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Duty to Report

RMTs have legal obligations to report certain types of conduct, including child abuse and serious professional misconduct by other RMTs or health professionals.

RMTs should be aware of their reporting obligations under the Health Professions Act (HPA) and the Child, Family and Community Service Act (CFCSA).

Health Professions Act

Under the HPA, all health practitioners are legally obligated to report when they have a good reason to believe the public is in danger as a result of a practitioner not being competent or suffering from a physical or mental ailment, an emotional disturbance, or an addiction to alcohol or drugs that impairs their ability to practice.

Sexual misconduct by a regulated health practitioner must be reported. When concerns about sexual misconduct are based on information provided by a patient, the consent of the patient or their parent/guardian must be obtained before making the report.

A doctor treating a health professional who is unable to practice due to being hospitalized for psychiatric care or treatment, or for treatment for addiction to alcohol or drugs, is obligated to report the professional to the regulatory body with which they are registered.

If you are unsure about whether to report, contact the College of the professional in question to determine if it is necessary to make a formal report. An inquiry made without the name of the practitioner does not automatically turn into a formal report.

However, a health professional with reasonable and probable grounds to make a report on another professional must do so, and may be subject to disciplinary measures if they fail to abide by that duty.

Child, Family and Community Service Act

As health professionals, RMTs have an important role to play in keeping children safe. They should be aware of, and alert to, the signs of child abuse and neglect. A “child” is a person under 19 years of age. 

Anyone who has reason to believe that a child has been or is likely to be abused or neglected has a legal duty under the CFCSA to report the matter. Reports may be made to a child protection social worker at a Ministry of Children and Family Development office, or at a First Nations child welfare agency that provides child protection services.

For more information, see Child Protections Services in BC.

The BC Handbook for Action on Child Abuse and Neglect for Service Providers (PDF) also provides helpful information about recognizing and responding to child abuse and neglect.

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