The By-Laws are the rules by which the CRTO operates. They set out the framework for functions such as elections, registration fees, and who sits on various CRTO committees. From time-to-time, it is necessary to amend the By-Laws to reflect changes in legislation, regulations, or CRTO processes.
Thank you to everyone who completed the consultation survey, attended the webinars or one of the town hall sessions, and read through the information on our website. This was by far the most extensive communications and outreach effort we’ve launched this decade but the topic deserved it. We had over 3,200 Members open the consultation survey, nearly 600 completed it. We had over 50 people attend the webinars and roughly 100 attended the town halls. The By-Laws were circulated to stakeholders from September 27, 2016 to November 25, 2016.
Through the consultation, we received several actionable suggestions and some of those had a direct impact on the wording of the By-Laws themselves. Specifically, those Articles in the By-Laws that describe the make-up of decision-making panels (i.e., Registration, QA and ICRC panels) were amended to require a minimum of one public member and one profession member to ensure a balance of perspectives on the panels. Thanks to the participants at the North Bay town hall for that recommendation. As well, in response to the concerns about the magnitude of a single registration fee increase, Council agreed to stagger the increase, with the fee going up by $60 for 2018/19 and the second $60 for 2019/20. Your comments have also ensured that a discussion at an upcoming Council meeting will establish a “philosophy” on how to manage future fee increases (e.g., one big increase less often vs. smaller, more frequent increases). Again, thank you to those of you who took the time to offer thoughtful suggestions. As you can see, they truly do matter.
Council approved the By-Law changes after considering all comments at their December 2 meeting, with the amendments noted above made to the original proposed changes.
To view the approved By-Law and other various resources please see the various resources in the Relevant Links box to the right. In addition, below you will find answers to common questions that came up throughout the consultation process.
How much will the registration fees increase by?
The registration fee for General, Graduate and Limited certificates will be increased to $560, for the period of March 01, 2018 to February 28, 2019.
How did the CRTO arrive at the new fee amount?
The annual registration fee was calculated based on projected CRTO operating costs for the next 5-7 years. The number was chosen to be just enough to cover those costs, nothing more.
When will the next fee increase be after this?
For the period of March 1, 2019 to February 29, 2020 the registration fee for General, Graduate and Limited certificates will increase to $620. This amount was calculated to cover projected operating costs for a few years beyond 2020. At an upcoming Council meeting, Council will discuss developing a “philosophy” on how to implement any future increases that are needed (i.e., frequent small increases vs. less-frequent larger increases).
Will the CRTO still offer prorated fees for Members going to/returning from Inactive registration, or applying for registration part-way through the year?
Yes. The registration fee increase will alter the quarterly proration amounts but Members and applicants who begin practicing mid-year will pay adjusted amounts. For more information on the proration of fees see section 36.06 and 36.07 of the 2016 By-Laws (pg. 31).
Will the Inactive registration fee also change?
Yes. The amount for the annual registration fee for Inactive members is $100.00 Registration fees are the CRTO’s only source of revenue, and as stated, projections for the operating costs of the College indicate that the current fees are not sufficient to meet ongoing, mandated regulatory activities (e.g., QA Program, Complaints and Discipline processes).
The fee for evaluation of an applicant has increased significantly! What is that $5,000 fee for, and who has to pay it?
The CRTO receives applications from internationally trained health care professionals, as well as Respiratory Therapists who have not practiced for a number of years. These individuals must have their education and clinical competence assessed to determine whether they meet the minimum standards to practice in Ontario.
The current assessment process includes:
- a program review of their health care education,
- a one-on-one interview with RT assessors, and
- demonstration of clinical skills in a simulated environment.
The previous process only included the first two assessments and often cost more than what the applicant paid. This by-law change caps the total assessment cost, providing transparency for the applicants, while still ensuring that the assessments are conducted on a cost-recovery basis.
How does this new fee compare against other RT regulators in Canada?
Here’s what other RT regulators charge for General registration:
|Regulator||Annual Registration Fee|
|College and Association of Respiratory Therapists of Alberta (CARTA)||$425|
|Saskatchewan College of Respiratory Therapists (SCRT)||$500|
|Manitoba Association of Registered Respiratory Therapists (MARRT)||$300|
|College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario (CRTO)||$560|
|Ordre professionnel des inhalothérapeute du Québec (OPIQ)||$400|
|New Brunswick Association of Respiratory Therapy (NBART)||$450|
|Nova Scotia College of Respiratory Therapy (NSCRT)||$450|
|Newfoundland and Labrador College of Respiratory Therapy (NLCRT)||$486|
How does this fee compare against other regulators in Ontario?
