At the September Council meeting the Council reviewed the finances and cost projections and voted to increase fees registration fees, along with a few other related fees by $30 for the coming year.
Why are fees going up again?
The increase in fees is necessary to make sure the CRTO is able to fulfill our statutory obligations. In addition to a steady rise in operating costs, the College continues to face an unprecedented volume of cases. Over the last several years, the number of investigations has been steadily climbing along with, significantly, an increase in the number of complex and time-consuming investigations.
If fees are not in the by-laws, what accountability or oversight is there?
Although Council is proposing moving fees from within the By-Laws to a Schedule of Fees this will not remove any accountability or create a way to increase fees without notice. Council still needs to review a business case and make a decision on an increase, the same as they do now. By moving the fees outside of the By-Laws this simply makes it easy for anyone to find the info without searching.
Won’t this mean that the fees will go up every year if they are not part of the By-Laws? Can they go up at any time?
Every fall Council will review the current financial position of the CRTO and determine if a fee increase is needed for the coming year or if they can waive it. The CRTO will make an announcement every fall based on that review so that you’ll always remain informed well ahead of an increase.
Could you move out of Toronto?
Being located in Toronto is important. 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 essential for conducting business as a regulator. Additionally, we need to be in a location that’s easily accessible for members of Council, Committees, working groups, and even staff.
Some facts about our location and our rent: We are located in downtown Toronto but that doesn’t mean we pay top dollar for rent, nor does it mean we’re in a fancy Bay St. building. Our offices are in a Class C building next to the downtown bus station 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, the Human Rights Tribunal, and the Council of Ontario Universities… meaning, they’re other not-for-profit organizations like ours who also have to keep costs low. We pay less for rent than nearly every other health regulatory college, including Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Medical Radiation Technologists, Medical Laboratory Technologists and Opticians.
Could you reduce your staff?
When it comes to staffing, 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.
Could 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. We always strive to limit our legal costs, we’ve reduced our reliance on external consultants for project work, and we continually renegotiate our service contracts to try to get a better price.