Suspension of Ancillary Roles

Background

The College may on occasion have members who are the subject of a complaint or an investigation pursuant to section 75 of the Regulated Health Professions Act, and who also hold ancillary roles with the College. For example a Council member, Committee Volunteer, Peer Assessor or Examiner may become the subject of a complaint or section 75, investigation. If such a member has become the subject of a complaint or investigation it can be argued that the member’s role within the College may jeopardize the integrity of any investigation or Committee decision. It may also be argued that it is a conflict of interest for the member to be involved with the College during an investigation. Accordingly, the following policy has been developed to address these concerns for both the individual member and the College as a whole.

Note: This policy only prohibits a member from performing ancillary functions with the College and does not preclude a member from practicing Massage Therapy.

Policy

Upon receiving information that a member with an ancillary position at the College is the subject of a complaint or sec 75 investigation, and where the member has not voluntarily withdrawn from their role, the Registrar shall contact the member to provide notice that the member’s duties with the College have been immediately suspended until further notice. The member’s role with the College shall be suspended until such time as the complaint has been disposed of or the sec 75 investigation is closed. In the event the member is referred to a discipline or incapacity hearing the member shall continue to be suspended from duties until the Discipline Committee or Fitness to Practice Committee has rendered its’ decision. In the event a member is found guilty of a professional misconduct, the member shall be removed from any and all ancillary positions with the College. If the member is found not guilty, the member may return to positions with the College without consequence.

Notwithstanding the above, the Registrar is afforded the discretion to allow a member to continue in their current capacity with the College unaffected by a complaint or section 75, investigation or to allow a member to perform modified duties with the College. This discretion is to cover matters of a frivolous and vexatious nature or matters that do not affect the member’s ability to perform their particular ancillary function.

Scenario

Mary is a current Examiner with the College and is actively involved with the exams process. The College receives a complaint from one of Mary’s clients alleging that Mary conducted herself in an unprofessional manner while providing treatment. The Investigations and Complaints Department advises the Registrar of the complaint made against Mary. Upon receiving this information the Registrar contacts Mary to notify her that her involvement with the College, namely her position as an Examiner has been suspended pending the disposal of the complaint. Three months later the Complaints Committee renders its’ decision to take no further action in relation to the complaint against Mary. The Registrar contacts Mary to advise her that her duties at the College are no longer suspended and she may return to her position as an Examiner. Mary returns in full capacity as a College Examiner.

Rationale

While the Registrar already has the authority to suspend a member from ancillary positions with the College, it is the purpose of this policy is to provide clearer direction and avoid unnecessary confusion for any member who is the subject of an investigation or complaint and is also associated with the College in other ways.

The College strongly believes in the importance of ensuring all complaints and investigations are handled with the utmost integrity. While it may initially appear unfair that Mary was suspended from her position as an Examiner for a complaint that was disposed of with no further action, the suspension of ancillary roles is a good faith action to ensure the integrity of overall College function and prevent conflict of interest situations. It does not in any way suggest that the member is guilty of the allegations put forward. The policy serves to dismiss concerns that a College Committee did not make an impartial decision.

The College recognizes that there may be times when it is not practical or reasonable to suspend a member from ancillary College roles and therefore provides authority to the Registrar, where there are mitigating or extenuating circumstances, to circumvent this policy and allow a member to continue their role with the College. Additionally, there is added protection for members in the complaints process whereby the Complaints Committee can dismiss a complaint as frivolous and vexatious

 

Approved: June 24, 2002