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FAQ CDHO Council

What is the Council of the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario?

The Council of the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario (CDHO) is the governing body of the College. CDHO’s governing Council is comprised of Ontario dental hygienists who have been elected by their peers, and public members who have been appointed by the provincial government. Council’s primary function, as per its founding legislation, is to make decisions in the public interest. Accordingly, the Council is responsible for establishing the policies, programs, and standards of practice that regulate the profession of dental hygiene.

Why is it important to be involved in self-regulation?

All dental hygienists in Ontario are important contributors to self-regulation. By adhering to the College’s standards of practice in the daily practice environment and by meeting the requirements of the College’s Quality Assurance Program, dental hygienists support self-regulation. Participating in the election of Council members is another way that dental hygienists are involved in self-regulation.

Council decisions further the College’s mandate of regulating the practice of dental hygiene in the interest of the overall health and safety of the public of Ontario. By participating in the election, either as a candidate or through voting, you are influencing the future of dental hygiene practice and regulation in Ontario. By standing for election, registrants have the opportunity to join a committed group of dental hygienists and government-appointed public members on Council working together to safeguard the public interest and to uphold the standard of care that dental hygienists provide to their clients. Registrant participation rests at the heart of professional self-regulation and is essential for assuring that professional standards and all related activities respond to dental hygiene practice today.

What kind of work is involved?

As an elected member of Council, you will contribute to the self-regulation of the dental hygiene profession in Ontario in a host of meaningful ways.

You participate in decision-making regarding:

  • standards of practice and professional conduct;
    • competencies for entry to practice and ongoing practice;
    • the development of new programs and policies and policies to guide the profession as well as relevant regulations and bylaws required under the legislation.

Members of Council also fulfill a critical role through their participation on statutory Committees, including the:

  • Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee
    • Discipline Committee
    • Registration Committee
    • Quality Assurance Committee
    • Executive Committee
    • Fitness to Practise Committee
    • Patient Relations Committee

In addition, there are other specific expectations that potential candidates should be prepared to fulfill, which include:

  • arranging their own personal and professional schedules to meet Council’s time commitments;
    • reviewing preparatory materials in advance of meetings;
    • participating in discussion and decision-making;
    • maintaining confidentiality;
    • implementing and supporting Council and Committee decisions and directives;
    • demonstrating accountability to the public through effective decision-making in the public’s best interest.

It is important to note that registrants elected to Council do NOT represent the interests of the dental hygienists in their electoral district, but rather, make decisions that further the College’s mandate of regulating the practice of dental hygiene in the interest of the overall health and safety of the public of Ontario.

What do I need to know to serve on Council or a Committee?

Many dental hygienists mistakenly believe that they must have an extensive knowledge of dental hygiene regulations, healthcare legislation and all the rules of the profession in order to serve on Council. This is not the case. While it is true that individuals serving on Council must be familiar with all the relevant legislation, policies and standards of the profession, this knowledge can and will be enhanced while serving as a member of Council. All new Council members will receive a comprehensive orientation about their role, including all aspects of governance and related expectations. New members will also receive a resource manual containing all relevant documents for their reference.

What’s in it for me?

By participating in the election, either as a candidate or through voting, every registrant has an opportunity to help shape the future of dental hygiene practice and self-regulation. There are many benefits associated with a registrant’s involvement with the College. Serving as an elected Council representative broadens a registrant’s professional scope by offering:

  • an opportunity to shape policy and decisions made by the College in the public’s interest;
    • an opportunity to be directly involved in self-regulation;
    • a greater understanding of governance;
    • an insight into the trends that influence professional practice.

What is the time commitment?

While registrants find serving on Council both personally and professionally rewarding, it requires a significant time commitment. Council typically meets for two days at a time, four to six times per year. Dates are set well in advance to facilitate planning for members. Preparation time associated with Council meetings averages two to six hours for each meeting. This generally involves reviewing material in advance of meetings in order to contribute constructively to Council discussions and decision-making.

Council members must also serve on at least two statutory Committees. The time commitment varies significantly depending on which Committee(s) you serve. Some Committees may meet only twice per year, for one day at a time, while others will meet on a more frequent basis. Please click here for more information on each statutory Committee.

The College pays a per diem for participating on Council and Committees. Please click here for information regarding per diems and CDHO’s Remuneration Guidelines.

Registrants who are interested in running for election must consider whether they can commit the time to serve and may also wish to discuss the commitment with their employer (where applicable).

How long can I serve as a member of Council?

Members of Council serve a three-year term of office, unless otherwise established in accordance with CDHO’s Bylaw No. 5, and are limited to three consecutive terms.

How do I know if I am eligible to run for Council?

Detailed information regarding eligibility for election is available in CDHO’s Bylaw No. 5. To review the eligibility criteria click here.

How do I consent to my nomination or nominate another eligible registrant?

Nominations for candidates must be submitted in writing using the nomination form supplied by the Registrar. Should you wish to run for election/academic selection, or nominate another eligible registrant, please click here to visit the CDHO Elections web page and download the complete nomination package. Candidates must read all information carefully and follow the instructions for the nomination procedures. Original nomination forms and supporting documentation must be complete and returned to the College no later than the specified date in order for the nomination to be considered.

How will I know if my nomination is approved?

Once the College receives your completed nomination form and supporting documentation, the College will correspond with you to confirm your eligibility to run for election. Not less than 14 days before the date of the election, a ballot package will be sent to every registrant eligible to vote in their respective electoral district. Ballot packages will include the biographical sketch and photographs of all eligible candidates running for election. Prospective candidates may not campaign for election until they have received written notification from the College that their nomination has been approved and meets the eligibility criteria.

How can I obtain more information about the election process and nomination procedures?

For more information regarding the district elections, academic selection, eligibility to run/vote, nominations and terms of office, please refer to CDHO’s Bylaw No. 5. Individuals may also contact the Office of the Registrar at 416-961-6234 ext. 223 or email

Link to CDHO Elections and Academic Selection Timetable