Council Elections – Results!

The College of Psychologists of Ontario is the governing body for Psychologists and Psychological Associates in Ontario. The College’s mandate is to protect the public interest by monitoring and regulating the practice of psychology. The College is governed by a Council comprised of seven elected professional members, two to three appointed academic members, and five to eight public members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.  In addition, there is one elected, non-voting Psychological Associate member. All members of the College Council, whether elected or appointed, represent the public and not the constituency of the district or university from which they were elected or appointed.

We would like to thank those who ran for election and welcome new and returning members to Council

Election Results:

District 1 (North):

  • Joyce Isbitsky, Ph.D., C.Psych.
  • Fred Schmidt, Ph.D., C. Psych. – Elected

District 2 (Southwest):

  • Ian Nicholson, Ph.D., C.Psych. Acclaimed

District 3 (Central):

  • Wanda Towers, Ph.D., C.Psych. – Acclaimed

At the end of March of each year, the College holds Council elections for those seats for which the terms of office are ending. 

Elections to Council 2022

The election to Council for Electoral Districts 1 (North), 2 (Southwest), and 3 (Central) took place on March 31, 2022.

Electoral District 1 (North) is composed of the districts of Kenora, Rainy River, Thunder Bay, Cochrane, Algoma, Timiskaming, Manitoulin, Nipissing, and Parry Sound, and the City of Greater Sudbury.

Electoral District 2 (Southwest) is composed of the counties of Bruce, Grey, Huron, Perth, Wellington, Dufferin, ambton, Middlesex, Oxford, Brant, Essex, Kent, Elgin, Norfolk and Haldimand and the Regional Municipality of Waterloo.

Electoral District 3 (Central) to is composed of the District Municipality of Muskoka, and the counties of Haliburton, Hastings, Lennox and Addington, Frontenac, Simcoe, Northumberland, and Prince Edward, City of Peterborough, City of Kawartha Lakes and the Regional Municipalities of Halton, Hamilton-Wentworth, and Niagara, and the Regional Municipality of Durham (less the Towns of Whitby and Ajax and the Cities of Pickering and Oshawa), the Regional Municipality of York (less the City of Vaughan, and Towns of Richmond Hill and Markham), and the Regional Municipality of Peel (less the Cities of Mississauga and Brampton).

The deadline for nominations is now closed.

WHY GET INVOLVED?

Members of the College Council have a direct voice in determining policies, programs and services that ensure the delivery of safe and effective psychological services.  Involvement on Council provides members of the College with an opportunity to take an active role in the self-regulation of the profession. Members provide insight to Council discussions by drawing upon their wealth of knowledge, expertise, and individual diversity.  During their three-year term, members will enhance their understanding of the inner workings of College governance and its processes, have an impact on how the profession is regulated, and help shape the future of the profession. Becoming a Council member is not only an opportunity to take part in important decision-making but to learn new skills and become a leader in the profession.

Council participation may be counted toward one’s Continuing Professional Development requirement. (Section A – Professional Activities; specifically, A6a Serving on College Council or Committee or Psychological Association Board or Committee – 5 credits per membership on Council, Board or Committee to a maximum of 15.

WHO SHOULD APPLY?

Members of the College who wish to assist in making decisions that reflect the College’s mandate to protect public interest and who are willing to commit the time to participate on Council and its Committees.

The College recognizes the importance of a Council that reflects equity, diversity, and inclusion and appreciates the benefits inherent in these broad and varied points of view. Ontario is home to one of the most diverse populations in the world – most Ontarians can trace their roots outside of Canada.  Ontarians represent diversity of race, colour, being Indigenous, places of origin, religions, immigrant and newcomer status, ethnic origins, abilities, sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expression, socioeconomic status, and age.  Recognizing this, the College knows that the needs of the public and the profession are best served through the involvement of those who recognize, respect, and promote the value inherent in such diversity.

Through its Council and Committees, the College endeavours to reflect the diversity of the Ontario public served by Psychologists and Psychological Associates.

WHAT SHOULD MEMBERS BRING TO THE COUNCIL?

Council is best able to carry out its responsibilities effectively when its members bring some or all of the following knowledge, skills, abilities and attitudes to the Council table:

  • Commitment to the College’s mandate of public protection and serving the public interest
  • Commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion;
  • Familiarity with the College’s governing legislation and an understanding of the professional context within which the College operates;
  • Ability to listen and communicate clearly and effectively;
  • Commitment to ongoing professional development to enhance expertise and to remain current in regulatory matters;
  • Commitment to fair and transparent processes within the limitations set by legislation; and,
  • Computer literacy.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO BE NOMINATED FOR ELECTION?

