CDSBC's complaints and discipline process includes many steps. The framework for the process is set by provincial legislation called the
Health Professions Act (HPA).
The process is committee-driven. Under this framework, the
Inquiry Committee gives direction and decides how each complaint will be resolved. In the event that a complaint proceeds to a discipline hearing, the
Discipline Committee will determine the resolution.
The steps outlined below are for general information only. Exceptions may apply.
Download a copy of the
How a Complaint is Resolved (PDF) information sheet.
~98% of complaints are resolved through the complaints process
We investigate all complaints related to the conduct or competence of dentists, dental therapists and certified dental assistants.
Complaints that are outside the College’s jurisdiction (e.g. purely financial), or do not raise issues for investigation are dismissed by the Registrar.
The complaints team conducts a preliminary evaluation and recommends one of three options for consideration by the Inquiry Committee*:
The complaints team includes 8 dentists.
* For simplicity, the terms Inquiry Committee and Discipline Committee are used here to refer to either panels or meetings of the whole committee.
The Inquiry Committee reviews the complaint and decides next steps, if any.
The Inquiry Committee consists of dentists, certified dental assistants, and members of the public.
The complaint letter is forwarded to the registrant, who has the opportunity to respond. The registrant’s response is also provided to the complainant.
The Complaint Investigator gathers all relevant information. This step may include telephone conversations, in-person interviews, and gathering of dental records, X-rays, models, and more.
Next, the Complaint Investigator prepares a report for resolution.
For early resolution files, this step can be quite brief.
The complaints team reviews the summary report and recommendations for resolving the complaint. Resolution options include:
A report summarizing the complaint, investigation and recommendations for resolution is prepared for the Inquiry Committee.
This is a collaborative process with the registrant. The registrant has the opportunity to discuss any concerns identified and the proposed resolution.
Each complaint is reviewed at a weekly complaints team meeting. The process is overseen by the Inquiry Committee, ensuring that there are multiple dentists reviewing each complaint file.
The Inquiry Committee receives the report and recommendations for resolution and makes its decision.
The majority of complaints are resolved at this stage. Complaints only proceed if the registrant asks to appear before the Inquiry Committee, or if the Committee directs that a citation be issued against the registrant.
Remedial not PunitiveIf concerns about a registrant’s practice are identified, CDSBC takes a remedial and collaborative approach to resolving those concerns. All complaints resolved without a citation happen by consent.
Less than 2% of complaints reach step 7.
Citations are issued in the rare instances where an issue is serious, an agreement cannot be reached, and/or the registrant has not responded to the complaint.
A citation is a formal document that lists the allegations against the registrant and provides notice that there will be a public hearing before the Discipline Committee.
Even after a citation is issued, the registrant can make a proposal to the Inquiry Committee to resolve the citation.