Fitness to Practise
Health Inquiry Process
The health inquiry process is set out under sections 57-69 of Health Professions Procedural Code (“Code”) being Schedule 2 to the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991.
The health inquiry process can be commenced the following two ways:
- Information that comes to the attention of the College (e.g. via mandatory report from an employer) suggesting that a member may be incapacitated is brought to the attention of the Registrar of the College. If the Registrar believes the member may be incapacitated, the Registrar must, under section 57 of the Code, make inquiries he or she considers appropriate. The results of these inquiries must be reported to the Health Inquiry Panel of the Inquiries Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC); or
- A panel of the ICRC investigating a complaint or considering a report under section 26 of the Code may refer a member to a Health Inquiry Panel under section 58 of the Code for incapacity proceedings
After conducting certain inquiries into a member’s health, which may include requiring the member to undergo an independent medical examination, the Health Inquiry Panel may refer a matter to the Fitness to Practise Committee for incapacity proceedings.
Incapacity Proceedings Before the Fitness to Practise Committee
The Fitness to Practise Committee may hold a hearing to determine whether a member is incapacitated, and if so what terms, conditions or limitations should be placed on the member’s certificate of registration. If the member is enrolled with the confidential assistance programs for members, such a hearing may not be held; rather, the member enters into an Agreement with the College, acknowledging that he or she is incapacitated as that term is defined in the Code and agreeing to abide by a monitoring contract.
If a member has been referred to the Fitness to Practise Committee regarding a possible incapacity, or if a member’s ability to practise has been restricted further to a finding of incapacity, that information is available through the Public Register.
Unlike disciplinary proceedings, incapacity proceedings are not public. Incapacity proceedings are strictly confidential and are intended to help the member regain their health while ensuring the public is protected from unsafe practice. Incapacity proceedings determine suitable restrictions and conditions on the member’s certificate of registration that are designed to enable the member to return to practise in a way that supports his or her recovery while helping to detect and prevent possible relapses.
Assistance for Members
The College has offered a confidential assistance program offering intervention, assessment, and monitoring to its members experiencing work/life stress, concerns about their mental health or substance use problems since 2004.
Read more about Assistance for Members.