What Happens After the College Receives a Report about a dietitian

What happens AFTER the COLLEGE receives A report about a Dietitian


The College ensures that investigation processes and outcomes are fair, consistent, and unbiased. Although there are no timelines required by law for the consideration of a report, the College aims to complete investigations and issue decisions within a reasonable timeframe.

Preliminary Inquiries

The College’s Registrar & Executive Director (ED) makes preliminary inquiries on every report received about a dietitian, which may include asking the dietitian to provide an initial response. If there are reasonable grounds to believe the dietitian has committed an act of professional misconduct or is incompetent, the Registrar & ED will then ask the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) to appoint an investigator.

The College does not require it, but dietitians may seek independent legal counsel at their own expense to address the report, if they choose. Malpractice insurance may cover this, and dietitians should consider discussing the matter with their insurance carrier if they are interested in having legal counsel represent them. 

Investigation  of the report

The role of the ICRC is to investigate and make decisions on complaints and reports. The ICRC investigation is a neutral, objective fact-finding process. The ICRC is composed of members of the public and dietitians. College staff are not ICRC members and are not involved in ICRC decisions.

The timeline of the investigation depends on various factors, including the complexity of the reported concerns. The most important consideration is the level of risk a dietitian poses to the public.

Appointing an Investigator

If the ICRC initiates a formal investigation of the report after the Registrar & ED’s preliminary inquiries, the appointed investigator will contact the dietitian to explain the process and answer any questions. The investigator may also ask to interview the dietitian about the concerns described in the report. Dietitians are required to cooperate with any College investigation; failure to do so could be considered professional misconduct.

The investigator may also contact the person who filed the report to obtain further information, as well as any other individuals who may have relevant information or who could assist the ICRC in understanding the nature of the reported concerns. In some cases, some investigation may occur before the dietitian is notified of the report, such as when it may be necessary to preserve evidence.

Investigators have authorities under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, and the Public Inquiries Act, 2009. These include attending a dietitian’s practice to examine evidence, copying or removing evidence as needed, and requiring third parties and witnesses to provide information. All information obtained during the investigation may be used as evidence in proceedings before the College.
Once the investigation is completed, the dietitian will receive a copy of the investigation report and have an opportunity to provide a final written response. The ICRC will then review the report and the dietitian’s response and issue its decision.

ICRC Decisions

Once the investigation is complete, the ICRC can make a decision to:

  • Take no further action if the dietitian’s conduct or actions meet reasonable and acceptable standards of practice, or if there is not enough information for the ICRC to take action.

  • Issue a written reminder or advice.

  • Require the dietitian to appear in person to receive an oral caution.

  • Direct the dietitian to complete a specified continuing education and remediation program (SCERP).

  • Refer the matter to the Discipline Committee for allegations of professional misconduct or incompetence.

  • Refer the dietitian to the Fitness to Practise Committee or to another ICRC panel to make inquiries into possible mental or physical health concerns that might interfere with the dietitian’s ability to practise safely.

Public Information

If the ICRC issues an oral caution, directs the dietitian to complete a SCERP, or refers the dietitian to the Discipline Committee, this information will be made available to the public on the Register of Dietitians, on the College's website. Unlike complaints, ICRC decisions about mandatory reports cannot be appealed to the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board.