Mandatory Reports

What is a Mandatory Report?

Updated November 2022

A mandatory report is a report that is required by law. It must be submitted to an appropriate authority for reasons specified in law. Mandatory reports are a professional obligation for dietitians, employers and facility operators.

Mandatory Reporting to the College

The College of Dietitians of Ontario is responsible for investigating mandatory reports received about dietitians related to professional misconduct, incompetence, sexual abuse, or incapacity. Reports alert the College to situations in which a dietitian may not be practising safely. They allow the College to take appropriate measures to protect the public, as part of the College’s public protection mandate, which maintains trust in the dietetic profession and in the regulatory process.

There are several circumstances where the law requires dietitians, their employers and facility operators to file a report with the College: 

1.  Employers and facility operators must file a report when they have information of professional misconduct, incompetence incapacity of a dietitian, or that a dietitian may have sexually abused a client. 

2.  Dietitians must report another dietitian when they have information about their professional misconduct, incompetence,  incapacity, or that they may have sexually abused a client. The Professional Misconduct Regulation states that it is professional misconduct to fail to report incidents of unsafe practice or unethical conduct of dietitians. The regulation does not state to whom this should be reported but, depending on the situation, this may be to an employer and/or regulatory College.   

​3.  Dietitians must make a report when they have been charged or found guilty of an offence. This is normally referred to as mandatory self-reporting.

4.  ​Dietitians also have reporting obligations to the College's Registration and Quality Assurance Programs.

​For more details,  consult the  Mandatory Reporting Table for Dietitians, Employers and Facility Operators.

Mandatory Reporting to Other Authorities

As regulated healthcare professionals, dietitians also have legal reporting obligations to other authorities for:

Mandatory versus Permissive Reporting Of Other Healthcare Providers

If a dietitian is an employer or facility operator, they have a mandatory reporting requirement to report another healthcare professional to their regulatory College for unsafe and/or unethical practice, incompetence, or incapacity.

There is a legal obligation if a dietitian is an employer or facility operator to report incapacity or incompetence (as well as sexual abuse of a client/patient) under the Health Professions Procedural Code to the regulated healthcare professional’s regulatory College.

In addition, under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 a health information custodian must report to the College any disciplinary action against employees who have engaged in a privacy breach.

Obligations for Dietitians who are not Employers or Facility Operators
Dietitians who are not employers or facility operators do not have a mandatory reporting requirement under the Regulated Health Professions Act to report another regulated healthcare provider to their regulatory College for unsafe, unethical practice, incompetence or incapacity (unless it pertains to sexual abuse of a client/patient).

However, under the general duty of professionalism and ethics, dietitians may make a permissive report to the appropriate regulatory body when they have reasonable grounds to believe that a regulated healthcare provider is practising in an unsafe and/or unethical manner or may be incompetent or incapacitated. These might include situations where their conduct is affecting client care, safety, or the public interest. Depending on the situation, the reporting may be to an employer, regulatory College, or both.

Professionalism and Ethics — Doing What is Right
The College’s Code of Ethics (2b. beneficence) speaks to reporting inappropriate behaviour or treatment of a client by fulfilling reporting obligations. Depending on the circumstances, dietitians may need to take appropriate and timely action when another provider’s pattern of care, health or behaviour poses a risk to client safety. 

Appropriate action may include but is not limited to:
  • discussing with an employer/supervisor
  • obtaining legal advice
  • contacting the College’s Practice Advisory Service and/or the health professional’s regulatory College to seek guidance on reporting
  • contacting the individual’s friend/family, and/or notifying an individual to whom the healthcare provider is responsible (e.g., clinic administrator, hospital administrator)

When To Make the Report

A mandatory report must be sent immediately and no more than 30 days after the incident. If you miss the 30-day window, please send us the report as quickly as possible.

Find how to file a Mandatory Report here.

For further assistance, contact the Registrar & Executive Director 
of the College at 416-598-1725 / 1-800-668-4990, ext. 228.