Enhancements approved for good character requirement
Convocation approved a number of enhancements and improvements that will make the good character assessment process clearer and more transparent for licensing applicants.
An initial review of the process was conducted by the Professional Regulation Committee, with input and guidance from the Indigenous Advisory Group.
The current good character assessment process requires licensing applicants to answer 13 questions to determine whether they are of good character — including whether they have ever been found guilty of, or convicted of, any offence under any statute, or had a penalty imposed by a court, administrative tribunal or other regulatory body.
While the review is not complete, the following enhancements were approved so that improvements can be made as soon as possible.
These enhancements include:
- A policy statement included on licensing applications, application guides and the Law Society website explaining the good character process, and confirming the Law Society’s commitment to working toward reconciliation with First Nation, Status, non-Status, Inuit and Métis Peoples;
- Training to ensure that staff involved in the good character process are equipped with the required competencies to assess the character of diverse candidates, including Indigenous candidates;
- Changes aimed at enhancing transparency and clarity to:
a) Law Society website pages that deal with the good character assessment process;
b) information provided to candidates who are subject to a good character investigation;
c) application documents, including increased guidance regarding the required supporting documentation for any affirmative answers to the good character questions;
d) initial communication from the Investigations Department (to candidates subject to investigation) in particular regarding the requirement to provide character references; and
e) information solicited regarding prior criminal convictions, or findings of guilt.
A working group of the Professional Regulation Committee and the Indigenous Advisory Group will be created to address further issues.