The College regulates occupational therapists in the public interest and its primary purpose is to protect the public from harm. As part of our mandate, we investigate all complaints about the conduct and competence of registered occupational therapists. The College is committed to a process that is transparent, objective, impartial and fair to all those involved.
If you have a complaint about a registered occupational therapist’s conduct or competence, we want you to reach out and let us know.
Filing a Complaint
To learn about the complaint process and how to file a complaint, watch this short video or follow the steps below.
Video: Filing a Complaint with COTBC (2:27)
How to File a Complaint
To file a complaint about an occupational therapist, it must be in writing. Please submit your letter and any attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to include:
- your name, address, and phone number
- the full name of the occupational therapist
- details about the event: what occurred to cause your concern, the date(s), and place where the incident happened, and name of any other persons involved
Please note that all written correspondence received from you about an occupational therapist’s practice will be shared with the occupational therapist. This is an important part of transparency and fairness to all parties.
You may have questions before filing a complaint. You can contact the College’s registrar at 250-386-6822 or toll-free in BC at 1-866-386-6822.
Investigating Your Complaint
COTBC follows the procedures set out in the BC Health Professions Act. Complaints are investigated by the COTBC Inquiry Committee.
The Inquiry Committee consists of six members appointed by the COTBC board. This includes:
- Two public members
- One COTBC elected board member
- Three COTBC registrants
Typical steps in the investigation of a complaint include:
- COTBC will send a letter to acknowledge the College has received your complaint;
- COTBC will notify the registered occupational therapist of the complaint and ask for their written response to the complaint. COTBC may ask the registered occupational therapist for a copy of the complainant’s (your) clinical records, if relevant to the complaint;
- COTBC will provide a copy of the registered occupational therapist’s response to the complainant and provide the opportunity for their comment or to submit additional information;
- If needed, a COTBC inspector is appointed to assist the Inquiry Committee with its investigation. The inspector will obtain copies of relevant documents such as clinical records and interview the parties and any witnesses;
- COTBC will provide a copy of the inspector’s report to the complainant and the registered occupational therapist and ask for their comments;
- COTBC shares a copy of any comments received to the parties, providing for any final comments or further information.
After the Investigation is Complete
The Inquiry Committee will review all of the information gathered in the investigation and determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support the allegations.
The College has a range of options available in resolving complaints as authorized under the Health Professions Act. These include (but are not limited to):
- Take no further action if the registered occupational therapist’s conduct or competence was satisfactory, or if the matter does not warrant regulatory actions;
- Take any action it considers appropriate to resolve the matter between the parties;
- Request the registered occupational therapist agree to remedial actions or other measures that would address the conduct or practice concerns such as:
- an undertaking to not repeat the conduct;
- an undertaking to take specified education courses, participate in practice review or other remedial actions to improve practice
- consent to a reprimand; or
- an undertaking to consent to any other action specified by the Inquiry Committee;
- direct the registrar to issue a citation for disciplinary hearing.
Once the Inquiry Committee has made a decision about the complaint, the College will notify the registered occupational therapist of the resolution. The complainant (the person making the complaint) will receive a written summary of the decision and reasons for its decision. Complainants are also informed of their right to apply for a review of the Inquiry Committee’s decision by the Health Professions Review Board.