If you are concerned about the conduct of an occupational therapist, you should contact the Registrar of the College of Occupational Therapists of Nova Scotia at 902-455-0556 or toll-free in Nova Scotia 1-877-455-0556.

Step 1. Initiating a Complaint

Concerns can be brought forward to the College in a variety of ways. Complaints may come forward from members of the public, or their families, who believe they are not receiving appropriate care. Concerns may also come forward from employers or colleagues of occupational therapists who may be required, in certain specific circumstances, to report concerns to the College.  The Registrar of the College may also initiate the complaint process.

The College is required under the Occupational Therapists Act to investigate all complaints about a registrant's practice submitted to the College.  Complaints need to be made in writing and must be signed by the complainant; formal complaints cannot be anonymous.  The complaint should include the following information:

The following complaint form may be used to assist with submitting a complaint.  Written complaints and supporting documents may be mailed to:

College of Occupational Therapists of Nova Scotia
380 Bedford Hwy, Suite 203
Halifax, NS B3M 2L4

Once the College receives a written complaint, we will contact that complainant, for more information or clarification as needed, and notify the occupational therapist including providing them with a copy of the complaint.  

Step 2.  Investigation Committee

The College will refer the matter to an Investigation Committee in accordance with the Occupational Therapists Act, 1998.  The  Investigation Committee will form a panel that consist of at least two members of the College and one public representative who does not have a degree in occupational therapy.  The  panel will review the complaint and determine the steps required to complete an investigation into the matter.  They may require the occupational therapist to:

All documents received in the course of an investigation are strictly confidential and cannot be shared outside of legal counsel.  

Step 3.  Disposition

Once completing an investigation into the matter, the Investigation Committee will make a determination in accordance with the Occupational Therapists Act, 1998.  The Committee may:

The Committee will file its decision and rational at the office of the College and provide both parties with a copy.

Step 4.  Hearing Committee

If the matter is referred to a hearing committee, the Board will form a panel that consist of at least three members of the Board, one of which must be a public representative.  A notice of the hearing will be provided to the complainant, the occupational therapist, and will be made publicly available.  The Hearing Committee's panel will conduct a hearing in accordance with the Occupational Therapists Act, 1998.  In a hearing, the occupational therapist is entitled to all the rights of natural justice, including:

Upon hearing the evidence, the Hearing Committee panel will determine if the occupational therapist is guilty of professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming of an occupational therapist, or professional incompetence or incapacity.  If the Hearing Committee panel determines that the occupational therapist is guilty, they may decide to:

Should the Hearing Committee find the member not guilty, the charges may be dismissed.

The  Hearing Committee will file its decision and rational with the College and provides  the complainant, the occupational therapist,  and other persons considered appropriate, with a copy.

Appeal

The occupational therapist may appeal on any point of law from the findings of the Hearing Committee to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.  The Court may, in its discretion, grant a stay of any order made, pending the Court's decision.