Unprofessional conduct is generally defined in the Health Professions 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 (College of Acupuncturists of Alberta). If you have a specific complaint about a CAA member’s unprofessional conduct it is recommended that you: 

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

The CAA will not investigate complaints that are not related to a member’s professional practice.

Complete the CAA on-line complaint form or put your 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; and
  5. Complaints regarding more than one member should be submitted separately.

The complaint can be submitted online, by e-mail, fax, or regular mail. A copy of the complaint will be shared with the member. Anonymous complaints are not accepted.

Contact Information
Attention: Complaints Director
College of Acupuncturists of Alberta
Suite #201 9612-51 Ave. NW
Edmonton, AB T6E 5A6
Fax: 780-466-7251
Email: [email protected]

The CAA ‘s role is the protection of the public. If a member’s professional actions are of concern our objective is to remediate the situation and improve the member’s 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.

Dismissal – The 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. You may request a copy of the report the CD relied upon to make the decision to dismiss. The CRC decision is not appealable.

Resolution – This process will be tailored to the needs of the situation.

Investigation – The 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.

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, 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.

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.

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