College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario

Issue Date: November 23, 2022
Proposal Submission Deadline: January 31, 2023



The College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturist of Ontario (the “College”) is seeking an independent consultant to facilitate an amendment to the Registration Regulation (Ontario Regulation 27/13) to include a Doctor Class of registration for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Practitioners and/or Acupuncturists in Ontario.

The College was proclaimed on April 1, 2013 by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, now Ministry of Health (MOH), under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA) and the Traditional Chinese Medicine Act, 2006 (TCM Act) as the regulatory body that regulates TCM practitioners and acupuncturists in Ontario. The mandate of the College is to protect the public interest. The College has approximately 2,700 registered members who are able to use protected titles and perform two-authorized controlled acts: 1) performing a procedure on tissue below the dermis and below the surface of a mucous membrane for the purpose of performing acupuncture and 2) communicating a traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis identifying a body system disorder as the cause of a person’s symptoms using traditional Chinese medicine techniques. (TCM Act, c.27, s. 4).

The controlled acts are used within the scope of practice as: “The practice of traditional Chinese medicine is the assessment of body system disorders through traditional Chinese medicine techniques and treatment using traditional Chinese medicine to promote, maintain or restore health”. (TCM Act, c.27, s. 3)

Currently, the College has four classes of registration (General, Student, Inactive and Temporary) that are defined in the Registration Regulation of the TCM Act. Only registered members of this College are permitted to use the authorized titles and designations: Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner (R. TCMP) and Registered Acupuncturist (R. Ac). At the moment, there is no doctor class of registration for this profession and members of this College are not permitted to use the “doctor” title.

On December 30, 2016, section 18(1) of the TCM Act was proclaimed to permit TCM practitioners in Ontario to use the title “doctor” upon amendment of the Registration Regulation. The College is seeking a consultant to assist the College in establishing the required competencies for Doctor Title eligibility and a process to assess those competencies. Details can be found in Section 4, Project Requirement and Deliverables.


2.1   Submission of Proposal

To be eligible for consideration, Proponents must submit one signed Proposal marked “original” by email, submitted to on or before January 31, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. EST. The College will not consider any Proposals received after the closing time. Proposal should be addressed to Ann Zeng, Registrar and CEO,

2.2   Questions and Enquiries

Proponents, who have read this Request for Proposals (RFP) and are interested in responding may direct

questions or request additional information in writing by email to Sean Cassman at before the deadline for questions on January 24, 2023. All questions and enquiries will be recorded. Received questions and responses will be disseminated to all Proponents by email, prior to the Proposal submission deadline. The College is not responsible for any misunderstanding on the part of the Proponent and is under no obligation to provide additional information but, may do so at its sole discretion.

2.3    The College’s Right to Amend, Supplement or Cancel RFP

The College, without liability, cost or penalty, may at any time cancel, amend or supplement this RFP. Any material amendments or supplements to the RFP will be communicated in a timely fashion to all Proponents. Any amendments or supplements made by any other party shall not be binding.

2.4   Disqualification of Proposals on Grounds of Faulty Submission

The College, without liability, cost or penalty, in its sole discretion, may disqualify any Proposal before the Proposal is fully evaluated if:

  1. It contains incorrect information;
  2. It does not include all required elements as noted in this RFP;
  • The Proponent misrepresents any information provided in its Proposal;
  1. The Proposal reveals a conflict of interest as per Section 6.3, Conflict of Interest; or
  2. The Proposal does not otherwise comply with the terms of the

2.5   Amending or Withdrawing Proposals Prior to Proposal Submission Deadline

At any time prior to the Proposal submission deadline, a Proponent may amend or withdraw a submitted Proposal. Any amendment must clearly indicate what part of the Proposal the amendment is intended to replace.

A notice of amendment or withdrawal must be sent prior to the Proposal submission deadline by email to Ann Zeng at


Throughout this RFP, the following definitions apply:

“Contract” means the written agreement resulting from this RFP to be executed by the College and the Contractor.

“Contractor” means the successful Proponent to this RFP who enters into a written Contract with the College.

Must” or “mandatory” means requirement that must be met in order for a Proposal to receive consideration.

“Proponent” means an individual or a company that submits, or intends to submit, a Proposal in response to this RFP.

“Request for Proposals” or “RFP” means the process described in this document.

“Should” or “desirable” means a requirement having a significant degree of importance to the objectives of the RFP.



