EQAO is an independent Operational Service Agency (formerly Schedule IV) established to deliver assessment programs that yield objective and reliable information on student achievement. The agency is governed by a board of directors appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. As outlined in the Education Quality and Accountability Office Act, 1996 (the EQAO Act), seven to nine directors may be appointed to the board for a term specified by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
The agency board is accountable, through the chair, to the Minister of Education and is responsible for setting the goals, objectives, policies and strategic directions of the agency according to its mandate as defined by the EQAO Act, a Memorandum of Understanding and the policies and directives established by the Minister of Education and the Management Board of Cabinet.
The board of directors is accountable to the people of Ontario by maintaining its arm’s-length relationship with the provincial government; by setting strategic policy directions for achieving its mandate; by setting priorities for achieving excellence in the delivery of Ontario’s large-scale assessment program and by communicating with the education community.
The agency chair is accountable to the minister and provides leadership to the agency by keeping the minister informed; by submitting, on behalf of the agency board, the business and annual plans and reports; and by carrying out the roles and responsibilities assigned to the chair by the Management Board of Cabinet directives, the EQAO Act, the Memorandum of Understanding and the board’s governance policies. According to the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006, subsection 62(1)(3), the chair serves as the ethics executive of the agency. The chair also ensures the integrity of the board’s processes and represents the board to outside parties.
The board meets regularly and conducts business according to the EQAO Act, its bylaws, the Memorandum of Understanding and the Public Service of Ontario Act. An Audit and Finance Committee has been established to support the board in ensuring that EQAO exercises due diligence in maintaining an effective financial-control framework. Other board committees are assigned as required to reinforce the board’s role.
The board’s connection to EQAO operations is through the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The CEO is accountable to the agency’s board for overseeing the management and operations of the agency, for the supervision of the agency’s staff and for carrying out the roles and responsibilities assigned by the board, the EQAO Act, the Memorandum of Understanding and the agency directives set out by the Management Board of Cabinet.
Staff members of the agency are accountable to the CEO for carrying out the roles and responsibilities that are assigned to them by the CEO and articulated in the annual business and performance plans.