Note: This article was originally published in the Winter 2023 edition of our On Call newsletter and has not been updated.
Midwifery clients, members of the public, and midwives have a right to report concerns and file complaints about a midwife’s conduct to the College. This means that some midwives will be the subject of complaints or reports at some point in their career.
The College is obliged to process complaints it receives about a midwife’s practice or behaviour. The Registrar also has a responsibility and obligation to review information about a midwife’s conduct that is not a formal complaint. In these cases, the Registrar will consider whether it is necessary to take steps to address the alleged conduct or actions of the midwife.
The College recognizes that midwives may find it stressful when the College makes inquiries into a midwife’s practise, or when the midwife becomes the subject of a complaint or College investigation. The formal process for complaints and investigations are outlined in legislation and each step of the process is designed to ensure fairness to the midwife (as well as the complainant in complaint matters).
The College has created a new resource for midwives about the complaints process and you can read it here. This resource is intended to provide information, so midwives know what to expect if they are the subject of a complaint or report.
In the new document, we answer questions including:
- What resources are available for midwives?
- What happens when a complaint is received about a midwife?
- What happens when the College receives concerning information about a midwife?
- Who reviews the complaint to determine whether further action is needed?
- What are the different processes?
- What does an investigation look like?
- How does the ICRC make decisions and what are the possible outcomes of a complaint processed through the ICRC complaints process or a Registrar’s Investigation?
- Are the decisions public?
- What will the outcome be?
- How do midwives find out the status of a matter?