MARRT Member Frequently Asked Questions
How are Colleges of Respiratory Therapy across Canada able to operate with lower license fees?
Each of the provinces operates under their own unique statutes. Other provinces that are not subject to similar legislation as outlined in the RHPA may be able to function within the budgets they have. There are different requirements and laws in each province for the regulatory bodies to follow. Manitoba’s current older legislation, the respiratory therapy act of Manitoba, had fewer requirements, and therefore MARRT’s ability to ‘get by’ on a smaller budget may have been possible in the past. However, under the new legislation we are going to become most similar to Ontario, Alberta, and Quebec. They are also regulated with umbrella legislation. These provinces have many more members than we do to cover the burden of the cost. More recently regulated provinces set their initial fees higher in order to build the reserve necessary to perform the government granted regulatory responsibilities.
If we already are self-regulated, then what is changing?
The laws under which we are regulated have changed. Our current legislation is the Manitoba Respiratory Therapy ACT. We have been listed as one of the professions which will be included in the new legislation called the RHPA (Regulated Health Professions Act) The new laws will not let us exist as a dual object organization, which means we can no longer function as a regulatory body and an association at the same time. They will be two completely separate entities. There is an increase in the demands for accountability and transparency in the protection of public interests. This will become the sole mandate of the college. We can no longer advocate for the profession and protect the public at the same time. The lines just become too blurred. There can be no room for speculation that there is any bias toward the membership. A separate association for Manitoba Respiratory Therapists will need to be created. Membership to the association will be voluntary. The association will be responsible for providing RT’s with educational opportunities, professional advocacy and promotion and benefits to those who chose to be members, such as discounted rates for professional liability insurance.
How do other provinces pay for it?
Membership pays entirely for their operating budget. Reserve funds must be maintained. Provinces have been adjusting and paying higher fees for a much longer amount of time than we have here in Manitoba. License fees remained under $200.00 for more than 3 consecutive decades. Since the 1980’s the membership fees have fallen considerably behind the rate of inflation. It is only recently that the licence fees became more aligned with what they should be according to inflation. Essentially for many years MARRT continued to operate with a budget that did not reflect the true cost of being able to conduct a viable business. This is something that MARRT has done which continues to affect our operations and where we are today in contrast to where we should be today. The increasing requirement to act as the regulator, as opposed to focusing on the association aspect, over the past few years, has made it very clear that the costs associated with regulation business (complaints/investigations) are expensive. In order to provide effective, timely work it has been increasingly difficult to stay within our budget. We needed to dip into a contingency fund this year to cover a $40,000 deficit.
What will the new composition of the College look like?
Under the RHPA the MARRT BOD will no longer exist. This will be replaced by a Council.
Section 12 of the RHPA outlines the Council.
12(1) For each college established or continued under clause 8(b), a governing body called the council is hereby established.
Council to manage affairs
12(2) A council must
(a) manage and conduct the business and affairs of the college; and
(b) exercise and carry out the college's mandate, duties and powers in the college's name and on the college's behalf.
Composition of council
13(1) A council is to consist of at least six persons who are either members of the college or public representatives.
Public representatives appointed by minister
13(2) At least 1/3 of the council members must be public representatives appointed to the council by the minister.
Public representatives appointed by council
13(3) Despite subsection (2), the minister may permit a council to appoint one or more of the public representatives.
Additional council members
13(4) In addition to the persons referred to in subsection (1), the minister may appoint certain specified persons to a college's council if
(a) the college requests the appointment; or
(b) the minister considers the appointment to be in the public interest and has consulted with the college.
There will also be public representation on the new council committees.
17(2) At least 1/3 of the members of a committee referred to in subsection (1) must be public representatives.
There will also be committees.
22(1) A council
(a) must establish a complaints investigation committee and an inquiry committee; and
(b) may establish any other committees that it considers necessary.
Appointments committee re public representatives
22(2) If the minister permits a council to appoint public representatives under subsection 13(3), the council must establish an appointments committee for the purpose of recruiting and selecting public representatives to serve on the council.
22(3) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) specifying additional committees, including inter-professional committees, to be established by a council and their composition and mandate;
(b) establishing inter-professional committees and specifying their composition and mandate.
The College will hire a Registrar and staff
23 A council must appoint a registrar and may appoint a deputy registrar, an assistant registrar and any other officers, investigators, practice auditors or staff that it considers necessary to carry out the work of the college.
What will the new college do?
