College Board Information
What does the College of Pharmacists of BC Board do?
The Board is the elected and appointed body responsible for leading and guiding the College as the regulatory body for pharmacy in British Columbia. It is accountable to the public, and receives its authority from the Health Professions Act (HPA) and the Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act (PODSA).
According to the HPA, Section 16(1), it is the duty of a college at all times
- To serve and protect the public, and
- To exercise its powers and discharge its responsibilities under all enactments in the public interest.
Section 16 through section 19 of the HPA outlines the duties and objects of a college, the Oath of Office, Bylaws for a college and more.
The Board sets the strategy for the College and makes decisions to ensure that the public receives ethical, competent care from British Columbia’s pharmacies and pharmacy professionals.
It is important to note that accountability is different than in a membership organization. Once elected to the Board, pharmacists are not accountable to the registrants in their district, but instead, to protecting the public and to the legislation and bylaws governing the College. While a Board member does have a role in bringing regional perspectives to the Board table and in communicating Board decisions to his or her region, an elected Board member does not represent the electorate.
The Board at a Glance
The current Board, as defined in legislation, has 12 members: 7 elected pharmacists, 1 elected pharmacy technician and 4 government appointees. Each elected Board member currently serves a two-year term, commencing at the start of the November Board meeting following the election.
Why run for the Board?
Your skills, knowledge and experience are needed at the College. The success of self-regulation is due to the contribution of the many individuals who have made a commitment to the profession by volunteering to stand for election at the College.
How much time is involved?
Being a Board member is a significant and important commitment. Board members are expected to:
- Attend five two-day Board meetings at the College office and Board dinners in the month of November, February, April, June and September each year (up 10 days);
- Attend an Annual Board Retreat (up to 2 days);
- Attend the College’s Annual General Meeting (1 day);
- Participate on and/or chair up to two College committees;
- Volunteer on external educational and/or professional committees; and
- Attend conferences as a representative of the College.
This commitment means to:
- Check and respond to College emails daily;
- Prepare and review materials prior to a meeting (up to 4 hours); and
- Travel to meetings and possibly stay overnight for Board business.
What are the expectations of a Board member?
A Board member is expected to attend the orientation for new and existing Board members. As well as Board members are encouraged to attend conferences (such as BC Health Regulators’ Annual Symposium, BC Pharmacy Association Annual Conference, Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists Annual Conference, etc.) for further education.
The College Board member’s fiduciary duty to the College means that a Board member should be prepared to become very familiar with several pieces of legislation (especially HPA, PODSA) and the College’s bylaw process, and should also be prepared to review budget proposals and financial reports and participate in strategic planning.
As we heavily rely on iPads, email and SharePoint collaboration sites to conduct business with the Board and Committees, some familiarity with technology and a willingness to learn more is required. In addition, familiarity with conducting and / or chairing meetings (and Robert’s Rules of Order) would be another asset.
What is my role as a Board member?
The Health Professions Act provides the legal foundation for the College’s governance structure, activities and powers. The role of the Board of Directors is to provide governance and direction to the College and allow the Registrar to operationalize this guidance. The Board of Directors has one employee, the Registrar, and all direction and communication goes through the Registrar.
As a member of the College’s Board of Directors, a Board member has a fiduciary relationship with the College. Knowing that the root of the word “fiduciary” comes from the Latin meaning “trust”, you have a sense of what that means. As a Board member, you have a legal duty to act in what you believe to be the best interests of the College and to follow the College’s legal mandate. All Board members, whether pharmacy professionals or public members, are equal around the table and participate equally in discussion and decision-making. Likewise, they are commonly bound by statutes and the Code of Conduct.
Board members are expected to thoroughly review meeting materials and to give fair and objective hearing to differing opinions, discussing issues fully but accepting and supporting the Board’s decision once it is made.
Am I compensated for the time away from work?
Board and Committee members receive an honoraria for their time at meetings as well as meeting preparation time. Honoraria is not paid for attending conferences or for travel time unless the Board member is traveling more than 50 kilometers to get to the meeting.
Conflict of Interest: Board members must not vote on, or participate in discussions about, any matters where they have a direct or indirect financial interest that is not shared with the broader community.
Confidentiality: The College falls under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
Oath of Office: Board members are required to take and sign an Oath of Office indicating their understanding and commitment to their role.
I do swear or solemnly affirm that:
- I will abide by the Health Professions Act and I will faithfully discharge the duties of the position, according to the best of my ability;
- I will act in accordance with the law and the public trust placed in me;
- I will act in the interests of the College as a whole;
- I will uphold the objects of the College and ensure that I am guided by the public interest in the performance of my duties;
- I have a duty to act honestly;
- I will declare any private interests relating to my public duties and take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest;
- I will ensure that other memberships, directorships, voluntary or paid positions or affiliations remain distinct from work undertaken in the course of performing my duty as a board member; So help me God. [omit this phrase in an affirmation]