The College of Veterinarians of Ontario licenses veterinarians and regulates the practice of veterinary medicine in Ontario. In governing the practice of veterinary medicine, the College is dedicated to protecting the public interest.
In fulfilling this mandate, the College is responsible for overseeing the professional conduct of Ontario veterinarians. The CVO receives, investigates, and acts upon complaints made against its members.
If you have a complaint ...
If, as a client, you feel that your veterinarian has not treated you professionally, you can call the College to obtain information on the complaints process.
How do I file a complaint?
A complaint must include the following information:
- Name of the member & veterinary facility
- Details of the complaint, including date of incident
- Contact information for anyone who could provide further information
- Complete contact information for the person filing the complaint
How does the complaints process begin?
Letters of complaint are reviewed by College staff and attempts may be made to resolve the concerns informally. If those efforts are unsuccessful or not appropriate, the matter is directed to the Complaints Committee and the College staff begins an investigation.
How are complaints addressed?
The member is notified of the complaint and provided with a copy. The individual filing the complaint receives a summary of the complaint for verification. The member then receives a list of issues and given an opportunity to submit a written explanation, pertinent medical records, x-rays, logs, etc. to the College. The complainant receives a copy of the member’s full response and is provided with an opportunity to respond.
What are the possible outcomes?
Possible decisions include:
- The Committee has no concerns with the member’s actions or conduct and will take no further action.
- The Committee has some concerns with the member’s actions or conduct which it feels can be addressed through re-education.
- The Committee has very serious concerns and has referred the case for a hearing of the Discipline Committee.
- The complaint was frivolous, vexatious, made in bad faith or for an improper purpose and is otherwise an abuse of process.
Who is on the Complaints Committee?
As a self-regulated profession, the Complaints Committee consists of up to 10 members, including nine veterinarians and one public member who is appointed by the provincial government. To review complaints, five or six members of the committee meet as a panel.
Can the Complaints Committee’s decision be appealed?
Either party can appeal the decision through the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board.
Can information gathered by the College be used in Court?
According to the legislation, no one who works at the CVO can be summoned to a civil court case.