Fitness to Practice
The Fitness to Practise Committee determines whether a member of the College is suffering from a physical or mental condition or disorder that is affecting, or could affect, her or his practise, defined as incapacitated. Members are referred to the Fitness to Practise Committee from the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC). The ICRC will investigate when it receives information, through a complaint or a Registrar’s Report, to suggest that a Member is incapacitated and their practise should be subject to terms, conditions or limitations or that the Member no longer be permitted to practise.
How do Discipline hearings and Fitness to Practise hearings differ?
Incapacity proceedings differ significantly from disciplinary proceedings. First, incapacity hearings focus on whether the health professional is ill, not whether he or she has failed to maintain the standards of practice of the profession. Also, a finding of incapacity usually results in rehabilitative rather than punitive measures. The burden of proving that a dental technologist is incapacitated rests with the College.
Unlike Disciplinary hearings, a Fitness to Practise hearing will only be open to the public if the member involved makes a written request in advance to the Registrar. Before agreeing to an open hearing, the panel must be satisfied that any negative consequences of revealing the information will not outweigh the benefits of an open hearing.
Who represents the Fitness to Practise Committee and what orders can they make?
The Fitness to Practise Committee is represented at the hearing by a panel of the Committee members appointed by the Chair of the Fitness to Practise Committee. A panel is composed of at least three (3) members of the Fitness to Practise Committee, including at least one (1) public member of Council. If a panel of the Fitness to Practise Committee finds a Member is incapacitated, it shall make an order doing any one or more 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.
- Directing the Registrar to impose specified terms, conditions and limitations on the member’s certificate of registration for a specified period of time or indefinite period of time.
The results of a Fitness to Practise hearing where a member was revoked or suspended, or had terms, limitations or conditions applied to their Certificate of Registration is published on the Member’s Public Register.
If a dental technologist’s certificate is revoked, the person may not use the title “dental technologist”, “dental technician”, Registered Dental Technologist (RDT) or hold herself or himself out as a dental technologist in providing service. The revoked individual can apply for reinstatement to the Fitness to Practise Committee within one (1) year.
Can a decision of the Fitness to Practise Committee be appealed?
Decisions of the Fitness to Practise 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 Public Register.