Council Code of Conduct

Purpose

Councillors and Committee members make decisions in the public interest, balancing this responsibility with an understanding of the profession and the settings in which it practices. They establish the College’s goals and policies within its statutory mandate. 

All Councillors and members of College committees are expected to exhibit conduct that is ethical, civil and lawful, in a manner that is consistent with the nature of the responsibilities of Council and the confidence bestowed on Council by the public and its registrants. The role of a non-Council committee member is considered comparable to that of a Councillor due to their direct participation in the committees that assist Council in fulfilling its statutory duties.  Further, Councillors and members of Council committees are expected to aspire to excellence in their roles as governors.

This Code of Conduct serves to provide Council, and its Committees with high standard of conduct to guide and support their work in the best interests of the College, its legislative mandate, and the public. Each individual, and the group as a whole, is accountable for its conduct and performance.

Performance Expectations

In performing his/her role, each Councillor and Committee member will:

  1. Promote the public interest in his/her contributions and in all discussions and decision-making.

  2. Direct all activities toward fulfilling the College’s objects as specified in the legislation.

  3. Comply with the provisions of the Regulated Health Professions Act, the Physiotherapy Act, the regulations made under these acts and the by-laws of the College.

  4. Conduct him/herself in a manner that respects the integrity of the College by striving to be fair, impartial and unbiased in his/her decision making.

  5. Refrain from engaging in any discussion with other Council or committee members that takes place outside the formal Council or committee decision making process and that is intended to influence the decisions that the Council or a committee makes on matters that come before it.  

  6. Respect the power, authority and influence associated with his/her role and not misuse this for personal gain.

  7. Recognize, understand and respect the roles and responsibilities of Council, committees and staff and maintain respectful working relationships with other Council members, committee members and staff members. This includes acknowledging the appropriate authorities of the Registrar and the President.

  8. Acquire, apply and maintain knowledge of Council and committee policies, procedures, relevant legislation, College functions and current issues facing the College and the committees he/she participates in.

  9. When personal circumstances may affect his/her ability to function objectively in his/her role, address the conflict situation by complying with the College by-laws that govern conduct in this situation by, as a minimum, declaring the conflict, abstaining from discussing or voting on the matter and removing oneself from the meeting. 

  10. Maintain the confidentiality of information coming into his/her possession in keeping with the provisions set out in the RHPA and the confidentiality policies of the College.

  11. Maintain appropriate decorum during all Council and committee meetings by adhering to the rules of order adopted by the Council.

  12. Review and consider the information provided for Council and committee meetings and identify any information to enhance effective Council and committee decision-making as needed.

  13. Respect the views and the expertise of other Council and Committee members and appreciate the opportunity for varied viewpoints to be brought forward, considered and resolved through robust discussion.

  14. Publicly uphold and support the decisions of Council and respect the President’s role as Council spokesperson.

  15. Attend meetings to the best of his/her ability and be available to mentor and assist new members.

  16. Regularly evaluate his/her individual performance, and that of the collective to assure continuous improvement.

  17. Promote general interest in the physiotherapy community for Council and non-Council positions.

Sanctions

  1. All concerns related to the conduct or performance of a Councillor or of a Council committee member should be brought to the attention of the President of the College.

  2. All concerns must be documented, specifically the questionable conduct or performance, in sufficient detail to enable it to be understood. The document should identify the element (s) of the Code that is of concern and include, where relevant, any supporting evidence.

  3. After review of the material and dependent on the issue, the President has the discretion to either meet with the Councillor or Committee member and provide individual coaching, or to raise the matter for Council’s consideration. At any time the President may seek advice from the Executive Committee and/or the Registrar. All decisions taken are to be recorded and kept in the member’s corporate file.

  4. When the President identifies that an alleged breach of this Code of Conduct may have occurred and raises it for Council’s consideration, Council shall adopt a process to deal with the alleged breach that is consistent with the rules of order of Council and that provides the person whose conduct has been called into question with an opportunity to explain his/her actions.

  5. When Council determines that a breach of the Code of Conduct did take place, the Council may, on the basis of a resolution that has been properly moved, seconded and assented to by two thirds of Councillors, impose a sanction that may include one or more of the following

    a. Requesting a change in the behaviour of the person;
    b. Requesting that the person apologize for his/her behaviour;
    c. Censuring the person for his/her behaviour;
    d. Declining to appoint a person to any committee or to a specific committee;
    e. Declining to provide confidential information to the person, in circumstances where concern over breach of confidentiality has occurred;
    f. Requesting the person’s resignation from the Council, committee or other activity in which he/she had been acting on behalf of the College;
    g. Removing an Elected Councillor or Academic Councillor from the Council, committee or other activity in which he/she had been acting on behalf of the College in accordance with the by-laws;
    h. Removing a Publicly-Appointed Councillor appointed by the Lieutenant Governor from the committee or other activity that he/she had been acting on, on behalf of the College in accordance with the by-laws; or
    i. Requesting that the Minister remove a Publicly-Appointed Councillor from the Council.

  6. If the Council removes an Elected Councillor it shall treat the circumstances as if the vacancy was a result of the resignation of the Councillor.

Procedural and Other Safeguards

  1. In determining whether to impose a sanction, and which sanction to impose, Council shall be mindful of the general principle that sanctions are to be remediative not punitive.

  2. Council shall not consider whether to impose a sanction without first providing the person with an opportunity to address Council personally or through legal counsel.

  3. A resolution of at least two thirds of the Councillors at a meeting duly called for that purpose shall be required to sanction a member.

  4. A Councillor whose conduct or performance is the subject of concern may attend but shall not take part in any Council deliberation respecting his/her conduct or performance and if the person is the subject of a vote taken under this Code of Conduct, he/she shall not vote on the matter.

  5. A Councillor whose conduct or performance is the subject of concern shall be excluded from other Council deliberations pending the decision on his or her conduct. 

  6. Any deliberation or vote taken under this Code of Conduct shall be public except in circumstances where information presented during the deliberation may be detrimental to the person whose conduct or performance is the subject of concern (e.g. information on his or her health status is presented). 

  7. The College will not be responsible for any costs of the Councillor or Committee member whose conduct is being examined.