Responsibilities of a Self-Regulating Health Professional
As one of Ontario's self-regulated health professionals, medical laboratory technologists are governed by a law called the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA). The RHPA was developed to protect the public's right to safe, competent and ethical health care.
The Medical Laboratory Technology Act, 1991, defines an MLT's scope of practice, restricted title, and access to authorized acts.
The College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario (CMLTO) supports this law by holding members accountable for their:
- Practice – Standards of Practice set out the legal and professional obligations, in this case for medical laboratory technologists (MLTs); and
- Conduct – MLTs who do not maintain the Standards of Practice may be investigated by the College's Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee, and Discipline Committee; if found to have committed an act of professional misconduct, an MLT may face fines, suspension and/or revocation of his or her right to practice.
MLTs are expected to understand and comply with the professional, legal and ethical requirements governing their practice. This includes all applicable:
Provincial statute and regulations, such as:
- Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA) - articulates the regulatory framework for health professionals including the controlled acts
- Medical Laboratory Technology Act, 1991 (MLT Act) - profession-specific statute for MLTs
- Laboratory & Specimen Collection Centre Licensing Act, RSO 1990 c.L.1 - sets out the requirements and expectations for licensed laboratories
- Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 - Ontario’s provincial privacy legislation, applies to personal health information
- Health Care Consent Act, 1996 - provides a framework for patient consent to treatment
- Ontario Labour Mobility Act - provides for the labour mobility of professionals across Canada
Federal statutes and agreements, such as:
- Personal Information and Protection of Electronic Documents Act, 2000 - Canada’s federal privacy legislation, applies to personal information
CMLTO regulations and guidelines, such as:
- CMLTO Consolidated Bylaws (e.g., fees, election and voting rights, Committee composition, register, College administration and operations, etc.)
- CMLTO Code of Ethics
- CMLTO’s Standards of Practice for MLTs
- CMLTO Practice Guidelines, including
MLTs are expected to maintain their competence throughout their career, continually enhance their knowledge and skills, and participate in the quality assurance program. They are also required to share their knowledge and information with other members of the health care team, thus enhancing interprofessional collaboration (coordinated patient-centred care provided by diverse health professionals working together).