4.1   Summary of the Project

The College is seeking an independent expert Consultant to work with the Doctor Title Working Group, the Registrar and CEO, and designated staff of the College to amend its Registration Regulation to include a Doctor Class of registration. When the TCM Act was proclaimed in 2006, section 33(2.1) of the RHPA

provided a provision that allowed members of the College to use the “doctor” title if they held a certificate

of registration that entitled them to do so. However, the College does not currently have a class of

registration that allows members to use the “doctor” title.

The mandate of the College is to protect the public. The College has the obligation to ensure practitioners are properly trained and qualified to meet the competencies of this profession. The College will be required to define the requirements necessary for entry into the Doctor Class of registration.

When the Registration Regulation is amended, section 18(1) of the TCM Act will permit members in the Doctor Class of Registration Ontario to use the “doctor” title. Until the amendments have been passed, members of the College are not permitted to use the “doctor” title. Currently, members of this College are permitted to use the protected titles and designations, Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner (R. TCMP) and Registered Acupuncturists (R. Ac).

The Doctor Title Work Group, an ad-hoc committee of the Council is charged with conducting research, synthesizing information and making recommendations to Council in the development of the regulation to permit the use of the “doctor” title. This working group consists of three public Council members, three professional Council members and one non-Council professional member, who are supported by the Registrar and Policy Analyst. See Appendix A – Terms of Reference.

The project has been separated into three phases: (1) conduct an environmental scan, (2) define requirements for the doctor class and (3) draft the regulation amendments for submission to the MOHLTC.

Phase one of the project was completed in November, 2019 with the final report on the environmental scan being accepted by the Working Group. This report generated a number of recommendations which have been adopted into the project deliverables for phase two of the project (see section 4.3)

The College is currently seeking a Consultant to carry out phase two of the project which requires the development of requirements for entry into the Doctor Tile Class. These requirements include minimum competencies that registrants must have, minimum levels of theoretical and practical instruction in TCM, and minimum levels of clinical training that include direct patient contact. The competency profile and education requirements will need to reflect a high level of education.

Phase 2 must include a consideration of what, if any, prerequisite education is required of a registrant in addition to their TCM education. In Ontario there is an expectation that those who are allowed to hold the Doctor title are highly trained and educated individuals. The Working

Group will be looking to establish what level of education is necessary outside of TCM education to meet this expectation.

Finally, the Consultant will be required to investigate to the value of experience as equivalent to education. In other words, will it be possible for a registrant to qualify for the Doctor Class if they do not have the required education, but do have a significant amount of experience practicing TCM.

The Consultant will conduct sessions with the working group to set a competency profile and education requirement. The Consultant will develop evaluation tools to assess a registrant’s competency and education in TCM against the requirements for the Doctor Title. Once complete, the Consultant will validate the draft requirements through stakeholder engagement, and prepare a report for the Working Group detailing the findings of the consultations.

4.2  Project Requirement

As stated in the Section 4.1, Summary of the Project, the successful Proponent will meet with the Doctor Title Working Group and develop timelines and methodology to for setting key requirements for the doctor title including education and competencies. They will be expected to familiarize themselves with the phase one final report which covers the findings from the public consultations. They will then be expected to lead the developments of the requirements with participation of the Working Group.

4.3  Project Deliverables

The Proponent is expected to deliver the following:

4.3.1      Detailed Project Work Plan with Proposed Timelines for the Duration of the Contract

The project work plan should describe:

  • The plan and timeline of how phase 2 will be conducted;
  • Methodology to develop competencies and education requirements with Working Group participation;
  • The activities necessary for developing evaluation tools;
  • Methodology for valuating draft competency profile and education requirements; and
  • The efforts that will be made to ensure transparency, impartiality, fairness and objectivity of the

4.3.2      Develop the Competencies Required to Qualify for the Doctor Title

The Consultant will lead the competency development project which will include:

  • Facilitating workshops with the Working Group to develop a competency profile;
  • Seeking subject matter experts, and other consultations where necessary; and
  • The development of evaluation tools to review the competencies of a registrant

4.3.3      Set Education Requirements for the Doctor Title

The Consultant will work closely with the Working Group to:

  • Set minimum requirements for theoretical and practical TCM instruction;
  • Set minimum requirements for clinical education that includes direct patient contact;
  • Consider the need for prerequisite education;
  • Consider alternative requirements for registrants with a high level of experience; and
  • Develop evaluation tools to review

4.3.4      Validate Requirements

The Consultant will validate the draft competency profile and education requirements by engaging in consultation with key stakeholders. Once complete, the Consultant will draft a report on the findings. Stakeholders are considered to include:

