Protecting The Public

Discipline Process

If the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee of the College has reason to believe that an act of professional misconduct has occurred or that a Denturist is incompetent, the matter may be referred to the Discipline Committee.

Professional misconduct is an act or omission that is in breach of the accepted ethical and professional standards of the profession. This can include items listed in the Professional Misconduct Regulation, as well as acts related to sexual abuse of a patient, being found guilty of an offence that is relevant to the suitability to practise, or failing to cooperate with the College’s Quality Assurance Committee.

A Denturist may be incompetent if the care provided displayed an apparent lack of knowledge, skill or judgment, demonstrating that either:

  1. The Denturist is unfit to practise; or
  2. Their practice should be restricted.

Discipline of members of the profession by a self-regulated profession is a critical aspect of self-regulation in health care, serving to maintain the trust of the public.

The Discipline Committee holds hearings that are similar to court proceedings. Panels of the Discipline Committee that hold discipline hearings include members of the profession and the public.

The Hearing Process

The parties involved in a discipline proceeding are the College and the Denturist. The College is represented by its legal counsel, the prosecutor, and the Denturist is generally represented by his or her own lawyer, the defence counsel.
 
The College is required to provide all relevant information obtained during the investigation of the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee, information which, upon consideration by the Committee, led to the referral of the matter to the Discipline Committee.   
 
After an allegation has been referred to the Discipline Committee, a first step (if both parties agree) may be to hold a pre-hearing conference.  If a settlement on the matter can be reached, it is presented to a panel of the Discipline Committee, often in the form of an agreed statement of facts and/or a joint submission on penalty. The panel decides whether the terms of the settlement protect the public interest. The Panel is not bound by recommendations made by counsel for the College and the Denturist.
 
If a hearing is needed, both the prosecutor and the defence counsel have the opportunity to question witnesses. The panel will:

  • consider the allegations, hear the evidence, and determine the facts of the case
  • determine whether the evidence proves the allegations
  • determine whether the member has committed an act of professional misconduct or is incompetent, and
  • determine the penalty to be imposed where there is a positive finding
 
Hearings are open to the public unless, because of security or safety concerns or a compelling privacy interest, the Panel believes the public should be excluded.
 

Discipline Decisions

If the Panel makes a finding against the Denturist, it can order one or more of the following:
 
  • revoke the certificate of registration for a period of up to 5 years
  • suspend the certificate of registration
  • place terms, conditions and/or limitations on the certificate of registration
  • require the Denturist to pay a fine up to $35,000
  • require the Denturist to appear before the Panel to be reprimanded, and
  • require the Denturist to pay the College's legal, investigation and hearing costs, and other expenses

At the end of the process, the panel issues its written decision and reasons. The College is required to publish these in its Annual Report and on the College website and on the Public Register of Denturists.
 
The Denturist or the College may appeal the Panel’s decision to the Divisional Court of Ontario.
 
A Denturist whose certificate was revoked or suspended by a panel of the Discipline Committee may apply for reinstatement one year later. If the reinstatement application is unsuccessful, the former Denturist may apply again in six months.
 
If the revocation was ordered for a finding of sexual abuse, no application for reinstatement can be made for five years.