Complaints & Reports to the College

If you have a concern about psychological services you have received, we want to hear about it.

One of the College’s most important responsibilities is to respond to your concerns about psychologists and psychological associates. We are here to ensure that registered members provide appropriate care to all Ontarians. 

Anyone can file a complaint or report concerns about a psychologist or psychological associate. This includes a client, a family member or friend of the client, or a general member of the public.

Before you make a complaint or report

Please review the Frequently Asked Questions about complaints and reports. You may also contact the College at 416-961-8817/1-800-489-8388 or invhear@cpo.on.ca to discuss the complaints process. 

If you are comfortable doing so, you can first discuss your concerns with the psychologist or psychological associate. Sometimes, the member may be unaware of your concerns, and may be willing to resolve them with you in an appropriate manner.  

The College may be able to assist with a resolution. Please see additional information regarding the College’s Facilitated Resolution Process.

Regulations Related to Complaints and Reports

The College has expectations and rules that it expects members to follow. If a member doesn’t follow the rules, they can face consequences. There are three main sources of rules for psychologists and psychological associates in Ontario. The purpose of these rules is to ensure that members are practising psychology safely and in the public interest.

The first is the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991. This law applies to all regulated health professionals in Ontario. The Health Professions Procedural Code is part of the Act. The Code has a lot of information about how Colleges need to conduct their investigations.

Second is the Psychology Act, 1991. This Act applies to the practise of psychology in Ontario. The Professional Misconduct Regulation is made under the authority of this Act. The Regulation lists conduct that would be considered professional misconduct.

Third, College members are governed by the Standards of Professional Conduct (2017). The Standards are made under the authority of Code. The Standards set out rules that members are expected to follow in their practice of psychology. Investigations and hearings are conducted to see whether a member has failed to uphold these rules and standards.

Making a Complaint

Step 1: Review Frequently Asked Questions about complaints and reports.

You may also contact the College at 416-961-8817/1-800-489-8388 or invhear@cpo.on.ca to discuss the complaints and reports process.

Step 2: Fill out the College’s Complaint form.

You may also send your written complaint to the College by way of fax, mail or email. For our address information please click here.

Step 3: Submit your complaint with all relevant supporting documents.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I SUBMIT MY COMPLAINT?

  1. The College will provide you with official acknowledgment of your complaint within 14 days. At the same time, the College will notify the member of the complaint. This means the member will receive a copy of your complaint, and copies of the supporting documents you provide.
  1. The member will have an opportunity to respond to the complaint. In many cases, the College asks the member to provide a copy of the client’s clinical record with their response.
  1. You may receive a copy of the member’s response for your review and further response.
  1. The College will give the member a copy of your additional response, along with any other information the College has collected.
  1. A panel of the ICRC will consider the complaint. The ICRC uses its Risk Assessment Framework when considering outcomes for each case
  1. Both you and the member will receive a copy of the ICRC’s decision.  
  1. Both you and the member may ask for a review of the ICRC’s decision to the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board.

Making a Report

If you don’t want to file a complaint, and don’t have a mandatory reporting obligation, you can still bring your concerns about a member to the College’s attention.

If you decide to make a report, the Registrar will review the information and decide how to proceed. There are important differences between a complaint and a report. As a reporter you would not be involved in the investigation. This means you won’t get any additional information about the matter or a copy of any decision. There is no set time frame for investigating reports. Finally, there is no opportunity to seek a review of any decision before HPARB.

Step 1: Determine what kind of report you are making.

Do you need to make a mandatory report?

Step 2: Fill out and submit the report form, below.

You may also send your written report to the College.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I SUBMIT MY REPORT?

  1. The Registrar will review the information and decide whether to investigate.
  • A Case Manager may be in contact with you to clarify issues or to seek more information.
  • You will not receive any further information from the College regarding the matter, unless that information becomes publicly available.