THE DUTY TO REPORT
A PROFESSIONAL & LEGAL DUTY TO REPORT ANOTHER PRACTITIONER
Under the Health Professions Act (HPA), registrants of all professions have a legal duty to ‘report in writing to the registrar of another person’s college if the registrant, on reasonable and probable grounds, believes that the continued practice of a designated health profession by the other person might constitute a danger to the public’ due to a physical or mental ailment, emotional disturbance or a substance addiction, that impairs their ability to practice.
If a registrant is in crisis, the College will handle the matter as a wellness issue and with the registrant’s cooperation will be able to resolve the situation with a supportive and remedial approach.
Suspected sexual misconduct
Similarly, where a registrant ‘has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that another registrant has engaged in sexual misconduct’, they must report the circumstances to the other professional’s regulator.
Where the source of the concern and belief arises from a patient’s disclosure to the registrant, the consent of the relevant patient (or their parent or guardian as the case may be) must be obtained before making the report.
Protection from liability
The HPA provides immunity, or protection from liability, to health professionals who comply with the duty to report where reports are made in good faith.
A registrant has the right at any time to obtain independent legal advice about this or any question about the HPA’s provisions. The College will inform registrants generally about the duty to report but cannot act as a registrant’s personal legal advisor.