Investigation Process

Information about the Complaint Process

When a complaint is received, the Executive Director checks that the complaint contains all the necessary information listed in the “Filing a Complaint” section. If any information is missing, the Executive Director will contact the complainant.

After RPNAS receives a complaint, the RPNAS sends two letters:

* A letter to the complainant stating that the complaint has been received.

* A letter to the Registered Psychiatric Nurse or Graduate Psychiatric Nurse who is the subject of the complaint. This includes a copy of the complaint and a request that the registrant respond to the complaint, in writing.

All correspondence and documents relating to the complaint are forwarded to the Professional Conduct Committee for review.

Professional Conduct Committee

The Professional Conduct Committee is composed of RPNs and a public representative and they review the complaint and determines how to best deal with the matter.

When the Committee reviews a complaint, there are certain actions they are permitted to take. The Committee’s options are identified in section 24(1) of the Registered Psychiatric Nurses Act and include:

  • Resolving the complaint informally
  • Referring the matter to the discipline committee
  • Directing that no further action take place
  • Censuring the member
  • Ordering an investigation into the matter
  • Entering into an agreement with the member*
  • Accepting a voluntary surrender of the members certificate of registration
  • Taking any other action that it considers appropriate in the circumstances*

The member and complainant must both agree with the option(s) chosen by the Investigation Committee.

If the complainant does not agree with the action, the complainant can appeal the Committee’s decision to the RPNAS Council.

If the RPN against whom the complaint was made does not agree to the action, the matter may be forwarded for full investigation or to the Discipline Committee for a full hearing into the matter. The Discipline Committee Duties are spelled out in Section 26 of the Registered Psychiatric Nurses Act.

* See section 24[2](a)(b) & section 26