodies.
Individuals practicing a regulated profession need to be able to show evidence of registration with the appropriate regulatory body.
The UK Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) (undated) states:
An organisation recognised by government as being responsible for the regulation or approval of a particular range of issues.
Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), undated, Glossary, available at http://www.qaa.ac.uk/about-us/glossary?Category=R#187, accessed 10 January 2017.
TotalProfessions.com, undated, Regulatory Bodies, available at http://www.totalprofessions.com/more-about-professions/regulatory-bodies, accessed 29 August 2012, still available 10 January 2017.
copyright Lee Harvey 2004–2021
copyright Lee Harvey 2004–2021