The Discipline Process

The College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario is responsible for addressing complaints and other concerns about the conduct, competence and capacity of its Members.

Serious matters involving allegations of professional misconduct or incompetence may be referred to the Discipline Committee for a hearing. A discipline hearing is a formal legal process. Evidence is presented to a panel of three to five committee members including members of the profession and members of the public appointed to the College’s Council by the Lieutenant Governor.

The College will be represented by a lawyer who prosecutes the case. The Member is advised to retain a competent representative, but may choose to be self-represented. In addition, the panel will have its own legal advisor, known as Independent Legal Counsel (ILC), who is independent of the College and the Member.

Careful preparation goes into conducting a hearing. The names of witnesses, documentary evidence, and the reports of expert witnesses, must be disclosed in advance, both by the College and the Member. In addition, pre-hearing conferences may be held to discuss whether any issues can be settled or simplified in advance of the hearing.

Discipline hearings are generally held in public.

If a Member is found to have committed professional misconduct, the committee may make one or more of the following orders:

  1. directing the Registrar to revoke the Member’s Certificate of Registration;
  2. directing the Registrar to suspend the Member’s Certificate of Registration for a specified period of time;
  3. directing the Registrar to impose specified terms, conditions and limitations on the Member’s Certificate of Registration for a specified or indefinite period of time;
  4. requiring the Member to appear before the panel to be reprimanded;
  5. requiring the Member to pay a fine of not more than $35,000 to the Minister of Finance;
  6. if the act of professional misconduct was the sexual abuse of a client, requiring the Member to reimburse the College for funding provided for that client under the Client Relations Program;
  7. if the panel makes an order under paragraph 6, requiring the Member to post security acceptable to the College to guarantee the payment of any amounts the Member may be required to reimburse under the order under paragraph 6.

If the professional misconduct involved sexual abuse of a client, the panel shall reprimand the Member and suspend their Certificate of Registration. In cases involving intercourse or certain forms of sexual touching of a client, the panel is required to revoke the Member’s Certificate of Registration for a period of at least five years.

Rules of Procedure of the Discipline Committee

The Discipline Committee has developed Rules of Procedure that will govern how discipline hearings are conducted. The inaugural Rules were approved in January 2014 and revised in March 2014. They will be reviewed by the committee periodically.

See also:

Professional Misconduct Regulation
Professional Practice Standards for RPs
Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991
Règles de procédure du comité de discipline