If you have a complaint:
If you have a complaint, please complete the Complaint Reporting Form, sign and submit it to the College Office.
The Office will forward your complaint to the Professional Conduct Committee, who will write you a letter acknowledging that it has been received.
Overview of Complaints and Discipline Process:
The Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) is a statutory committee of Saskatchewan College of Psychologists (the College), the regulatory body for psychology in Saskatchewan. The mandate of PCC is to protect the public by ensuring that registered psychologists are qualified, competent, and that they follow the professional standards and ethical guidelines adopted by the College.
When a written complaint is made, we act on behalf of the complainant, who represents the public. We do not act on behalf of the psychologist.
Our job is to receive, consider and investigate all written complaints. Upon receipt of the completed Complaint Reporting Form, we forward the complainant an acknowledgement letter which may ask for clarification of the complaint, if required.
Once all documentation is received from the complainant, we notify the member of the complaint. The member will receive a package including: a copy of the complaint, information about the process, the complainant’s permission to use his or her file notes in response, and the member’s opinion regarding releasing information to complainant. Members may elect at this time to seek advice by consulting with a lawyer.
Once the PCC has notified the member of the complaint, we continue with our investigation. This may consist of gathering documentation and conducting interviews with a variety of witnesses, not limited to the complainant and member. Our investigation would continue after we receive the member’s response.
In cases where the allegations are extremely serious and there is the possibility of ongoing harm to the public, the College may choose to apply for a court order. If granted, this will prohibit the member from engaging in certain practices or prevent the member from practicing during the period of the investigation—this would be a rare event.
Dispositions of the PCC Process:
There are four major dispositions of complaints open to the PCC for dealing with complaints.
1. We may recommend no further action or dismissal of the complaint. This occurs when there are no grounds for the complaint because the member’s behaviour is not reflective of professional misconduct and/or incompetence, or the complaint is frivolous and/or vexatious, or when we have no jurisdiction in the matter before us. A written report of the decision will be forwarded to the complainant, member, Discipline Committee and the College’s Executive Council file.
2. We may engage in alternative dispute resolution. This can involve either informal or formal resolutions; the latter usually involves third party mediation. These dispositions are not suitable in cases where there is gross incompetence, physical and/or sexual abuse, or member incapacity. Both parties must agree to alternative dispute resolution in order for it to occur. ADRs are posted on the College’s website as per Regulatory Bylaw 5(4). Interventions/remedial actions may include, but not be limited to:
- advice about how to avoid similar behaviours that led to the complaint
- caution about the College’s expectations to meet standards of professional practice
- an undertaking and agreement for the member to limit his or her practice or to take further education and/or supervision
- suspension from the College pending satisfactory completion of conditions outlined in the undertaking and agreement
3. When our investigation reveals that a member has broken a criminal law, we immediately report this to the President of the Executive Council of the College and to the Deputy Minister of Justice. Criminal charges may then be laid. Should this occur, we cease our investigation until the charges have been dealt with in a court of law. The investigation will then be reopened.
4. Following an investigation, some complaints, as a result of their very serious nature, are automatically forwarded to the Discipline Committee for a formal hearing. Other times, the PCC may recommend a formal disciplinary hearing when an alternate dispute resolution has failed, or, when the complainant and/or member refuses a resolution, or, when the member has been unsuccessful in following through with proposed interventions or remedial actions. When a member has been found guilty in a disciplinary hearing, an order of the Discipline Committee’s decision is forwarded to the complainant, member, and the College’s Executive Council. The order may also be published and/or broadcast, as disciplinary hearings are open to the public. Members are entitled to appeal the findings of the Discipline Committee, either through the College’s Executive Council or Court of Queen’s Bench.
Caring for People in a Competent and Ethical Manner (NIRO pamphlet)