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INTRODUCTION TO THE APPEAL OF COLLEGE REGISTRATION DECISIONS

INTRODUCTION TO THE REVIEW OF COLLEGE INQUIRIES, COMPLAINTS AND REPORTS COMMITTEE DECISIONS

 

INTRODUCTION TO THE APPEAL OF COLLEGE REGISTRATION DECISIONS

Registration Information Sheet

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Ontario Has 29 Regulated Health Professions

Each of these professions is governed by a College that is responsible for setting standards of practice, ensuring quality, protecting the public, and investigating complaints.

An applicant who has received an order of a Registration Committee refusing to issue a certificate of registration or licence, or giving a certificate of registration or license that has some limits or conditions can require the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board to either review or hold a hearing of his/her application for registration.

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The Health Professions Appeal and Review Board...

is an independent adjudicative agency. It is independent of government. Board members are not government employees, and they are not allowed to have ever been members of a regulated health profession or College.

The Board consists of at least 12 members, all appointed by the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council based on the recommendations of the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. Most are part-time appointees.

The Board’s powers and process are as specified by the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, and the Veterinarians Act, 1990.

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Requests Must be Timely and in Writing

A request for a Board Review or Hearing must be in writing and must be addressed to both the Board and to the College’s Registration Committee. It must be received within 30 days after the date that notice of the Committee’s order was given. Please indicate whether you require a Review or a Hearing.

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A Board Review...

Is a paper process that neither party (College or Applicant) attends. Reviews are often held faster and are less formal than Hearings. The College provides the Board with the order and the materials upon which the order was based. The Applicant will be asked only to submit his/her written comments to the Board.

The Board will proceed with its Review when it receives the Applicant’s comments and relevant information from the College. The Review is conducted by a panel of Board Members. Panels are usually three members.

The panel will examine the application, the Committee’s order, and the materials upon which the order was based. It will also consider the profession’s registration regulation and the Applicant’s submissions.

The Board makes its decision based only on this information. There is no transcript or recording of the Review.

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Board Hearings are Court-Like Proceedings

The Applicant and the College are responsible for presenting their own cases. They must introduce their own evidence and may call witnesses to testify under oath.

Applicants often have a lawyer, friend or family member act as their representative. Colleges are often represented by a lawyer. Hearings are public and transcripts are available from the reporting service at a cost.

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In Either a Review or Hearing the Board’s Decision May Be To...

  1. Confirm the Registration Committee’s order or proposed decision;
  2. Require the College to issue a certificate of registration or licence to the applicant upon successful completion of any examinations or training the Registration Committee may specify;
  3. Require the Committee to issue a certificate of registration or licence to the applicant, with any terms, conditions and limitations the Board considers appropriate (if the applicant qualifies for registration and if the Registration Committee is determined to have exercised its powers improperly); or to
  4. Refer the matter back to the Registration Committee.

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To Prepare for a Review or a Hearing...

Carefully review the appropriate legislation, e.g., the Veterinarians Act and its regulations, or the Regulated Health Professions Act, its Code, the profession-specific act (e.g., the Medicine Act), its registration regulation, and any other materials the College issues regarding registration.

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If you Prefer a Review...

please submit your written comments to the Board. Ensure that they clearly explain why you want the Board to review your application, why you object to the Registration Committee’s order or proposed decision, and what you’d like the Board to do.

It helps if you refer to specific requirements of the legislation, regulation or College policies or practices to support your case.

Make sure that you provide comments by the deadline that the Board will provide. If you don’t, the Board could proceed with its Review without your comments.

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If you Prefer a Hearing...

please remember that a hearing is a court-like procedure. You will want to be prepared:

  • Notify the Board of any special needs you may have (e.g., interpreter services, assistive devices, audio/visual aids).
  • If you choose to, you can arrange for a lawyer or someone else to handle your case or accompany you. Please notify the Board in writing if you are having someone else represent you.
  • Make sure you understand the grounds on which the College can refuse to issue or renew a certificate or license.
  • Prepare your case or argument. You should be able to state clearly why you object to the Registration Committee’s decision or proposal, what you want the Board to do about it and why. It helps if you can refer specifically to the requirement of the legislation, the registration regulations and/or College policies and practices.
  • Make arrangements for any witnesses who can support your case to attend the Hearing. (You will be responsible for any costs to have them attend.)
  • If you feel there are good reasons to exclude the public from all or part of the Hearing, please write to the Board as soon as possible with your reasons why the public should be excluded.