To be eligible to be nominated to serve on the College Council a Psychologist or Psychological Associate must be engaged in the practice of psychology in the electoral district for which they are eligible to vote. If not engaged in the practice of psychology, the member must be a resident in the electoral district for which they are eligible to vote. To check your voting district, log into your account and view the “My Profile” section.

A Psychologist or Psychological Associate must not be in default of payment of any fees. Their Certificate of Registration must not have been revoked or suspended in the six years preceding the date of the election, or subject to a term, condition or limitation, as a result of a disciplinary action, within two years preceding the date of the election.

A member nominated for election to Council, who holds any position on the Board, Committee or staff of any professional psychological association involved in professional advocacy, must undertake to resign that position before taking office. 

A member may be a candidate for election in only one electoral district in which they are an eligible voter.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO VOTE IN AN ELECTION?

The electoral district in which a member is eligible to vote is the district on January 1, 2022, in which the member’s primary place of work, as provided to the College, is located. If the member is not engaged in the practice of psychology in Ontario, it is the district in which the member principally resides. To check your voting district, log into your account and view the “My Profile” section.

To participate in the election, a member must hold a Certificate of Registration Authorizing Autonomous, Interim Autonomous or Supervised Practice, or an Academic, Inactive or Retired Certificate of Registration on the date of the election.

All Psychologists eligible to vote in District 1 (North), District 2 (Southwest), or District 3 (Central) are eligible to be nominated, may support a nomination, and may vote. Similarly, all Psychological Associates who have chosen to vote in their geographic and are eligible to vote in District 1 (North), District 2 (Southwest), or District 3 (Central) are eligible to be nominated, may support a nomination, and may vote.

VOTING PROCEDURES

A link to the secure voting site will be sent to eligible voters no later than 15 days before the election. The site will host the final list of candidates in the electoral district and the candidates’ biographies and statements.

HOW LONG IS THE TERM OF OFFICE?

The term of office for elected members is three years.  The first Council meeting of the new term will take place on June 17, 2022. Further meetings for the 2022-2023 year have not yet been scheduled. New Council members are expected to attend an orientation training session preceding the June 2022 meeting. 

WHAT IS THE TIME COMMITMENT?

Council meetings are held at least quarterly; June, September, December, and March usually on a Friday. When Council meets in person, meetings take place at the College offices in Toronto. Virtual meetings have been held over the past two years due to the pandemic and no decision yet made regarding the return to in-person meetings. Materials are provided to Council members at least a week in advance of the meeting to allow sufficient time for review in preparing for the meeting. 

In addition to serving on the College Council, members are appointed to serve on Committees. The Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, requires the College to have seven Statutory Committees: Executive; Registration; Inquiries, Complaints and Reports; Discipline; Fitness to Practice; Quality Assurance; and Client Relations. In addition, the College has two non-statutory Committees: Finance and Audit, and Jurisprudence and Ethics Examination. The Executive Committee is elected from the members of the College Council. The remaining Committees are comprised of professional and public members of the Council and members of the College who are not members of the Council. Both titles, Psychologist and Psychological Associate, are represented on each Committee.

Committees meet on weekdays during regular business hours. All meetings are scheduled in advance through consultation with Committee members regarding their availability. In addition to attendance at meetings, Committee members are required to prepare for each meeting by reviewing a meeting package and any other related materials provided in advance of the meeting. Adequate preparation is critical to allow members to participate and contribute fully to discussions and to develop informed opinions in rendering decisions. The number of Committee meetings and panels held per year varies depending on the Committee. Below is a brief description of each Committee’s role and an estimate of the time commitment required.  The availability of a computer/laptop is necessary as meeting documents are provided electronically. Council members generally serve on at least two Committees and may be appointed to act as a Committee Chair. 

Currently, all Council and Committee meetings are being held by videoconference. When the College can safely return to in-person meetings, these will be held at the College offices in Toronto. Arrangements can be made for members who do not wish to travel to attend by videoconference.

Committee Descriptions

Registration Committee

The Registration Committee is composed of at least three professional and three public members of Council, and at least two members of the College who are not on Council.  This Committee reviews applications referred by the Registrar, to determine whether requirements for registration have been met, and to direct the Registrar respecting the issuance of Certificates of Registration and any terms, conditions, or limitations to be imposed. The Committee also reviews and advises on policies and guidelines related to College Registration.

