Abstract

Regulators face unique pressures to balance competing priorities related to patient safety, public accountability, and practitioners' expectations. Historically, the collegial model of self-regulation has been used as a tool for risk management, to recognize the importance of profession- and context-specific judgment in complex, ambiguous clinical situations. Increasingly, as public accountability concerns have grown dominant within regulatory bodies, this collegial model has shifted toward a more antagonistic relationship between the regulators and the regulated. Wilkie and Tzountzouris (2017) highlight one profession's journey toward embedding professionalism within regulatory practices and policies through application of a right-touch regulatory philosophy. Given the complexity of regulatory work, this shift required significant strategic and deliberative thinking. The challenges of facilitating this sort of cultural shift in the role of a regulator are significant, but so too are the potential gains associated with a more engaged relationship between regulators and their practitioners.