Fitness to Practice
The Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) can form a separate health inquiries panel to investigate a Member’s physical and/or mental capacity. If the health inquiries panel believes on reasonable and probable grounds that the Member’s mental and/or physical health will affect their professional practice and pose a threat of harm to the public, they can refer the matter to the Fitness to Practise Committee.
The Fitness to Practise Committee then conducts a hearing to determine whether a member of the College is suffering from a physical and/or mental condition that impairs their professional function as an RDT.
How do Discipline hearings and Fitness to Practise hearings differ?
Procedurally, incapacity and discipline proceedings are similar. Incapacity hearings focus on the physical and/or mental state of a member and their ability to perform their professional role, whereas Discipline proceedings focus on a member’s conduct and whether or not their conduct has breached a standard of the profession.
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The results of a Fitness to Practise hearing where a member was revoked or suspended, or had terms, limitations or conditions applied to their Certificate of Registration is published on the Member’s Public Register.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.