A non-profit professional association developed (and authorized the instructors for) continuing education for-credit courses that are offered at certain post-secondary institutions. Individuals may apply to the association to be authorized to use a particular professional designation after completing a series of the courses. The association offers Exam Y which is not recognized by any regulatory body and issues Certificate Y to individuals who pass the exam.
In finding that the supply of the exam was not exempted, CRA stated:
…[A]n organization which has not been empowered by a legislative statute to regulate a particular profession or trade will not be considered to be a regulatory body for the purposes of section 6 of Part III.
As there is no federal or provincial statute that constitutes or empowers [the Association] to regulate a particular profession or trade, and [the Association] is not empowered to bestow a particular professional or trade accreditation or designation, [the Association] is not a "regulatory body" as defined in section 1 of Part III of Schedule V.
In order for a supply of a certificate or an examination to be exempt under section 6 of Part III of Schedule V, the supply must be made by a professional or trade association, government, vocational school, university, public college or a regulatory body, and it must be in respect of a course, or in respect of an accreditation or designation that leads to or maintains or upgrades a professional or trade accreditation or designation recognized by a regulatory body. …
… Based on the information provided, we are unable to determine whether [the Association] is a professional or trade association.
However, even if [the Association] were a professional or trade association, … neither the [Designation X] certification nor the …[Certification Y] is recognized by any regulatory body. Therefore, section 6 of Part III of Schedule V would not apply to the service of supplying a certificate authorizing the use of [Designation X] or administering the [Certificate Y] examination. As such, both of these services provided by [the Association] will be subject to the GST/HST, unless exempt under some other provision of the ETA.