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Investigating Complaints: Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee

Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee 

The Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) is responsible for investigating complaints in a thorough and objective manner.

Typically, a smaller group of the ICRC, called a panel, meets to review the complaint. The College has two panels of the ICRC, each including one public member and three occupational therapists.

During this process:

  • The occupational therapist will get a copy of the complaint and any materials sent to the College about it. That gives the occupational therapist an opportunity to respond to the concerns.
  • The complainant will be given a copy of the occupational therapist’s response, so that he or she can respond to it.
  • The panel determines if it has enough information to make a decision.
  • If not, it will direct College staff to obtain more information by interviewing people, requesting documents or reports, or seeking an expert or a legal opinion.

In its mandate to protect the public, the ICRC only makes decisions related to an occupational therapist’s conduct, competence or capacity. That doesn’t include disputes about fees charged or opinions.

In the public interest, the College has a responsibility to give serious consideration to each matter, ensuring a fair and just process. The College works to provide assurance that all occupational therapists in Ontario are held to a high standard to practice safely, ethically and competently. ICRC processes are one method to support such practice.

Decisions of the ICRC

The ICRC makes every effort to close complaint files within 150 days of opening, however, to ensure a fair and thorough investigation this is not always possible. The ICRC panel will send the complainant and the occupational therapist a document setting out the decision and the reasons behind it. In making decisions, the panel’s goal is to protect and promote public interest, while enhancing the standards of the profession. The ICRC has the power to:

  1. Decide that the OT’s conduct was appropriate and take no action.
  2. Issue advice or make recommendations, if the ICRC believes that will help the OT to understand how to conduct himself or herself in the future and avoid difficulties.
  3. Direct the OT to complete education or remediation, or enter into an agreement to commit to education or training, to improve his or her practice.
  4. Require the OT to appear before the Committee to be cautioned. The panel will share its concerns about the OT’s behaviour, and describe what the OT must do to avoid future difficulties.
  5. Refer the OT to the Fitness to Practise Committee if there are concerns about the OT’s capacity, meaning if the OT’s physical or mental health affects his or her ability to practise.
  6. Refer specific concerns about the OT’s conduct or competence to the Discipline Committee, which will hold a public hearing about those concerns.

Making Information Public

Please review the list of what information is and is not publicly available, which appears with additional information about the Public Register under How to Find an Occupational Therapist.

Appealing ICRC Decisions

A complainant or an OT may request a review of the ICRC’s decision by the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board. This Board is independent of the College, and is operated by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

The Board does not review a decision of the ICRC to refer allegations to the Discipline Committee or to the Fitness to Practice Committee. The Board also will not review a decision of the ICRC following a Registrar's report.

After conducting a review, the Board may confirm all or part of the decision, or make recommendations to the ICRC.