The Discipline Committee holds hearings in cases in which a member of the College has been referred by the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) on reasonable and probable grounds that an act(s) of professional misconduct has occurred. A discipline hearing is a formal process, much like that of a court of law, conducted by a panel of the Discipline Committee. At a discipline hearing, the College and the member against whom the allegations have been made are the parties to the proceedings.
The Discipline Committee Rules of Procedure used by the College of Dental Technologists of Ontario can be found here.
Who represents the Discipline Committee and what do they do?
The Discipline Committee is represented at the hearing by a panel of the Committee members appointed by the Chair of the Discipline Committee. A panel is composed of three (3) to five (5) members of the Discipline Committee, including at least two (2) public members of Council. At a hearing, the panel will:
- consider the allegations, hear the evidence and determine the facts of the case;
- determine whether the evidence proves the allegations against the registered dental technologist (RDT);
- determine whether the RDT has committed an act of professional misconduct;
- determine whether the RDT’s actions constitutes incompetence; and
- make orders with respect to the penalty to be imposed where a finding of guilt or incompetence is made.
What outcomes are possible from a Discipline hearing?
If a panel of the Discipline Committee finds a member has committed an act of professional misconduct, it may make an order doing any or all of the following:
- Directing the Registrar to revoke the Member’s certificate of registration;
- Directing the Registrar to suspend the Member’s certificate of registration for a specified period of time;
- Directing the Registrar to impose specified terms, conditions and limitations on the Member’s certificate of registration for a specified or indefinite period of time;
- Requiring the Member to appear before the discipline panel to be reprimanded;
- Requiring the Member to pay a fine of not more than $35,000 to the Minister of Finance; and
- If the act of professional misconduct was sexual abuse of a patient, requiring the Member to reimburse the College for funding provided for that patient.
If a discipline panel finds that a Member has committed an act of professional misconduct by sexually abusing a patient, the panel shall do the following in addition to anything else the panel may do as mentioned above:
- Reprimand the Member; and
- Revoke the Member’s certificate of registration if the sexual abuse consisted of, or included, any of the following:
- Sexual intercourse.
- Genital to genital, genital to anal, oral to genital, or oral to anal contact.
- Masturbation of the member by, or in the presence of, the patient.
- Masturbation of the patient by the Member.
- Encouragement of the patient by the Member to masturbate in the presence of the Member.
- Touching of a sexual nature of the patient’s genitals, anus, breasts or buttocks.
- Other conduct of a sexual nature prescribed in regulations made pursuant to clause 43 (1) (u) of the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991.
See the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA) for more detail.
If a dental technologist’s certificate is revoked, the person may not use the title “Dental Technologist”, Registered Dental Technologist (RDT) or hold herself or himself out as a Dental Technologist or Registered Dental Technologist. A former member whose registration has been revoked or suspended can apply for reinstatement to the Discipline Committee within one (1) year, unless the revocation was for sexual abuse of a client, in which case they cannot apply for reinstatement for five (5) years.
Can a decision of the Discipline Committee be appealed?
Decisions of the Discipline Committee can be appealed to Ontario’s Divisional Court for judicial review within ninety (90) days of the decision being issued. There must be a question of law, fact or both in order or an appeal to be granted. The court may affirm, rescind or rehear the matter in whole or in part. A notation of the appeal and its outcome will appear on the College’s public register.