Part 4 of the Health Professions Act (HPA) deals with complaints and professional discipline and provides a standardization of the terms and processes related to matters of unprofessional conduct.
The HPA in Section 55 provides the complaints director with a number of actions in which to deal with a complaint. This process allows the complaints director to choose an appropriate method to deal with a complaint.
Alternative Complaint Resolution
Alternative Complaint Resolution (ACR) is a formalized mediation process in which both parties, the complainant and the practitioner, have agreed to ACR, including an agreement on the process and outcome. This process also involves a college representative and a mediator.
Hearing Tribunals are constituted by the College's hearings director upon receipt of a referral from the complaints director. A hearing tribunal is composed of two (2) regulated members of the college canvassed from a hearing tribunal pool of members, (who have indicated their ability to discharge the duties unbiased), and one (1) government appointed public member.
In a hearing, the College is represented by the College legal counsel and where applicable, the College's complaints director, and the regulated member can either represent themselves alone or with legal counsel. In most cases, the complainant will be called at some point of the hearing, to provide evidence. The process of the hearing is similar to a regular court except less formal.
Outcomes of a hearing are dependant on the hearing tribunal's findings. If the hearing tribunal finds a regulated member to be guilty of unprofessional conduct, orders can be made which include general orders, fines, suspension, conditions on practice permits or cancellation of practice permits.
Complaint Review Committee (CRC)
If the complaints director dismisses a complaint, the complainant has the right to request a review of the dismissed complaint within 30 days of the date of the dismissal. This review is done by the Complaint Review Committee (CRC).
CRC's are constituted by the College's hearings director upon receipt of a request for review from the complainant. The CRC is composed of two (2) regulated members of the College canvassed from a CRC pool of members, (who have indicated their ability to discharge the duties unbiased), and one (1) government appointed public member.
The CRC review the entire complaint file and may request additional submissions from both the complainant and the College in written form, verbal or both. The CRC can make one of three (3) decisions:
- They can uphold the dismissal of the complaint.
- They can refer the complaint back to the complaints director for further investigation.
- They can refer the complaint to the hearings director for constitution of the Hearing Tribunal Hearing.
Complaint Resolution Process - Flowcharts
Actions, Expert Report and Investigation
These flowcharts (PDF Documents), outline the complaint resolution process under the Health Professions Act. The complaints director may be required or choose to use more than one action in dealing with a complaint.
Complaint Resolution Process - EXPERT REPORT
Complaint Resolution Process - INVESTIGATION