The College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario is accountable to the public through its Board of Directors. The Board sets the strategy and policy direction for the College. It makes decisions to ensure the public receives ethical, competent care from Ontario’s occupational therapists. Based on the Board's direction, a staff team led by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) & Registrar carries out the College’s day-to-day work.

Meetings of the Board of Directors are open to the public.


Board Directors

There are three kinds of Board Directors:

Elected Directors: These directors are registrants (occupational therapists registered with the College) who are elected to the Board by their peers. Being on the Board gives occupational therapists rewarding opportunities to contribute to both public protection and the future of the profession.

Public Directors: These directors are appointed by the provincial government. Learn how to apply for appointment as a public director.

Academic Appointees: These academic professionals are appointed by the Chairs of the occupational therapy programs at five Ontario universities.

Directors are expected to attend four full-day Board meetings every year and serve on at least one regulatory committee.

Board Competency Framework

The Board of Directors sets the College’s strategic direction. Together, its members are accountable for the College’s good governance and its mandate of public protection. Fulfilling these roles requires that Directors have the optimal mix of skills, expertise, and experiences.

This Board competency framework represents the ideal composition of the Board. It recognizes that the Board and its committees need to reflect the diverse populations that use occupational therapy services in Ontario. This diversity includes culture, gender, race, age, geographical setting, and practice setting. View the Board competency framework.

2022–2023 Board of Directors 

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Elected Directors

Paola Azzuolo
Neelam Bal
Elizabeth Gartner
Jennifer Henderson 
Heather McFarlane (Vice-Chair)
Carol Mieras
Sarah Milton
Stephanie Schurr (Chair)
Teri Shackleton

Public Directors

Faiq Bilal
Nicholas Dzudz
Allan Freedman (Officer)
Brittany O'Brien
Vincent Samuel (Officer)
Sabrina Shaw

Academic Appointees

Donna Barker
Mary Egan


Committees

The College’s committee structure organizes the committees into two types: regulatory, which are also known as statutory, and Board committees.

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Regulatory Committees
These are committees that the law requires the College have to support the core regulatory functions of the Board. Each Committee includes a mix of elected and public Directors, and professional committee appointees. In addition, the Board has also created sub-committees as needed.

Executive Committee
For matters that need to be dealt with right away, the Executive Committee has all the powers of the Board between Board meetings. However, the Executive Committee cannot make, amend, or revoke a regulation or bylaw.

Number of meetings per year: 4 - 6

Preparation time per meeting: 1 - 3 hours

Inquiries, Complaints & Reports Committee
This Committee reviews concerns about an occupational therapist’s practice that have been brought to the attention of the College.

Number of meetings per year: 6 - 8

Preparation time per meeting: 5 - 7 hours

Patient Relations Committee
This Committee develops and oversees the Patient Relations Program. Core elements of the program include:

• development of standards of practice for registrants.
• educating the profession, Board and staff about sexual abuse, conflict of interest, and professional boundaries.
• informing the public about these issues.
• administering the Sexual Abuse Therapy and Counselling Fund.

Number of meetings per year: 4 - 5

Preparation time per meeting: 1 - 3 hours

Quality Assurance Committee
This Committee develops Quality Assurance policies and educational programs. This is to ensure occupational therapists who are registered with the College continue to be competent and keep abreast of developments in their field.

Number of meetings per year: 4 - 6

Preparation time per meeting: 1 - 3 hours

Registration Committee

The Registration Committee establishes and maintains the rules for registering with the College. It creates new policies for registration and reviews and revises existing policies. The Registration Committee also reviews applications referred by the Registrar. The Committee gives written decisions with reasons on how the application will be treated.

Number of meetings per year: 6 - 8

Preparation time per meeting: 1 - 3 hours

Discipline Committee
The Discipline Committee holds hearings when cases are referred to it that allege an occupational therapist is guilty of professional misconduct or incompetence.

Number of meetings per year: As required.

Fitness to Practise Committee
The Fitness to Practise Committee holds hearings to decide if an occupational therapist has physical or mental problems that make them unfit to practise.

Number of meetings per year: As required.

Sub-Committees
The College has two non-statutory sub-committees: Practice and Quality Assurance.

Practice Sub-Committee
The Practice Sub-Committee explores and provides recommendations on current occupational therapy practice issues.

Number of meetings per year: 4 - 5

Preparation time per meeting: 2 - 4 hours

Quality Assurance Sub-Committee
The Quality Assurance Sub-Committee's primary function is to provide recommendations to the Quality Assurance Committee on the ongoing development, implementation, and evaluation of the components of the Quality Assurance Program.

Number of meetings per year: 4 - 5

Preparation time per meeting: 1 - 3 hours

Board Committees
Board Committees allow the College’s Board to effectively address the diverse areas of its mandate. Each Committee is composed of a mix of Board Directors and Community Appointees who focus on a particular area and bring forward recommendations to the Board.

Finance and Audit Committee
The Finance and Audit Committee assists the Board of the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario in fulfilling its obligations and oversight responsibilities relating to financial planning and reporting, external audit, internal control systems, investments, and risk management.

Number of meetings per year: 4 - 6

Preparation time per meeting: 1 - 3 hours

Governance Committee
The Governance Committee is responsible for overseeing governance reform to enhance the quality of the Board of the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario’s work through best governance practices.

Number of meetings per year: 4 - 6

Preparation time per meeting: 1 - 3 hours

Policies

Code of Conduct
Conflict of Interest Policy
Policy to Approve Agents of the College

To learn more about the College’s Board of Directors and Committees, please contact:

Elinor Larney, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) & Registrar, elarney@coto.org; or
Andjelina Stanier, Executive Assistant - Executive Office, astanier@coto.org.