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.
Private Donation: Decision: Not to Investigate the Allegations (F&V)
An individual who was not a client complained about a member’s financial donation to the “Freedom Convoy.” The donation was made public because of a leak by a third party.
The panel of the ICRC considering this matter noted that the donation had been made privately, without any identification of the member as a psychologist. The panel also noted that when the donation was made, doing so was not illegal. The panel therefore believed that the conduct was not sufficiently related to the member’s practice of psychology, and it did not have the authority to investigate the complaint.
Supervision in a Clinic Setting: Decision: Advice
A complainant alleged that the services they received at a university clinic were not appropriately supervised. In particular, the therapist initiated a psychiatric consultation, which resulted in the psychiatrist signing a Form 1, Application by Physician for Psychiatric Assessment under the Mental Health Act, 1990, and the client being escorted to the hospital by police. The complainant alleged that he had never met the supervising psychologist, and the therapist did not communicate with the supervising psychologist before consulting with the psychiatrist.
The panel of the ICRC considering this matter believed that the therapist’s consultation with the psychiatrist was appropriate under the circumstances. Given the supervisor’s professional responsibility for the client however, the panel believed the supervisor should have been notified of the situation, and should have followed up with the client, in a timelier manner. The panel noted that the member appeared to take the matter seriously and had already implemented some changes in his practice to address the allegations. The panel therefore decided it would be appropriate and in the public interest to provide the member with Advice to expand on these changes.
Duties and Responsibility of Supervision: Decision – Undertakings
A complainant alleged that she did not know her therapy was being supervised by a registered psychologist. She had concerns about the nature of the therapy provided.
The panel of the ICRC considering this matter noted that the client signed a consent form which indicated that the therapist was under the member’s supervision. The panel was concerned however, that the nature of the supervision did not appear sufficient. In particular, the panel did not see any supervision notes regarding the complainant. The member explained that any discussion regarding the client would only have occurred if the therapist had raised any issues. The panel believed that this approach reflected a fundamental misunderstanding of the duties and responsibilities of the member, as supervisor. They suggested it is up to the supervisor to proactively address each client’s needs with the therapist, as opposed to delegating that responsibility to the therapist. The panel therefore believed it was appropriate and in the public interest to ask the member to enter into an Undertaking, comprised of a coaching program, to address these concerns.