From time to time, the College will hear about Members of the profession who are practising in Ontario while they hold an Inactive Class certificate of registration.  

It is a term, condition and limitation on every Inactive Class certificate of registration that the Member not practise the profession in Ontario.  In simple terms, this means that one of the conditions of a Member being given the Inactive certificate is that they do not practice.  It is a clear restriction set out in the regulation.

What does it mean to “practise the profession”?  This is an area that could be open to some debate but there are some obvious things that this would include, the most obvious being treating patients.  Other less obvious things that would fall within a general definition of practising the profession would include:

  • Direct patient care (consultation/visit, assessment, treatment);
  • Research related to managing patient care (a specific case);
  • Clinical supervision involving direct patient care;
  • Clinical education involving patient interaction or provision of professional services while teaching;
  • Communication with colleagues regarding case management; or
  • Mentoring.

So why does the College care? First and foremost, it is a matter of law that Members comply with the legislation, regulations, standards and policies that govern the profession. Individuals who do not comply are breaking the rules and lend an overall perception of the profession that it cannot be governed by laws.  

Second, it is a matter of public interest in terms of ensuring safe, ethical, competent care.  Members who hold an Inactive Class certificate of registration are not required to participate in the College’s Quality Assurance Program. As such, they are not required to undertake any continuing education courses, or be assessed by their peers. Over time, an individual who is not engaging in continuing education and professional development will experience a deterioration of their skills. The longer that one is not practising, the more significant this deterioration becomes. Therefore, practising while in the Inactive Class has the potential to place the public at risk of harm from improper treatments.

Finally, Members who hold an Inactive Class certificate of registration are likely carrying enduring (tail) professional liability insurance. This insurance covers claims made for past events that might have occurred. If a claim is made based on an event that occurs while the Member holds an Inactive Class certificate of registration, it is likely that the insurance policy will not cover any awards made against the claim. This places the public and the member at risk.

If you are a Member who holds an Inactive Class certificate of registration, we ask that you ensure you are not practising and, if you are, that you stop or that you contact the College to obtain a General Class certificate of registration.

If you know of a Member who holds an Inactive Class certificate of registration, we invite you to contact the College and provide us with the information that you have so that we can assess the situation and contact the Member.