Governance Renewal

In December 2018, College Council approved the decision to review the governance structure of the College. In the subsequent June 2019 and September 2019 meetings, Council considered and approved changes related to Council composition, competencies, and selection, as well as the composition of statutory committees. The required by-law changes were presented to Council in December 2019 and are currently out for public consultation.

Why Governance Renewal?
  • Strengthening public confidence
    Regulating the profession in the public interest is a privilege granted to Ontario’s health regulatory colleges by the provincial government; with that privilege comes a responsibility to ensure the College does all that it can to build and strengthen public confidence in our work.
  • Acting proactively to reflect emerging best practices
    Council felt it should be proactive in its efforts to evolve how it functions in order to continue to appropriately and effectively meet its obligations, which includes a growing commitment to ensure that the College’s and Council’s activities reflect the diversity of issues and needs of the patient population that we serve.By reflecting the emerging best practices in health regulatory governance, as seen nationally and internationally, Council believes that these changes are an important opportunity to demonstrate the profession’s and the College’s ongoing commitment to the public and our ability to adapt to a rapidly changing healthcare landscape.
  • Aligning with ongoing work at other health regulators
    This focus on governance reform also aligns with ongoing work at the College of Nurses of Ontario (Vision 2020) and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. In addition, it recognizes that the Ontario Ministry of Health has maintained an interest in ensuring that regulatory frameworks strengthen the accountability of health regulatory colleges, and has recently confirmed its support for ensuring that health professions are overseen by a modern and effective regulatory framework.
  • Taking a leadership role in evolving the sector
    While the proposed governance changes can be made through our By-Law, the College will continue to work with the Advisory Group for Regulatory Excellence (AGRE) to develop options for legislative changes to support governance reform in Ontario’s health regulatory colleges. This partnership allows the College to join other regulatory leaders to proactively work with government to support change, rather than having changes imposed on the sector.By taking a leadership role and committing to governance reform, Council firmly believes that the College’s mandate will be better served and that it will continue to be an effective governing body entrusted with an important responsibility in our society.
Key Changes to Governance

The changes to the governance structure of the College can be broadly classified into four categories.

1. Reduction in council size to allow for parity between professional and public members

  • The total number of Council members will be reduced from 28 to 20 (which is the minimum required by the Pharmacy Act). The make up of Council will be: nine elected members (two pharmacy technicians), nine public members (appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council of Ontario) and the two deans of the universities (University of Toronto and University of Waterloo).
  • This will allow for parity between public members and elected professional members, with the intent of ensuring that decisions at Council are made with a balance of perspectives.

2. Shift to a competency-based council from a regionally based one

  • Pharmacy professionals elected to Council are not there to represent their voting constituents, but rather to ensure that the public interest is served.
  • To reinforce this, there will be a shift from the current geographical districts to ensuring that the professional members elected to Council have experience serving various patient populations, such as acute, rural, community, hospital, Indigenous, northern and others.
  • Additionally, Council has established key competencies to guide the qualification of pharmacy professionals to run for election.
  • A more robust and transparent qualification process to run for election, including the screening of applications by a Screening Committee for the key competencies and experiences, will be put into place.

3. Separation of Council and statutory committees

  • The mandates of Council and committees (such as ICRC, Accreditation, and Quality Assurance etc.) are different and require different competencies. Council is focused on governing and setting policies while committees are charged with applying those policies and adjudicating matters.
  • Council has agreed to appoint all elected professional members to the Discipline Committee only, as it is the only committee where legislation requires elected members. Additionally, only two public members will be appointed to each statutory committee for which public members are mandatory under legislation.
  • In order to maintain the public voice on committees, as well as reduce the significant demand on the nine government-appointed public members, the College will recruit and appoint lay members to committees as needed. Lay committee appointees will be selected using the same competency-based recruitment and screening process as professional non-Council committee appointments and will receive the same honorarium as professional committee appointees.

4. Other changes, including term limits, terminology and introduction of an honorarium

  • Elected Council members will be limited to a maximum of two consecutive three year terms in order to ensure that fresh perspectives are brought to the table regularly, while also respecting the need for continuity and transition planning.
  • Council will be known as the Board of Directors, with individual members referred to as Directors. The President will be known as the Chair and the Vice-President as the Vice Chair. In alignment with this change, and in recognition of the College’s relationship to pharmacy professionals, members will be referred to as “registrants.”
  • Additionally, Council and committee members will begin to receive a taxable honorarium for time spent on College work in accordance with common practice followed by other health colleges and public members appointed to the Council by the Lieutenant Governor.

For the full scope of changes proposed in By-Law No. 6, please read the following resources:

Next Steps

Draft By-Law No. 6, which encompasses the proposed changes to governance reform, is currently out for consultation until February 15, 2020. Registrants are encouraged to review the changes and provide feedback through our consultation form.

The results of the consultation and any necessary adjustments to the bylaws will be provided to Council at the March 2020 meeting. Once approved, the changes would be in effect for the start of the 2020/2021 Board year (i.e. the 2020 election and the composition of the new Board and committees in September 2020).

More details will be provided in spring 2020 for registrants who may be interested in running for election. Stayed tuned to e-Connect for more information.