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 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 416.214.1177/1.800.890.6570 x240. If you have concerns about your care, please call 416.214.1177/1.800.890.6570 x234 or email investigations@coto.org.

Share Concerns or Report Information

If you are not satisfied with the level of care or the services provided by an OT, you can report your concerns to the College in writing or by telephone. You must provide the name of the OT you are concerned about and details of the nature of your concerns. If you are unsure of the OT'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 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 OT, 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 OT you are concerned about (If you are unsure of the OT's name, we can help you.), as much detail as possible about the nature of your concerns, as well as your full contact information.

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 Report Concerns or File a Complaint.

Mandatory Report

All regulated health care professionals, employers of OTs, 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 at Mandatory Reports

Self-Report

OTs 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 offense, 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.

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

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