Message from the Registrar

2024: A year of change and transformation

As we settle into the new year, I want to take this opportunity to thank dentists from across the province for demonstrating your commitment to safe, ethical and quality patient care.

I believe the coming year will be filled with change and transformation for the College, the profession and patients.

As we set the stage for 2024, it’s important to reflect on the progress we saw in 2023. If there was a consistent theme to symbolize the College’s work, it would best be described in one word: modernization.

Our investigations, registration and facility inspection program areas made significant progress reducing case and application backlogs. There is a direct connection from this work to the feedback I have been hearing from dentists since I joined the College in 2020. We are setting goals for our program areas and are accountable to both dentists and the public for our results. 

Our Quality team modernized the ePortfolio platform, making it easier to track continuing education activities and find new learning opportunities. We held virtual focus groups with many dentists to ensure the new platform met your needs, and feedback has been very positive. The ePortfolio is an example of our commitment to enhancing your service experience with the College.

Our Policy team updated our virtual care standard, setting requirements for the use of technology when providing and supporting the delivery of dental care to patients remotely. We consulted with both the public and dentists on this work to help us assess and improve the final standard.

And our Council modernized its governance practices, established our first Governance Committee, developed new guidelines for sound and efficient decision-making and implemented policies to manage potential conflicts of interest. Council also focused on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, attending sessions to enhance their learning on Indigenous culture and history and other important topics that expand our approach and understanding about equitable access to care.

Looking ahead to 2024

The Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) brings transformative change to the oral health care landscape.

As an advocate for patient access to oral health care, the College will continue to play an important role to support dentists and the public in understanding key elements of the CDCP. This includes information about the enrollment process so that you can continue providing care to patients who need it most.

Council and staff will continue work to responsibly divest from the Professional Liability Program and maintain stability for dentists and patients in Ontario throughout the transition process. You will hear more about this work at our Council meetings, in our publications and at our RCDSO Connect events.

We will also continue revisions to our standards of practice to educate and advise the profession on your legal and ethical responsibilities to your patients. It is critical that our standards are based on available evidence and consensus from both dentists and the public in areas such as informed consent, recordkeeping and IPAC. You will hear more about our priorities for standard development and revision in the coming weeks.

Consultation with the profession and relevant stakeholders is an important part of the process. We want to hear from organizations and individuals with diverse perspectives so that we are inclusive, and our final products reflect the diverse needs of the people we serve. Our first consultation on access to care starts on January 30th. Your participation is vital to this work.

I hope many of you will join us at our upcoming February 28th RCDSO Connect virtual event to hear more about our plans for 2024. You’ll hear from PLP staff and from our Professional Conduct and Regulatory Affairs team. We are excited to host our first in-person RCDSO Connect event in London on June 25th. We encourage your attendance and involvement at all our 2024 events.  

Stay up to date on our work by following us on social media and reading our new RCDSO Connect newsletter. The first issue will hit your inboxes in March.

I am excited about the accomplishments of the College and our strategic directions, and by the active engagement that I have experienced from our staff, committees and Council and numerous external partners. I wish you a happy new year and look forward to connecting with many of you throughout the year.

Daniel Faulkner
Registrar and CEO
Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario