When a college receives information that a health professional’s ability to practice safely and effectively is at risk due to a health condition, the health professional may soon find him or herself facing fitness to practise proceedings. This usually begins with the Registrar of a College receiving information that provides a basis for the belief that the member may be incapacitated, and is followed by the college making inquiries into the member’s health condition to determine whether the member is incapacitated and whether his or her practice should be revoked, suspended or subject to terms, conditions or limitations in order to protect the public.
The measures taken by the College can include ordering the member to submit to a physical or mental health examination and referring the member to a hearing before the Fitness to Practise Committee. The member will receive and have an opportunity Registrar’s report, which will be considered by the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee of the College.
Despite the fact that fitness to practise proceedings are meant to be rehabilitative as opposed to punitive in nature, this process can be incredibly distressing for a professional, and can have serious consequences: not only will the health professional’s college make inquiries about his or her health, but the result of those inquiries could be a suspension of the professional’s ability to practice his or her profession and to earn a livelihood.
With our knowledge and experience, we are positioned to provide health professionals with the guidance they need to contest unfounded allegations or to negotiate the best possible resolution with the college. We advocate on behalf of our clients to ensure that their rights are protected throughout the Fitness to Practice Committee proceedings and to assist them in making a successful return to practice as soon as possible.