Did you know that before imposing refresher training or related measures on a professional at the end of a professional inspection process, the professional inspection committee, the board of directors and the executive committee – where applicable – are bound by a duty of procedural fairness to that professional? To this end, they must allow the professional to make their representations, take these into consideration, and provide the professional with a reasonable amount of time to state their case. This is what the Honourable Marc St-Pierre, j.c.s. concluded in the recent case of Martin c. Comité exécutif de l’Ordre professionnel de la physiothérapie du Québec (2022 QCCS 287). In this decision, the Superior Court allowed Mr. Martin’s appeal for judicial review and quashed the decision imposing measures on him, on the grounds that the professional inspection committee had made recommendations to the professional body’s executive committee on measures to be imposed without having considered Mr. Martin’s written representations and after refusing his request for a postponement.
The requirements of procedural fairness are fundamental elements that the diverse entities of a professional body must be aware of when they are considering a decision that could impact an individual member. Are you prepared to prevent or deal with a challenge to such a decision? Are your professional inspection committee members and board of directors well aware of these requirements? Would some refresher training on these concepts be beneficial?