When a midwife has been referred by the Inquiries, Complaints, and Reports Committee because of the serious nature of the alleged professional misconduct and/or incompetence, the Discipline Committee holds a hearing.
The Discipline Committee consists of members of the public and the profession. Discipline hearing panels are appointed from the committee and must be composed of at least two public members of the Council of the College and at least one professional member of Council. The panel has a designated chairperson and is responsible for writing its own decision and reasons.
To read or obtain a copy of the Discipline Committee’s Rules of Procedure, please click here.
For information on Discipline Hearing Decorum please click here.
If you require any information pertaining to hearings, please contact the College at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416.640.2252 ext. 232.
Referral to Discipline
A panel of the Discipline Committee hears allegations of professional misconduct and/or incompetence referred to it by the Inquiries, Complaints, and Reports Committee (ICRC).
After the ICRC decides to refer a matter to the Discipline Committee, a Notice of Hearing is sent to the midwife who is the subject of the proceedings, describing the allegations of professional misconduct and/or incompetence.
In addition, a notation is made on the College’s public register that a referral to discipline has occurred for the midwife.
The midwife can choose to retain legal counsel (i.e. a lawyer) for the hearing. The College will provide the midwife and their counsel with all relevant information in its possession, so the midwife has the opportunity to defend themselves against all allegations.
Current Referrals to Discipline
None at this time.
None at this time.
All hearings are open to the public. Due to COVID-19, the College is conducting its hearings by videoconference. If you would like to attend a hearing, please contact our Professional Conduct department.
Please note hearing dates are subject to change. Prior to attending any hearing, observers should check the Current Hearings schedule to ensure there have been no changes.
The Hearing Process
Prior to the Hearing
A pre-hearing conference is held. During this meeting, College’s counsel and the midwife’s counsel will attempt to narrow the issues for the hearing and identify legal and procedural issues for the panel. This meeting also provides parties with an opportunity to receive an assessment of the case from the pre-hearing conference chair, who is typically a member of the Discipline Committee and will not sit on the panel for the hearing.
All discipline hearings are open to the public. The hearing requires the Discipline panel to make a determination on liability, and potentially penalty and costs.
During the hearing, the Panel will listen to each party’s submissions and review evidence regarding the allegations of professional misconduct and/or incompetence. They will then deliberate to arrive at a decision on whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant a finding of professional misconduct and/or incompetence.
If the Panel is of the opinion that there is not enough evidence to warrant a finding of professional misconduct and/or incompetence, the panel can choose to take no action. If there is a finding of professional misconduct and/or incompetence, the panel can:
- Order a revocation – the midwife’s certificate of registration will be revoked
- Order a suspension – the midwife’s certificate of registration will be suspended for a specified period of time. The panel may also choose to “suspend the suspension” for a specified period of time, provided that the midwife complies with certain conditions, such as taking a course or submitting regular reports to a supervisor.
- Impose a term, condition or limitation on the midwife’s certificate of registration – the midwife’s practise of midwifery will be restricted for a specified or indefinite period of time.
- Order a reprimand – the midwife will appear before the panel to be reprimanded orally.
- Impose a fine – the midwife may be required to pay a fine of up to $35,000.
Findings of Sexual Abuse
If the Discipline panel finds that a midwife has committed an act of sexual abuse as defined by s. 51(5) of the Health Professions Procedural Code, the panel is required to order a reprimand of the midwife and revocation of the midwife’s certificate of registration. The panel may also make additional orders it is authorized to provide under s. 51(2) of the Code. Further details can be found in the College’s Preventing Sexual Abuse page.
After the Discipline panel has made its decision on liability and penalty, one of the parties may request an order for costs. The midwife’s counsel may request costs in cases where allegations of professional misconduct or incompetence were not proven. Prosecution may request costs when the panel finds a midwife to have committed acts of professional misconduct or incompetence. In such a case, the panel may ask the midwife to pay all or part of the College’s legal costs and expenses pertaining to the investigation and hearing of the matter.
If a midwife has been found to have sexually abused a client, the midwife may be required to reimburse the College for any funding provided to the client for therapy and counselling related to the sexual abuse.
If the midwife had their certificate of registration revoked, they can apply to the Discipline panel for reinstatement within one year, unless the revocation was for sexual abuse of a client, in which case they cannot apply for reinstatement for five years. Decisions on reinstatement applications cannot be appealed to Ontario’s Divisional Court.
Other decisions of the Discipline panel can be appealed to Ontario’s Divisional Court for judicial review within 90 days of the decision being issued. There must be a question of law, fact or both in order for an appeal to be granted. The court may affirm, rescind or rehear the matter in whole or in part.
A notation of the appeal and its outcome will appear on the College’s public register.
Discipline Process Flowchart
Click to expand the image below.
The College of Midwives Discipline Committee conducts hearings in relation to allegations of professional misconduct. The Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 requires that the College publish the results of hearings. In publishing the information, the College aims to inform the public about what constitutes professional misconduct and incompetence. The decisions are also a resource for registered midwives as they include information about practice standards and professional behaviour.
After a hearing has concluded, the panel of the Discipline Committee will release a Decision and Reasons document. These documents and/or Discipline Summaries are subsequently posted to the College’s website and can be found below. Please note that information that is subject to a publication ban or could reveal the identity of witnesses or clients, will be removed prior to posting. Where a Discipline Hearing Summary is posted, a copy of the Discipline Committee’s decision and reasons is available on request by contacting email@example.com.
Click to Read Past Discipline Committee Decisions and Reasons.
|Registrant||Year/Hearing Dates||Decision Documents|
|Midwife “A”||January 10, 11, 12|
February 28, 2022
|Decision and Reasons|
|Natasha Singleton-Bassaragh||March 5, 2021||Decision and Reasons|
|Sandra Knight||July 22, 2020||Decision and Reasons|
|Nasrin Bandari Vali||November 27, 2019||Decision and Reasons|
|Mélanie Guérin||December 2, 2015||Discipline Hearing Summary|
|Rosa Anna Perconti||March 5, 7, 9, 21, 23, 29-30, 2012|
April 30, 2012
May 2-7, 10, 14, 18, 22-23, 28-29, 31, 2012
July 12-13, 17-18, 2012
September 13-14, 2012
October 11-12, 24-26, 31, 2012
November 1-2, 7-9, 2012
December 5-7, 12, 17-18, 2012
January 15-16, 21, 24, 28, 31, 2013
February 26, 27, 2013
March 1, 4, 2013
October 17, 21-22, 2014
January 22-23, 2015
|Discipline Hearing Summary|
|Freda Seddon||January 12, 2004||Discipline Hearing Summary|
|Katherine Duncan||September 14, 2003||Discipline Hearing Summary|
|Mary Molnar||October 22-26, 2001|
December 12, 2001
March 12, 2001
|Discipline Hearing Summary|
|Susan Columbia-Rains||September 26, 2000||Discipline Hearing Summary|
In publishing these decisions, the College aims to educate members and inform the public about what constitutes professional misconduct and incompetence. The decisions are also a resource for registered midwives as they include information about practice standards and professional behaviour.