STEPS AND STAGES
The investigation of a complaint is a step-wise process. The College must first receive a complaint, and then assess it to determine if it alleges a conduct or competence wrong which the College has authority to investigate.
If a complaint proceeds to investigation, that investigation takes time. Relevant documents will be identified, sought and gathered, and witnesses will be contacted and asked for various evidence. Often medical records must be obtained from practitioners other than the respondent.
The CPS-BC handles all complaints as quickly as possible.
Every complaint is unique; those that involve few facts, documents and witnesses and enjoy prompt responses from witnesses including experts may proceed relatively quickly. Others that are more involved will of necessity take longer.
The College may have questions at any time for the complainant pertaining to the complaint. Most often these are to clarify the actual concerns or to gather relevant evidence.
Any podiatrist who is the subject of the complaint must be given the opportunity to respond fully to the allegations and any questions posed by the College.
All of the relevant information once gathered is assessed to ascertain if the evidence is capable of proving a conduct or competence wrong. A complaint will ultimately be dismissed, sent to a discipline hearing or resolved by consent with the practitioner at either the investigation or hearing stage.
See how to make a complaint.
If a podiatrist is suspected on the basis of an investigation, or found after a hearing, to have committed misconduct by acting in an incompetent or unethical manner, the College will ensure appropriate measures are included in any consent resolution or hearing panel order.
See a simplified flow chart of the complaint process.
See a video overview of the complaints process under the Health Professions Act from the website of the BC Health Regulators, of which the College is a member.