Perspectives on the Public Interest - Regulation and Governance

  • 06 Apr 2100
  • Virtual - at your desktop


Professional regulatory bodies exist to “serve and protect the public interest”.  These words are often enshrined in the legislation that establishes the regulatory body.  But what exactly is "the public interest"?  Is it the same as public safety, public welfare and public health?  If not, what are the differences?  What does it mean to "serve" the public interest?  What does it mean to "protect" the public interest?

This webinar will examine the public interest by looking at the fundamental elements of regulating the profession and governing the practitioners within a regulated profession.  These range from defining controlled acts, setting standards of qualification for entry into the profession, establishing a process for licensing, and taking action against unlicensed individuals, through to setting standards of practice and ethics, establishing continuing competency requirements, defining misconduct, establishing a process for dealing with complaints and meting out discipline when required.

James Collins is the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation for the Delaware Department of State. He is responsible for the oversight and coordination of activities related to the administrative, budgetary and investigative functions for the Division’s 33 boards and commissions. Previously, James worked in the private sector as a consultant whose clients included Pepsi Bottling Group, United States Marine Corp, and the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority. James also served as Delaware’s Deputy Fleet Administrator and was in the United States Air Force for nearly nine years. An active CLEAR member, James is a CLEAR Board of Directors member and Co-chair of the Regulatory Board Administrators Committee.

Bonni Ellis is an associate at the Steinecke Maciura LeBlanc law firm where she practices exclusively in the area of professional regulation. The firm represents over three dozen regulators and associations across many professions and in various roles including prosecutor, defence counsel and independent legal counsel at hearings.  Prior to this, Bonni was Manager of Prosecutions at the College of Nurses of Ontario and was responsible for all matters referred for hearings before the Discipline and Fitness to Practice Committees. Bonni is regularly sought out to be a speaker at conferences and seminars on topics relating to discipline and incapacity.

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