The Complaints Process
The College receives complaints from members of the public. This can include patients, colleagues, family members, third party payors and others. Complaints can be sent to the College by mail at:
College of Physiotherapists of Ontario
375 University Avenue, Suite 901
Toronto, ON M5G 2J5
Or contact the Coordinator of Investigations
or at 416-591-3828/1-800-583-5885 ext. 223 for additional information
There are two different ways that the College can process a complaint; through the mediation program or the formal complaints process. This flowchart
shows how the process works from the moment the complaint comes to the College to the time that the decision is made.
Mediated Resolution Program
The College has a program called Mediated Resolution Program (MRP) which allows the person who has concerns about the physiotherapist’s practice or conduct and the physiotherapist to work together to come up with a solution. The College has a mediator who can assist with this process and it can be done together over the phone/in person or the mediator can work with each individual separately. People who go through this program find that the concerns are often addressed faster and that the outcome is more specific to what their concerns are.
When a complaint is received at the College a staff person at the College will contact both the physiotherapist and the person who identified the concerns to talk about the mediation program. Some cases cannot go through this program (i.e. sexual abuse, billing issues, and criminal activity). This program is free and both parties must want to participate.
Learn more about the Mediated Resolution Program.
Formal Complaints Process
When the individual with the concerns and/or the physiotherapist decide not to participate in mediation or the concerns are such that MRP is not an option, the concerns are dealt with as a formal complaint.
- Staff at the College will contact the complainant to discuss their concerns
- The complainant will then receive a letter from the College explaining the process and asking them to confirm that they want to go through the process
- The physiotherapist is then asked to provide a written response which is shared with the complainant
- The documents are reviewed by a group of individuals who are members of a Committee called the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC). The members of the Committee include physiotherapists and members of the public who have been chosen by the government to represent the public. The Committee does not include staff members at the College.
- The Committee may decide that they need more information to help them make a decision and they can obtain this information in different ways; one of which is to appoint an investigator.
Frequently Asked Questions - Complainants
Frequently Asked Questions - Registrants
The Role of the Expert
The Role of the Investigator
Once they have all of the information that they need, they will make a decision which is sent to both the complainant and physiotherapist in writing. In most cases, if the complainant and/or physiotherapist has concerns with the investigation or decision they can ask the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board to review the matter.
Access additional information about the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board.
Sexual Abuse of Patients
Sexual abuse of a patient is defined in law as sexual intercourse or other forms of physical sexual relations between the physiotherapist and the patient; touching of a sexual nature, of the patient by the physiotherapist, or behaviour or remarks of a sexual nature by the physiotherapist towards the patient. Sexual abuse of a patient by a regulated health care provider is not permitted. The College may receive this type of information from the patient directly, a friend or family member, another health care provider or the employer of the physiotherapist. Each one of these concerns is thoroughly investigated. This can be very difficult for the patient in question and the College will do whatever it can to support the patient throughout the process. In Ontario, each health regulatory College is required to have a program which provides funding for therapy and counselling for patients who were sexually abused by members of that College. The Patient Relations Committee of the College oversees the funding.
Learn more about the College’s Role When a Patient Has Been Sexually Abused
Can’t find the answer you are looking for or need more information, contact the Coordinator of Investigations by email or at 416-591-3828/1-800-583-5885 ext. 223.