CPCSSN is a project in the Centre for Studies in Primary Care at Queen’s University. The Governance consists of a volunteer CPCSSN Committee and operating committee structure.

The governance for the CPCSSN is based on a consensus decision-making model with a standing committee structure.  It was designed to allow for transparency of operations, accountability, adaptability and durability.  This strong effective governance structure will give funders confidence that the Network will administer funds in an efficient and transparent manner; will assure member Practice Based Research Networks (PBRNs) that the decision-making process will be both inclusive and transparent; and will provide participating family physicians with the comfort that the Network is governed in a professional and ethical manner.

The governance principles that guided the development of the CPCSSN governance:

  • Must meet all the principles of good governance:
  • Clear decision-making structure
  • Defined lines of accountability
  • Assigned and transparent responsibility for financial management
  • Assigned responsibility for risk management
  • Defined rules for dispute resolution


Operationally the governance structure will work as follows:

  • The CPCSSN Committee will have representation from all participating PBRNs
  • PBRN representatives on the CPCSSN Committee will be expected to represent their local network’s interests and speak for their networks
  • Standing Committee Chairs will be members of the CPCSSN Committee and may be required to represent both their local network as well as their Committee
  • The CPCSSN Committee will make all decisions of substance on behalf of the CPCSSN
  • Standing Committees will analyze and discuss issues and report to the Board
  • The CPCSSN Committee will work with an Advisory Committee of stakeholders to consult on issues of mutual interest or concerns and to communicate plans and opportunities


Governance is an organic process that requires ongoing reflection and maintenance.  The structure of the CPCSSN has a built-in yearly self-assessment and review process to ensure that the structure and its processes are continually improved and adapted to meet the organization’s changing needs.