This consultation is now closed. Thank you to everyone who shared their feedback.
We are inviting public comments on proposed changes to the College of Midwives of Ontario’s General By-law. Changes include increasing the standard that we hold Council members to by requiring those seeking positions on Council and Committees to meet new criteria for eligibility and undergo training; and allowing members of the public to join College Committees. We believe these changes create a stronger and more knowledgeable Council and Committees, serving the public interest.
The major changes to the General By-law are summarized below, and you can read the line-by-line changes on the document here. You can share your comments at the bottom of this page.
Eligibility Criteria for Elections and Appointments and Disqualification Criteria
Council is considering changes to the eligibility criteria for nomination to Council, appointment to Committees as well as disqualification criteria of sitting Council members.
Under the proposed changes criminal charges, findings of criminal guilt, as well as cautions ordered by the ICRC would be included as criteria for ineligibility or disqualification. The requirement to complete a Specified Continuing Education and Remediation Program, however, would only make a candidate ineligible if it was completed within the past three years, as these activities are considered remedial and not punitive. All of the new criteria can be found under article 5.08 Eligibility for Election, 6.12 Eligibility for Appointment, and 9.02 Disqualification of Council Members.
The proposed criteria aligns with Article 14 of the General Bylaw, which was approved by Council at its June meeting.
Ontario families must have trust in Council members’ and non-council members’ personal and professional conduct, as these decision makers are accountable to the public. We believe that by holding decision makers to high and achievable standards, we are ensuring public trust in Council.
In the effort to improve Council’s competency, a training program related to the duties, obligations, and expectations of Council and Committee members is being developed by the College. This could include requiring completion of the College delivered course (i.e. via Online module, for example) as an eligibility requirement for election and appointment.
If approved, Council may consider approving previously attended Council orientation training and experience on Council as equivalent to the training program for existing/former Council members who choose to run for subsequent elections or choose to apply for non-council appointments.
Appointment of non-Council public members to Committees
In the College’s 2017-2020 Strategic Plan, Public Participation & Engagement was identified as one of the strategic priorities. Council also committed to increasing public involvement in the College’s governance structure and in the design of the College’s regulatory work. We believe that the appointment of non-Council public members demonstrates the College’s commitment to public engagement and will bring the voices of the clients and the public into decisions that are relevant to them.
Gender Inclusive Language
The proposed changes also address gender inclusive language and general improvements for clarity and cohesion with the College’s governance policies.
Share your thoughts
We will accept comments until the end of day on August 21, 2018.
College of Midwives of Alberta on August 21, 2018
These changes show much forethought and are current for our society and our regulatory environment. As the CMA moves forward with the transition to the Health Professions Act, we may well reference your bylaws, as we construct ours!
Midwife on August 21, 2018
I applaud the CMO’s desire to increase transparency and accountability within the organization. I have questions about two particular changes that I think would benefit from clarification in order to contribute to the transparency that I’m assuming the CMO would like to ensure.
1) I understand the reason to disqualify potential candidates who have offences, criminal records or ICRC findings of significance. It’s not as clear to me why a charge (without proof of guilt from a criminal proceeding) would disqualify a candidate as I imagine that not all charges result in findings of guilt. In a case where a candidate was charged but then found not to be guilty, what would happen?
2) I am unclear about the criteria that would be used to nominate a non Council public member to committees? I understand and support the notion of including public members on committees and council but I am left unclear after reading the line by line document about what criteria would be used to appoint such members. Are these appointments based on a skills based mix of identified needs? Is it based on a desire for a geographic or demographic distribution? The lack of clarity makes it appear that its possible that members could be appointed based on any possible combination of members, which could be appropriate or inappropriate.
Midwife on June 21, 2018
I am not in agreement with the proposed changes that would see midwives be ineligible or disqualified if they were given a caution by the ICRC. As a midwife who has received an oral caution I recognize that this permanent stain on my record will affect my professional prospects in the future. However as the regulatory body governing midwives, I don’t think that the College can stand by their remediation program as non-punitive if they are disqualifying midwives who have received an oral caution to be on the council or on committees.
I still have a lot to contribute to the midwifery profession and I am troubled that the College is moving towards this decision. While other health organizations move towards a “just culture” with regard to medical errors and adverse outcomes, this potential decision further marginalizes and stigmatizes midwives that have received remediation.
I am currently on a leave but up until I stopped practicing, I had a good reputation in my hospital as well as among my peers at my midwifery practice. I was regarded as a midwife who was clinically solid, knowledgeable, responsible, caring and a hard worker for clients as well as colleagues. I think if I were to ever want to sit on the council or any of the committees, I could make a positive contribution and provide an important perspective. I hope that I don’t lose this possibility.