Skip to content

Notice: The Competencies for Occupational Therapists in Canada (2021) are now in effect.

Close Notice
COTO Logo
Contact  1-800-890-6570   info@coto.org
 

Concerns or Complaints About an Occupational Therapist

Information about complaints

When you visit an occupational therapist, you have the right to receive safe, ethical, quality care.

In Ontario, people have the right to complain about regulated health care professionals and there is a process in place for filing a complaint.

Anyone can complain, and the College takes all complaints seriously. In all investigations, the College aims to protect and promote the public interest.

The steps of the College process are listed at How to Report Concerns or File a Complaint. Each step is designed to be fair. 

Under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario has a duty to respond to complaints about the practice or conduct of members of the profession.

Among the reasons for complaints are concerns that an OT has:

  • ignored the basic rules of practice
  • sexually abused a client
  • failed to maintain the standards of practice
  • provided inappropriate care
  • a physical or mental condition or disorder that interferes with their ability to practice

Who can I call if I have questions?

If you have questions about the level of care you can expect to receive from an OT, you can contact the College’s practice advisor at practice@coto.org or 416-214-1177 or 1-800-890-6570 x240.

If you have concerns about your care, please call 416-214-1177 or 1-800-890-6570 x234 or email investigations@coto.org.


Do you need accommodation?

To discuss how we can help you, please contact:

Manager, Investigations and Resolutions
Toronto: 416-214-1177 x223
Toll-free: 1-800-890-6570 x223
Email: investigations@coto.org

The College’s accommodation process is informed by respect for the dignity of each individual.

Our goal is to ensure full participation in the complaints process for all concerned.


Share concerns or report information

If you are not satisfied with the level of care or the services provided by an occupational therapist, you can report your concerns to the College in writing, by telephone or by submitting our online complaint form.

You must provide:

  • the name of the occupational therapist you are concerned about, and
  • details of the nature of your concerns.

If you are unsure of the occupational therapist's name, we can help you.

Although anonymous reports of information will be reviewed, if you include your name, telephone number and/or address, the report is often more valuable.

As part of its investigation into your concerns, the College may contact you to and ask that you provide additional information. Generally, you will not be engaged in the process and will not be notified of the outcome.

To make a report, please contact the College Registrar or Manager, Investigations & Resolutions.

Learn more about the process at: How to Report Concerns or File a Complaint.


File a formal complaint

If you are not satisfied with the level of care or the services provided by an occupational therapist, you may wish to file a formal complaint.

Formal complaints must be made in writing or by audio or video recording.

You must provide:

  • the name of the occupational therapist you are concerned about 
  • as much detail as possible about the nature of your concerns, and
  • your full contact information.

If you are unsure of the occupational therapist's name, we can help you.

You will be engaged in the process and notified of the outcome.

The College’s formal complaints process is designed to be fair to both the person filing the complaint and to the occupational therapist named. 

Learn more about the process at How to Report Concerns or File a Complaint.

Complaint form


Online Form: File a Complaint

Respectful behaviour

We are committed to communicating with you in a respectful, professional and civil manner. We expect the same courtesy from you.

We understand that your circumstances may be stressful and emotional. However, we will not accept abusive behaviour towards our staff.

For safety purposes, threatening or abusive comments to staff will not be tolerated. Staff reserve the right to end communication right away in these situations. Repeated abusive conduct may result in the COTO communicating with you only in writing or otherwise restricting future communications with you.



Mandatory reports

All regulated health care professionals, employers of occupational therapists, facility operators and associates/partners of regulated health care professionals are under a statutory duty to report certain concerns to the College, including concerns of suspected sexual abuse of a patient, professional misconduct, incompetence, and incapacity.

Learn more about Mandatory Reports.



Self-reporting

Occupational therapists registered with the College are required to file a self-report with the following information:

  • if they have been found guilty of any type of offence, by a court or other lawful authority
  • if found to have engaged in professional negligence or malpractice
  • details about misconduct, incompetence or incapacity proceedings against them, whether completed or ongoing, by any regulatory body in any jurisdiction
  • details of conditions or restrictions (such as bail conditions) imposed by a court or other lawful authority
  • details about charges laid against them in respect of a federal, provincial, or any other offence, in any jurisdiction

Occupational therapists can report this information online by logging in and then visiting the My Profile/Conduct section.

As noted under the Mandatory Reports section, occupational therapists are required to make mandatory reports for suspected sexual abuse by a fellow occupational therapist or another regulated health care professional.

Learn more about Self-Reporting.