Best-In-Class Project


From the time the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) was created in 2013, one of our priorities was to build an organization that would achieve excellence.

To reach this goal of “regulatory excellence,” we had to define it and search for the best way to be a leader in oil and gas regulation.

This search began in 2014 when the AER announced a project to help identify the key attributes of a “best-in-class” regulator, understand how the AER can adopt these attributes, and measure our progress. To ensure it was done right, we turned to the experts at the internationally renowned University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Program on Regulation (UPenn).

On September 21, the AER received an executive summary of the UPenn’s final, peer-reviewed report entitled Listening, Learning, and Leading: A Framework for Regulatory Excellence. This general framework will be the capstone piece of the Penn Program on Regulation’s work on the initiative.

While the final framework is not yet complete, the AER is already taking steps to determine what the executive summary’s concepts mean in our context. In other words, what they mean to Albertans and how the AER—together with Albertans—will build a model that works for our province using these core attributes of an excellent regulator.

This fall, we will engage Albertans, stakeholders, and AER employees to test our own understanding, to make sure we get it right, and to develop a made-in-Alberta model of this world-class, universally applicable framework of regulatory excellence.

This has been a goal all along: to show leadership and invest in a model not limited by borders, one that could be shared with regulators throughout the world, keeping true to the main ideas yet adapting to their specific circumstances, all while pursuing a common definition of regulatory excellence.

The Best-in-Class Regulator Project is closely linked to the AER’s Strategic Plan to be a regulator that is protective, effective, efficient, and credible.