The College of Optometrists is guided by the decisions and policies made through our Council and Committees. The College Council serves as a board of directors and is responsible for setting policies in the public interest. Committees are responsible for ensuring those policies are implemented and enforced.
What am I expected to do if I am elected to Council?
Elected Council members are expected to attend all Council meetings, which are generally held four times per year (March, June, September and December) at the College office in Toronto or virtually, when in person is not possible. Additional teleconferences may be called in between Council meetings as needed.
Council members will also be appointed to one or more committees, which hold meetings and teleconferences throughout the year. Depending on the committee, members can expect 7-14 days per year.
In addition, Council and committee members are expected to:
Understand and fulfill their role:
- demonstrate accountability through decision-making in the public interest;
- understand the division of roles and responsibilities of the Council or committee and staff;
- identify and address conflict of interest situations;
- recognize and respect confidential information obtained in the course of College activities as required by Section 36 of the RHPA;
- maintain constructive, collaborative and mutually respectful relations with Councillors, committee members and staff; and
- maintain good relationships with members, healthcare organizations, educational groups and other stakeholders.
Possess the necessary knowledge:
- acquire and apply knowledge of Council and committee policies and procedures including relevant legislation, College values and strategic direction;
- maintain knowledge of College functions and issues facing Council or the committees on which they participate;
- review all material in advance of Council and committee meetings;
- identify information needed to enhance Council and committee discussions and decision-making;
- communicate concerns to Council or the committees on which they participate;
- communicate Council or committee decisions and rationale to individuals and groups as requested by the College.
Effectively participate in decision-making:
- arrange their personal schedule to allow attendance at meetings;
- contribute constructively to Council and committee discussions and decision-making;
- maintain positive working relationships with Councillors, committee members, and College staff;
- identify and attempt to resolve concerns with the committee chairpersons;
- if the committee chairperson is unable to resolve the concern, address the concern to the College President;
- contribute to decision-making by identifying to the Chair relevant expertise or contacts;
- respect the specialized knowledge and expertise of other Council members, committee members and staff; and
- identify issues to be added to the Council or committee’s agenda in a timely and appropriate manner.
What criteria must I meet to run for an election?
Optometrists must submit the self-nomination form no later than 30 days before the election.
Optometrists must reside and/or practice optometry in the district in which they are seeking election.
Members must be in good standing with the College to run in the election.
Full eligibility criteria are outlined in section 6.04 and 6.05 of the College by-laws.
When do elections take place?
Elections are generally called in the fall, no later than the end of November each year.
A call for self-nominations is made at least 60 days before the election date.
Elections take place in different districts in different years, and only members who are eligible to run in a particular election will be invited to submit nominations.
What information can I provide optometrists in my district following my self-nomination?
Nominees cannot send out information directly to other optometrists.
Nominees are asked to provide the College with a short biography that outlines their academic, practice and volunteer experience (250-word maximum).
The College will also ask each nominee to provide a statement (100 words or less) that sets out how they propose to ensure public protection if elected. These statements:
- should reflect an understanding of the College’s public-interest mandate and should not be an effort at advocacy or self-promotion;
- should not suggest that Council members represent optometrists in their district, as they actually represent the members of the public of their district; and
- will be reviewed. Nominees will be asked to revise any statement that is inappropriate.
Biographies and statements will be publicly available on the College website in advance of voting.
Can I be involved with a College committee instead of running for an elected position on Council?
If you are interested in participating on a statutory committee, you can apply as a non-Council Committee member rather than running for a seat on Council.
Learn more about volunteering for a committee.