The following are summaries of some recent decisions of the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee, reflecting three different dispositions. They are provided for educational purposes. Information in these summaries has been altered to protect the privacy of both members and complainants, and to protect the confidentiality of the investigation process. The relevant substance of the allegations and outcomes remain unchanged.
Inappropriate Use of Title: Decision Not to Investigate the Allegations (F&V)
The College received a complaint that a member had “purchased” an international doctoral degree and was inappropriately using the title “Dr.” The College’s preliminary online search of these allegations did not yield any supportive information, and the complainant declined to provide any further information.
The panel of the ICRC considering this matter did not believe there was sufficient information to proceed with the investigation. The complainant had indicated they were not a client of the member and declined to provide further information upon request. The panel also noted that the member appeared to otherwise be fully in compliance with the standards regarding the use of titles. The panel did not believe there was any risk to the public, and there was no practical purpose in proceeding with the investigation. The panel therefore considered the complaint to be frivolous, vexatious, made in bad faith, moot or otherwise an abuse of process, and decided to take no further action.
Following Public Health Guidelines: Decision: Advice
The complainant alleged that a member failed to wear a mask at all times while treating his child, in contravention of public health guidelines existing at that time. The complainant noted that his child was experiencing a lot of anxiety in relation to COVID-19.
The panel of the ICRC considering this matter noted that the member did not provide any information to suggest that they were subject to a medical exemption from wearing a mask. The panel acknowledged the member’s recognition of the distress their actions may have caused the child client. However, the panel remained concerned with the member’s failure to recognize that not following public health guidelines may put clients and others at physical risk, beyond causing them distress. The panel therefore decided to provide the member with Advice regarding the importance of following public health guidelines.
Confidentiality of Information: Decision: Undertaking
The member assessed a child client. During the intake appointment, the child’s parents disclosed that they had conflicts in their marital relationship. After the intake appointment, one of the parents sent the member an email providing further background and context to this conflict. The member’s response to this parent was copied to the other parent, so that the other parent had access to first parent’s email.
The panel of the ICRC considering this matter noted that the informed consent process in this matter did not appear to include guidance as to how the member would treat information received from others. The panel also noted that there did not appear to be any urgency in the situation that would have necessitated immediate disclosure of the email to the other parent. The panel identified risks to clients and others in not having a clear and thoughtful process for sharing information. The panel therefore decided it would be appropriate and in the public interest for the member to enter into an Undertaking with the College, to assist the member in implementing new approaches they had identified in relation to the disclosure of sensitive information.
|Advice||Advice is an outcome available to the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) after considering a complaint or report. Advice is meant to be helpful information to assist the member in their future practice. Advice does not appear on the public register.|
|Undertaking||An undertaking is a binding and enforceable agreement made by a member with the College that sets out one or more obligations or restrictions on the member. A member may enter into an undertaking with the ICRC or Registration Committee. Entering into an undertaking is not an admission of misconduct or incompetence. The public register must contain a notation and summary of any undertaking, while that undertaking is in effect. Once the undertaking is completed, the notation is removed from the public register.|