GOVERNANCE POLICY: GP-9  Code of Conduct

 POLICY TYPE: Governance Process
 DATE APPROVED: April 16, 2011
 DATE AMENDED: November 25, 2017
March 29, 2019

The Council expects of itself and of individual Councilors businesslike and lawful conduct.  This includes proper use of authority and appropriate decorum when acting as Councilors.  It expects Councilors to treat one another and staff members with respect, co-operation and a willingness to deal openly on all matters.

Councilors shall be bound by the following Code of Conduct.

1.  Councilors must represent unconflicted loyalty to the interests of the moral ownership.  This accountability supersedes any conflicting loyalty such as that to advocacy or interest groups and membership on other boards or staffs.  It also supersedes the personal interest of any Councilor acting as an individual member of the College.  Councilors are accountable to exercise the powers and discharge the duties of their office honestly and in good faith.  Councilors shall exercise the degree of care, diligence and skill that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in comparable circumstances.

2.  Councilors shall avoid participating in discussions or voting on matters related to the status of physicians who are subject to a Council decision if the Councilor may be perceived to have a reasonable apprehension of bias. If a Councilor has information that has not been provided to all members of Council that could reasonably be perceived to affect the Councilor’s decision the Councilor may be perceived to have a reasonable apprehension of bias.

3.  Councilors shall avoid providing information that is not part of the record before the Council to other Councilors if providing such information could reasonably give rise to a reasonable apprehension of bias. If a Councilor is uncertain whether providing information to other Councilors would breach this restriction, the Councilor will discuss the issue with the president prior to the matter being addressed by Council. If the president is unavailable, or if it is the president who has the concern, the Councilor will discuss the issue with the vice-president or the chair of the Council meeting.

4.  Councilors shall disclose any conflict of interest.

5.  Councilors shall not use their positions to obtain employment for themselves, family members or close associates.  Should a Councilor accept employment with the College, he or she must first resign.

5.1 A Councilor who has applied for employment with the College must refrain from discussions pertaining to the evaluation of the Registrar.

6.  Councilors will respect the confidentiality appropriate to issues of a sensitive nature.

Confidential information includes the following:

- Information that is considered at the in-camera session of Council;
- Information contained in a document that is assigned a .Confid." designation;
- Information that by Council direction is to be redacted from documents if the document is requested by a member of the public.

There may be circumstances in which maintaining the confidentiality of such information is not consistent with an appropriate balance between confidentiality and transparency found in GP-2. In such circumstances, Councilors will maintain confidentiality of the information unless the president, or in the president’s absence, the vice-president, authorizes the Councilor to disclose that information.


7.  Councilors may not attempt to exercise individual authority over the organization except as explicitly set forth in Council policies.

7.1. Councilors’ interaction with the Registrar or with staff must recognize that any individual Councilor or group of Councilors does not have authority other than that explicitly stated in Council policy.

7.2 Councilors’ interaction with the public, press or other entities must recognize the same limitation and the similar inability of any Councilor (s) to speak for the Council except to repeat explicitly stated Council decisions.

7.3 Councilors will make no judgments of the performance of the Registrar or the staff except where the performance is assessed against explicit Council policies by the process described in Policy CR-3.

7.4 Councilors shall not encourage direct communication with staff who attempt to bypass the administration but shall encourage staff to utilize reporting lines within the administration to bring their concerns to the Council.

8.  Councilors must respect the authority of the president at all times.

9. The Council and its committees speak with a united voice. Councilors who abstain or vote against a motion must adhere to and support the decision of the majority. Councilors will be proactive in identifying and reporting any breach of this policy.

10.  Councilors must be committed to upholding the decisions of the Council.

11. Councilors and members of committees will be prepared for all meetings by reading the material to be well informed and able to participate effectively.

12. Councilors shall be familiar with The Medical Profession Act, 1981, Bylaws, and policies of the College as well as the rules of procedure and proper conduct of a meeting so that any decision of the Council may be made in an efficient, knowledgeable and expeditious fashion.

13.  Councilors shall regularly take part in educational activities which will assist them in carrying out their responsibilities.

14. Councilors shall attend meetings on a regular and punctual basis.  Council will notify the Minister of Health if a public member of Council has been absent from more than three consecutive regular meetings. If a member of Council who is not a public member has been absent from more than three consecutive regular meetings, the Council may consider whether that constitutes a basis to remove the Councilor from office pursuant to College bylaws.

15. Councilors shall ensure that unethical activities not covered or specifically prohibited by the foregoing or any other legislation are not condoned.

A Councilor who is alleged to have violated the Code of Conduct shall be informed in writing and shall be allowed to present his/her views of such alleged breach at the next Council meeting.  The complaining party must be identified.  If the complaining party is a Councilor, he/she and the respondent Councilor shall absent themselves from any vote upon resolution of censure or other action that may be brought by the Councilors.  Councilors who are found to have violated the Code of Conduct may be subject to censure.  Where the Council considers the violation of the Code of Conduct compromises the integrity of the Councilor or the Council, the Councilor may be asked to resign or may be removed from office in accordance with College bylaws. 

16. This Code of Conduct applies to Councilors, members of committees appointed by Council and any other person representing or doing work for the College.