This is a guest post by Erica Laugalys, the College's Director of Registration and Examinations

Applying for registration with the College is a legal process and therefore, a very serious matter.
Once an applicant is approved to become a “Member”, they become a Naturopathic Doctor – authorized to treat patients and to perform some treatments which carry a higher level of risk. With a mandate of protecting the public, the College’s duty is to ensure that the individuals registered to practise the profession have the knowledge, skill and judgement to provide safe, competent and ethical care to Ontarians, and will do so within the standards set by the College.

In processing applications, the College considers all information, submitted on an Application for Registration, to be accurate and complete at face value. Staff cannot assume whether something an applicant failed to declare (e.g., having practised as a medical doctor in another country) was omitted in error, or with the intention of being purposefully misleading.

Given the nature of the application process, application omissions (such as the one above) must be treated as though the applicant has made a ‘false representation’ and must, by law, be referred to a panel of the Registration Committee for review and decision. Under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 the College is required to refer an application to a panel of the Registration Committee, whenever there is reasonable doubt as to whether the applicant meets all requirements for registration; this includes requirements related to professionalism and good character. As a self-governing profession, reviews, deliberations and decisions on such applications are performed by a panel of the Registration Committee.

While the College does its best to ensure that applications are reviewed in a timely manner, those whose applications are referred to a panel should anticipate an additional 30 to 90 days being added to their Step 2 processing time due to requirements to collect additional information, including allowing the applicant to make a submission to the Registration Committee.

For these reasons, it is important for applicants to take their time when going through each section of the (Step 2) Application for Registration. This includes reading the Application Handbook and other associated information that has been created to help applicants understand the process and regulatory requirements (set out in regulation, College by-laws and policy), and to contact College staff if they need clarification.

It is every applicant’s responsibility to ensure the information they provide to the College is complete, accurate and truthful. Taking the time to complete one’s Application for Registration correctly from the start will save time, and additional work, in the long run.