Skip To Content



When a hearing is adjourned, it will start or resume on a later date. Back to Top

Agreed statement of facts
Where the College and a registrant agree about some or all the facts of a case, they may prepare a statement in advance of the hearing, where they set out the facts that are not in dispute. There may be an agreed statement of facts about the merits, the penalty, or both. The Tribunal relies on those facts as proven.. Back to Top

The allegations the College makes are its claims the registrant did something wrong. An allegation usually says the registrant committed an act of professional misconduct, then goes on to say how. The College may also allege that a registrant is incompetent. Back to Top

Argument (submissions)
Once the parties finish providing evidence in a hearing or on a motion, each party then tells the panel members what decision they think the panel should make and why. This part of the hearing is often called “argument” or “submissions.” Back to Top

Certificate of registration
When a person meets all the requirements to qualify as a registrant, the College issues them a certificate of registration, which permits them to practise their profession in the province. Back to Top

In some colleges, the person treated by the registrant is called the “client.” It means the same as “patient” in the legislation. Back to Top

Ontario’s 26 health colleges regulate the practice of the health professions in the public interest. The College conducts investigations that may lead to allegations against a registrant being referred to the Tribunal for a hearing on professional misconduct or incompetence. The College is always one of the two parties in a Tribunal hearing and is sometimes called the “prosecution.” The colleges to which the Rules and documentation on this site apply are the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. Back to Top

The member of the public whose complaint was considered by ICRC when deciding to refer allegations to the Tribunal is called the “complainant.” The complainant may attend the hearing — unless the Tribunal makes a witness exclusion order — and may be a witness for the College, but, unless the Tribunal allows it, cannot otherwise participate in the hearing. Back to Top

If a hearing on professional misconduct or incompetence is contested, the parties do not agree on some or all the issues - merits, penalty and/or costs - the panel will decide. Back to Top

The panel may order the registrant to pay all or part of the costs of holding the hearing. The Tribunal may also order the College to pay costs to a registrant if it decides the proceeding was unwarranted. Back to Top

Exclusion of witnesses (Witness exclusion order)
When a witness exclusion order is made witnesses may not watch the hearing before they testify. Back to Top

Expert witness
An expert witness provides opinion evidence based on their specialized training and experience. Back to Top

A finding is when the panel decides whether the registrant has committed an act of professional misconduct or is incompetent. Back to Top

Health Professions Discipline Tribunals Pilot
The Colleges of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists, Massage Therapists, Physicians and Surgeons and Psychotherapists are working together using a common model for discipline proceedings. There is common leadership, a common case management approach and common rules and processes at three of the colleges. Back to Top

The hearing is where the Tribunal listens to evidence and submissions from the parties to reach its decision. It is like a trial. Back to Top

Incompetent / incompetence
The legal definition of incompetence is that a registrant’s “professional care of a patient displayed a lack of knowledge, skill or judgment of a nature or to an extent that demonstrates that the [registrant] is unfit to continue to practise or that the [registrant’s] practice should be restricted.” Back to Top

Interim suspension
An interim suspension is a suspension (see below) the Tribunal must impose, in certain instances, where the Tribunal has made a finding of sexual abuse . The interim suspension lasts until the Tribunal holds its penalty hearing and announces its decision. The ICRC deals with issues of interim suspension in other circumstances. Back to Top

Investigation, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC)
The Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee of the College investigates complaints and reports about registrants. It may refer specific allegations of professional misconduct or incompetence to the Tribunal. Back to Top

Joint submission on penalty
When the parties agree about the penalty, they may present their proposed joint submission on penalty to the Tribunal at the penalty hearing. Back to Top

Mandatory Penalties
For certain types of sexual abuse, the legislation requires that the penalty include the revocation of the registrant’s certificate of registration and a reprimand. For other types of sexual abuse, the penalty must include at least a suspension and a reprimand. Back to Top

Member, the term used in legislation, means the same as “registrant.” Back to Top

See Professional misconduct. Back to Top

In a hearing, an order is the formal document where the Tribunal sets out its finding and any penalty and costs it is imposing, or decides that the allegations have not been established. In a motion, the Tribunal’s order will either grant or dismiss the relief sought. Back to Top

Party / parties
The parties to a Tribunal proceeding are the College and the registrant. The College is always represented by a lawyer. The registrant may be represented by a lawyer or paralegal or may represent themself. Back to Top

Patient, the term used in legislation, means the same as “client.” Back to Top

A penalty is the order the Tribunal imposes on a registrant for an act of professional misconduct or for incompetence. Back to Top

A proceeding is the case before the Tribunal. It begins when the allegations are referred to the Tribunal and ends when all steps have  concluded. Back to Top

Professional misconduct
Misconduct means behaviour that is improper or unacceptable. When a registrant commits professional misconduct, they have done something or failed to do something that goes against the rules and expectations of the profession. The types of professional misconduct are set out in legislation and regulations. Back to Top

A discipline proceeding is referred to the Tribunal when the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee of the College decides that certain allegations should be heard by the Tribunal. Back to Top

The registrant is the professional who holds a certificate of registration under the Health Professions Procedural Code. The registrant is called the “member” in the legislation and regulations, and the two terms mean the same thing. Back to Top

When a registrant’s certificate of registration is reinstated, the registrant’s permission to practise the profession is restored. Back to Top.

In a reprimand, the panel speaks directly to the registrant about their wrongdoing. Back to Top

Revoke / revocation
When a registrant’s certificate of registration is revoked, the registrant can no longer practise the profession in Ontario. Back to Top

Submissions (argument)
See argument. Back to Top

Suspension (see also Interim suspension)
When a registrant is suspended from practice, they are not allowed to practise the profession for a specific length of time. Back to Top

Terms, conditions or limitations
Terms, conditions or limitations are restrictions the Tribunal can place on the registrant’s practice. For example, the registrant may be ordered to engage in training, supervision or respond to the College within a certain time. Back to Top

The Tribunal is the name of the Discipline Committee that is established under the Health Professions Procedural Code. It has all the powers and responsibilities of the Discipline Committee. The Tribunals to which these Rules and documentation apply are the Discipline Committee of the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario, the Ontario Physicians and Surgeons Discipline Tribunal and the Ontario Registered Psychotherapists Discipline Tribunal.

If a hearing on professional misconduct or incompetence is uncontested, the parties agree on all the issues - the merits, penalty and costs - the panel will decide. Back to Top

Witness (see also Expert witness)
A witness is a person who has information about what happened that may be relevant to the Tribunal’s decision. For example, a witness might be the patient or client who says a registrant harmed them, someone working with the registrant or a person who saw or heard what happened. Back to Top

Witness exclusion order
See exclusion of witnesses. Back to Top

Written Hearing
All or part of a proceeding may be decided by a panel based only on written materials submitted by the parties. A panel in a written hearing may also ask the parties for oral submissions. Back to Top