The Quality Assurance Committee underwent an external audit as part of the College’s ongoing effort to ensure compliance with applicable Statutes and Regulations and Committee mandate.
The auditor’s report was positive and contained some helpful suggestions and recommendations, some of which have led to changes in the PAR process. The following changes will not substantially change the process for those conducting the reviews but impact mostly on the procedures of the staff and Committee.
- “Assessors” must each be appointed by the Quality Assurance Committee
To date, with the knowledge of the Committee, staff have assigned reviewers to individual cases. Going forward, the Committee will approve a list of Assessors and staff will assign these appointed assessors to individual cases based upon match between nature and location of practice and availability. It is expected that the list of Assessors will include those who have conducted the reviews or been reviewed in the past, as well as those who have participated in reviewer training offered by the College.
- Distinguishing between “Assessors” and “Reviewers”
Until now, the College referred to both individuals conducting a PAR as “Reviewers”. In accordance with the relevant statutory language, those individuals appointed by the Committee will now be referred to as “Assessors”. The individuals who are nominated by the members being reviewed but who have not been appointed by the Committee will be referred to as “Reviewers”. The College will appoint “Reviewers” who may or may not be on the Committee’s list of appointed Assessors but will be recognized as agents of the College.
- Undertaking, Agreement and Attestation of Assessors and Reviewers
The College will be asking Assessors and Reviewers to make an Undertaking, Agreement and Attestation related to:
• participation in the College’s Peer Assisted Review Assessor and Reviewer training program;
• maintaining confidentiality;
• familiarity with Legislation, Regulations and Standards of Professional Conduct relevant to the practice under review;
• length of time in active, autonomous practice; and
• freedom from conflict of interest, bias and the absence of any power imbalance with respect to the reviewee
- Specific Responsibilities of Assessors
It is expected that Assessors and Reviewers will continue to function as active partners in the process with the same public interest mandate. It was previously assumed that either of the reviewers would provide the PAR report directly to the individual who has been reviewed and to notify them that they may make submissions to the Quality Assurance Committee within 14 days. In accordance with the Regulation in force, this must be done by the Committee appointed “Assessor”.
Forms currently in use by the College have been modified to reflect these changes.
It is not expected that these changes will change the review process itself and it is expected that those who have conducted reviews in the past will be able to continue to do the same excellent work the College has relied upon since 1999.
For further information about these changes please contact Quality Assurance at firstname.lastname@example.org.