Belonging to a regulatory college means accountability to the public, and the College of Naturopaths of Ontario treats all complaints seriously. Anyone—patients, family members, co-workers or employers—can contact us to raise an issue or concern about a naturopathic doctor’s conduct or practice.
One way the College protects the public is through investigations conducted by the Inquiry, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC). When the ICRC finds that a Registrant has committed an act of professional misconduct or may be incompetent, it may refer allegations to the College’s Discipline Committee for a hearing.
A discipline hearing is a formal process in which a panel of the Discipline Committee made up of naturopathic doctors and public members considers the allegations, hears the evidence, and determines whether that evidence supports the allegations. At the end of the hearing, the panel of the Discipline Committee will issue its written Decision with Reasons and determine an appropriate penalty should professional misconduct or incompetence be found.
This process is critical to self-regulation and maintaining public trust. If a hearing results in a finding, the Discipline Committee can order a range of penalties including:
- a reprimand,
- restrictions on the Registrant’s registration, called “terms, conditions or limitations”,
- requiring the registrant to complete a specified education and remediation program,
- imposing a fine, and/or
- suspending or revoking a registrant’s Certificate of Registration.
Though not a part of a penalty, the Discipline Committee can also order that the Registrant reimburse the College for part of its legal costs, as well as costs of the investigation and hearing.
Both the Registrant and the College have the right to appeal a Discipline Committee decision to the Divisional Court of Ontario
Have a look at our Discipline Process.