Orientation – Board of Health Members


Category: Board of Health
Subject: Orientation – Board of Health Members
Division: N/A
Policy Number: CA.45.01.501
Effective Date: October 5, 2016


The Board of Health (BOH) for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) shall ensure that BOH members are aware of their roles and responsibilities and emerging public health issues and trends by ensuring the development and annual implementation of a comprehensive orientation plan for new BOH members and a continuing education program for continuing BOH members.

Orientation and continuing education activities shall occur on an on-going basis and shall include information on the following topics:

  • The structure, vision, mission goals and objectives of WDGPH;
  • Overview of the Strategic Plan, the planning process, its relationship to the operational plan, and performance monitoring;
  • Community demographics overview, including information on social and cultural diversity;
  • Program and service overview, including organizational emergency preparedness planning;
  • Provincial government structure and the funding streams of the three Ministries;
  • The duties and responsibilities of BOH members, including requirement to attend BOH meetings, advanced review of meeting materials, understanding of BOH policies and procedures, and understanding of public health issues;
  • BOH members’ fiduciary responsibilities in terms of trusteeship, due diligence, avoiding conflict of interest, maintaining confidentiality, strategic oversight, ethical and compliance oversight, stakeholder engagement, Medical Officer of Health/Chief Executive Officer (MOH/CEO) (and executive officers, where applicable) compensation, risk management oversight and succession planning; and
  • Opportunities for BOH members to participate in conferences or seminars that are sponsored or hosted by other organizations.

New members of the BOH for WDGPH will be provided with an orientation process and orientation binder when they become a member of the BOH.  The purpose of the orientation process is to provide all BOH members with information relating to public health standards, finance, Legislation governing health units, BOH roles, responsibilities, by-laws, structure, relevant policies and procedures. The orientation process will take place as a separate in-person meeting apart from regularly scheduled BOH meetings and will include review of orientation binder.

The orientation binder is created by the office of the MOH/CEO. An orientation manual created by the Association of Local Public Health Agencies (alPHa) is included in the orientation binder and serves as a resource for all BOH members.  The orientation binder will be revised at a minimum once a year or as changes occur.  BOH members will be provided with updated information for their orientation binders as changes occur in order to ensure current information is available to all BOH members.  BOH members are encouraged to attend alPHa conferences, seminars, workshops, and meetings as they arise (refer to www.alphaweb.org for further details).


This policy applies to all new members of the BOH


BOH Chair and/or MOH/CEO will:

  • Set up an orientation meeting with each new BOH member either prior to the first BOH meeting or as soon as reasonably possible thereafter;
  • Review the orientation binder with the BOH member to provide a clear understanding of relevant BOH and WDGPH information;
  • Provide ongoing orientation to all BOH members during their tenure on the BOH;
  • Provide each BOH member with a current and complete orientation binder;
  • Ensure the orientation binder is kept up to date and revised information provided to each BOH member; and
  • Utilize the services of the Board’s governance lawyer in the orientation process.

BOH Members will:

  • Attend an initial orientation meeting with the BOH Chair and/or MOH/CEO and BOH governance legal counsel upon becoming a member of the BOH;
  • Ensure they have a working understanding of their role as a BOH member and all information as outlined in the orientation binder; and
  • Use the orientation binder as a BOH resource.


Association of Local Public Health Agencies (alPHa) – a non-profit organization that provides leadership to Boards of Health and public health units in Ontario. Members include BOH members of health units, Medical and Associate Medical Officers of Health, and senior public health managers. alPHa advises and lends expertise to members on the governance, administration and management of health units. alPHa also collaborates with governments and other health organizations, advocating for a strong, effective and efficient public health system in the Province.

BOH By-Laws – the internal rules of the BOH for WDGPH.


Corresponding Procedure:  N/A
Association of Local Public Health Agencies Orientation Manual
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health Board of Health By-Laws


Office of the Medical Officer of Health/CEO


Chair of the Board of Health