You are encouraged to share your concerns and make a complaint if you think that a registrant’s practice poses a risk to the public or environment. Please review the information below explaining our procedures and submit your complaint accordingly.
ASTTBC protects the public by investigating complaints about technologists, technicians, and registered technical specialists in British Columbia under Part 6 of the Professional Governance Act SBC 2018 c 47 (the “PGA”) and Part 8 of the ASTTBC Bylaws (the “Bylaws”).
What happens when you make a complaint?
ASTTBC is generally required to disclose the complaint and related documents to the technologist, technician, or technical specialist named in the complaint.
When complaint intake staff receives a complaint, they take the following preliminary steps:
- open an investigation file;
- acknowledge receipt of your complaint by email or letter, as appropriate;
- send a copy of the complaint to the registrant being investigated;
- ask the registrant for a response in writing and copies of any relevant records;
- when appropriate, gathering additional information from other witnesses; and
- forward the registrant’s response back to the complainant, in case he or she wishes to provide any additional information.
When a complaint or evidence emerging from an investigation raises concerns about a risk of serious harm to the public or environment, the matter is prioritized for expedited investigation and, if necessary, an extraordinary action hearing under section 67 of the PGA.
Matters that are Trivial, Frivolous, Vexatious, or Beyond ASTTBC’s Jurisdiction
Complaints regarding matters beyond ASTTBC’s jurisdiction or that are trivial, frivolous, vexatious, or do not concern allegations that would, if true, be considered misconduct, conduct unbecoming, incompetent practice, or a breach of the PGA and/or ASTTBC Bylaws, as well as complaints that ASTTBC does not have the jurisdiction to address, are typically summarily dismissed by the Registrar.
Other Investigations Concerning Professional Misconduct, Conduct Unbecoming, Incompetent Practice, or a Breach of the PGA or Bylaws
Complaints containing allegations that, if true, would constitute professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming, incompetent practice, or a breach of the PGA and/or ASTTBC Bylaws, but do not immediately disclose a risk of serious harm to the public or environment are subject to a preliminary investigation by the Registrar. Where allegations and/or preliminary investigation disclose evidence supportive of very serious outcomes, such as suspension or cancellation of a registrant’s registration, the investigation is referred to ASTTBC’s Investigation Committee.
Where allegations and/or preliminary investigation do not disclose evidence supportive of very serious investigation outcomes, the matter may be summarily dismissed by the Registrar following a proposal to the Investigation Committee. It is open to the Investigation Committee to accept the Registrar’s proposal and direct that the investigation continue under the direction of the Committee.
When an investigation discloses evidence that a registrant’s alleged misconduct or incompetence may be due to an underlying health issue, such as a physical or mental illness, or a condition related to the use of substances, the matter may be forwarded to the Audit and Practice Review Committee for a Practice Review.
How long does an investigation take?
Conducting a fair and thorough investigation takes time. ASTTBC strives to conduct investigations in a timely manner. Some investigations take longer than others. Factors that impact the duration of an investigation include:
- cooperation of the parties;
- delays in obtaining evidence;
- complexity of the matters under investigation; and
- seriousness of the matters under investigation.
Keeping in Touch
ASTTBC staff keep complainants and registrants informed of the status of a complaint investigation regularly and as information becomes available. When a disposition decision is made by either the Registrar or ASTTBC Investigation Committee, both the complainant and the registrant are provided with a letter outlining the disposition and its reasons.
Complainants are also advised when the Investigation Committee directs the Registrar to issue a citation for a discipline hearing, or in the event that the Investigation Committee issues a temporary order suspending or imposing limits and conditions on the practice of a registrant pending the outcome of an investigation. Discipline hearings are open to the public. Complainants are notified of the outcome of discipline hearings.
What ASTTBC Can Do
Depending on the seriousness of a complaint and the evidence gathered in its investigation, ASTTBC can address a complaint in a number of ways. These include:
- dismissal with no further action, if there is insufficient evidence to support a finding of professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming, incompetent practice, or a breach of the PGA or ASTTBC Bylaws;
- resolution by reprimand, remedial action, or consent order, if the registrant is willing to make admissions, take remedial measures (such as education or counselling) and accept punitive actions (such as fines or a suspension) that are sufficient to protect the public; and
- citation for a discipline hearing, which will require the registrant to participate in formal disciplinary proceedings.
Pending the outcome of an investigation, ASTTBC can impose a temporary order suspending or limiting a registrant’s practice. Such orders are extraordinary and are only made when there is evidence of a serious, imminent risk to the public interest.
What ASTTBC Cannot Do
ASTTBC’s mandate is to prevent harm to people and the environment, not to resolve disputes among individuals. ASTTBC does not have the power to resolve a contractual dispute or order a registrant to pay money to a complainant to compensate for a financial loss or physical injury. If you believe that you are entitled to monetary compensation as the result of a registrant’s actions, you may wish to ask a lawyer for advice.
To Submit a Complaint:
Complaints must be made in writing and addressed to the attention of the Registrar.
Complaints may be submitted via email or regular mail. All complaint correspondence must be marked ‘Confidential’.
- Complaints by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please ensure the file size is less than 5MB. You may need to split your complaint submission into multiple emails in order to accommodate the size requirement.
- Complaints by regular mail:
10767 – 148th Street
Surrey, BC V3R 0S4
The complaint must contain the following information:
- Your full name, address, phone number and email where you can be reached.
- The full name of the ASTTBC registrant(s) and all the parties involved along with their contact information if possible.
- The employer or location where the complaint took place.
- Complaint details:
- What took place that causes you concern? Include the date and time of day.
- Did anyone else witness this event? What did they see? Provide names and contact details.
- Did you attempt to address your concern? If so, what did you do? Include names and contact information of those people you spoke to.
- Accompany copies of any relevant and supporting documents, photographs and/or audio/video files. Include if available.
- How could your concern(s) be remedied? Provide examples/option.
Important: ASTTBC’s complaints and disciplinary process is conducted in accordance with the Professional Governance Act, the ASTTBC Bylaws, and principles of administrative law and procedural fairness. Therefore, the process requires that ASTTBC provide the registrant a copy of the complaint along with all attached documentation. This ensures that the registrant has the opportunity to respond to the allegations.