  • Patient groups/the general public
  • Members of the College;
  • Other jurisdictions that regulate TCM/Acupuncture;
  • Ontario and Canadian TCM educational facilities;
  • TCM associations;
  • Office of the Fairness Commissioner;
  • Other health regulatory colleges in Ontario and Canada; and
  • Ontario Ministry of

4.3.5        Reporting and Approval Requirements

Reports prepared by the Proponent are to be submitted in electronic copy to Ann Zeng at

The Registrar and CEO of the College, or the designated staff will distribute reports and communications from the Proponent to the Doctor Title Working Group and/or Council for consideration and approval, ensuring that reports and milestones for the project are completed on time.

4.4   Project Timelines

The project will be separated into three phases: (1) conduct an environmental scan, (2) define requirements for the doctor class and (3) draft the regulation amendments to submit to the MOHLTC.

Phase Activity Timeline
Phase I –Scan ·         For the purposes of this contract as laid out in Section 4, Project Requirements and Environmental Deliverables;

·         Define how the Doctor Class benefits the public and improve on system issues for access to healthcare in Ontario;

·         Facilitate consultation with members of the College, other regulatory bodies, educational institutes, and stakeholders;

·         Solicit feedback and recommendations from all stakeholders on education and training requirements, assessment process, and

competencies for the class;

Completed November 2019
·         Solicit support from stakeholders, members and the public; and

·         Provide detailed report of the findings and provide recommendations.

Phase II – Define Requirements ·         Draft competencies to qualify members to use the “doctor” title;

·         Design evaluation tools;

·         Survey and analyze education programs; and

·         Conduct consultations and validation sessions to finalize competencies and

evaluation tools.

March 2023 – January 2024
Phase III – Draft Regulation ·         Draft the amendment to the Registration Regulation with appropriate Legal counsel and College staff;

·         Conduct consultation with MOHLTC;

·         Finalize amendment for 60-day circulation; and

·         Submit for approval by Council, MOHLTC, and Cabinet.

April 2024 – October 2025



This Section describes the project/service elements that the College will require the successful Proponent to provide. The Proponent should address each element listed below indicating how it will meet the

College’s needs.

5.1   General Requirements

The Proponent should demonstrate an understanding of the project to be undertaken/services to be provided and should describe the approaches the Proponent will take to meet the College’s requirements.

The scope and deliverables of this assignment are outlined in Section 4, Project Requirements and Deliverables.

5.2      Qualification/Personnel Requirements

The Proponent should include a detailed description of the relevant qualifications, skills and experience of person(s) who will be assigned to provide the services. A resume or CV should be included with the description.

5.3      Proposed Work-Plan and Timeframe for Project Completion/Service Delivery

The Proponent should provide a detailed work plan of the project/services it will provide including all tasks, milestones and timeframes. This can be accomplished using a chart, graphic or other tool.

The timeframe for this project is expected to adhere to the requirements noted in Section 4.4 Project Timelines.

5.4      Cost Estimates/Budgets

The Proponent should:

  1. provide his/her consulting fees;
  2. set out separately all anticipated expenses, including travel expenses, which shall be in accordance with Ontario government eligibility rules and rates; and
  • calculate the total cost of the project/services to be



6.1      Proposal Format Checklist

The Proposal should:

  1. Include one signed Proposal marked “original” by email on or before January 31, 2023 at 5:00

p.m. EST;

  1. include all required elements as described in the RFP;
  • include a description of the Proponent’s ability to satisfy the requirements of the RFP; and
  1. include a detailed cost for the proposed services.

6.2      Proponent Information

The Proposal should provide/state:

  1. name, mailing address, email address, telephone and facsimile numbers of the contact person(s) for the Proponent;
  2. Proponent’s legal name and any other name under which it carries on business; and
  • Proponent’s address, telephone and facsimile

6.3      Conflict of Interest

The Proponent must confirm in its Proposal that the Proponent:

  1. does not and will not have any conflict of interest (actual or perceived) in submitting its Proposal or, if selected, with the contractual obligations as Contractor under the Agreement. Where applicable, a Proponent must declare in its Proposal any situation that may be a conflict of interest in submitting its

The Proponent must confirm that the Proponent neither has nor has had access to any Conflict of Interest Confidential Information as defined below:

  1. “Conflict of Interest Confidential Information” refers to confidential information of the College other than confidential information disclosed to Proponent in the normal course of the RFP. The Conflict of Interest Confidential Information is relevant to the project/services required by the RFP and the RFP evaluation process, and the disclosure for which could result in prejudice to the College or an unfair advantage to the
  • “Confidential Information” means information, data, material and items in any form supplied to the Proponent by the College or otherwise acquired by the Proponent in connection with this RFP, whether supplied to or acquired by the Proponent before or after the issuance of this RFP, as well

as all software and deliverables supplied or created by the Proponent.

