Complaint Investigation Process
The following is an overview of the steps followed by the College of Denturists of British Columbia during a typical complaint investigation.
- The College office receives a letter of complaint.
- The College office acknowledges receipt of the complaint.
- The College office notifies the Denturist of the complaint, requests a written response and a copy of the patient's record.
- The College forwards the Denturist's response to the complainant for their review and the opportunity to provide any additional information.
- All documents are forwarded to the Inquiry Committee for their review.
- If there is sufficient information, the Inquiry Committee will render a decision. If additional information is required, the Inquiry Committee is not limited to, but may do one or more of the following,
- Seek clarification from one or both parties.
- Inspect the denture(s).
- Request a peer denture evaluation.
- Interview and/or obtain statements from witnesses or other persons.
- Obtain copies of other documents, such as medical records.
- Authorize an undercover investigation.
The purpose of the investigation is to determine how the matter should be resolved. The Inquiry Committee does not conduct hearings and it meets without the complainant or the Denturist being present.
In determining the outcome of a complaint, the Inquiry Committee will have regard to, among other things, the legal requirements of establishing professional misconduct or incompetence and the strength and quality of the evidence against the Denturist who is the subject of the complaint.
Also, please note that all complaints are treated in a confidential manner.
Once the investigation into a complaint is complete, the Inquiry Committee may:
- Take no further action if they agree that the matter is trivial, frivolous, vexatious or made in bad faith or that the conduct or competence to which the matter relates is satisfactory.
- Take any action it considers appropriate to resolve the matter between the complainant and the Denturist.
- Act under section 36 of the Health Professions Act.
- Direct the registrar to issue a citation under section 37 of the Health Professions Act.
Both the complainant and the Denturist will receive written notification, by mail, regarding the outcome of the complaint.
Should the complainant be dissatisfied with the Inquiry Committee's decision and reasons for their decision, they have the right to apply for a review from the Health Professions Review Board. As per section 50.6 of the Health Professions Act, applicants must apply for a review within 30 days of receiving notification of the Inquiry Committee's decision.
When a complaint cannot be resolved through the consensual resolution processes, the Inquiry Committee may issue a citation for a discipline hearing.
In these circumstances, the College's Discipline Committee serves as the legal body reviewing the complaint, the investigative findings and the Registrant's response to such. At the hearing, the committee is presented with evidence about the complaint and may decide to either dismiss the complaint or to take specific action as specified in section 39 of the Health Professions Act such as suspending or cancelling a Denturist's registration.
Discipline Hearings are open to the public and all decisions are a matter of public record.