The dismissal of a complaint of unprofessional conduct by a professional health college’s complaints review committee was found to be administratively unfair. The complaint stemmed from a patient pursuing a claim of malpractice and negligence against a member of the college.

An Ombudsman investigation found the decision did not outline how the complaints review committee considered the complainant’s arguments and additional documentation (including photos) she provided; the decision did not provide an explanation of the significant rationale on which the complaints review committee based its decision; and the reasons for the decision did not have a rational connection to the evidence and legislation. Simply put, the complainant argued she provided new information. The college disagreed.

The Ombudsman asked the college to provide explanations outlining these details, which the college agreed to.

How is this fair for Albertans?

Cases like this demonstrate the importance of transparency in communicating decision-making rationale. In this situation, while the college’s response and investigation was done properly and completely, it wasn’t clear which pieces of evidence the college relied on to make its decision. This left the complainant unsure why the decision was made – and it left the college’s decision open to interpretation. Through experiences like this, organizations improve the way in which they communicate why they reached a decision. Although the complainant may not like the decision, they can understand the connections between evidence and the decisions.