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.
Not Proceeding with an Assessment: Decision: Take No Further Action
A complainant was referred to a member for a psychological assessment in the context of an insurance claim. The complainant alleged that at their initial meeting, she said she would file a complaint with the College if the assessment was not conducted professionally and impartially. In response, the member inappropriately refused to conduct the assessment.
The panel of the ICRC considering this matter believed that on the record, it appeared that the complainant was not comfortable with the assessment process. The panel believed that the member took appropriate steps to explain the process and to obtain informed consent. However, it did not appear that the complainant was prepared to proceed with the assessment. The panel therefore decided to Take No Further Action with respect to the complaint.
Appropriateness of Feedback Session: Decision: Advice
The complainant alleged that a member provided diagnoses of two personality disorders in the last ten minutes of a virtual feedback session in relation to a psychoeducational assessment. The complainant believed that it was inappropriate to provide these diagnoses without also providing him with a copy of the report, and sufficient time to ask questions and understand what these diagnoses meant.
The panel of the ICRC considering this matter did believe that it may have been prudent to consider the timing and method of communicating the assessment results to the complainant. This was especially the case where it appeared that complex information needed to be reviewed and the information might have been difficult to receive. The panel therefore decided that it would be appropriate and in the public interest to provide the member with ADVICEin this regard.
Professionalism: Decision: Undertaking
A registered psychologist complained that another member made disparaging comments about her work in a number of assessment reports. These disparaging comments included that she was not competent to conduct these assessments, challenged her conclusions, and questioned her professional ethics.
The panel of the ICRC considering this matter had concerns about the member’s conduct in making these kinds of comments within assessment reports. The panel recognized that psychologists may disagree with and challenge the opinions of their colleagues. However, it is important that they do so in a respectful manner and refrain from personal attacks on character and competence. The panel noted that these kinds of comments may also negatively affect clients’ trust in their treating professionals and in the profession of psychology as a whole, and could potentially affect clients’ entitlement to appropriate interventions. The panel therefore believed that it would be that appropriate and in the public interest to ask the member to enter into an Undertaking with the College to address professionalism and collegial communications.
|Take no Further Action||A panel may take no further action if it believes there is no risk to the public.|
|Advice||A panel may give advice if it identifies low risks. Advice is meant to help the member avoid future risks.|
|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.|