Professionals should not go up against their regulator alone

The College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario (“CRTO”) is the regulator for respiratory therapists in Ontario.  They:

  • decide who has a certificate to practice as a respiratory therapist
  • handle complaints against respiratory therapists

But your College does not work for you.  In fact, the College can:

  • deny applicant’s applications for a certificate to practice or
  • suspend, revoke or place terms, conditions, or limitations on respiratory therapist’s certificate to practice

If you plan to apply to the College or have received notice of complaint it is important that you have representation to protect your interests and defend your rights.  

Our team of experienced lawyers can assist respiratory therapists with matters including:

  • Advising respiratory therapists on compliance with relevant legislation and standards
  • Responding to complaints and investigations at the Inquires, Complaints and Reports Committee
  • Representing respiratory therapists at the Fitness to Practise Committee
  • Defending respiratory therapists in hearings before the College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario’s Discipline Committee
  • Advocating for respiratory therapists to resolve matters through the College’s complaint resolution process
  • Representing respiratory therapists in appeals before the Divisional Court of Ontario
  • Advising respiratory therapists on issues within their field including those related to licensing, privacy, confidentiality, and employment issues related to staff and contractors
College of Respiratory Therapists Appeals Fitness to Practise Committee Discipline Committee Screening Committee Registration


Applying for a license or in the College’s language a “Certificate of Registration” for either supervised or autonomous practice is a complex process.  

Applications are reviewed by the Registrar of the College to ensure that the following requirements have been met:

  • Have graduated from an approved Canadian Respiratory program OR have demonstrated through the CRTO assessment process that they have the required entry-to-practice competencies
  • Successful completion of the Canadian Board for Respiratory Care (CBRC) examination
  • Two-year currency requirement – graduated in the past two years or provide evidence of respiratory therapy practice in the past two years

After screening the application, the Registrar may:

  • Approve the application and grant a certificate
  • Refer the application to the Registration Committee if they determine that the application does not meet the registration requirements

If the application is referred to the Registration Committee, the applicant will be notified and given the opportunity to submit additional information in support of the application.

Upon review, the Registration Committee may:

  • Issue a certificate of registration
  • Impose terms, conditions, and/or limitations on the certificate
  • Request more information
  • Refuse to issue a certificate of registration

Our office can help you prepare this information and offer legal advice on concerns you may have.  If you are planning to apply for a certificate from the CRTO, contact us today.

Screening Committee

The College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario (“CRTO”) receives complaints from:

  • members of the public
  • clients of respiratory therapists
  • employers of respiratory therapists
  • other respiratory therapists

Members of the College are required to file a complaint, if during their practice they have obtained reasonable grounds to believe that another member of the same or different College has sexually abused a patient. 

The first step of the complaint process is at the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee, often referred to as the “ICRC”.

The ICRC is a written process – the complainant, the College and the member exchange a series of documents:

  1. A complaint against a member is made
  2. The College provides the member with an official acknowledgement of the complaint
  3. The member has an opportunity to file a written response to the complaint
  4. The ICRC will issue a decision 

The potential outcomes of a decision include:

  • A decision to take no further action
  • Issue advice or caution a member
  • Require a member to attend a continuing education or remediation program
  • Refer a matter to the Discipline or Fitness to Practise Committee

These outcomes can have very serious financial and personal impacts on members.  If you have received a complaint from the CRTO, please contact us today.

Discipline Committee

If the ICRC considers a complaint to be “high risk” it can be referred to the Discipline Committee.

Before a matter progresses to a hearing at the Discipline Committee a pre-hearing may occur.  A pre-hearing is an opportunity for the College and the member to present their case in an informal manner.  

In our experience a pre-hearing at a college can be used to:

  • Reduce the allegations against a member
  • Reduce the penalty being sought by a member
  • Raise important legal issues before trial

At the Discipline Committee a trial may take place where witnesses are called, and evidence is heard.

Outcomes at the Discipline Committee can include:

  • Revocation of the member’s certificate
  • Suspension of the member’s certificate
  • Terms, conditions, and limitations on the member’s certificate
  • Orders for the member to pay some or all of the costs of a trial

These are extremely serious public outcomes.  If your matter has or could be referred to the Discipline Committee, please contact us today.

Fitness to Practise Committee

The Fitness to Practise Committee is a specialized Committee dealing with cases where a member’s conduct was impacted by an ongoing medical physical or mental health condition.  

In our experience, a referral to the Fitness to Practise Committee can offer a number of benefits to members, because:

  • Complaints are generally resolved in a more private manner
  • The goal of the process is ensuring the health of the member

However, it is unusual for members to be referred to Fitness to Practise Committees without legal representation.  It takes experienced and detailed representation to present the evidence screening Committees, like the ICRC, want to see to consider a referral to Fitness to Practise.  If there is a complaint against you, please contact us today.


Decisions of the:

  • ICRC, and
  • Registration Committee

can be appealed to the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (“HPARB”).

Decisions of the:

  • Discipline Committee, and
  • Fitness to Practise Committee,

Can be appealed to the Ontario Divisional Court. 

Unfortunately, self-represented individuals are very rarely successful in appeals.  We have unique expertise in appeals from regulatory colleges.  If you are considering an appeal, please contact us today.