WHAT EVERY REGISTERED PSYCHOTHERAPIST IN ONTARIO SHOULD YOU KNOW ABOUT THE REGULATION OF THEIR WORK
As a registered psychotherapist practicing in Ontario, your professional activities are governed by the Psychotherapy Act, 2007, the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA), and the regulations and by-laws made under those Acts, and overseen by the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), a regulatory body charged with protecting the public interest by, among other things, investigating complaints against its members. Information about the CRPO can be found here. If a complaint or report has been made about you to the CRPO, the CRPO’s Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) may respond in various ways. For example, the ICRC may address the concern by:
Taking No Action – This is typically reserved for situations in which there is no risk or minimal risk to the public.
Issuing Written Advice – This is typically reserved for situations in which there may be some room for improvement in a registrant’s professional practice or conduct. In such a situation, the ICRC can issue written advice to a psychotherapist, including recommendations but generally does not monitor or follow-up with the registrant about whether they have complied with that advice.
Entering Into a Remedial Agreement – This is typically reserved for situations in which there is a low risk to the public. In such cases, the agreement typically includes self-directed learning and submission of an assignment for evaluation, such as a reflection paper.
Requiring Participation in Continuing Education or Remediation Program – This is typically reserved for situations in which there is a practice deficiency that poses moderate risk to the public. In such cases, the CRPO can order the registrant to complete a learning program meant to address the shortcoming.
Issuing an In-person Caution – This is typically reserved for situations in which there is a serious concern that poses moderate risk to the public. In such cases, the CRPO can order the psychotherapist to attend the CRPO office in person to receive a caution from the committee.
Requiring Undertakings – This is typically reserved for situations in which there is a medium-to-high risk to the public. In such cases, a psychotherapist, in consultation with CRPO, may voluntarily agree to restrict their practice or resign from CRPO and not reapply.
Referring the Complaint to the CRPO’s Discipline Committee – This is typically reserved for situations in which there is a serious concern posing a high risk to the public, and where the evidence is sufficient to support a legal hearing. In such cases, the ICRC will refer specific allegations of professional misconduct or incompetence to the Discipline Committee. More information about the CRPO’s disciplinary processes can be found here.
Inquiring into a Psychotherapist’s Fitness to Practice – This is typically reserved for situation in which the ICRC believes that a registrant may be incapacitated. In such cases, the matter will be referred to a Health Inquiry Panel, which is a panel of the ICRC whose task is to inquire specifically into whether a registrant is incapacitated. The CRPO’s Fitness to Practise Committee may subsequently conduct hearings into allegations of registrant incapacity. More information about the CRPO’s fitness to practice processes can be found here.
As a registered psychotherapist practicing in Ontario, you have the right to request that a decision of the ICRC be reviewed by the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (HPARB), a legal tribunal that is independent of CRPO and is tasked with determining whether or not the investigation was adequate and the decision was reasonable.
AS A REGISTERED PSYCHOTHERAPIST IN ONTARIO, HOW CAN FRANKLIN LAW’S REGULATED PROFESSIONAL LAWYERS HELP YOU?
Whether you are a psychotherapist who is facing discipline, whose capacity is in question, or who is at risk of being subject to other sanctions or conditions, it is crucial to have a trustworthy and experienced lawyer in your corner to defend your rights, licence, and professional reputation. Franklin Law’s professional regulation lawyers are well-positioned to advise you about, assist you in navigating, and representing you in all aspects of the CRPO’s complaints, disciplinary, fitness to practice, and review processes. Notably, many processes at the CRPO allow for psychotherapists to make written and/or oral submissions to protect their interests and contest unfounded allegations, and Franklin Law is committed to working collaboratively with psychotherapists with a view to making those submissions as effective and persuasive as possible. If any of the situations outlined above apply to you, , Franklin Law wants to consult with you today.