All Confidential Information is the property of the College, unless otherwise indicated. The Proponent shall ensure that it:

  1. holds Confidential Information in confidence;
  2. does not disclose Confidential Information without prior written authorization from the College;
  • upon request returns Confidential Information to the College within ten calendar days after any request; and
  1. upon request returns all Confidential Information to the College within ten calendar days after the announcement of the qualified

The Proposal of any Proponent may be disqualified, or if the Proposal is accepted, can be cancelled, where the Proponent fails to provide confirmation of the foregoing or makes misrepresentations regarding any of the above.



The objective of the evaluation process is to identify the Proposal(s) that most effectively meet(s) the requirements of the RFP, based on the evaluation criteria.

7.1       Evaluation Process

The College shall evaluate all Proposals that have not been disqualified for the reasons set out in Section 2.4, Disqualification of Proposals.

7.2       Evaluation of Overall Presentation of Proposal and General Requirements of the RFP Stage 1:

The College shall evaluate the Proponent’s Proposal based on the rated criteria with respect to the requirements of the RFP provided for in Section 4, Project Requirements and Deliverables.

Stage 2:

The top Proponents will be invited to participate in an interview/presentation with the Selection Panel.

Stage 3:

The College shall check the references provided by the selected Proponents.

Further details concerning this evaluation are provided for in Section 9, Evaluation Criteria.

The College reserves the right to communicate with Proponents as necessary during the evaluation process. Not all Proponents may be communicated with in the same manner or to the same extent.

The College without liability, cost, or penalty, may, in its sole discretion, at any stage, do one or more of the following:

  1. qualify any Proponent;
  2. not qualify any Proponent;
  • cancel the RFP;
  1. issue a new RFP; or
  2. short-list one or more Proponents for further



Subject to satisfactory reference checks and completed security clearances, any qualified Proponent will be required to enter into an acceptable written contract with the College before final selection. The College may, in its sole discretion, enter into preliminary discussions with the Proponent with the aim of expediting the finalization of the contract and any negotiations.



Each Proponent’s submitted Proposal will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

Stage 1

Rated Criteria Weighting (Points)
Experience and Qualifications

·         Proven track record

·         Proven experience and understanding of Registration Regulations

40 points
Communication and Reporting

·         Proven experience in methodology and development of competencies

·         Proven experience in education standard setting

·         Proven experience in methodology and facilitation of consultations

60 points

·         Proven ability to meet timeline and delivery expectations

20 points
Total out of a possible 120 points


Stage 2

Rated Criteria Weighting (Points)

·         Unique experience in execution of similar projects

·         Unique aspects to ensure timely delivery of project deliverables

·         Experience in methodology and facilitation of consultations

40 points
Total out of a possible 40 points


Stage 3

Rated Criteria Weighing (Points)

·         Responsiveness to client needs and flexibility

·         Reliability and professionalism

40 points


Total out of a possible 40 points



The questions below have been provided to indicate the kinds of considerations the College will make when evaluating Proposals. This list may not be exhaustive. The questions have been organized to correspond to the requirements provided for in Section 4, Project Requirements and Deliverables and Section 5, General Requirements.

9.1      Evaluation of the General Requirements

Does the Proponent describe the project/services in such a way that the Proponent demonstrates an understanding of the project/services?

9.2      Evaluation of Qualifications

Do the qualifications, skills and experience of the Proponent appear to be appropriate and sufficient to meet the College’s needs?

9.3      Evaluation of Proposed Work Plan and Timeframe for Project Completion/ServiceDelivery

Does the work plan and timeframe address and meet the College’s needs?

9.4      Evaluation of Cost Estimates/Budgets

How does the total cost of the project compare with the costs shown in other Proposals and does it fit within the College’s budgetary allocation for this project? Cost is not the only consideration and the lowest bid may not necessarily be the successful one.

9.5      Evaluation of Communications Abilities

Has the Proponent communicated easily and clearly? How will the Proponent be able to accommodate the unique language challenges of the Proposal and members?

APPENDIX A – Terms of Reference, Doctor Title Working Group
APPENDIX B – Summary of Phase 1: Environmental Scan

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