Protecting The Public

Fitness to Practise

Sometimes, a Denturist might be suffering from a physical or mental condition, illness or ailment. If it affects his or her ability to practise safely or effectively, that’s called “incapacity”.

Under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, the College is mandated to address these situations. The goal is to ensure that care to the public is not compromised.

Investigating Incapacity

Anyone who is concerned that a Denturist may be incapacitated can inform the College. A special panel of the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) will investigate.

That can include obtaining relevant health information (e.g. medical or hospital charts); requesting information from the Denturist; and taking statements from employers, colleagues, witnesses and/or patients. The panel may also require the Denturist to undergo a physical or mental examination. The Denturist will have an opportunity to submit a written response.

The College is not permitted to give the Denturist’s employer any details of the inquiry, including medical reports or other evidence.

Sometimes, the panel will seek an informal resolution with the Denturist's consent. That avoids a formal hearing, while ensuring public protection. Possible negotiated agreements could include:

  • requiring the Denturist to participate in a treatment program
  • obtaining reports from the treatment program and/or treatment providers, and/or
  • monitoring on-the-job performance

The ICRC panel may also refer the matter to the Fitness to Practise Committee for a hearing, If the panel believes that the Denturist is exposing or is likely to expose patients/clients to harm or injury, it may take certain actions pending the outcome of a hearing - an order directing the Registrar to suspend the Denturist’s Certificate of Registration, or impose certain stipulations on the Certificate (called terms, conditions and/or limitations).

Fitness to Practise Hearings

The Fitness to Practise Committee is responsible for holding hearings to determine incapacity. The burden of proof rests with the College.

Beyond the information collected by the ICRC panel, the Fitness to Practise Committee may also hear oral testimony by medical experts and/or any other witnesses, including the Denturist. A Denturist has the right to representation at the hearing.

Incapacity proceedings do not focus on wrongdoing. A finding of incapacity usually results in rehabilitative rather than punitive measures, designed to protect the public.

If a Denturist is found to be incapacitated, the Fitness to Practise panel may:

  • revoke a Certificate of Registration
  • suspend a Certificate of Registration (generally until the Denturist has demonstrated to the College that he or she has recovered), or
  • impose terms, conditions or limitations on a Certificate of Registration for a specified or indefinite period

The panel may also specify criteria that must be satisfied before lifting a suspension, or removing terms, conditions or limitations.

The public is entitled to know the results of all proceedings where a Denturist is found to be incapacitated. This information is available on the Public Register of Denturists.

After a hearing, a Denturist or the College may:

  • Appeal a decision to the Divisional Court of Ontario. Despite any appeal, an order or decision of the Fitness to Practise Committee will take effect immediately.
  • Return to the Fitness to Practise Committee to ask it to vary any terms, conditions or limitations imposed, if the Denturist’s circumstances have changed.

A Denturist whose Certificate of Registration was suspended or revoked can ask the Fitness to Practise Committee to reinstate him or her after one year has passed.