Has a Complaint Been Made Against You?

We recognize that if you are a registered physical therapist and a complaint or report has been made against you about your conduct, competence, or health, this can be a stressful experience. You should take all necessary steps to take care of yourself, including seeking support services such as obtaining legal advice, speaking with a mental health professional, family, friends or colleagues.

What to Expect

When a complaint is made against a registered physical therapist, the matter is assessed and considered in accordance with the provisions of the Health Professions Act.  The Act requires that the College investigate complaints and Registrant Reports made against registered physical therapists. Initially, you will be asked to provide your written response to the complaint, a copy of which (or in certain situations a summary of the response) will be given to the complainant. We will also arrange a time to talk to you about the complaint and may request additional information that can assist in fully considering the complaint.

The Complaint Investigation Process

We are committed to investigating complaints in a timely manner, taking into account the complexities of the complaint, and we are mindful of confidentiality, privacy, and administrative fairness principles.

In responding to complaints, CPTBC follows the procedures set out in the BC Health Professions Act and CPTBC Bylaws.

After receiving a complaint, either the Registrar or Inquiry Committee will investigate the matter. Typically, investigations proceed as follows:

  1. CPTBC will notify the registered physical therapist of the complaint and ask for their written response to the allegations. CPTBC will also ask the registered physical therapist for a copy of the complainant’s clinical records, if relevant to the complaint;
  2. CPTBC will provide a copy of the registered physical therapist’s response (including the clinical records, if relevant) to the complainant and ask for their comment or further information;
  3. CPTBC will obtain copies of relevant documents from the parties or others;
  4. If needed, a CPTBC inspector will interview the parties and any witnesses;
  5. Once the investigation is complete, CPTBC will compile the file and may prepare an investigation report;
  6. CPTBC will provide a copy of the investigation file / report to the complainant and ask for their final comments; and
  7. CPTBC will then provide a copy of the investigation file / report, including the complainant’s final comments, to the registered physical therapist and ask for their final comments or further information.

The Registrar or Inquiry Committee (as the case may be) will then review all the information gathered in the investigation to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support the allegations.

Neither the Registrar nor the Inquiry Committee can make findings of fact or impose remedial or disciplinary actions on registered physical therapists; that is the responsibility of the Discipline Committee. However, the Registrar and the Inquiry Committee may resolve complaints by taking one of the steps set out in “Possible Outcomes” below.

If the circumstances of the complaint suggest that the physical therapist may pose a serious risk, the Inquiry Committee may conduct a hearing to determine whether “extraordinary action” may be necessary to protect the public before it can fully investigate and resolve the matter. Such actions include imposing limits or conditions on, or suspending a registered physical therapist’s practice during the investigation or pending a discipline hearing. These measures are temporary and do not indicate that the allegations are true.

Possible Outcomes

The Registrar may dismiss the complaint or request the registered physical therapist agree to measures that would address any conduct or competence concerns. The Inquiry Committee must approve the Registrar’s proposed resolution before it becomes final.

The Inquiry Committee may:

  1. Take no further action, if the registered physical therapist’s conduct or competence was satisfactory, or if the matter does not warrant regulatory intervention;
  2. Take any action it considers appropriate to resolve the matter between the parties;
  3. Request the registered physical therapist agree to measures that would address any conduct or competence concerns. Such measures may include:

a. an undertaking not to repeat the conduct;
b. an undertaking to take specified educational courses;
c. consent to a reprimand; or
d. an undertaking or consent to any other action specified by the Inquiry Committee; or

      4. Direct the matter to a discipline hearing.

CPTBC will notify the complainant and the registered physical therapist of the resolution and provide written reasons for its decision. All outcomes, except for the direction to send the matter to a discipline hearing, are subject to review by the Health Professions Review Board.