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INTRODUCTION TO THE REVIEW OF COLLEGE INQUIRIES, COMPLAINTS AND REPORTS COMMITTEE DECISIONS

Complaint Review Information Sheet

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Ontario Has 29 Regulated Health Professions

Each of these professions is governed by a College that is responsible for setting standards of practice, ensuring quality, protecting the public, and investigating complaints.

Anyone may complain to a College about the conduct or actions of a regulated health professional. The College’s Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee must investigate and make a decision about complaints that are not considered to be frivolous or vexatious.

If the person who filed the complaint, or the College member who is the subject of it, is dissatisfied with the Committee’s decision, they have the right to ask the Board to review the Committee’s decision.

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The Health Professions Appeal and Review Board...

Is an independent adjudicative agency. It is independent of government. Board members are not government employees, and they are not allowed to have ever been members of a regulated health profession or College.

The Board consists of at least 12 members, all appointed by the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council based on the recommendations of the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. Most are part-time appointees.

One of the Board’s tasks is to review, when asked, decisions made by College Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committees. Its powers and process are as specified by the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, and the Veterinarians Act, 1990.

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Requests Must be Timely and in Writing

Requests for Board Complaint Reviews must be in writing and received within 30 days of the date that the requesting party received the Complaint Committee’s decision and notice of the right to request the Review.

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The Board Will Not Proceed...

with requests that it decides are “frivolous, vexatious, made in bad faith, or otherwise an abuse of process.”

Nor can the Board proceed with a Review when its requestor withdraws the request and the other party(s) agree to the withdrawal.

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Complaint Reviews are Informal

Parties may certainly attend the Board’s Review, but they are not required to.

While parties do not need a lawyer in order to participate in the Review, they may decide to have someone (a lawyer, family member, friend or agent) act as their representative. Health professionals who are the subject of a complaint are often represented by a lawyer.

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The College has a Role to Play

Prior to the Review, the College provides the Board with the College’s record of the investigation of the complaint and all the documents and other materials upon which its Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee’s decision was based.

While the College is not a party to the Review, a College representative frequently attends Board Reviews. His or her role is to answer any questions the Board may have.

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The Board Provides Copies to the Parties...

Of all the information it received from the College and from the other parties.

The Board will withhold certain information of a personal nature, or that could jeopardize anyone’s security or safety, or that could undermine the integrity of the complaints investigation or review process.

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During the Review...

A panel of the Board, usually three members, will assess the reasonableness of the Committee’s decision and/or the adequacy of the investigation.

The party who requested the Review will be asked to comment regarding these issues, and the other party will have an opportunity to respond. The Board will likely have questions for the parties and for the College Representative.

Each party may comment on issues raised by the other party, but parties are not allowed to question each other.

Parties may not call witnesses, and no transcript or recording of the Review is made.

Either party may submit written comments to the Board prior to the Review.

The Board sometimes renders an oral decision, and always issues a written Decision and Reasons following the Review.

Usually Board Reviews are open to the public and its decisions are public. The Board may modify these policies if provided reasons, sufficient to outweigh the public interest, why certain information should be kept private.

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The Board Considers...

  • All the information that was available to the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee;
  • The reasons expressed by the Committee in its written decision;
  • The parties’ comments submitted orally and/or in writing to the Board; and
  • The answers to its questions asked at the Review.

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The Board’s Decision May Be To...

  • Refer the matter back to the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee;
  • Make recommendations to the Committee;
  • Require the Committee to do things it is legally capable of doing; or to
  • Confirm the Committee’s decision.

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The Board May Not...

  • Give treatment advice or information;
  • Examine patients or give a diagnosis;
  • Make referrals to health care or other professionals;
  • Award money or damages; or
  • Conduct its own investigation once the Committee has issued its decision.

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Other Board Services Include...

Upon request and when appropriate, ordering a Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee to deal with a complaint if the Committee has not done so within the 120 days required of it, as provided by statute.

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