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Code of Professionalism

  • Issued: March 2010
  • Content last reviewed: March 2009

Ministry of Labour Operations Division staff, including inspectors, are committed to a high level of public service. They follow the ministry’s Code of Professionalism, a code that has been adopted internationally by the International Association of Labour Inspections. (Other Ontario enforcement ministries also use variations of this Code.)

The Code protects businesses and the public in their dealings with the government and its agencies. The Code protects the right:

  • to be treated fairly and with respect
  • to be informed of audits, inspections, or investigations, and
  • to be presumed to be law-abiding until proven otherwise.

Service Standards

On initial contact with a client, an inspector, investigator or auditor will:

  • introduce themselves and the ministry they represent
  • identify the statutory authority for the inspection, investigation or audit
  • provide general information regarding the inspection, audit or enforcement process
  • provide contact information should further information or feedback be required.

Performance Measures

Honesty and integrity

Staff are committed to behaviour that inspires confidence and respect for a position of public trust.

They will engage only in activities that are compatible with their responsibilities and duties and in an objective, honest and impartial manner. They will conform to Conflict of Interest Rules for Public Servants and Former Public Servants (Ontario Regulation 381/07, Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006).


Staff must treat in confidence whatever they see, hear or learn that is confidential — unless their duties or legal obligations require otherwise.

They must adhere to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA) to ensure that they respect the confidentiality and sensitivity of stakeholder information. Staff will collect and protect all internal and external information in compliance with respective legislation, regulations, policies and procedures.


Staff must treat businesses and the public with respect by being courteous at all times and in all situations.


Staff must adhere to legislative requirements, policies and procedures to ensure that established timelines are met.

Knowledge and competencies

Staff and managers must ensure that Operations Division employees are knowledgeable and competent in their positions through a commitment to continuous learning.


Inspectors must treat all clients and situations objectively and in an impartial manner. Their decisions are to be based on relevant legislation, regulations, standards, government policies and procedures, and amassed evidence.

Compliance and risk

Enforcement staff focus on high-risk activities and workplaces with a history of non-compliance. Their enforcement and promotion of compliance are flexible - and reasonable for the level of risk and for the extent and circumstances of contraventions.


Managers investigate any alleged contraventions of the Code.


Public servants uphold public trust and provide the highest level of quality service consistent with their Oath of Allegiance and Oath of Secrecy, as stated in the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006.

The success of the Ontario Public Service is measured not only by the key activities it delivers but also by how each employee conducts himself/herself in delivering those services. The degree of professionalism displayed by every employee is a critical factor in the success of the whole organization.

The Ministry of Labour’s commitment to “living” this Code of Professionalism in our daily activities reflects our dedication to public service.