The Impact of the Reviewer
Your registration time, cost and chance of completion depends on who your reviewer is. Here is data we gathered comparing two reviewers working in the same province, on projects of similar complexity, over the same time period. The data: Reviewer A – 19 reviews, average cost $994.65, average time 24.3 weeks, 4 abandoned. Reviewer B – 57 reviews, average cost $366.17, average time 9.5 weeks, none abandoned. Here is the graph:
Which would you want reviewing your project? No you do not get to choose. As Shown, Reviewer A cost 2.7x as much per job (3.4x if revenue is divided per successful job), took 2.5x as many weeks to complete, completed 1/3 the number of jobs for us, but generated the same revenue for the jurisdiction. But the real problem is the number of jobs abandoned – where no way forward could be found to obtain registration – at 21% is without match. Differences like this one can be found in other provinces, but not as extreme.
When we first published this data, we had many calls from people who knew which province, and which reviewer we were talking about – and they were very upset and wanted to discuss what legal options they had. By 2014, Reviewer B had been promoted and reviewer A left. Today the situation is less extreme, but still important, and it applies to more than one province although this is by far the most extreme is our experience.
Here is a bit more information on a job we still had on the go when the above data was gathered. We had a routine valve registration job stuck on reviewer A’s desk for 4 years (PVE-4768). The project was complicated by using 12L14, a commonly used, but not code listed material of construction. During the long process of non-registration a few new issues were raised on a 2-3 month interval. The project was complicated by being closed multiple times by the reviewer – we had to re-apply while answering questions to keep the project moving. When reviewer A left, the file was passed to another reviewer and registered within a week, no more questions. We doubt otherwise that this project would ever have been completed. Due to the timing of this project, it is not included in the above statistics but would make them look much worse.
The quality of you submission package remains important, but not all factors affecting the review process are under your control.