F.A.Q. – Proposed Restructuring of the national Board of Directors

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.):

What changes are being proposed?

  • The CFPC Board of Directors will have a different function and composition. There will be enhanced opportunities for stakeholders to interact with the Board and influence College direction.
  • The process for selecting Board Directors will change. All members will be eligible for a Board Director position.
  • Board Director positions will reduce from 40 to 11


How will Board members be selected?

  • The CFPC Nominating Committee will be tasked with nominating individuals who collectively fill specific skill and experience requirements and are reflective of the CFPC membership in terms of practice and demographic attributes


What are the benefits of the proposed structure? 

  • To provide greater opportunity for interaction and dialogue
  • Enhanced interaction among Board Directors
  • Leaders Forums will continue to provide opportunities for robust and valuable interaction among the Board members and key stakeholders; specific issues are discussed in detail and the perspectives of all can be heard
  • With the growth of the organization and its multifaceted activities, the Board must be more deliberate in its stewardship of the organization with respect to risk assessment and management
  • The College must be responsive and nimble in its governance structure and having the capacity to work electronically between face-to-face meetings. The most recent Canada Not-For-Profit Corporations Act requires 100% participation and consensus among all Board Directors in order to approve a motion electronically. This will be easier to achieve with a Board of 11 instead of the current 40.


Why a skills-based Board and not a representative Board?

  • Board Directors need to make decisions and plot directions in the best interest of all College members, unfettered by conflicting roles
  • An extensive literature review and exploration of the governance models of other membership organizations was undertaken. The exploration focused equally on models for effective governance and stakeholder engagement opportunities. Based on what we learned from this exploration we assessed the needs of our organization and took what we thought were the best features of different models to create our own.  We were mindful of the need to ensure that we didn’t eliminate the many positive things inherent in the current Board structure – networking opportunities, leadership development, feedback on issues that impact our membership across the country – while at the same time, create structures that could meet the necessary stewardship requirements of an effective Board in a timely manner.
  • A matrix of all the skills, experiences, knowledge, practice types, practice locations, etc. that are deemed necessary for the collective Board to effectively govern the CFPC has been developed. This will be used by the CFPC Nominating Committee to assess the attributes of sitting Board Directors in order to help determine gaps that need to be sought in incoming Directors. This will also be used to determine areas where the Board as a whole needs learning opportunities. It is not expected that all Board Directors will be experts in particular areas.


How will the voice of future physicians, or physicians in each province, be heard? 

  • Issues differ in each province as well as for trainees and practicing physicians at different stages of their careers. The Board will seek input into all decisions that affect the membership of the organization, with an understanding that impact varies across the country and across generations. Consulting with the CFPC Chapters will give the Board a good idea of the provincial issues. Similarly, consulting with the Sections of Medical Students and Residents will give the Board a good idea of learner issues.
  • One Board Director position is reserved for a family medicine resident or a family physician in his/her first five years of practice
  • Leaders of CFPC Chapters, sections, committees, and university Departments of Family Medicine will have multiple opportunities to connect with the Board even though they will not sit on the Board. There will be opportunities to discuss relevant items on the Board agenda and to request items to be included. Teleconferences will be held prior to and after Board meetings to solicit input and feedback. In addition, two annual events will provide significant opportunity for face-to-face interaction among College leaders, representatives of College constituencies, and the Board: the Annual Forum and the Chapter Symposium. Additional invitations to participants will be determined based on the topics being discussed. The intention will always be to get all perspectives on a topic.

Who has been involved in developing this proposal?

  • In 2010, the CFPC Board of Directors established the Governance Advisory Committee to examine the effectiveness of the organization’s current governance structure and to propose potential changes to enhance the effectiveness of the Board, the engagement of stakeholders, the role of committees and the role of the CEO
  • For some time now Board Directors have identified the need to review the Board composition and role. Chapter leaders (elected and staff) have questioned how to best share chapter-specific comments and concerns with the CFPC and other Chapters.
  • The Governance Advisory Committee (GAC) is chaired by Past President of the CFPC, Dr. Sarah Kredentser. The membership includes the CFPC President and President-Elect, past Chapter Presidents, current and past Board Directors, chairs of CFPC committees and sections, and members at large. The CFPC Executive Director and CEO is a non-voting member.
  • The GAC’s approach has been organic and iterative. It assessed the challenges, relied on the literature and experiences of sister organizations, and consulted heavily. The Board Directors and Chapter leaders (elected and staff) have been engaged at each step of the proposal development through telephone discussions with members of the GAC as well as larger group discussions. The GAC also sought input from past CFPC Presidents and Executive Directors, committee and section chairs, chairs of University Departments of Family Medicine. The GAC worked with the Board and Chapter leaders until they came to agreement on the proposed changes.
  • In November 2014, College members present at the Annual Meeting of Members supported the request from the Board and the GAC to share the proposed changes with the wider membership over the coming year. Members will be asked to approve the Board changes at the Annual Meeting of Members on November 12, 2015.

Communications with College Members?

  • Members are invited to participate in monthly video/teleconferences with the GAC Chair, CFPC President and Executive Director and CEO
  • Email blasts continue to be sent out highlighting the changes and inviting comments on the proposed report
  • Content updates are provided on the CFPC website, in Canadian Family Physician, and in eNews, the CFPC e-newsletter
  • Chapters are highlighting the information at their Annual Scientific Assemblies and Annual Meetings, online and print communications, and through a statement of support sent to their members
  • Member input has been very thoughtful and positive. Suggestions have all been reviewed by GAC and shared with the current CFPC Board.