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B​​​oard moves forward on Minister's Action Plan priority items

Board commits to immediate and substantive action, including reducing Board size

​Posted: August 12, 2019

Updated: August 15, 2019

​Earlier this year, the Board of the College of Dental Surgeons of BC (CDSBC) made a formal submission to Health Minister Adrian Dix to demonstrate it is protecting the public and working on behalf of patients and the public. The Board's commitment, which we refer to as the Actio​n Plan, was in response to the Minister's Directive to address the findings of an external review by Harry Cayton.

Last month, the Minister advised the Board that while he is encouraged by the commitments set out in the Action Plan, he is concerned about the pace of critical substantive changes needed for the functioning of the Board, its relationship with staff, and independence of the Board from the British Columbia Dental Association (BCDA) and other organizations that promote professional interests.

The Minister requested the Board take immediate action "to begin shifting the culture of CDSBC and enable the entire organization to be wholly focused on service and protection of the public through improved governance structures and a recalibrated relationship with staff."

In its response to the Minister, the Board committed in principle to meet the timelines set out by the Minister, and to address both the necessary bylaw changes and the specific requests relating to three key areas. These areas were already part of the Action Plan but expediting them will ensure that CDSBC can deliver on its many other commitments within the Plan.

Changes in t​​​hree areas

The changes required by the Minister can be summarized as follows:

Functioning of the Boa​rd


Reduce board size

  • The CDSBC Board – currently the largest of any health regulator in B.C. – will reduce itself to 8-12 members. Fifty percent of the smaller Board will be public members, with 50 percent elected. This will be accomplished through strategic voluntary resignations of board members.

    Board composition
  • Remove reference to the roles of president, vice-president and treasurer; board chair to be elected from within the Board.

    Change election rules

  • Remove requirement for regional representation and other specialized representative positions.
  • Allow certified dental assistants, dental therapists and dentists to vote for all elected board positions.​

Board relationship ​with staff

  • Create and deliver a staff and board development plan to promote culture change that is necessary to implement the Action Plan. Respectful communication and role clarity will be part of the plan.

Independence of the Board from the BCDA and other member-driven, advocacy organizations that promote professional interests

  • Set a specific date for CDSBC to discontinue collection of fees on behalf of the BCDA.

Reduce real or perceived conflict of interest

  • Candidates for elected positions on the Board must not, in the previous three years, have served in a leadership capacity on the board of an organization that promotes professional interests.

Details of these changes are provided in the Minister's letter, and are summarized below.

Notice of bylaw amend​​ments

The Board has been working closely with the staff of the College and with legal and governance experts to deliver all the changes requested by the Minister by August 15, 2019.

Delivering on the Minister's request required the Board to make changes (amendments) to the CDSBC Bylaws. The Minister shortened the normal three-month notice period. The bylaw amendments were published on the CDSBC website on August 15, 2019​.

The amended bylaws will be filed with the Ministry of Health to come into force on September 16, 2019.

Cancellation of Se​​ptember 13, 2019 public board meeting

Given that the Minister's timeline calls for a smaller Board to be in place on September 16, 2019, the Board has cancelled its public board meeting on September 13, 2019. The next scheduled public Board meeting will be November 15, 2019.

About the Acti​​on Plan

The Action Plan was written in response to a directive from the Minister of Health to address the recommendations and unmet standards in the report by Harry Cayton. The Action Plan reflects the Board's commitment to the safety of patients and the public, and to strong governance, transparency and accountability. The Action Plan will allow significant changes to regain the trust of dental patients and the public of BC through improved regulatory performance, better relationships both within and outside the organization and a change in attitudes and culture, all with a renewed focus on patient safety. You can read more about the Action Plan here.

Related documents

Minister's Letter to CDSBC Board (July 1​5, 2019)

Board Response to Minister's Letter (July 22, 2019)

Action Plan submission to Minister of Health (May 13, 2019)