Liaise with government, other Colleges and regulatory agencies, relevant professional associations and educational institutions;
Communicate with members and the public to ensure understanding of the role and objectives of the College;
Represent the College at external meetings relevant to the regulation of traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists.
In my first full year as Registrar for the College, I have had the pleasure of meeting many individuals - members, schools, students, associations, government officials, other regulators and of course the public. This opportunity to meet with various stakeholders has provided me with an appreciation and perspective that will factor into our work in protecting the public as a regulator for this profession.
It is a privilege to be a self-regulated profession and a health regulated professional providing health care services to patients in Ontario. Patients trust and rely on their healthcare practitioner to provide them with care to prevent and alleviate their ailments. Our job as the regulatory body is to ensure that we have qualified and competent practitioners who can provide TCM care in a safe manner.
With the College’s responsibilities in mind, our year began with a strategic planning session where a two-year plan was developed with Council and staff. Four key areas were identified to guide us with our activities over the next two years.The areas include:
Confidence in governance;
Ensuring competent practitioners and accountable practice;
Stakeholder awareness and relations and;
A value based organization.
This year, Council has had extensive training on governance, risk management, confidentiality, and conflict of interest. Also, to monitor the progress of Council’s work, they will be adopting an evaluation process to ensure Council continues to improve and operate efficiently.
Assessing competencies and qualifications of members and candidates is a significant priority for the College. This past year, the College has been actively working with Grandparented members to complete the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) process and transfer to the General class before the closing of the Grandparented class on March 31, 2018.
Additionally, the College has been working with its counterparts across Canada to improve the Pan- Canadian Examination for future members of the College, to ensure that they are competent individuals who can practice in a safe, and ethical manner providing quality care to the patients of Ontario. After delivery of the fourth examination, we are reviewing opportunities to provide additional offerings, reviewing the format and administration of the examination and the entry level competencies.
Sexual abuse has been in the forefront of news headlines and much attention has been focused on health regulatory bodies processes in addressing these matters. The introduction of Bill 87 and the Protecting Patients Act, 2017 will bring significant changes to how investigations, decisions and supportive measures are integrated to protect victims. The College is actively engaged and supportive of the proposed amendments to the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA). College processes are being reviewed to improve the system and ensure more transparency and relevant information is available for the public.
After much anticipation, the doctor title was proclaimed in December 2016. The College must now make amendments to the Registration Regulation to make a doctor class available. The Doctor Title Working Group has been working hard to prepare the workplan to conduct the work required to define the entry requirements, education, competencies, and the evaluation process for permitting members to enter this class.
A fundamental part of becoming a health care practitioner is being able to practice within the standards of the profession and to keep current and upgrade their knowledge, skills and judgment to effectively treat patients. The Quality Assurance program of the College is to ensure that members are maintaining their required annual professional development. The College has also revised the professional development guidelines as a tool for members to easily understand their obligations.
Additionally, the College has provided record keeping guidelines and new templates for the membership to ensure that their patient encounters are appropriately recorded.
The College also undertook a Human Resources review, revisiting the Human Resources Policy, the organizational structure and updated job descriptions of each staff member to ensure more efficiency in administration and operations. The College is also engaged in promoting a healthy work environment that instills cohesiveness, collaboration and respect.
The College has invested in a new membership management database which as also lead to a fresh new look to our website. This change has improved the efficiencies of the College through its membership renewal. Over the next year we will integrate our Quality Assurance program self-assessments and Pan-Canadian Examination applications as well as make enhancements to our public registry.
The number of member complaints and discipline matters has increased substantially. Although it’s not ideal to receive this volume of complaints, it is important to know the public is aware of the existence of the College and that they have the opportunity to address their concerns with their practitioner in a formal manner.
As you will read in the annual report, the College has been very active and busy. We have a very dedicated Council that understands their role in protecting the public. Our President, Ms. Ferne Woolcott, has been the center piece of our Council’s commitment and understanding of our mandate. Her leadership has guided our Council to make effective decisions which provide direction to the College. As staff we thank the Council for their continuing contributions and support of our work.
Lastly, I commend the staff for their hard work. The College has made tremendous strides and it’s because of the efforts of staff who put direction into policy, process and action. I am grateful to be able to come to work daily to a dynamic team that works hard, individually and cooperatively, and genuinely cares about the work that they are doing to ensure that we are meeting our mandate of protecting the public.
College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario
55 Commerce Valley Drive West, Suite 705, Thornhill, ON L3T 7V9