The College and Association of Respiratory Therapists of Alberta takes complaints pursuant with the Health Professions Act very seriously. A person must give a written, signed complaint to the complaints director regarding a regulated member or a former member as long as two years has not elapsed since the person became a former member.
If the complaints director has reasonable grounds to believe that the conduct of a regulated member or former member constitutes unprofessional conduct the complaint director may treat the information, notice or non-compliance as a complaint.
Suspension and/or termination by an employer is also considered to be a complaint if because of conduct that in the opinion of the employer is unprofessional conduct the employment of a regulated member is terminated or suspended or the regulated member resigns; the employer must give notice of that conduct to the complaints director.
“Employment” includes being engaged to provide professional services on a full-time or part-time basis as a paid or unpaid employee, consultant, contractor or volunteer.
The complaints director may, with the agreement of the complainant and the investigated person, refer the complainant and the investigated person to an alternative complaint resolution process provided for in the regulation at any time before the commencement of a hearing by the hearing tribunal.
INVESTIGATION SCOPE AND POWERS
An investigator may investigate a complaint. In the course of an investigation an investigator may investigate matters that are related to the investigated person that could give rise to a finding of unprofessional conduct.
An investigator may at any reasonable time require any person to answer any relevant questions and direct the person to answer the questions under oath and require any person to give to the investigator any documents, substance or thing relevant to the investigation that the person possesses or that is under the control of the person. INVESTIGATION REPORT
When the investigator concludes an investigation the investigator must make a report within a reasonable time and submit it to the complaints director. The complaints director may request that further investigation be undertaken if required. If satisfied with the report and reasonable and probable grounds exist that the events occurred the matter may be referred for a hearing to be convened; the complaint would be dismissed if it is determined to be trivial or vexatious or if insufficient evidence or no evidence of unprofessional conduct exists.
ADMISSION OF UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
At any time after a complaint has been made but before the hearing tribunal has made a decision as to whether unprofessional conduct has occurred, an investigated person may submit a written admission of unprofessional conduct to the hearing director.
Administrative tribunal hearings will be convened in public or private in special circumstances adhering to the principles of natural justice. Hearing tribunal panels will receive evidence, listen to testimonies and consider the facts in the matter before them. The hearing tribunal will then make findings and if appropriate issue orders. Reasons are also provided for findings as well as any orders panels might make.
INFORMATION SOURCE: HEALTH PROFESSIONS ACT
COMPLAINTS ARE VERY SERIOUS MATTERS. IT IS POSSIBLE INFORMATION ARISING FROM DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS MAY FIND ITS WAY INTO THE CIVIL LITIGATION PROCESS. COMPLAINANTS AND RESPONDENTS ARE CAUTIONED TO BE VERY CAREFUL IN THE REPRESENTATIONS MADE TO THE COMPLAINTS DIRECTOR, INVESTIGATOR OR TRIBUNAL HEARING PANELS.