Outcome-based regulations

By introducing requirements for technologies that are still changing, it's possible that the requirements themselves can limit the benefits of a technology or development of new technologies. There's also a possibility that other countries develop requirements in the future that are very different or reflect more advanced technology.

To manage these risks, we're thinking of taking an outcome-based approach to regulations. Outcome-based regulations focus on the results we want from a regulation, instead of a specific process or action that must be followed. Using outcome-based regulations would give companies the flexibility to choose the best way for them to meet the requirement, and help them develop and introduce new systems.

Here's an example of a prescriptive regulation compared to an outcome-based one:

Example of a prescriptive regulation Example of an outcome-based regulation

The immobilization system must:

  • have a minimum capacity of 50,000 code variants
  • not be disarmed by a code that can disarm all other immobilization systems of the same make and model, and
  • not have the ability to process more than 5,000 codes within 24 hours

The immobilization system must:

  • have an extremely low probability of the same code disarming two vehicles
  • be designed to resist brute-force code attacks

An outcome-based approach can also provide regulations that are broad enough, that we could accept systems already shown to comply with international requirements.

Also, industry could use an internal procedure or a procedure from an international standard to show that they meet the safety objective of the regulations. If a new international standard is introduced or amended, industry can update their procedures to meet this new standard without needing to maintain a different set of procedures for the Canadian requirements as long as the safety objectives stay the same.

While outcome-based regulations have some advantages, demonstrating compliance may not be sufficient to address our safety goals. In some cases, Transport Canada may add special conditions or tests to the outcome-based approach to confirm our safety goals are met.