Separate from our complaints process, the Registrar can appoint an investigator if there are reasonable and probable grounds to believe that a member (dentist) has committed an act of professional misconduct or is incompetent.
What initiates a Registrar’s investigation?
Concerns about a dentist’s conduct or competence can trigger a Registrar’s Investigation and Report. Information can come from:
- Other dentists or regulated health professionals, by way of mandatory reporting.
- Quality Assurance (QA) Committee, where risks to the public are identified because of a dentist not participating in the QA process or where the QA assessment reveals significant concerns.
- Members of the public who do not wish to make a formal complaint.
- Insurance companies.
- Criminal investigations.
- Public Health Unit investigations.
The Registrar will determine if an investigation is warranted and take action if needed. The College will continue an investigation even if the complainant chooses to disengage from the process.
The Registrar also has the power to order an immediate investigation in an emergency situation where a dentist’s conduct:
- exposes or is likely to expose patients to harm or injury
- there is insufficient time to seek approval of the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports (ICR) Committee.
What happens when the Registrar appoints an investigator?
The investigation process is similar to the formal regulatory complaints process. The dentist will receive notice of the Registrar’s Report, along with the results of the investigation. The dentist has the opportunity to provide a written response to the College.The results of the investigation are brought to the attention of the ICR Committee. A panel of the ICR Committee reviews the Registrar’s Report and has the power to take one or more of the following actions:
- No action.
- Provide the dentist with advice and recommendations.
- Ask the member to enter into a voluntary remedial agreement.
- Ask the member to enter into a voluntary undertaking to resign or to restrict his or her practice.
- Require the dentist to complete a Specified Continuing Education or Remediation Program (SCERP).
- Require the dentist to appear before the panel in person to receive a caution.
- Refer specified allegations of professional misconduct or incompetence to the Discipline Committee.
- Refer the member to a panel of the ICR Committee for incapacity proceedings.