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October 2022: Client wants to make a complaint to the College

Question: What should I do if my client tells me they want to make a complaint to the College?

Answer: If a concern or issue arises during or after occupational therapy service delivery, your client may wish to make a complaint to the College about your conduct.

As an occupational therapist, it is your responsibility, if your client requests it, to provide information about how to file a complaint with the College.

The Occupational Therapy Act, 1991 states that it is an act of professional misconduct to fail “to advise a client, a client’s authorized representative or a member of the public, when requested, of his or her ability to file a complaint with the College and the procedure for doing so”.

Although you should not dissuade a client from filing a complaint with the College, you should try and resolve the issue with them when you have been made aware of any issue or concern. A client may not fully understand what will happen after an occupational therapy assessment is completed and may be surprised and upset with the outcome.

Sometimes a client may have expectations that were not met. If you notice your client seems upset or withdrawn, consider if there is a way you can address and de-escalate the situation. Listen to your client in order to come to a resolution. Open and effective communication with your clients during and after service delivery is the best way to prevent a complaint.

Read about the process for filing a complaint: How to Report Concerns or File a Complaint About an OT 

You can also advise your client to contact College staff for more information. Our Investigations and Resolutions team can be reached at 416.214.1177 x 223.

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