If you are concerned about the conduct and practice 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. You do not need to share your name or contact information when discussing a concern. 

If and when you would like to make a formal complaint, your contact information will be required and the steps are outlined below. 

Step 1. Initiating a Complaint

Complaints can be brought forward to the College in a variety of ways. Complaints may come from members of the public, or their families, with concerns regarding the conduct and competence of an occupational therapist and may include inappropriate and/or unprofessional care. Complaints may also come 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 formal complaints cannot be anonymous.  The complaint should include the following information:

Ways to submit a formal complaint: 

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

Once the College receives a formal complaint we will contact the complainant (you) for more information or clarification as needed.  This may include personal health information on the client as required to complete the investigation process.  The occupational therapist will be notified and will be provided a copy of the complaint.  

Step 2.  Investigation Committee

The College will refer the matter to the Investigation Committee in accordance with the Occupational Therapists Act, 1998.  The  Investigation Committee will form a panel that consists 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.  

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

Step 3.  Hearing Committee

If the matter is referred to a Hearing Committee, the Board will form a panel that consists 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 registrant not guilty, the charges may be dismissed.

The  Hearing Committee will file its decision and rationale with the College and provide 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.