This month, Shenda has handed over her usual column to James Morrison, Chair of the OCP Board of Directors, to talk about the Board’s role and why you might want to consider serving on the Board or committees of the College.
Have you ever thought about running for a position on the Board? Or serving on one of the College’s committees? You might ask why you should consider it—especially given all the other demands on the pharmacy profession right now.
Here’s a few reasons why: Our scope of practice is growing, as is the recognition that pharmacy professionals are important members of the healthcare system who can make patient care even more accessible. There are greater public expectations about how healthcare professionals are held accountable for providing safe and high-quality care. Our healthcare system is growing increasingly fragile and stressed. And finally, there’s a new strategic plan, setting out updated values, regulatory principles and four new areas for the College’s focus in the coming years.
Navigating all these changes require competent, effective, and committed leadership on our Board and sound decision-making and diligence on our committees.
It is important to know that the College’s role is to serve and protect the public—it’s not about advocating on behalf of the profession, but about maintaining patient trust in the care they receive.
The Board of Directors helps to do this by approving policy and regulations and providing oversight for the College. It also does this by setting the strategic direction for the College and ensuring it is being carried out effectively. Professional Committee Appointees support the mandate of the College by helping carry out its core functions through participation in decision-making around conduct, accreditation, quality assurance, registration, and other matters. To give you an example, one of the things the College does is formalize the expectations of the profession about what a reasonable pharmacist or pharmacy technician would expect from a colleague providing care to a patient.
Participating on the College’s Board and committees is an opportunity to bring self-regulation to life and contribute to the future of pharmacy through a public interest and protection lens. For me, this experience has been very professionally satisfying, with an opportunity to use and enhance skills relating to governance, human resources, financial expertise, and strategic planning. It’s also been an opportunity to put into action my strong belief that every Ontarian should have quality pharmacy care.
The role of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in our communities are so important to community and individual health. Taking part in governance at the College is a unique opportunity for you to serve the interests, health and wellbeing of the public and help ensure that pharmacy professionals are meeting the standards of practice.
The nomination period for the Board will open on May 8 and recruitment for committee membership will begin in June. We need diverse perspectives and skillsets, and those who are willing and able to make a significant time commitment should carefully review the call for election and the competencies the Board is looking for this year.
I sincerely encourage every one of you to reflect on whether it might be right for you to take on a leadership role to support excellence in the profession and, ultimately, help ensure that patients across the province know they will get the safe, quality pharmacy care they need.