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 registrant may be incapacitated is brought to the attention of the Registrar of the College. If the Registrar believes the registrant 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 registrant to a Health Inquiry Panel under section 58 of the Code for incapacity proceedings

After conducting certain inquiries into a registrant’s health, which may include requiring the registrant 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

Following a referral from a Health Inquiry Panel, the Fitness of Practise Committee may hold a hearing to determine whether a registrant is incapacitated, and if so what terms, conditions or limitations should be placed on the registrant’s certificate of registration.

In many cases, the referral may be resolved in through a written process. The registrant would enter into an agreement with the College, stating that they are incapacitated and agreeing to specific terms, conditions, or limitations on their practice (such as abiding by a monitoring contract).

If a registrant has been referred to the Fitness to Practise Committee regarding a possible incapacity, or if a registrant’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 registrant regain their health while ensuring the public is protected from unsafe practice. Incapacity proceedings determine suitable restrictions and conditions on the registrant’s certificate of registration that are designed to enable the registrant to return to practise in a way that supports his or her recovery while helping to detect and prevent possible relapses.