What is Involved in Being a Council Member
- Responsibility for protecting the public interest, rather than representing any particular constituency.
- Attendance at Council meetings and meetings of one or more statutory or non-statutory committees.
- Participation in setting policies which regulate the professions of social work and social service work.
- Responsibility for governing and managing the affairs of the College.
- Responsibility to serve a three (3) year term.
Council members can anticipate a time commitment of approximately 25 days per year. This includes Council Meetings, Committee meetings and preparation time. The time involved varies depending on the committee. In addition, some committees require considerable preparation time at home prior to meetings. Council members receive a per diem honorarium and reimbursement of all reasonable related travel, accommodation and meal expenses.
The College has several statutory and non-statutory committees on which Council members and some non-Council members serve. Statutory committees are those the College must have according to the Social Work and Social Service Work Act (the “Act”). Non-statutory committees are those the College Council may establish on an as-needed basis.
The composition of the statutory committees are prescribed by the Act, however, the composition of the non-statutory committees may be determined by Council.
The Executive Committee can make decisions independent of Council.
- To undertake its statutory responsibilities related to incapacity, incompetence and misconduct;
- To provide leadership to Council and facilitate its efficient and effective functioning;
- To act on behalf of Council in certain circumstances; and
- To investigate circumstances when it is believed that an individual has not complied with the College’s Code of Conduct.
As part of its duty to serve and protect the public interest, the College is required to have a formal complaints process, which gives anyone the ability to have their complaint about a College registrant’s conduct or actions submitted to the College’s Complaints Committee. This complaints process is designed to identify and address concerns about professional misconduct, incompetence and or incapacity of College registrants. The process is also designed to ensure fairness to both the individual making the complaint and the member who is the subject of the complaint.
As part of its duty to serve and protect the public interest, the College is required to have a Registration Appeals Committee. The Committee reviews matters related to the registration of applicants in the College. If the Registrar proposes to refuse a certificate of registration to an applicant or proposes to place a term, condition or to issue a limitation on a member’s certificate of registration, to which the person does not consent, the applicant is given notice of the Registrar’s proposal, with written reasons for it. The applicant is notified that he or she has 60 days to request a review of the Registrar’s proposal. If the applicant requests a review, the Registration Appeals Committee shall conduct the review. The Registration Appeals Committee is not required to hold a hearing before making a decision or giving direction to the Registrar. The decision-making powers of the Registration Appeals Committee are further outlined in the Social Work and Social Service Work Act, 1998.
As part of its duty to serve and protect the public interest, the College is required to have a Discipline Committee. The duties of the Discipline Committee are to:
- hear and determine allegations of professional misconduct or incompetence on the part of a College member, directed or referred to it by the Complaints Committee, the Council, or the Executive Committee; and;
- perform any other duties assigned to it by Council.
Hearings of the Discipline Committee are usually open to the public and are often the public’s first direct window into the operations of the College. The powers of the Discipline Committee are outlined in the Social Work and Social Service Work Act.
Fitness to Practise Committee
As part of its duty to serve and protect the public interest, the College is required to have Fitness to Practise Committee. The duties of the Fitness to Practise committee are to:
- hear and determine allegations of incapacity on the part of a registrant of the College, as directed or referred to it by the Complaints Committee, the Council, or the Executive Committee; and;
- perform any other duties assigned to it by the Council.
Hearings of the Fitness to Practise Committee are usually not open to the public. The powers of the Fitness to Practise Committee are outlined in the Social Work and Social Service Work Act.
Standards of Practice Committee
- To consider and review the Standards of Practice of the College and guidelines which relate to the Standards of Practice of the College;
- To recommend to Council a process for consulting the registrants of the College in connection with the Standards of Practice of the College and guidelines which relate to the Standards of Practice of the College;
- To implement, or cause to be implemented, in accordance with Council’s direction, a consultation process in connection with the Standards of Practice of the College and guidelines which relate to the standards of practice of the College;
- To recommend, for the approval of Council, changes to the Standards of Practice of the College and adoption of guidelines which relate to the Standards of Practice of the College;
- To recommend, for the approval of the Registrar or Council, printed and other material which they consider appropriate in order to communicate standards of practice and guidelines to registrants of the College; and
- To perform such other duties as may from time to time be determined by Council.
- To conduct the election of Councillors to the Executive Committee, in accordance with the by-laws.
- To make recommendations to Council regarding the appointment of Councillors, non-Council members and Community Appointees to statutory committees and non-statutory committees that are established in the Bylaws and regarding the appointment of a Chair of each of these Statutory and Non-Statutory committees (other than the Executive Committee).
- To set the date for each election.
- To determine the procedures to be followed in carrying out an election and a recount procedure which are not specified in the bylaws.
- To determine disputes as to whether a member is eligible to nominate a candidate to stand for election or to vote.
- To carry out the functions set out in the bylaws.
To consider appeals submitted by the corporation within 30 days after being notified of this matter by the College. The Committee delivers its decision either to the Registrar and or to the appellant. The decision of the Corporations Committee will be final and no further appeal will be allowed.
Finance and Audit Committee
The Finance and Audit Committee makes recommendations to Council on matters related to the College’s financial planning, financial management and asset management, including, the following:
- the oversight of the annual audit;
- the annual operating budget;
- internal financial controls;
- financial policies and fiscal plans;
- policies for investment of funds.
- Develop, maintain and review governance policies and procedures;
- Develop and review annually a Council Member Profile for each election of Councillors;
- Make recommendations to Council regarding policies and procedures and changes; and
- Perform such duties as may from time to time be determined by Council.
Titles and Designations Committee
To consider appeals submitted by the registrant (the “appellant”) within thirty (30) days after being notified by the College that the Registrar has determined that the member does not hold an earned doctorate in social work, as defined by subsection 47.3(2) of the Act. The Titles and Designations Committee shall deliver its decision in writing to the appellant and the Registrar. The decision of the Titles and Designations Committee will be final and binding and no further appeal will be allowed.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION (DEI) COMMITTEE
The DEI Committee makes recommendations to Council on the following:
- the potential for, and/or existence of, systemic and structural racism, discrimination and/or bias within the College’s statutory, regulatory and governance policies and processes;
- strategies (including revisions to by-laws, standards, guidelines and policies) to address any identified issues;
- an approach to meaningful engagement with Indigenous communities to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s calls to action within the regulatory sector; and
- the enhancement of educational resources to support College registrants in practising ethically and professionally, with a focus on considerations related to equity, diversity and inclusion;
Council Video Series
Please note: Throughout the OCSWSSW’s website and documents, the term “member” and “registrant” are used interchangeably and synonymously as equivalent to the term “member” as used in the Social Work and Social Service Work Act, 1998, and the Regulations.