To provide the best care, health professionals gather key information about their patients and clients. You can do this too for the health professionals treating you and your loved ones.
Did you know information about health professionals is readily available online? It’s there so you can make informed choices about the care you want and need, whether appointments are in-person, online or over the phone. Information like professional credentials, languages spoken, or years of practice—details are available online through Ontario’s health regulatory colleges.
These colleges are regulators, not schools or educational institutions. Colleges set requirements for becoming a regulated health professional; administer programs to ensure professionals maintain their knowledge and skills; and hold these professionals accountable for their conduct and practice. This important work has continued during the pandemic.
Each regulatory college maintains up-to-date profiles of health professionals on their websites. These profiles may be found under headings such as “public register”, “Find a Professional” or “Member Search”. By looking up a name, you can:
- Confirm if they’re permitted to practice. Registration with a regulatory college means the professional has met and upholds the qualifications to practice in Ontario. Only someone registered with a college can legally use certain protected titles like “doctor”, “nurse”, or “physiotherapist”. If someone isn’t listed, perhaps they practiced elsewhere but aren’t registered in Ontario or their registration in the province lapsed. In either case, they can’t practice in Ontario. On rare occasions, there are imposters – people presenting themselves as regulated professionals without the required qualifications.
- Get basic contact information. Some colleges also share information like professional credentials, special designations, and languages spoken.
- Discover any restrictions (sometimes called “terms, conditions or limitations”) on a healthcare professional’s practice due to a disciplinary hearing or other reason.
- Learn about upcoming disciplinary proceedings or the outcomes of a hearing.
So, before your next visit – either in-person or virtually – consider searching the name of the health professional you’re seeing. If you can’t find their name on the public register, contact their regulatory college. Access a directory of all 26 colleges is available through ontariohealthregulators.ca
You can also call a college to get the information on the public register or raise any concerns or complaints about your care.