The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) has published guidelines on the incorporation by reference of standards in regulations. These guidelines provide policy advice and clarify important considerations for the incorporation of standards by reference in regulations. The aim of the guidelines is to align Canadian jurisdictions’ understanding of incorporation by reference as a regulatory tool and detail how this can support regulatory and policy goals.
SCC’s Guidelines for Incorporating Standards by Reference in Regulations to Support Public Policy Objectives demonstrate how regulators can make use of standards through incorporation by reference. Incorporating standards by reference in regulation allows regulators to leverage the knowledge and expertise that go into developing standards. It can also facilitate trade, improve competitiveness and contribute to protecting health, safety and security.
SCC’s guidelines outline the forms available to regulators when incorporating standards by reference. Since errors or inconsistencies in the number, date or title of the standard that is incorporated by reference in a regulatory text can lead to confusion around what is actually being referenced, these best practices will help to ensure accuracy and consistency when regulations that incorporate standards by reference are being created or updated.
These guidelines directly address issues that SCC has noticed through our initiatives focused on monitoring standards in Canadian federal, provincial and territorial regulations. Regulators and regulatory advisory bodies across Canada recognize SCC as a trusted advisor with the ability to help them achieve their regulatory objectives, and these guidelines will help ensure standards incorporated by reference in regulations will effectively support public policy goals.