Annual registration fees in Ontario range from $250 per year for Dental Hygienists to $1950 per year for Midwives. The Colleges that are most comparable to us, however, in terms of membership numbers and annual operating budget are as follows:
|College||# of Members|
(2014 Annual Report)
|College of Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO)||3,783||$2,296,270||$714|
|College of Dietitians of Ontario (CDO)||3,695||$2,120,058||$590|
|College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario (CRTO)||3,269||$1,578,418||$560|
|College of Opticians of Ontario (COO)||2,647||$2,399,823||$745|
|College of Optometrists of Ontario||2,187||$2,412,784||$945|
|College of Traditional Chinese practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO)||2,178||$3,184,270||$1,055|
Don’t we have a Fee Stabilization Reserve?
We do, at a value of $150,000 and we will ensure that we exhaust that reserve prior to implementing any fee increase.
Can’t You Reduce Your Operating Costs?
Over the last 10 years, we’ve been successful in reducing our operational costs substantially. With our Green strategy, we’ve reduced our paper and printing budget to almost zero. In response, we’ve also reduced our postage costs significantly. Our office supplies costs have gone down, our telephone and fax costs have gone down. In fact, the only core operational costs that have gone up are the credit card merchant fees we pay to have online registration and our translation costs, as we strive to make all of our materials available in both English and French.
Why doesn’t the CRTO move out of Toronto?
Being located in Toronto is important. Not only are we close to the largest concentration of RTs in the province, we’re close to the other organizations we deal with on a regular basis – the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) and other government ministries and agencies, the Office of the Fairness Commissioner, our legal team, and other regulatory bodies (our peers, essentially). Email and telephone are fine but face-to-face meetings are important for maintaining the relationships we need in the business that we’re in. There are few avenues for gaining expertise in regulation so in terms of staffing, moving our offices would likely require replacing our staff. Not only do we have highly experienced staff, we most commonly recruit from those same organizations that we maintain relationships with, so staffing would be compromised by moving out of Toronto. Finally, we need to be easily accessible for members of Council, Committees, working groups, etc.
All that aside, it’s worth noting some facts about our location and our rent. Our offices are in a Class C building that specializes in businesses in the health care industry and not-for-profit organizations. Other tenants include the College of Chiropodists, the Hospital for Sick Children, and the Council of Ontario Universities. We pay less for rent than nearly every other College, including Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Dietitians, Medical Radiation Technologists, Medical Laboratory Technologists and Opticians. In 2016, we compared our rent against other locations in the GTA and in nearby cities like Hamilton and our current rent fits at the low to medium range of those comparators. Simply looking at the numbers, our rent comprises of less than 10% of our total operational costs. Even if we were to reduce our rent costs by 10%, we still would not be able to alleviate the current need for a fee increase.
Can’t we “get lean” and reduce the number of staff?
We’re about as lean as you can get for a regulatory college of our size. We have had very little staff turnover through the years, resulting in a small and highly effective team. We average four (4) fewer staff than each of our peer colleges, which is an indicator of how that effectiveness has allowed us to stay small over the years. In addition, last spring we conducted a salary benchmarking exercise and confirmed that we are “on par” with comparable organizations.
If so many costs are going down, why are fees still going up?
Some costs are definitely continuing to climb. Like most regulatory colleges, the number of complaints that we receive each year has gone up. That brings a rise in costs associated with investigations, for the review panels to sit, for legal costs, and for disciplinary proceedings. Last year was the highest year we’ve experienced yet, with the number of cases exceeding 150% of the previous year. In addition, as our profession grows and becomes more sophisticated, the number of activities occurring at the national level also grows. This year we handled issues like labour mobility, accreditation reform, board exam reform, the harmonization of assessment practices for applicants trained outside of Canada, and the development of a new competency profile – the document that serves as the basis for the educational program curriculum across the country. Finally, we continue to update and develop documents and guidelines that are essential for the profession. This includes such items as the Ethics guidelines, updated guidelines on infection, prevention and control, updated standards of practice, etc.
Should you have any questions, or require any assistance, please contact:
Kevin Taylor, Registrar
1 (800) 261-0528 or (416) 591-7800 ext. 21