Summary for Complaints Process

When you submit a complaint to the SCPT, and it has been confirmed that the individual named in the complaint is a member of the SCPT (a licensed physical therapist), you will receive a phone call from the Executive Director & Registrar (EDR) to inform you that the complaint has been received and to explain the complaints management process to you.

Your complaint is then forwarded onto the Professional Conduct Committee, who performs the investigation stage of the complaint. A letter will be immediately sent to both you and the physical therapist who was named in the complaint, informing you both that a complaint has been received. The physical therapist then has 30 days to submit a written response to the complaint, along with any associated documentation (i.e. your physical therapy chart). Once the Professional Conduct Committee receives this response and documentation from the physical therapist, the investigation can begin.

The Professional Conduct Committee will assign 1-2 investigators to the case. These investigators will then review all of the documentation submitted, contact both you and the physical therapist (separately) to conduct interviews to allow for further information collection and then request any further documentation they require to determine the facts of the case. The investigators will then take all of the information back to the full committee, with legal representation present for consultation as needed, to determine whether the conduct in the complaint could constitute Professional Incompetence or Professional Misconduct. These are the only 2 options allowed for within the Physical Therapy Act, 1998 (our legislation).

Professional incompetence

22 Professional incompetence is a question of fact, but the display by a member of a lack of knowledge, skill or judgment or a disregard for the welfare of a member of the public served by the profession of a nature or to an extent that demonstrates that the member is unfit to:

(a) continue in the practice of the profession; or

(b) provide one or more services ordinarily provided as a part of the practice of the profession; is professional incompetence within the meaning of this Act. 1998, c.P-11.11, s.22.

Professional misconduct

23 Professional misconduct is a question of fact, but any matter, conduct or thing, whether or not disgraceful or dishonourable, is professional misconduct within the meaning of this Act if:

(a) it is harmful to the best interests of the public or the members;

(b) it tends to harm the standing of the profession;

(c) it is a breach of this Act or the bylaws; or

(d) it is a failure to comply with an order of the professional conduct committee, the discipline committee or the council.

The Professional Conduct Committee meets every 4-6 weeks, as such, this process can take several months.

If the Professional Conduct Committee determines that the conduct included in the complaint has the potential to meet at least one of the definitions above, they can either attempt to remediate the conduct with a Resolution by Mutual Consent. You, as the complainant, must agree to this method of settlement, but do not get to provide input as to what the Resolution requires of the physical therapist. The Resolution is developed by the Professional Conduct Committee and the physical therapist must agree to the Resolution in order for this method of remediation to be used. If the physical therapist and/or the complainant do not agree to settle with a Resolution by Mutual Consent, then the case will be referred to the Discipline Committee for a hearing.

If referred to the Discipline Committee, the proceeding will take an additional couple of months because there is a time period allowed for the legal counsel of each party to discuss agreed to facts of the case prior to a hearing being booked.

Throughout this process, you can expect to be contacted by the EDR approximately once a month to keep you informed to the progress of your case.

Please refer to the full Complaints Management Process document should you require further information about the process or the timelines associated with the process.