Are You Considering Submitting a Complaint?

The College of Applied Biologists regulates over 2,800 licensed biology professionals and ensures registrants are held accountable for their practice and conduct. The College’s Investigations Committee reviews complaints against registrants for failure to meet their professional and ethical obligations as set out in:

The College will review all complaints received.

Confidentiality and the College investigations process:

  • The Professional Governance Act and College bylaws require that the College keep information about any ongoing investigation confidential. This is communicated to all parties at the beginning and during the investigation process

NB: The Investigations Committee meets every two months to review complaints and the College prioritizes procedural fairness and thorough investigation when addressing complaints. Please be aware that the process can sometimes last several months.

How to Submit a Complaint to the College:

Note: If you have questions or concerns about a College registrant's conduct or practice, a good first step is to talk to the individual and you may be able to resolve the issue by discussing your concerns.

Actions that constitute submission of a complaint (per section 66 of the Professional Governance Act and Division 9, Part 2, section 9-3, (1) of the College bylaws):

  • Professional misconduct
  • Conduct unbecoming of a registrant, or
  • Incompetent performence of duties undertaken while engaged in the registrant's regulated practice

What are examples of complaints that do not fall under the College's jurisdiction?

  • Commercial disputes (unless the nature of the dispute indicates a possible breach of the Professional Governance Act and College bylaws)
  • Complaints against companies or organizations to which College registrants may belong
  • Complaints that pertain to or involve an act, regulation and/or policy and its associated process(es) which are outside the College’s statutory jurisdiction
  • Complaints against individuals who are not registrants of the College

Complaints can be submitted:

  1. Electronically by completing the Complaint Form. In this form, you can attach pdf documents that are relevant to the complaint.
  2. By mail using the mail-in Complaint Form. Attach the details of your complaint and any evidence to the form and mail to:

Attention: Registrar, College of Applied Biologists
#210 - 852 Fort Street
Victoria, BC
V8W 1H8

Complaints must include an identified contact person as the complainant. For any questions or assistance with submitting a complaint, contact the College office at (250) 383-3306 or email [email protected].

The Complaint process

What happens when the College receives a complaint submission?

  1. The complainant will receive an acknowledgement (mail or electronic) regarding the complaint.
  2. The complaint will be reviewed by the Registrar who:
    • Will within 10 days inform the CEO and Investigations Committee that a complaint has been received
    • Will review the complaint to determine if it falls within the jurisdiction of the College
  3. If the complaint falls within the jurisdiction of the College, the Registrar must take action that includes one or more of the following:
    • Request more information from the complainant and/or respondent
    • Refer the complaint to a practice review
    • Refer the complaint to the Investigations Committee
    • Dismiss the complaint pursuant to sections 9-5 and 9-6 of the College bylaws

Note: Reviewing information can take time and this may involve multiple submissions from both parties and from investigators

What are the potential actions available to the Investigations Committee in response to a complaint submission?

College Investigations flow chart

  • Request further information from the respondent and/or the complainant
  • Authorize an investigation per section 66 of the Professional Governance Act for:
    • Professional misconduct
    • Conduct unbecoming of a registrant
    • Incompetent performance of duties undertaken while engaged in the registrant's regulated practice
  • Authorize a practice review to be executed by the Audit and Practice Review Committee
  • Issue a disciplinary action according to the list below
  • Dismiss the complaint

What types of remedies can the Investigations Committee pursue in response to a complaint?

The Investigations Committee may implement the following sanctions pursuant to section 72 of the Professional Governance Act:

  1. Reprimand or remedial action by consent (RRAC)*
  2. Consent order**
  3. Alternative complaint resolution (ACR)***
  4. Issue a citation, transferring the complaint file to the Discipline Committee

* The RRAC is defined in Part 9, division 2, section 9-16 of the College bylaws
** The consent order is defined in Part 9, division 2, section 9-17 of the College bylaws
*** The ACR is defined in Part 9, division 2, section 9-18 of the College bylaws

What types of remedies can the Discipline Committee pursue once a citation is issued by the Investigations Committee?

The Discipline Committee may take the following actions pursuant to section 75 of the Professional Governance Act:

  1. Appoint a Discipline Panel
    • The Discipline Panel presides over a discipline hearing and provides a decision to the Discipline Committee based on materials presented during the hearing
  2. Prescribe the procedures for a discipline hearing
  3. Determine if a hearing will be in-person, oral or written
  4. In place of a hearing, pursue an alternative remedy (RRAC, ARC, etc.) as listed above
  5. Dismiss the complaint

For any questions regarding the investigations process, please contact the College office at (250) 383-3306 or email [email protected].