Intake

The intake process begins when CLPNBC receives a written complaint (through its online complaint form, by mail, email, fax or in-person). 

After receiving a complaint, the Inquiry & Discipline team conducts an initial review of the complaint. 

Note: We can only act on a complaint when we know who the complainant is. 

Initial review

During the initial review, the Inquiry & Discipline team determines whether the complaint is valid by confirming: 
  • The person named in the complaint is an LPN currently or formerly registered with CLPNBC
  • The nature of the concerns relate to:
    • A contravention of the Health Professions Act, the Regulations or the Bylaws
    • Conviction of an indictable offence
    • Failure to comply with a standard, limit or condition
    • professional misconduct, incompetence, fitness to practise or conduct unbecoming of the profession

If the initial review determines the complaint is not about a current or former CLPNBC registrant, the Inquiry & Discipline team informs the complainant that CLPNBC does not have the authority to proceed. If the initial review determines the nature of the concerns are not related to one or more of the list above, the Registrar will dismiss the complaint and inform all parties of the reasons for the dismissal. In both of these cases, the Registrar will deliver the complaint and the reasons for dismissing the complaint to the Inquiry Committee.

If the initial review determines the person named and the nature of the concerns are within CLPNBC’s authority, the complaint moves into the assessment phase of the intake stage.

Assessment 

The Inquiry & Discipline team gathers initial information about the complaint including:

  • Collection and review of documentation 
  • Discussion with the complainant to better understand the nature of the complaint, the details of the complaint, any witnesses and whether the concerns were discussed with the registrant and/or the registrant’s employer
  • Discussion with the registrant to seek an initial response to the complaint 

Next, the Registrar assesses the complaint and delivers the complaint, her assessment and her recommendations to the Inquiry Committee. The assessment includes whether:

  • The public was harmed or is at risk of harm
  • There is enough information to make a decision 
  • The conduct or competence is the result of human error, risky practice, reckless practice or malice 
  • The concerns identify a pattern or an isolated incident
  • The LPN has demonstrated accountability and responsibility 

Dismissal

If the Registrar determines the complaint is frivolous, vexatious, was made in bad faith or the LPN’s conduct was satisfactory, the Inquiry Committee authorizes her to dismiss the complaint.

Early Resolution

If the Registrar determines the concerns in the complaint are not serious, she may seek an early resolution to remediate the concerns as long as the resolution adequately protects the public. This type of action by the Registrar may include one or more of the following:

  • An undertaking not to repeat the conduct in the complaint
  • Consent to a reprimand
  • An undertaking to complete educational courses
  • An undertaking or consent to other appropriate action(s) that would resolve the concerns in the public interest

Early resolution may be suitable when:

  • The public is not at risk if the registrant continues to practice
  • The conduct or competence concerns are not a serious matter
  • The registrant’s employer is willing to provide additional support or education to improve practice
  • The registrant has taken accountability for the concerns and is willing to improve his or her practice
  • The registrant has insight into the conduct or competence concerns 
  • The registrant is willing to undergo further monitoring of his or her practice so CLPNBC can assess whether the resolution has effectively protected the public

Disposition

If the Registrar has either dismissed the complaint or determined that early resolution is appropriate, she will deliver the complaint, surrounding information and her disposition to the Inquiry Committee. The Inquiry Committee may confirm the Registrar’s decision or request further investigation. If the Inquiry Committee confirms the Registrar’s decision, she will notify all parties of the decision and reasons for such decision. 

If the Inquiry Committee determines the complaint warrants further investigation, it appoints an Inspector to carry out the investigation stage of the process. 

Extraordinary action

Upon receipt of a complaint, or during the course of an investigation, if the Inquiry Committee thinks the public may be at risk if the registrant continues to practise, it may take extraordinary action to ensure the public is protected. For example:

  • Imposing limits or conditions on the registrant’s practice
  • Suspending the registrant’s ability to practise

We will make every effort to give the registrant adequate notice that the Committee may consider taking extraordinary action and an opportunity to provide information for the Inquiry Committee to review; however, in circumstances where the Registrar/Inquiry & Discipline team is concerned the public is in immediate harm, there may not be enough time to provide adequate notice to the registrant. 

If the Inquiry Committee takes extraordinary action, it notifies the registrant of its decision and the reasons behind the decision. When the Inquiry Committee determines that the action taken is no longer necessary to protect the public, they will cancel the limits, conditions or suspension, and notify the registrant. 

After delivering the details of the Inquiry Committee’s decision to the registrant, the Inquiry & Discipline team advises the public by publishing on the CLPNBC website a summary of the action taken. CLPNBC also notifies the complainant and the registrant’s employer. 

Click here to view the public safety announcements related to extraordinary actions.

Glossary

Professional misconduct
Behaviour outside the boundaries of what is considered acceptable as defined in the Standards of Practice framework. Includes sexual misconduct, unethical conduct, infamous conduct and conduct unbecoming a member of the health profession.

Professional incompetence
Professional Incompetence is a lack of knowledge, skill, ability and/ or judgment in a nurse’s professional practice.

Fitness to practise
All the qualities and capabilities of an individual relevant to his or her capacity to practise as a nurse, including, but not limited to, any cognitive, physical, psychological or emotional condition, or a dependence on alcohol or drugs, that impairs his or her ability to practise nursing.

Conduct unbecoming the profession
Conduct on the part of a nurse that is contrary to the interests of the public, or which harms the standing of the profession in the eyes of the public

Serious matter
A matter which, if admitted or proven following an investigation, would ordinarily result in suspension, limits, conditions, or cancellation of registration, or issuance of a fine.

Contact CLPNBC's Inquiry & Discipline team