Regulators vs. Professional Associations

What’s the difference?

Kinesiology became a regulated profession in 2013 and the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario (CKO) became the regulatory body for the profession. Prior to 2013, the Ontario Kinesiology Association (OKA) certified practitioners of kinesiology. Once the College received its authority, OKA became a professional association, with a mandate to represent the interests of its members.

Regulators and professional associations have very different roles, both of which are required for the development of a profession. These differences are not always clearly understood, and for kinesiology, where regulation is still relatively new, it can lead to misplaced expectations. See below to learn more about the differences between regulators and associations.

  CKO  Professional associations 
 Purpose 
  • To protect the public. 
  • Created by government to regulate the profession of kinesiology in the public interest. Receives its authority from the Kinesiology Act, 2007 and the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991.
  • To advocate on behalf of its members and promote the profession of kinesiology
 How's it run
  • By a Council, similar to a board of directors
  • Council is composed of kinesiologists elected by their peers and members of the public appointed by the Ontario government
  • Accountable to the Ontario government, the public and members
  • By a board of directors elected by the members
  • Accountable to members of the association and governed by articles of incorporation
 Membership 
  • Mandatory
  • Only Individuals who meet entry-to-practice requirements and who continue to meet standards are permitted to practise
  • Voluntary
 Roles
  • Sets requirements for entry to the profession
  • Maintains a list of individuals eligible to practise kinesiology
  • Develops standards of practice
  • Receives and investigates complaints about kinesiologists’ practice and administers appropriate disciplinary action when necessary
  • Requires kinesiologists to participate in continuing professional development
  • Advocates with policy makers in the interest of members
  • Markets and promotes the profession of kinesiology
  • Provides continuing professional development opportunities to members
  • Represents members’ interests by monitoring developments which may impact scope of practice, employment opportunities and enhancing relationships with related professions