Each member of the Registration Committee is appointed to one of two panels and may expect to attend a two-day meeting once every six to eight weeks. Generally, the full Committee meets for a half day plenary on the first day. This is followed by a half day meeting of one panel with the other panel meeting for a half day on the following day. Committee members are expected to allocate time for reviewing registration files prior to panel meetings; some of which may be very large.

Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee

The Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee is composed of at least two professional and three public members of Council, and two members of the College who are not on Council.  This Committee investigates complaints and reports regarding the conduct, capacity, or competence of members. The Committee also reviews and advises on policies and guidelines related to investigations and resolutions. Members appointed to Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee panels may expect to attend meetings four to five times a year with additional teleconferences scheduled as needed. Committee members will need to allocate time for reviewing files which may be very extensive.

Discipline Committee

The Discipline Committee is composed of at least six professional members and four public members of Council, and at least two members of the College who are not on Council.  The panels of this Committee meet, as needed, to conduct Discipline Hearings at which allegations of professional misconduct or incompetence against members, referred by the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee, are heard. If appointed to a panel, Committee members are required to serve as needed for the duration of the hearing. These typically last for one day but could, in complex cases, last much longer. Members are consulted as to their availability before being appointed to a Discipline panel.

Fitness to Practice Committee

The Fitness to Practice Committee is composed of at least two professional members and one public member of Council, and at least two members of the College who are not on Council.  This Committee hears matters related to a member’s fitness to practice that are referred by the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee. If appointed to a hearing panel, Committee members are required to serve as needed for the duration of the hearing. Members are consulted as to their availability before being appointed to the hearing panel.

Quality Assurance Committee

The Quality Assurance Committee is composed of at least two professional members and one public member of Council, and at least two members of the College who are not on Council.  This Committee meets five to six times per year, in person or by teleconference.  It is responsible for the continued development and implementation of the Quality Assurance Program including the monitoring and auditing of the Self-Assessment Guide and Professional Development Plan, Continued Professional Development and the Peer Assisted Review process. It also advises on policies and guidelines related to Quality Assurance.

Client Relations Committee

The Client Relations Committee is composed of at least two professional and two public members of Council, and at least two members of the College who are not on Council.  This Committee meets two to three times per year, in person or by teleconference.  Development work is typically done between meetings. The Client Relations Committee advises the Council on the College’s client relations program including measures for preventing sexual abuse of clients by practitioners. The Committee administers the College’s Funding for Therapy or Counselling Program for Patient/Client Victims of Sexual Abuse by a Member. It also develops educational materials for members, guidelines for the conduct of members with their clients, training for College staff and the provision of information to the public. 

ARE COUNCIL MEMBERS COMPENSATED?

Council members are volunteers although their contribution is recognized through a per-diem for meeting attendance and some meeting preparation. Members are reimbursed for expenses such as travel, meals and accommodation, should this be necessary, in accordance with the College’s Per Diem and Expense Claim policies. A copy of the policy is available upon request. 

HOW DO I RUN FOR COUNCIL?

If you meet the eligibility criteria above and would like to be nominated for election to serve on the College Council for the 2022 – 2025 term you must submit a nomination form and one page Candidate Statement/Biography. Nominations must be received by 5PM on Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

Nomination Forms for each District are available for download below or may be obtained by contacting the College. A nomination must be endorsed by at least five members of the College who are eligible to vote in the electoral district.

IMPORTANT DATES

  • December 22, 2021 – First day to submit nominations for elections
  • February 11, 2022- Eligible voters notified of Candidates nominated to date
  • March 1, 2022- Last day to submit a nomination for election. Last day for Candidates to submit one page Candidate Statement/Biography
  • March 15, 2022 – Voting site link with Candidate Statements/Biographies sent to eligible voters

Deadline for nominations: Nominations will be received until 5 P.M., Tuesday, March 1, 2022.  

Withdrawal of nomination: Candidates may withdraw their nomination by giving notice to the Registrar in writing, not less than 30 days before the election. The last day for withdrawal is Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

OTHER INFORMATION

To further your understanding of the role of a Council member and the work of the College, please review the following documents:

If you have any questions about the election process, please contact Caitlin O’Kelly at cokelly@cpo.on.ca.