As part of its duty to serve and protect the public interest, the College is required to have a Discipline Committee.

This page provides a brief overview of the College’s discipline process. Although every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate and current, it is not intended to be an exhaustive summary. In the event of any discrepancy between this Web page and the Act, regulations and College by-laws, the latter will prevail.

For comprehensive information on the discipline process and procedures of the Discipline Committee, please review Part III of the Social Work and Social Service Work Act.

The duties of the Discipline Committee are to:

  1. hear and determine allegations of professional misconduct or incompetence on the part of a member of the College directed or referred to the Discipline Committee by the Complaints Committee, the Council, or the Executive Committee; and
  2. perform any other duties assigned to it by the Council.

Procedure on Hearings

The College and the member referred to the Discipline Committee are the parties to the hearing.

Generally, discipline hearings are open to the public. However, the Discipline Committee may order that the hearing in a particular case be closed if it is satisfied that:

  • matters involving public security may be disclosed;
  • financial or personal or other matters may be disclosed at the hearing of such a nature that the desirability of avoiding public disclosure of them in the interest of any person affect or in the public interest outweighs the desirability of adhering to the principle that hearings be open to the public;
  • a person involved in a civil or criminal proceeding may be prejudiced; or
  • the safety of a person may be jeopardized.

For more information, please read the Rules of Procedure of the Discipline Committee.

Powers of the Discipline Committee

If the Discipline Committee finds a member guilty of professional misconduct or to be incompetent, it will make an order to do one or more of the following:

  • Direct the Registrar to revoke any certificate of registration held by the member under this Act.
  • Direct the Registrar to suspend any certificate of registration held by the member under this Act for a specified period, not exceeding 24 months.
  • Direct the Registrar to impose specified terms, conditions or limitations on any certificate of registration held by the member under this Act.
  • Direct that the imposition of a penalty be postponed for a specified period and not be imposed if specified terms are met within that period.

In addition to the above orders, if the Discipline Committee finds a member guilty of professional misconduct, the Discipline Committee may also make an order:

  • Requiring that the member be reprimanded, admonished or counselled by the Committee or its delegate and, if considered warranted, direct that the fact of the reprimand, admonishment or counselling be recorded on the publicly accessible portion of the Register for a specified or unlimited period.
  • Imposing a fine up to a maximum of $5,000 to be paid by the member to the Minister of Finance for payment into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
  • Directing that the finding and the order of the Committee be published in the official publication of the College and in any other manner or medium considered appropriate.
  • Fixing costs to be paid by the member.

Service of Decisions and Reasons

The Discipline Committee will give its Decision in writing with reasons and serve it on the parties. If the matter was referred to the Discipline Committee as a result of a complaint, the Decision and Reasons will also be served on the Complainant. If the hearing was closed, the Discipline Committee may withhold reasons when it serves its decision on the Complainant.

For more information about the College’s discipline process, please refer to our our Testifying at a Discipline Hearing: A Guide for Witnesses.