Clarifying Statement 

Globe & Mail Article of April 28, 2016


(Toronto, ON)  The College of Naturopaths of Ontario thanks the Globe & Mail for bringing these matters to our attention.  We will review each of these, and any others that may come in the future, to determine whether there are reasonable and probable grounds to believe that the information presented represents a breach of the regulations or the standards of practice of the profession.  

Under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, all regulatory Colleges are prohibited from commenting on individual cases or confirming whether any particular matter is under investigation.

This College, like all others, has two processes to review concerns surrounding the conduct of a member.  

When the College receives a complaint, the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) investigates. This process could result in a referral of the matter to the Discipline Committee for a hearing.

There are other situations where no complaint has been filed. For any College, the Registrar can still take action. When made aware of concerns surrounding the conduct of a health professional, the Registrar may initiate a review based on the severity of the potential breach.  

In these cases, there are a few possible routes. Where the risk of harm to the public is greater, the Registrar will ask the ICRC to authorize the appointment of an investigator.  If there are reasonable and probable grounds to do so, the ICRC may authorize the appointment.   The investigator will investigate the matter and provide a report to the Registrar, who will then file the report with the ICRC.  At that point the ICRC proceeds on the same basis as if a complaint had been received.

If the risk of harm to the public is deemed lower, the Registrar may contact the member to discuss the potential breach and highlight the relevant regulations, standards of practice and by-laws of the College.  In many of these cases, the member voluntarily and immediately agrees to change the conduct in question. Once the Registrar is assured that necessary changes have been made, the matter will be considered closed. This is in the best interests of the public, as the conduct in question has been addressed.

If the member does not agree to change the conduct, or if the Registrar is not assured that change has occurred, the Registrar may proceed to present the matter to the ICRC in order to seek the appointment of an investigator. A Registrar’s Investigation will then proceed, as described above.

During the regular course of operations, College staff may identify concerns with the conduct of some members, frequently with respect to advertising and websites.  Individual cases may be addressed by contacting the member (unless the breach represents a significant risk of harm to the public, in which case an investigator may be appointed).  

Where occurrences relate to a large number of members, the College may also educate the profession through Advisories or material provided through the College’s newsletter, website or email broadcasts.  For example, the College recently issued an Advisory on Injections and prior to that, one on Advertising to and Treating Patients with Cancer.

The College of Naturopaths of Ontario, like all other health regulatory Colleges in Ontario, protects Ontarians by:

  • Ensuring those who enter the practice of the profession have the knowledge, skill and judgment to practise safely, competently and ethically;
  • Working with members of the profession, through the College’s Quality Assurance Program, to ensure that they maintain their knowledge, skill and judgment through on-going education and professional development;
  • Developing standards of practice and regulations to guide the profession in providing patient-care;
  • Holding members of the profession accountable for their conduct through the complaints and discipline processes.

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Andrew Parr, CAE
Registrar & CEO
College of Naturopaths of Ontario
150 John Street, 10th Floor
Toronto, ON  M5V 3E3
Tel: 416.583.6010
Fax: 416.583.6011
April 29, 2016

College of Naturopaths of Ontario
150 John Street, 10th Floor
Toronto, ON  M5V 3E3