Q&A – Who files complaints?

Posted On: January 22, 2021

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You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers: A new blog series

From time to time, the College receives inquiries from stakeholders and Registrants about various activities within the College. Often, these questions are ones that many actively seek answers to.

To help foster a better understanding of the College, its mission, the role it plays and its processes, we’re creating a new blog series that highlights those questions and their respective answers.

Let’s start off with a recent question.

Question: From whom does the College normally receive complaints? Is it mostly other Naturopaths, the public, the media?

This is an interesting question and not one that we’ve focused on a great deal in the past.  In fact, more often than not, we normally talk about the trends in the nature of the complaints that we receive.

On average, the College receives 20–25 complaints each year.

Between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2020, the origin of complaints breaks down in the following way:

  1. Patients or patient representatives—43%
  2. Other health care providers—25%
  3. Members of the public—20%
  4. Employers or coworkers of NDs—5%
  5. Insurance companies—5%
  6. Other NDs—2%.

For a complaint to be classified as such, it must either be in written or recorded form, either in a letter or a pre-set form or recorded as an audio file. It must identify the naturopath and include the contact information of the person filing the complaint. The College maintains an official fillable form to assist individuals who wish to file a complaint. In certain situations, some inquiries and concerns posed to the College don’t always make it clear that the person intended to file a complaint, in which case the College will clarify.

If the person raises a question or concern about a naturopath but does not intend to file a complaint, the College may still look into the matter by speaking directly to the Registrant involved. If the matter or concern poses a risk of harm to the public, the Chief Executive Officer may seek permission from the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) to initiate an investigation. In this way, the ICRC acts as an important check and balance in the process.

Do you have a burning question you want to ask? Send it to ceo@collegeofnaturopaths.on.ca, and it could be featured in the next Q&A blog post!

Andrew Parr, CAE

Chief Executive Officer

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