What services does the Professional Practice Department provide?

The Professional Practice Department offers a number of free services to members, employers, the public and other stakeholders across the province. This includes:

  • Consultations: Members can consult with Professional Practice staff about an ethical or practice dilemma they are facing. Employers and the public can consult with Professional Practice staff regarding our members’ practice.
  • Presentations: Professional Practice staff delivers free in-person and remote presentations across Ontario on topics including the role of the College, practice issues, the application of the Standards of Practice and ethical decision-making.

Will the Professional Practice staff give me a yes or no answer to my practice question?

Some members call the Professional Practice Department for practice consultations with the expectation that they are going to be told exactly how to manage their practice dilemma. In the course of a practice call, Professional Practice staff cannot become completely familiar with the full context and details of a specific practice scenario. Using your professional judgment and knowledge base is part of being a regulated professional, and key in managing the many challenging situations which you face in your practice. The Professional Practice Department can help guide you with useful information and resources to aid in your decision-making process.

How soon will someone from the College call me back to answer my practice question?

The Professional Practice Department is not in a position to provide crisis consultations to members. Urgent inquiries may be better addressed by consulting with colleagues, your supervisor or manager, or by seeking a legal opinion. At times, Professional Practice staff is able to respond quickly to practice inquiries; however, due to the volume of inquiries received, there are times when they cannot. You may wish to review the various practice resources, which can be found in the right column of your screen. These resources have been developed to assist members in understanding and applying the Standards of Practice to particular practice dilemmas.

I’ve heard that I have access to free legal consultation through my professional liability insurance. Is this true?

Yes. One advantage of having professional liability insurance is that it provides access to free legal advice, over the phone. The Social Work and Social Service Work Act, 1998 does not require members to obtain professional liability insurance, and the College does not offer it. The College nevertheless strongly advises members to discuss professional liability insurance provisions with their employer, and to obtain further coverage if necessary. The College does not recommend or require a specific amount of coverage.