Fitness to Practise
If a naturopath’s physical or mental condition prevents them from providing safe, ethical and competent care, they may be considered incapacitated and no longer permitted to practise.
The health inquiry process is set out in the Health Professions Procedural Code, Schedule 2 of the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (the Code). It can begin two ways:
- Information suggesting that a Registrant may be incapacitated is brought to the attention of the CEO of the College. If the CEO believes the Registrant may be incapacitated, the CEO must, under section 57 of the Code, make inquiries they consider appropriate. The results must then be reported to a Health Inquiry Panel of the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC); or
- A panel of the ICRC investigating a complaint or considering a report under section 26 of the Code may refer a Registrant to a Health Inquiry Panel under section 58 of the Code for Incapacity proceedings.
After inquiring into a Registrant’s health, which may include an independent medical examination, the Health Inquiry Panel may refer the matter to the Fitness to Practise Committee for incapacity proceedings.
The Fitness to Practise Committee may hold a hearing to determine whether a Registrant is incapacitated and if so, what actions need to be taken to protect the public. If they are found to be incapacitated, the committee can revoke or suspend their certificate of registration or attach specific limitations to it.
However, if the Registrant enrolls with an assistance program, the hearing may not be held. Instead they will enter into an agreement (also known as an undertaking) with the College, acknowledging that they are incapacitated and agreeing to receive appropriate medical treatment and/or practise in accordance with specified terms attached to their certificate of registration.
The written decision regarding a Registrant’s incapacity is not published. However, if their ability to practise has been restricted, that information is made available on the Public Register.
Unlike disciplinary proceedings, incapacity proceedings are not public. They are strictly confidential and intended to help the Registrant regain their health while ensuring the public is protected.
Incapacity proceedings determine restrictions and conditions on the Registrant’s certificate of registration designed to enable them to return to practise in a way that supports their recovery while helping to detect and prevent possible relapses.
What Does Incapacitated Mean?
The Health Professions Procedural Code, Schedule 2 of the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, defines the term “incapacitated” as meaning that a Registrant is suffering from a physical or mental condition or disorder that makes it desirable in the interest of the public that the Registrant’s certificate of registration be subject to terms, conditions or limitations, or that the member no longer be permitted to practise.
A Registrant with a physical or mental disability that has been properly addressed may not necessarily meet the definition of incapacitated. For example, someone who uses a wheelchair in an accessible workplace or someone with a mental or mood disability that takes appropriate measures to manage their condition.
Both the Registrant and the College have the right to appeal a Fitness to Practise Committee decision to the Health Professions Appeal Review Board (HPARB).