Royal College of
Dental Surgeons of Ontario
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Council Highlights - January 20/21, 2021

The 425th Council meeting of the RCDSO took place online via Zoom on January 20th and 21st, 2021. The meeting was also livestreamed on the College’s YouTube channel; a video recording of each day’s Council session is available on our channel.

The main business of the January 20th session was the election of a new Executive Committee for a two year term. Sandy Venditti was elected as the 61st President of the RCDSO - the first woman to hold the post since the College was created in 1868.

Sandy has more than 25 years’ experience in general dentistry, business and community service plus fourteen years governance and board experience.

She has served six years with the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario as both a Non-Council and Council member. Her dental career includes serving as a clinical instructor, a dental examiner and working in private practice both as an associate and locum treating a diverse patient base.

The new Executive Committee includes:

Sandy Venditti                                 

Benjamin Lin       

Committee Members
Vivian Hu
Harinder Sandhu
Marc Trudell

The following day, Dr. Venditti addressed Council for the first time as President. She noted that Council has numerous challenges to address, not least the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the fall of 2020 the College asked for and received competency-based applications for committee positions.  The new Executive Committee presented a proposed slate of Committee appointments which was approved by Council.  You can see the membership of each committee by clicking here.

Council then heard updates on several important issues.

Strategic Plan

2020 marked the launch of the RCDSO’s Strategic Plan. Twenty-two projects were identified as priorities for the year. Council heard that good progress was made on many strategic projects in 2020 but the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact. The workload associated with managing issues specific to COVID-19 and the need to move to an entirely remote workforce were the most significant impacts.

This year, there is a focus on risk-based regulation, continuous quality improvement, data analytics, technology and equity, diversity and inclusion.

Work on the 2021 strategic projects officially launched January 14 2021 with a kick off meeting with the College’s Senior Leadership and Leadership Teams. Council will continue to receive regular updates on activities related to the strategic plan at each meeting.

Governance working group

At its November 2020 meeting RCDSO Council unanimously passed a motion to create a Governance Working Group to continue and enhance its strategic work on governance.

It was felt the visionary work should encompass the creation of principles, structure, diversity and evaluation mechanism, including:

  • transparent Guiding Principles to help shape strategic direction of future governance modernization at the RCDSO
  • additional factors to promote a competent and diverse council (dentists and public members)
  • best practices for an infrastructure for the RCDSO to manage governance issues going forward, including:
    • Proposed terms of reference/scope of a standing committee on
    • governance, removing overlap with other committees
    • Proposed composition of, and support for, a standing committee
    • Competencies to serve on Governance Committee

Council approved the terms of the reference for the working group and a slate of candidates to serve on the group. The Working Group will make an initial report to Council at the May 2021 Council meeting. It will consult with the Executive Committee and keep it informed of its progress.

COVID-19 Update

The RCDSO recently revised ‘COVID-19: Managing Infection Risks during In-Person Dental Care’ to ensure the guidance provided to dentists is current. The former Executive Committee met twice on January 13th to urgently review and approve the updated document. The RCDSO notified the profession of the changes in an email blast on the evening of January 14th.

Highlights of the revised guidance include:

  • There are no changes to the type of care that dentists can provide. They can continue to offer emergent, urgent, and non-essential care. Definitions of each term are in the College’s COVID FAQs.
  • The guidance notes that dentists may consider deferring non-essential care, in order to support the stay-at-home order and reduce mobility. This is a suggestion and not a requirement.
  • In accordance with the Ministry and CMOH’s regional approach to COVID-19, the entire province of Ontario is currently in the ‘grey’ zone. As a result the guidance requires dentists to use enhanced precautions for all patients requiring in-person care, regardless of whether the patient screens negative or positive for COVID-19.

The government’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout launched in December 2020. A status update document, dated January 5 2021 is also available online. Vaccination will occur in phases in Ontario, with populations identified.

College Performance Measurement Framework

Work is underway to prepare the RCDSO’s report on the College Performance Measurement Framework (CPMF), required by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

The CPMF was developed by the Ministry of Health in consultation with Ontario health regulatory Colleges. The goal is to establish common indicators and measures of performance based on industry best practices, and the key regulatory functions of Ontario health regulatory Colleges. Using the CPMF, Colleges will provide standardized reports to the Ministry on an annual basis.

The contents of the CPMF are organized around seven components: governance, resources, system partner, information management, regulatory policies, suitability to practice and measurement, reporting and improvement Those components are applied against a number of measures to evaluate the College on its  key statutory functions and duties.

All Regulated Health Colleges in Ontario must submit their report on the CPMF to the Ministry by March 31 2021. The Registrar and Assistant Registrar are overseeing this initiative for the RCDSO with support from subject matter experts across the College. The report will be on our website in April.

The next meeting of the RCDSO Council will be held Thursday, May 20, 2021.