The new college must carry out its mandate, duties and powers and govern its members in a manner that serves and protects the public interest. Section 10(2) of the RHPA clearly outlines the mandate of the college.
The College has the following mandate:
(a) to regulate the practice of the health profession and govern its members in accordance with this Act and the regulations and by-laws;
(b) to develop, establish and maintain standards of academic or technical achievement and qualification required for registration as a member and monitor compliance with and enforce those standards;
(c) to develop, establish and maintain standards of practice to enhance the quality of practice by members and monitor compliance with and enforce those standards;
(d) to develop, establish and maintain a continuing competency program for members to promote high standards of knowledge and skill;
(e) to promote the ability of members to respond to changes in practice environments, advances in technology and other emerging issues;
(f) to work in consultation with the minister towards achieving access for the people of Manitoba to adequate numbers of qualified and competent members of the regulated health profession;
(g) to develop, establish and maintain programs that provide information about the health profession, and that assist persons in exercising their rights under this Act and the regulations, by-laws and code of ethics;
(h) to promote and enhance the college's relations with its members, other colleges, key stakeholders and the public;
(i) to promote inter-professional collaboration with other colleges;
(j) to administer the college's affairs and perform its duties and carry out its powers in accordance with this Act and the regulations and by-laws.
Actual position descriptions will be written to align with the skills and functions the meet the colleges need. The college is foremost accountable to the public, as well as our members.
What will it cost?
The recommendation coming out of our organizational review is for our college to eventually over time, employ 3 or 4 full time staff. However, the caveat was that we needed a minimum of 2.0 EFT ASAP, to begin the work that lies ahead of us. There needs to be accountability to demonstrate through the various oversight processes (Manitoba fairness commissioner requirements, labor mobility, international applicants, annual reports etc.) that we are a credible and effective regulator. It comes down to the fact that the amount of work will be too much for volunteers to be able to manage. Qualified staff with the skills and knowledge to provide a high level of performance will need to be in place. We will need to be diligent to secure talented, qualified staff members when we are hiring into these positions. This extra money is not going to be used to pay the president position. A voluntary board will still need to be in place. MARRT is working diligently to develop a proposed budget to specifically outline the costs, based on the current and future needs of the organization. This will be added to the website when it becomes available.
Will we consider reducing fees after we are done with the self-regulating process?
This is not a time-limited or one-time project. The mandate will be for the college to operate effectively and efficiently in the long term. MARRT has been setting aside money for this, and to help cover legal costs associated with the RHPA application process, however this will not be something that is finished. It will be a new way of life for us. Legislation has evolved with the RHPA. We were not aware of how much we needed to evolve until we had the review done.
Will there be optional monthly payment plans available?
We will work with our accountant to explore the most convenient and feasible options for members to pay their license fee. If you are already a CSRT membership, you will know that they do offer the option to make monthly debit payments. http://www.csrt.com/renew-your-membership/ we will try to offer something similar if at all possible.
Is this a tax deductible cost?
Yes. You can claim your professional dues on your personal income tax.
Who did MARRT consult?
MARRT has consulted with some of the best in the business. Experts in this field have been advising the Board over the past few months. Mrs. Deanna Williams has been both nationally and internationally celebrated for her work in the world of regulation. MARRT has also consulted with Mr. Kevin Taylor, Registrar and CEO of the College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario. He has been advising our board during this process as well. CRTO is one of the largest Respiratory Therapy Colleges in Canada. Personally, MARRT's president, Cory Campbell has spent the past 6 years serving in various positions on the MARRT. During this time, she have been learning about regulation. Her education includes attending several meetings with other regulators, meetings with individuals from the ministry of health, attending sessions and workshops regarding regulation, reading the legislation (ours and other provinces) numerous times, conversations with consultants, and mentorship. Shane McDonald has been the Registrar for MARRT for many years. He has strong background knowledge in the regulatory business, and a collaborative relationship with many other registrars within our province and profession with whom he consults with on a regular basis. A significant amount of time and effort has been put into this process thus far.
Will transitioning to operating as a college under RHPA will directly affect my rate of pay?
No. The college is not at all responsible for determining the monetary value of the services the profession provides. The two are not connected in any way whatsoever. The regulatory body is not the same thing as a union, and does not advocate on behalf of its membership for salary increases. Under provincial Regulated Health Professions Act the minister of health oversees the manner in which health care professions operate and govern themselves, and also retains the power to request a council make, amend or revoke a particular regulation.