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.
Consent to Services: Decision – Take No Further Action
The complainant alleged that a member did not give her any documentation to sign regarding consent or confidentiality with respect to her child’s treatment. The child did not live with this parent, and the parent lived several hours away from the member’s office.
The panel of the ICRC considering this matter noted that the member documented both having explained the limits of confidentiality and having obtained informed consent during two telephone calls with the parent before initiating services with the child. The parent subsequently signed a consent form several months later, upon her first attendance at the member’s office. The panel therefore decided to take no further action with respect to the complaint.
Documentation of Supervision: Decision – Acknowledgement & Undertaking
The College received a complaint from an insurance company regarding a member’s supervision practices. In particular, the insurance company alleged that the member made supervisory agreements with supervisees for the sole purpose of facilitating billing and payment for services by third-party payers. This was particularly the case for supervisees registered with other regulatory bodies.
The panel of the ICRC considering this matter noted that a member may supervise services that a registered member of another College is independently authorized to provide. Since the supervisee could independently provide the services however, the panel had concerns that the reason for the supervision at issue, e.g., training, support, etc., was not adequately documented. The panel noted that the Supervision Standards specify expectations for supervision records. These Standards are necessary to ensure that supervision meets the expectation of an ongoing educational, evaluative and hierarchical relationship, where the supervisee is required to comply with the direction of the supervisor, and the supervisor is responsible for the actions of the supervisee. The panel therefore determined that an Acknowledgement and Undertaking, which included an assessment and report to the Registrar with respect to supervision records, would be appropriate to address and remediate these concerns.
Termination of Services: Decision – Specified Continuing Education or Remediation Program (SCERP)
The member provided court-ordered counselling to a child with the consent of both parents. After seeing the child for several months, the member felt that her services were no longer helpful and terminated counselling services. The complainant had several concerns with the way services were terminated.
The panel of the ICRC considering this matter was concerned that it did not appear appropriate to terminate services by email and without addressing the termination with the child client. The panel was also concerned with the member’s refusal to provide the complainant parent with access to the child’s clinical record post-termination. Finally, the panel was concerned that the member’s conduct with respect to both parents lacked transparency and may have given rise to the appearance of bias. The panel therefore decided that it was appropriate and in the public interest to order the member to complete a Specified Continuing Education or Remediation Program (SCERP), comprised of a Coaching Program, to address and remediate these concerns.