Considering the views of the public, profession, and other stakeholders allows the College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario (CRTO) to develop policies, guidelines, and other documents that reflect best practice and the public interest. When establishing a public consultation process, it is important that this process be transparent and clearly articulated.
CRTO’s Consultation Process
The CRTO is committed to developing policies that are transparent, accountable, and aligned with public expectations. Public consultation is an important way of doing this and is a critical element of the CRTO’s Policy Development Process. The CRTO uses public consultation whenever a Policy, Practice Policy, Practice Guideline, or Practice Standard is developed or revised. Consultation includes reaching out to various stakeholders (including patients and the public, health care professionals, their employers, and other system partners), and can take place both within the province and at a broader, national level.
The method of consultation also varies depending on the topic. In many cases, a survey can gather the relevant information needed to obtain feedback on a topic. In other cases, a deeper dive is required, involving focus groups or interviews. The CRTO takes a risk-based approach in determining the level of engagement required when a proposed change is posted for consultation.
To help guide the CRTO in determining the critical audience and mechanism for a consultation topic, the following leveled approach has been developed:
- Post consultation online: For all proposed changes, the CRTO will post a consultation on its website to gather feedback.
- Share consultation with specific stakeholders: If specific groups will be directly impacted by the proposed change, the CRTO will share the consultation directly with them for feedback and circulation to their respective members/registrants.
- Engage through dialogue: If there is a large degree of perceived or actual risk to the public, professionals, or other stakeholders, or if information is required to inform implementation of the proposed change, the CRTO will conduct focused discussions with the appropriate group (such as the Citizen Advisory Group).
The consultation will be open for 30-60 days, during which time feedback will be gathered anonymously. This time range allows for flexibility depending on the urgency or depth of the topic. Once the consultation closes, a summary of the feedback will be shared with Council. Council will consider all feedback, focusing on that which is most relevant to fulfilling the CRTO’s mandate to serve and protect in the public interest. Once a decision is made, a summary of the feedback will be posted online, to support transparent and accountable decision-making.