How to Make a Complaint

The physiotherapist-patient relationship is one that is based on trust. Physiotherapists must abide by the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario Standards and Code of Ethics and provide safe and ethical care. Abuse of the patient’s trust is never acceptable.

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Complaints Process
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The College provides English and French services, but should you need information in another language, we will assist you. Email Communications or call 1-800-583-5885 ext. 234.

Key Definitions of Terms:

Regulated Health Professions Act, Complainant, Parties, Panel, Professional Misconduct Regulation, Sexual abuse of a patient, Exception, Incompetence, Incapacity

Key Definitions

Regulated Health Professions Act:
The legislation that governs the practice of physiotherapists in Ontario. The second part of the legislation is called the Health Professions Procedural Code (Schedule 2).

Complainant:
The person who files the complaint with the College.

Parties:
The complainant and the physiotherapist who are involved in the complaints process.

Panel:
A group of individuals who are members of the ICRC who are reviewing a given case.

Professional Misconduct Regulation:
The College’s Professional Misconduct Regulation provides an overview of acts that are considered professional misconduct.

Sexual abuse of a patient:
Sexual abuse of a patient by a member (physiotherapist) means,
(a) sexual intercourse or other forms of physical sexual relations between the member and the patient,
(b) touching, of a sexual nature, of the patient by the member, or
(c) behaviour or remarks of a sexual nature by the member towards the patient.

Exception:
Sexual nature does not include touching, behaviour or remarks of a clinical nature appropriate to the service provided.

Incompetence:
Where a physiotherapist’s professional care of a patient displays a lack of knowledge, skill or judgment or disregard for the welfare of the patient of a nature or to an extent that demonstrates that the physiotherapist is unfit to continue to practice or that the physiotherapist’s practice should be restricted.

Incapacity:
Where a physiotherapist is suffering from a physical or mental condition or disorder that makes it desirable in the interest of the public that the physiotherapist’s practice be subject to terms, conditions or limitations, or that the physiotherapist no longer be permitted to practice.

Mandatory Reporting

Ontario law requires all health care providers and facility operators, such as employers and clinic owners, to inform the College in a number of situations.

Learn more

Concerns or Complaints

If you have a concern or complaint about the care you received from your physiotherapist, you have the right to submit a formal complaint to the College. If you are not sure if you want to file a formal complaint, contact the College:
Email: investigations@collegept.org
In Toronto: 416-591-3828 ext. 227
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-583-5885 ext. 227

How to Make a Formal Complaint

You can send your complaint to the College in writing or as a recording. You can make the complaint online or download a complaint form and send it by email, fax, or regular mail.
Email: investigations@collegept.org
Fax: 416-591-3834
Mailing address: 375 University Avenue, Suite 800, Toronto, ON M5G 2J5

We will need:

  • The name of the physiotherapist (College staff can help if you do not have the exact name)
  • Your name and contact information (daytime number, mailing address)
  • The patient’s name (if it concerns someone other than yourself)
  • As much detail as possible about your concern or the incident in question


File Your Complaint Online

Download and Fill Out a Complaint Form

Contacting the College

After you have made a complaint, you will hear back from a College staff person within two business days. If you have questions or concerns, please contact investigations@collegept.org or call 416-591-3828 ext. 227 or 1-800-583-5885 ext. 227.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs: Addressing Complaints

  • Who can file a complaint with the College?

  • What kinds of complaints can the College address?

  • Should I discuss the issue with my physiotherapist before making a complaint?

  • Can I complain to the College without giving my name?

  • Should I continue to be treated by a physiotherapist I have complained about?

  • Can I make a complaint about a physiotherapy clinic rather than a physiotherapist?

  • How long do I have to file a complaint?

  • How do I make a formal complaint?

  • What happens after I file my complaint?

  • Who makes a decision about the complaint?

  • What happens if I change my mind after I file a complaint?

  • How long does the complaints process take?

  • What kinds of decisions can the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee make?

  • What if I am not happy with the decision?

  • Can a complainant get legal advice?

  • What is a Peer/Expert Opinion?

  • What information should I include in my letter of complaint?

  • Can the College staff provide me with advice related to my complaint?

  • Is the complaints process confidential?

  • Will the College access my health information/patient records related to the complaint?

  • Can the Committee require the physiotherapist to apologize or provide me with a refund?

  • What happens after a complaint is filed with the College?

  • What happens if during the process someone is unable to meet a timeline?

  • During the complaints process, can a complainant contact the College?

  • What information will the person who made the complaint receive from the College during the process?

  • Who are the members of the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC)?

  • How often does the Committee reviewing complaints meet?

  • What kinds of cases are referred to the Discipline Committee?

  • Is any part of the complaints process, including the decision, made public?

  • What happens if there is an immediate risk to the public?