Following a hearing on August 2, 2007, a panel of the Discipline Committee of the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario found that Ms. Alice Tam engaged in professional misconduct by:

  • contravening a standard of practice of the profession or failing to maintain the standard of practice of the profession;
  • failing to keep records in accordance with the standard of the profession;
  • falsifying a record relating to the member’s practice;
  • submitting an account or charge for services that the member knows is false or misleading; and,
  • engaging in conduct or performing an act relevant to the practice of the profession that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional.
Ms. Tam and the College presented an agreed statement of facts, which was accepted by the Discipline Committee panel. Based on the agreed statement of facts, the panel found that between 2004 and March 2006, Ms. Tam failed to maintain client progress notes or prepare discharge summaries in a timely manner for her clients; created false entries in relation to clients by either charting that she had seen the clients on dates she had not or by adding another date to an existing chart entry to make it appear to be two entries; submitted accounts to the organization she provided independent contracting occupational services to, for client services she did not provide; and, after the termination of her independent contract agreement, continued to see or contact the organization’s clients and did not advise these clients that she no longer worked for the organization.

Ms. Tam admitted that her conduct constituted professional misconduct.

The College and Ms. Tam proposed a joint submission on penalty and costs, which was accepted by the Discipline Committee panel with the addition of paragraph 10 below. Accordingly, the panel ordered:

  1. Ms. Tam is required to appear before a panel of the Discipline Committee to be reprimanded, the fact of which will be recorded on the College register;


  2. The Registrar is directed to suspend Ms. Tam’s certificate of registration for nine (9) months to be served on a date to be set by the Registrar;


  3. Two (2) months of the suspension will themselves be suspended if Ms. Tam fulfils the terms of paragraphs 4, 5 and 6 of the order within the timelines set out herein. If Ms. Tam fails to fulfil the terms of any of paragraphs 4, 5 or 6 then the reminaing two months suspension will be served immediately;


  4. The Registrar is directed to impose a term, condition and limitation on Ms. Tam’s certificate of registration requiring Ms. Tam to successfully complete at her cost a course in ethics approved by the Registrar within six months of the date of the panel’s order;


  5. The Registrar is directed to impose a term, condition and limitation on Ms. Tam’s certificate of registration requiring Ms. Tam to successfully complete at her cost a course in record keeping, with a billing component, approved by the Registrar within six months of the date of the panel’s order;


  6. The Registrar is directed to impose a term, condition and limitation on Ms. Tam’s certificate of registration requiring Ms. Tam to undergo practice reviews by a reviewer/assessor approved by the Registrar during the three year period of actual practice that immediately follows the expiry of the suspension of her certificate of registration beginning no later than six months (or as soon thereafter as the College can arrange) after the expiry of the suspension. There will be a minimum of two weeks practice reviews per year, which will involve a review of Ms. Tam’s client charts and records, including billing records, for the six month period of practice immediately preceding the review. The results of those chart reviews will be provided to the registrar with a copy to Ms. Tam. The Registrar will be entitled to bring the results of the chart reviews to the attention of the Executive Committee if she feels it is appropriate to do so and the Executive Committee will be entitled to take such action under the RHPA as it feels it is appropriate to do so;


  7. The Registrar is directed to impose a term, condition and limitation on Ms. Tam’s certificate of registration requiring Ms. Tam to practice occupational therapy under supervision for a period of three years after the expiry of the suspension of her certificate of registration. The supervisor must be a registered occupational therapist acceptable to the Registrar and who completes an Acknowledgment and Undertaking acceptable to the Registrar. The supervisor will report at least two times per year to the Registrar, with a copy of the report provided to Ms. Tam, advising whether he or she has any concerns about Ms. Tam’s practice. The registrar will be entitled to bring the supervision reports to the attention of the Executive Committee if she feels it is appropriate to do so and the Executive Committee will be entitled to take such action under the RHPA as it feels it is appropriate to do so;


  8. The registrar is directed to impose a term, condition and limitation on Ms. Tam’s certificate of registration prohibiting Ms. Tam from supervising students or provisional practicing registrants for a period of five years after the expiry of the suspension of her certificate of registration;


  9. Ms. Tam is ordered to pay to the College costs in the amount of $7,500.00 payable within 24 months after the expiry of the suspension of Ms. Tam’s certificate of registration; and,


  10. The terms, conditions and limitations referred to in each of paragraphs 4 through 8 should be removed from Ms. Tam’s certificate of registration when the Registrar is satisfied that she has complied with the requirements in those paragraphs. The panel concluded that the proposed penalty and costs were reasonable and in the public interest. The panel noted that Mr. Tam had cooperated with the College and, by agreeing to the facts and a proposed penalty, accepted responsibility for her actions and avoided unnecessary expense for the College.