What does a “Complaint” refer to?

A complaint is an issue or concern that someone may have about the practice of a Medical Laboratory Technologist. 

CMLTO is committed to ensuring everyone is knowledgeable about the complaints process. Staff will communicate important steps in the case with the complainant and MLT being complained about. Staff are available during business hours (Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) by email at professionalconduct@cmlto.com. If you have an inquiry outside of these business hours, please email the Professional Conduct staff and they will respond to you as soon as possible. 

How do I make a complaint about an MLT?

You can access the online complaint form below. If you are unable to complete the online complaint form you can send your complaint to the CMLTO by mail, video or audio recording, email, or telephone. Please note you may file your complaint in English or French. If you require French Language Services, please let us know.

What type of information should I include in my complaint?

To help us look into your concerns, include as much of the following information as possible in your complaint to the CMLTO:

  • A description of your concerns
  • The date(s) the concern(s) occurred
  • The name of any hospital or institution involved
  • The name, address, and phone number of any other person who may have information pertaining to your complaint
  • Copies of any relevant documents you have relating to your complaint
  • The full name of the MLT(s), if known

You may also wish to alert the MLT’s employer about the conduct at issue.

How are complaints investigated by the CMLTO?

The Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) is responsible for handling complaints. This Committee includes both MLTs and members of the public. Here’s how the process works:

  • Once your complaint is received, the CMLTO will open a file, send you an email to acknowledge your complaint, and start an investigation (unless in the rare instance when the complaint may be seen as “frivolous or vexatious”, in which case you will get notice that the ICRC does not intend to investigate the complaint and you can make submissions about that intention).
  • A copy of your complaint is sent to the MLT, who will be given at least 30 days to respond to your concerns. The MLT has a duty to cooperate fully with the investigation.
  • A copy of the MLT’s response will then be sent to you for your review and comment. The MLT’s explanation may be enough to answer your questions and resolve your complaint.
  • If the MLT’s response does not resolve your complaint, the ICRC will continue with its investigation. In some cases, the CMLTO may ask you to sign a consent form to assist us in obtaining relevant records (e.g., your relevant hospital records or test results).
  • Even if you are satisfied with the MLT’s response, the ICRC may choose to continue its investigation if it feels that it is in the public interest to do so. The CMLTO will keep you informed throughout the process through your preferred way of communicating (i.e., telephone or email).

Please consult the infographic below, which provides a detailed overview of the CMLTO complaints investigation process: 

The complaints process is transparent, meaning the MLT will be made aware of who has filed a complain. If you do not want the MLT to know your identity, the CMLTO may still be able to look into the matter as a report or inquiry, but this is not guaranteed and will depend on how detailed your information is and if there are reasonable and probable grounds to believe that the MLT has committed an act of professional misconduct or is incompetent. Complaints are typically acknowledged by CMLTO staff within 5 business days. This is most often done through email correspondence but if you have a preferred method of communication (i.e., telephone), please let CMLTO staff know.

What are the potential outcomes of the complaints investigation process?

The ICRC reviews everything collected during the investigation and may take one or more of the following actions:

  • Require the MLT to appear before the Committee to be cautioned.
  • Refer the matter to an Inquiry Panel for action if there are concerns that the MLT may be suffering from a physical or mental incapacity that impacts their ability to practise safely.
  • Refer the matter to the Discipline Committee, which deals with allegations of professional misconduct or incompetence through a formal hearing. The discipline process is entirely separate from the complaints process. As the complainant, you are not a party to the Discipline Committee proceedings. However, you may be called to appear as a witness.
  • Take no further action.
  • Take other action it considers appropriate, consistent with the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA), which may include requiring an MLT to complete a specified continuing education or remediation program.

Note that the CMLTO does not have the authority to require the MLT to make any financial compensation or to assess damages in any way. This is done through the civil court system. The ICRC’s decision, along with written reasons, will be provided to the complainant and the MLT.

Some ICRC decisions are made public and included on the MLT’s Public Register entry. A requirement to complete a specified continuing education or remediation program, or attend for an oral caution, for example, must be included on the Public Register. However, the name of the complainant is not included in such entries.

What happens if I am not satisfied with the decision of the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee? Is there an appeal process?

All personal information relating to the investigation and resolution of a complaint is held confidential by the ICRC and only you and the MLT will get a copy of the ICRC’s decision. Unless the decision was to refer the matter to an Inquiry Panel or Discipline Committee, both you and the MLT have the right to request a review of the decision by the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (HPARB). You can access the HPARB website here for more information: http://www.hparb.on.ca/.

HPARB is an independent body established by the provincial government and is made up of non-health care professionals. A request for a review must be made within 30 days of receipt of the ICRC’s decision. HPARB reviews are open to the public. The CMLTO will provide the HPARB with the documents relating to the complaint. The HPARB may confirm the ICRC’s decision, refer the matter back to the ICRC, or make recommendations to the ICRC. Please note that the HPARB will not conduct its own investigation or award money or damages. 

    Complaint Form