Good Governance + Responsible Regulation


The YRNA is created by the Registered Nurses Profession Act. Because the YRNA is created by statute, it can only do those things allowed under the statute. This is an important distinction from any other type of business or corporation which is free to do anything it wishes - so long as it is legal. YRNA on the other hand has been created for a much more narrow purpose set out in Section 3 of the Act which reads as follows:

The objects of the Association are to serve and protect the public interest by:

(a) regulating the practice of nursing and governing members in accordance with this Act and the regulations;

(b) developing, maintaining, and enforcing standards for members in the areas of knowledge and skill, qualification and practice, and professional ethics.

YRNA interprets this language in the modern context of professional regulation to mandate the organization to focus on patient and cultural safety and public protection.

The legislation establishes the YRNA as an independent health profession regulator for Nurse Practitioners and Registered Nurses in the Yukon. In fact, it is the only fully independent health regulator in the Yukon. Other health professions are regulated either partially or entirely by the Yukon Government itself.

The world of professional regulation is changing. Regulatory bodies are under ever increasing scrutiny from Governments and the public. Although challenging at times, this is a good thing! It empowers governing boards and staff to focus resources more narrowly on the key mandate of the YRNA - Patient and Cultural Safety + Public protection. YRNA is committed to good governance and responsible regulation and is continually assessing what we do and improving how we work to incorporate these concepts into our organization.

What then, are the key concepts at play? Following are some of the leading elements of modern regulation:

  • Cultural and patient safety focus above all else

  • Smaller boards with at least equal public and professional board members

  • Board selection based on identified skills/competencies needed for a regulatory board

  • Separation of regulatory and advocacy functions**

  • Adherence to principles of good governance and "right touch" regulation

  • Consultative policy development which includes use of subject matter experts from the professions

  • Complete, correct and comprehensive register with much more transparent information available to the public - including information on terms, limits, conditions of practice

  • Fair and effective complaint resolution and discipline processes that put patient safety and public protection ahead of all other considerations

  • Quality assurance measures that focus on outcomes and maximizing practitioner engagement

** The Registered Nurses Profession Act grants the YRNA a very limited and narrow scope to undertake advocacy in support of its public protection mandate. YRNA is actively seeking ways to ensure that the important advocacy work supporting nursing practice and advancing the art and science of the profession is not lost. To that end we are working with National and Provincial advocacy organizations to support this work -- with input and guidance from Yukon nurses.

While there is an increasing volume of reference materials on the internet about governance, the key thought leaders in this area are Professor Malcolm Sparrow and his group at the Kennedy School of Governance (Harvard University), the Professional Standards Authority in the UK, and Mr. Harry Cayton - former head of the Professional Standards Authority and more recently an independent reviewer and governance/regulatory consultant.

Provided below are some key publications outlining the principles at play.

  1. Right Touch Regulation - PSA Discussion Paper 2015

  2. Right Touch Regulation in Practice - International Perspectives

  3. Standards of Good Regulation - PSA 2018

  4. Cayton Governance Report - Law Society of British Columbia