Corporate Director, Ethics Services

Work Area: 
Ethics Network
Base Site: 
Hornby Street
Regular Full Time
Job Category: 
Management/Non Union
Patient Care Support
Acute Care Hospital


Reporting to the Vice President of Mission, Ethics & Spirituality, the Corporate Director, Ethics Services is accountable for developing, planning, implementing and evaluating Ethics services and research for Providence Health Care, one of Canada’s largest Catholic health care provider. The position has five main areas of emphasis, including Clinical/Research Ethics, Education, Research, Policy Review, Development and Implementation, and Administration. The Corporate Director, Ethics Services is responsible for building organizational capacity for sound ethical decision-making by engaging physicians, staff, researchers and volunteers in appropriate forums. The Corporate Director consults on ethical issues that arise in the relationships with PHC and other health authorities and research, religious and academic organizations. The position also provides leadership on ethical issues by participating on appropriate internal and external committees and task groups.


The Corporate Director, Ethics Services possesses the following competencies that drive organizational success:

Defines a vision and facilitates, guides, and mentors individuals and groups towards the vision, while maintaining group cohesiveness, motivation, commitment and effectiveness.

Communicates effectively both verbally and in writing such that messages are understood; that is, understanding the essence and subtleties of the communication and the intended audience.

Resources Management:
Manages human, capital, financial and information resources so that organizational objectives are achieved.

Conceptual Skills:
Identifies and analyses situations and problems such that viable solutions are found. Approaches tasks and problems such that total systems and strategies are taken into account.

Public/Community Focus:
Responsive to the needs of health care, public and community stakeholders and customers. Seeks partnership opportunities and actively promotes positive relations.

Results management:
Plans and establishes courses of action for self and others that are results oriented.

Systems Thinking:
Aware of the interdependence of organizational systems and stakeholders and considers the whole in the formulation of solutions.

Team Focus:
Strives to understand perspectives of team members, presents convincing point of view, and resolves conflicts.

Time Management:
Manages own work activities and delegates tasks to achieve maximum efficiency.

Quality Improvement:
Continuously identifies and implements improvements in work systems to ensure that the highest possible level of quality service is achieved.

Knowledge and Abilities:
A deep appreciation and understanding of Catholic health care, Catholic moral teaching, and Health Ethics Guide (2013).
Working knowledge of current literature related to health care ethics.
High degree of understanding and sensitivity about ethical issues within a Catholic health care setting.
Ability to plan and organize workload activity.
Ability to develop, prioritize and accomplish objectives.
Demonstrated leadership in management of ethical issues, policy development, review and implementation.
Ability to provide focused leadership to a team.
Ability to develop community resources and maintain relationships.
Physical ability to carry out the duties of the position.
Demonstrated excellence in interpersonal relationships, written and verbal communication skills, and presentation and group facilitation skills.
Ability to plan and organize workload activity.
Ability to develop, prioritize and accomplish objectives.
Ability to work in collaboration with community organizations.
Demonstrated commitment to the Mission, Vision and Values of Providence Health Care.
Personal Characteristics

Mission/Values Congruence (between self and Providence Health Care)
Relationship Building
Personal Initiative
Team Focused
Tolerance for Ambiguity
Service Focused/Customer Focused
Ability to deal constructively with conflict


Doctoral Degree in Ethics, Philosophy or Moral Theology or a terminal degree in a vocation related to bioethics (medicine, nursing, law, social work, etc.) and a masters level degree in bioethics. A clinical fellowship or traineeship is strongly recommended. Health care ethics experience (practical or learned), including seven (7) to ten (10) years’ recent, related experience in clinical, educational and administrative capacities or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience. Membership with Canadian Bioethics Society or other related body is an asset.


Clinical/Research Ethics

Develops, plans, directs, implements and evaluates a corporate plan for Ethics Services, including decision-making, clinical consultation, Ethics Resource Forum and other committee structures.

Acts as a clinical ethical consultant and resource for ethical decision making in the clinical setting in collaboration with patients, residents, staff, physicians and volunteers. Provide consultations to Research Ethics Board for PHC Research Division.

Acts as a senior, organizational ethics expert resource to Boards, PHC Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and the wider management team, and participates in the Research Ethics Board as required.


Assesses the educational needs of staff, physicians, residents/fellows and volunteers, identifies required resources and develops, plans and delivers educational opportunities and/or workshops.

Coordinates and manages a clinical ethics fellowship program including developing didactic and practical components of the program, influencing and facilitating learning.

Managing administrative aspects of the ethics fellowship program in conjunction with the University of British Columbia (UBC) and/or other academic centres.

Provides ethical training for physicians including ethics, values and moral decision-making.


Engages in research and scholarly activities including developing comprehensive reports, and secures funds as required in collaboration with the Vice President by liaising with funding sources, and communicating Providence Health Care’s Mission, Vision and Values and Ethical Framework as it relates to research.

Promotes the integration of ethics research into clinical practice by participating in applicable multidisciplinary activities such as care conferences, teams and committees, and maintaining current knowledge of issues pertaining to ethics.

Policy Review, Development and Implementation

Plans, facilitates, implements, monitors and evaluates the ethical services necessary to meet the needs of patients and residents, staff, physicians and volunteers, including connecting to university and community resources wherever appropriate and collaborating with program leaders, health care providers and Research Services.

Facilitates and provides leadership in the development of Providence Health Care’s policies, procedures and guidelines pertaining to ethics which reflect sound ethical practices, and in accordance with the Mission, Vision and Values, and Ethical Framework and Health Ethics Guide (2013). Makes recommendations to the SLT for changes as appropriate.

Leads and/or participates in clinical/research ethics process improvements by engaging appropriate team members in problem solving, and applying methods and tools of quality improvement.

Leads and/or participates in the development of inter-health authority policies that affect clinical and organizational ethics.

Administration/Staff Leadership

Collaborates with other departments/teams/programs/organizations, medical staff, leaders and front-line staff to monitor the effectiveness of Ethics Services as it may relate to a specific area. This includes ethical services matters that may involve multiple organizations that PHC departments provide services to through Lower Mainland Consolidation (LMC) and Regional Service models.

Prepares, presents and controls operating budgets. Sets fiscal priorities within budget, and evaluates and analyzes financial data.

Provides leadership throughout Providence Health Care on Ethics issues by participating on appropriate internal and external task groups, committees and associations.

Administers and is a faculty member at the Ethics Conference, Ethics for Lunch and annual Ethics Symposium.

Organizes, facilitates and sets agenda for regular meetings of the Ethics Leadership Forum to ensure broad and timely engagement on clinical, organizational and education ethics needs of Providence Health Care.

Provides leadership and guidance to PHC’s Physician Ethicists and Ethics fellows.

Supervises designated staff by interviewing and selecting staff, setting priorities, establishing and monitoring performance expectations, and managing workload to meet operational requirements. Evaluate individual and team performance in collaboration with appropriate internal stakeholders. Investigates work and staff issues and where necessary initiates disciplinary action up to and including termination. Participates in labour relations and approves essential service levels as necessary in co-operation with applicable Human Resource teams.

Performs other related leadership functions as required.