Fitness to Practice

The fitness to practise provisions of the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA) address situations where a registrant/Registered Massage Therapist (“RMT” or “MT”) may be compromising client care as a result of incapacity. The incapacity process deals with people who have an illness or a condition that has the potential to interfere with their practise of the profession.

Incapacity proceedings differ from disciplinary proceedings. Incapacity hearings focus on whether measures need to be in place to protect the public from a registrant’s illness or condition. A finding of incapacity usually results in rehabilitative rather than punitive measures.

 

Initiating Incapacity Inquiries

A Panel of the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) or the Registrar may initiate incapacity inquiries after considering information that has been provided to them, where the information indicates that the registrant/ Registered Massage Therapist (“RMT” or “MT”) may be incapacitated and that inquiries into an RMT’s capacity are warranted. These inquiries are made by another Panel of the ICRC. The RMT is advised of the concerns that have been identified and the fact that a Panel has been appointed to explore these concerns. The RMT is provided with an opportunity to make submissions.

The Panel's Inquiries

The ICRC Panel makes inquiries into the registrant’s illness. The Panel does not determine whether the RMT is incapacitated. The Panel may request information from the RMT, meet with the RMT, take statements from employers, colleagues, witnesses and/or clients and/or obtain a specialist report, health records, as well as other relevant health information.

The Panel may also require the RMT to undergo a physical or mental examination. An RMT who refuses to submit to the examination may have their Certificate of Registration suspended until they attend the appointment. Once the Panel has concluded making its inquiries, the RMT will receive a copy of all the information obtained which may include any medical or psychological evidence obtained during the course of the inquiries. The RMT will then be provided with an opportunity to submit a written response, which will be considered by the Panel before it makes a decision.

Resolution

The Panel will consider all of the information obtained during the inquiries and determine what action, if any, should be taken. The Panel may decide to refer the matter to the Fitness to Practise Committee for a hearing. Before making a referral, the ICRC could seek an informal resolution with the RMT. A negotiated resolution would balance the interest of the RMT with that of public protection. Possible resolutions could include one or more of the following:

• Requiring the RMT to participate in a treatment program;

• Obtaining reports from the treatment program and/or treatment providers;

• Monitoring of the RMT’s practice.

If the Panel believes that an RMT’s illness is exposing or is likely to expose clients to harm or injury, it may also issue an interim order directing the Registrar to suspend or impose terms, conditions or limitations on the RMT’s Certificate of Registration, pending the outcome of a hearing. In such cases, the RMT must first be given notice of the proposed order and the opportunity to make a written submission. Once the order is in effect, the onus is on the College to deal with the case as quickly as possible.

Fitness to Practise Hearings

Where the Panel of the ICRC makes a referral, the Fitness to Practise Committee is responsible for holding a hearing to determine the capacity or “fitness” of the RMT to practise the profession. Hearings are conducted by Panels composed of at least three people, one of whom must be a public appointee of the College’s Council.

The burden of proving that the RMT is incapacitated rests with the College. If an RMT is found to be incapacitated, the Fitness to Practise Panel may:

• Revoke (take away) the RMT’s Certificate of Registration;

• Suspend the RMT’s Certificate of Registration (generally until the RMT has demonstrated to the College’s satisfaction that they have recovered); or

• Impose terms, conditions or limitations on the RMT’s Certificate of Registration for a specified or indefinite period of time.

The Panel may also specify criteria that must be satisfied for the removal of terms, conditions or limitations or for the suspension to be lifted.

Unlike disciplinary hearings, a fitness to practise hearing will only be open to the public if the RMT involved makes a written request in advance. Before agreeing to an open hearing, the Panel must be satisfied that any negative consequences of revealing the information will not outweigh the benefits of an open hearing.

The public is entitled to know the results of a Fitness to Practise hearing if the RMT’s Certificate of Registration is revoked or suspended, or has terms, conditions or limitations imposed on it. This information is made available on the College’s public register.

Fitness to Practise Rules of Procedure

The College has developed Fitness to Practise Rules of Procedure to assist Committee members, registrants, legal counsel and College staff in navigating Fitness to Practise hearings. The intent of these Rules is to bring formality, consistency and clarity to the hearing process while allowing Fitness to Practise panels to retain procedural flexibility. The Rules apply to all Fitness to Practise proceedings.

FITNESS TO PRACTISE COMMITTEE RULES

Appeals

The RMT may appeal a decision of the Fitness to Practise Committee to the Divisional Court. Despite any appeal, an order or decision made by the Panel or Committee will take effect immediately.

For further information concerning the incapacity inquiries process, please contact: professionalconduct@cmto.com.

For further information regarding the Fitness to Practise process, please contact: hearings@cmto.com.