In January we shared our proposed Bylaw changes and asked for your comments. Thank you to everyone who took the time to review and respond. Your input is important to us!
Our proposed changes relate to two topics. First, removing the requirement for our College to hold Annual General and Special Meetings. Second, changing our Practice Permit renewal deadline from October 31st to November 30th.
Annual General and Special Meetings
Of the 21 comments we received, 10 supported the proposed changes and 6 didn’t. These are the concerns we heard and Council considered:
- meetings give registrants the opportunity to learn about possible changes and offer their opinions and concerns to Council, registrants want this to continue
- registrants want the ability to vote/have a say in what happens
Learn About Changes and Offer Opinion
We have been holding Annual General Meetings (AGM) to comply with the requirement in our Bylaws. However, as we continue to evolve with current approaches and trends in regulation, we have adjusted the format of our AGM in recent years. It has become an information session where participants learn about what we have accomplished. Essentially, we are presenting the information in our Annual Report.
Our Annual Reports are filed with the Alberta Government and we make them available to everyone on our website. We encourage you to review them, ask us questions and share your thoughts with us. Just like we did with these proposed Bylaw changes, when we are proposing changes, we ask for our registrants’ input. We notify every registrant by email and post the information on our website for anyone to review and comment on. We want to hear from you!
In addition to asking for input about changes, we’re planning on offering more information sessions to keep registrants up to date. We already have regular workshops about our Continuing Competence Program to help registrants get the information they need. We’re working on adding more workshop topics and will announce them to registrants by email and our website.
Voting/Having a Say
Another area of change is voting at our AGM. For the last few years, registrants have only been able to vote on accepting reports. This change is consistent with our role as a regulatory college and Council’s role as sole decision-maker for our College.
The decisions made on behalf of our College must be in the public interest. Council is committed to putting public interest at the forefront of their decisions (not personal interest or that of the profession/registrants). Allowing registrants to vote would take over Council’s decision-making responsibility. It could also lead to decisions being made that aren’t in the public interest. Both are not consistent with what the Government expects of our College.
Though registrants can’t vote, they still have a say. As we note above, we ask for and want their input. Considering their feedback helps us understand how patient care and dental assistants’ practice is impacted by changes we propose.
We already share information with our registrants through other methods than hosting an AGM. We also ask for and consider their input. When we add more information sessions, we will be increasing opportunities to share and communicate. However, allowing registrants to vote just doesn’t fit with Council’s decision-making role.
Council decided to remove the requirement for our College to hold Annual General and Special Meetings.
Practice Permit Renewal Deadline
Everyone who commented on this change supported it.
Our current Practice Permit renewal deadline is October 31st and the Permits expire on November 30th. In the days of paper and mail, this approach enabled us to process the backlog of renewal forms we experienced near the deadline and still get new Permits to dental assistants before their old ones expired. When asked, they could show their new Permits to patients and employers to verify they were authorized to practice.
Now that our online systems allow for easy renewal and self-printing of Permits, the paper backlog issue and relying on mail are eliminated. Our dental assistant Registry gives patients and employers real-time information about a dental assistant’s Permit status.
We no longer need the deadline to be earlier than the date Permits expire.
Council decided to change the Practice Permit renewal deadline to November 30th.
Changes Approved as Proposed
Council approved the Bylaw changes at their recent meeting. You can view our current Bylaws here.