Step 1. Referral to the Discipline Committee
The Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee sends the allegations against the naturopath (ND) to the Discipline Committee for a hearing.
Step 2: Notice of Hearing and Disclosure
A Notice of Hearing and relevant documents are sent to the ND and their legal counsel. The College publishes the Notice of Hearing on our website.
Step 3: CEO and Legal Review
The College Chief Executive Officer and legal counsel review the allegations and evidence. Where appropriate, drafts of an Agreed Statement of Facts and Joint Submission on Penalty and Costs are prepared.
Step 4: Pre-Hearing Conference (PHC)
The College presents a case overview and the ND presents their defence to a PHC Chair, a neutral third party knowledgeable of the procedures. With the help of the Chair, both parties discuss a possible settlement based on the College’s draft Agreed Statement of Facts and draft Joint Submission on Penalty and Costs and, if there is no possible settlement, the length of time needed for a hearing.
Step 5: Setting a Hearing Date
A panel is appointed and a hearing date or dates set by the Discipline Committee Chair.
Step 6: The Hearing
A Discipline Panel of public members and naturopaths is convened to review evidence, witness statements and expert opinions.
During the hearing, panels of the Discipline Committee follow clear rules of procedure and receive independent legal counsel from a lawyer retained to provide them with advice. You can find the rules below.
Step 7: Decision and Reasons
The Panel issues a written Decision on whether it makes a finding based on the allegations against the ND along with detailed Reasons for that decision. This Decision & Reasons is published by the Discipline Committee. If the ND or the College disagree with the decision, they may file an appeal with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
Step 8: Order and Penalty
If the Panel finds the ND committed professional misconduct, the Decision & Reasons will include an Order which sets out the penalty to be imposed against the ND. The College then carries out the penalty. These typically include:
- revocation of the ND’s certificate of registration or a suspension from practising for a defined period of time;
- a reprimand issued by the Panel;
- applying a term, condition or limitation on the ND’s certificate of registration, which may include the following:
- taking relevant continuing education courses,
- meeting(s) with experts in regulation or areas related to the findings, and/or
- inspections of the ND’s practice and files; and/or
- a fine payable to the Minister of Finance.
- Although not a part of the penalty, the Panel may also make an Order requiring the ND to reimburse the College for a portion of its costs of the investigation, legal costs and the costs of holding the hearing.