For the Public: What to do if you have a concern about an RPN
Before you submit a Complaint
The first thing you should consider is talking the problem over with the RPN whose conduct you are concerned about (if you feel comfortable doing so). If the RPN works for an agency, you may wish to speak to the person in charge.
Although it may be difficult, a face-to-face discussion is often the quickest and best way to resolve an issue. Simple miscommunications are at the root of many complaints. For guidance on preparing for a difficult conversation, watch the Preparing for a Tough Talk video at www.adminlawbc.ca.
You may find it helpful to write out your concerns. You may wish to provide it to the RPN or the employer with a request to contact you to discuss it. This may help you resolve some (or all) of your concerns. If you still have a concern, you may submit a formal complaint to CRPNBC.
How to submit a Complaint
The public has a right to expect a professional standard of care. If you are dissatisfied with the care you have received or have related concerns, you may find it helpful to request an explanation from the RPN or their employer before you submit a formal complaint.
Formal complaints must be in writing and include your name and contact information.
Note that CRPNBC does not accept verbal or anonymous complaints. Submit your complaint by email ([email protected]) or by mail to the following address:
College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of BC
Suite #307 – 2502 St. Johns Street
Port Moody, British Columbia
Canada V3H 2B4
What happens after you file a Complaint
Your complaint letter will be provided to the RPN for his/her response. In most cases, you will also see the response that the RPN provides to the College regarding your complaint and you will be given an opportunity to provide a reply to CRPNBC.
Typically, your complaint will be referred to the CRPNBC’s Inquiry Committee for consideration and action. However, a complaint may be immediately dismissed by the Registrar if it is trivial, vexatious, made in bad faith, not a serious matter, or falls outside of CRPNBC’s mandate.
It is important that you be willing and able to provide additional information, if CRPNBC requests it. Sometimes the initial complaint does not contain all of the relevant facts; or sometimes new facts are learned during the investigation, which requires further information to be gathered. It is difficult for CRPNBC to investigate complaints if complainants refuse to assist in the investigation.
Within 30 days of the Inquiry Committee making a decision about your complaint, you will receive a letter summarizing the outcome of the investigation. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you may apply for a review by the Health Professions Review Board (HPRB). The HPRB cannot order CRPNBC to discipline the registrant, or require anybody to pay money to you. Instead, the HPRB reviews the adequacy of the investigation conducted by the Inquiry Committee, and the reasonableness of its disposition.
CRPNBC’s brochure, The Public and Complaints (PDF), provides some more information about how to make a complaint, and the process you can expect afterward.
You can also click on the following links for more information about each of the listed topics: