Voluntary Codes Guide - Preface

Voluntary Codes: A Guide for Their Development and Use


Voluntary codes that are well-designed and properly implemented can help to achieve public-interest goals, attract customers and minimize regulatory and taxpayer burdens to the benefit of everyone. However, a code that is poorly designed, improperly implemented, or used in inappropriate circumstances, can actually harm both its proponents and the public. The challenge is to know when voluntary codes are most likely to succeed and to establish solid development and implementation processes that are fair, effective and efficient. This Guide is intended to help individuals and organizations meet those challenges.

The first part of the Guide discusses the strengths, weaknesses and other characteristics of voluntary codes and the conditions in which they tend to be most successful. The second part presents suggestions for developing and implementing codes. Recognizing that readers may already be familiar with various aspects of voluntary codes, each section of the Guide is intended to stand on its own.

The Guide discusses several codes already in place, and highlights processes for developing and implementing codes. Readers should not interpret the mention of any particular code or process as endorsement of it by the federal government or by those who participated in the Guide's preparation.

The Office of Consumer Affairs, Industry Canada, and the Regulatory Affairs Division, Treasury Board Secretariat, thank the many individuals and organizations who provided input to this Guide, and gave their advice and support. Particular gratitude goes to the members of the Voluntary Codes Guide Working Group:

David Cohen
University of Victoria Law School
Academic Advisor to the Voluntary Codes Project

Brian Glabb
Senior Project Officer
Regulatory Affairs Division
Treasury Board Secretariat

Ellen Lesiuk
Manager (Policy)
Standards Council of Canada

Marnie McCall
Director of Policy Research
(now Executive Director)
Consumers' Association of Canada

Ken Ogilvie
Executive Director
The Pollution Probe Foundation

Marie Vallée
Policy and Regulatory Analyst
Fédération nationale des associations de consommateurs du Québec

Brian Wastle
Vice-president, Responsible Care® Program
Canadian Chemical Producers' Association

Kernaghan Webb
Working Group Chair
Senior Legal Policy Analyst
Office of Consumer Affairs
Industry Canada

Peter Woolford
Senior Vice-president, Policy
Retail Council of Canada

Suggestions for improving the Guide are welcome. Based on this feedback and the practical experience of users, the Guide will be reviewed, updated and improved. Please see the comments page for contact information.

Previous Table of Contents Next