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When is it necessary to report significant harm and how are reports reviewed for veracity?

The Professional Governance Act section 58 requires registrants to report the practice of an identified registrant when there is reasonable and probable grounds to believe that the identified registrant’s practice may pose a risk of significant harm to the environment or to the health and safety of the public or group of people. This reporting duty extends to an employer or partner of an identified registrant when employment or partnerships are impacted because of the risk of harm from the identified registrant’s practice.

For clarity, the s. 58 duty to report is not meant to require registrants to raise concerns to regulatory bodies about risk of significant harm arising from government policies or authorization decisions a registrant may be operating under. There are other mechanisms for registrants and others to bring these types of concerns to the authority having jurisdiction.

Regulatory bodies must treat a report under s.58 as a complaint to the regulatory body by:

  • Following the general complaint process
  • Ensuring there is a process to triage and prioritise given the potential risk of significant harm to the environment or health and safety of the public (as appropriate, may draw upon the extraordinary measures to protect the public).
  • Considering whether another authority having jurisdiction should be notified.
  • Notifying other authorities if appropriate.

— OSPG staff

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