Why does the College hold so many consultations? Insight into the policy review cycle

For some, the idea of a policy brings to mind an image of a paper document, stamped and signed, gathering dust on a shelf in a big red binder.

The notion of a policy being inflexible and unchanging is far from the reality of the College’s dynamic review process, designed to facilitate the implementation of adaptable practice requirements.

Practice standards and guidelines are reviewed on a regular basis to ensure they fulfill the College’s statutory mandate to govern the medical profession in the interest of the public, address critical and emerging issues, and reflect stakeholder values. As part of the regular review cycle, or when a major change to a standard or guideline is deemed necessary, a consultation is held with physicians to gather insight into how the standard or guideline is utilized in practice. This provides physicians with a platform to articulate their views and offer insight into the pragmatic consequences of any proposed new draft and/or subsequent revisions.

The College acknowledges that physicians have busy schedules, and may find it unattainable to participate in all of the consultations. Registrants are reminded that they may pick and choose which consultations they respond to, based on the relevancy to their specific practice setting, and that responding to a consultation is never mandatory. While some may find satisfaction in providing the College with their experiences and feedback, it is recognized that this type of engagement may not suit everyone. 

Input received from those who do choose to participate is thoroughly reviewed. Even when there are hundreds of respondents, each and every comment submitted is considered, and themes are identified. Insightful responses and key themes are presented to the registrar and the College’s Patient Relations, Professionals Standards and Ethics (PRPSE) Committee, which is tasked with utilizing the consultation results to consolidate new revisions. 

The College extends a sincere thank you to all those who participate in consultations on practice standards and guidelines.