Unprofessional conduct is generally defined in the Health Profession Act (HPA) as a lack of skill, knowledge, or judgment in the provision of professional services, a contravention of legislation, Professional Standards, Code of Conduct, and various acts of non-compliance with specific member requirements imposed by the CAA.

If a member of the public has a complaint about your professional practice the CAA has asked that the complainant;

  1. Bring their concern to your attention and provide an opportunity for a response/resolution,
  2. Bring their concerns to the attention of your employer for resolution, &/or
  3. Make a complaint to the CAA

The complaint is then asked to complete the CAA on-line complaint form or put the complaint in writing and include the following information,

  1. Member’s full name
  2. Brief description of the conduct you believe was unprofessional (date, location, incident(s)etc.)
  3. Other individuals who may have relevant information
  4. Signature 
  5. Complaints regarding more than one member should be submitted separately

The complaint can be submitted on-line, by email, fax, or regular mail.  A copy of the complaint will be shared with you. Anonymous complaints are not accepted.

The CAA has the authority to investigate complaints about your professional conduct for incidents that occurred at any time you were a member and for up to two years post active membership.

The CAA ‘s role is the protection of the public. If your professional actions are of concern our objective is to remediate the situation and improve your practice. Remediation may include sanctions such as education, supervision, financial penalties or in more serious situations a suspension or cancellation of a permit to practice. It will not include financial compensation to the complainant.

The Complaints Director will review the complaint and has 3 options

  1. Dismiss the complaint if there is likely insufficient evidence of unprofessional conduct or if the CAA does not have authority to investigate (such as the individual was not a regulated member). 
  2. Attempt an information resolution between the complainant and the member, or
  3. Commence an investigation.

DismissalThe complainant may request a review of the dismissal decision if the complainant does not believe the dismissal decision was fair.  This must be submitted, in writing, within 30 days and include reasons for the request.  A Complaint Review Committee (CRC) will review the CD’s decision and either confirm the CD decision or refer the complaint for investigation.  The CRC decision is not appealable.  You will be advised if a CRC review is requested.  This is not a hearing.

ResolutionThis process will be tailored to the needs of the situation.

InvestigationThe CD may conduct her own investigation or retain an investigator for this purpose. The purpose of an investigation is to gather the information that supports the allegation from the complainant and to provide the member with the opportunity to respond and provide additional information.  Additional witnesses may be interviewed.  Documents such as the clinical record will also be reviewed.  an investigation report summarizing the information will be submitted to the CD for review.

You may wish to retain legal counsel to represent you during this process, but this is not required. Please advise the CAA if this is your intention. If you do so, the CAA investigator will then contact you through your counsel.

The CD will review the report and has the following option,

  1. Request additional information
  2. Dismiss the complaint if there is insufficient evidence of unprofessional conduct (the complainant has the same options as for dismissal at the outset), or 
  3. Refer the complaint to a hearing and set out the allegations of unprofessional conduct

The hearing is a matter between the CAA and the member.  The role of the complainant, in a hearing, is as a witness only.  Specific allegations of unprofessional conduct are determined by the CD and provided to the member and the complainant, available hearing dates are determined, and a hearing tribunal is constituted.  Hearings are often held virtually.  The role of the tribunal (professional and public members) is to determine if the allegations have been proven and constitute unprofessional conduct and if so, what is the appropriate member remediation necessary to protect the public and ensure that the member will practice safely.  hearing tribunals and appeals committees will have public and professional member representation. 

A Notice of Hearing, that includes the specific allegations of unprofessional conduct will be served upon you by registered mail.  Usually, the date and time for the hearing are determined for a mutually acceptable time and date in consultation with you (and your legal counsel) and the CAA legal counsel.  A copy of the investigation report and any supporting documents will be provided to you. 

You may wish to retain legal counsel to represent at a hearing.  Hearings usually proceed in one of three manners;

  1. Consent agreement – the CAA and the member agree that the allegations occurred as described and that they constitute unprofessional conduct. The member and the CAA may or may not agree on the appropriate sanctions. 
  2. Partial consent agreement – the CAA and the member agree that some of the allegations occurred as described and that they constitute unprofessional conduct and other allegations are in dispute. The member and the CAA may or may not agree on the appropriate sanctions.
  3. Contested hearing – the CAA and the member do not agree that the allegations occurred as described and/or that they constitute unprofessional conduct.

A tribunal will determine the appropriate member remediation for the allegations proven and appropriate to the situation.  Sanctions are intended for remediation not punishment. 

The decision of the hearing tribunal may be appealed by the member or the CAA.  The appeal is heard by a CAA appeals committee.  The appeals committee decision is also appealable to the Alberta Court of Appeal.

Notification of the scheduling of a hearing tribunal will be posted on the website, once the time and date have been determined and will include 

  1. Member’s name & permit # 
  2. Notice of hearing (including allegations, date & time of hearing) 
  3. General information regarding attendance 
  4. Will remain posted until the hearing has concluded and a decision has been posted 

Decision – findings of unprofessional conduct will be posted following appeal period unless otherwise ordered & remain posted for five years or all conditions have been complied with, whichever is later. 

  • Dismissal will result in removal of all related information from the website after the appeal period unless otherwise ordered 
  • The record of the hearing will remain available upon request pursuant to HPA s.85(1) 

The complainant &/or the member may make a complaint about the CAA management of a complaint if it is believed that the process was administratively unfair.  The Ombudsman will require that all legislative options, such as appeals, be concluded before they commence an investigation.

The complainant &/or the member may make a complaint about the CAA management of a complaint if it is believed that the process was administratively unfair.  The Ombudsman will require that all legislative options, such as appeals, be concluded before they commence an investigation.

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