Note: This article was originally published in the Summer 2023 edition of our On Call newsletter and has not been updated.
Why does the College ask disclosure questions at renewal?
One of the steps in the College’s annual renewal process is answering disclosure questions. These questions are to make sure that the College is aware of any events that may have occurred since the last renewal period that could affect a midwife’s ability to provide safe care and have not been previously reported to the College.
Renewal is not the only time in the year that midwives are required to report certain information to the College, and we have put together a Mandatory Reporting Reference Tool to outline the instances where a midwife must make a report.
As the College, we can only act on information we are made aware of. These disclosure questions and the responses received assist the College in regulating the profession in the public interest as they ensure the College is aware of risks to the public and therefore able take steps to address the concern where necessary.
What does the College do with the information provided?
Following renewal, the Professional Conduct Department will review all responses and may contact midwives to obtain further information or to confirm the disclosure. We assess each report fairly and transparently, using the Registrar’s Investigation Decision Making Tool as a guide. The College provides more information to those midwives contacted and our correspondence will be individual to the declaration made.
What should midwives remember when making a disclosure at renewal?
The disclosure questions are to be answered “Yes” or “No.” Any question answered with a “Yes,” must include further details such as relevant dates and whether the event was previously reported.
Midwives are required to answer the disclosure questions based on an event(s) not previously disclosed to the College, in any jurisdiction. If a midwife has previously made a disclosure but new information is available, that information must be provided.
In previous years, there has been some confusion about what information midwives are required to report as part of their disclosure questions. We’ve put together a non-exhaustive list of some of the instances that a midwife would or would not have to disclose.
- Midwives are not required to tell us about complaints or investigations at the College of Midwives of Ontario.
- Midwives are required to report any new events, and to report any new information from previous reports. Midwives are not required to report an event that they have previously disclosed.
- If there is a judgment or settlement in a court proceeding, that must be reported to the College. Midwives are not required to report the initiation of a court proceeding.
- Midwives must only report if their hospital privileges were terminated as a result of conduct concerns. Midwives do not have to report if their hospital privileges were voluntarily terminated for another reason (e.g., moving practices.)
- Midwives are required to report if they are the subject of a coroner’s inquest. Midwives do not have to report being involved in a coroner’s review of a case.
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