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The College of Applied Biologists regulates over 3,300 licensed biology professionals and ensures registrants are held accountable for their practice and conduct. The College reviews all complaints submitted, operates a fair and equitable investigation process, and has the authority to use a variety of remedies in response to complaints.

Process Notice

The Investigations Committee meets every two months to review complaints and the College prioritizes procedural fairness and thorough investigation when addressing complaints. Please be aware that the process can sometimes last several months.

Please learn more about the process below, and use the form on this page if you wish to proceed to lodge a complaint.

The Complaint Process

Note: If you have questions or concerns about a College registrant’s conduct or practice, a good first step is to talk to the individual. You may be able to resolve the issue by discussing your concerns.

Actions that constitute submission of a complaint

Per section 66 of the Professional Governance Act and Division 9, Part 2, section 9-3, (1) of the College bylaws:

  • Professional misconduct
  • Conduct unbecoming of a registrant, or
  • Incompetent performance of duties undertaken while engaged in the registrant’s regulated practice

What are examples of complaints that do not fall under the College’s jurisdiction?

  • Commercial disputes (unless the nature of the dispute indicates a possible breach of the Professional Governance Act and College bylaws)
  • Complaints against companies or organizations to which College registrants may belong
  • Complaints that pertain to or involve an act, regulation and/or policy and its associated process(es) which are outside the College’s statutory jurisdiction
  • Complaints against individuals who are not registrants of the College

The College’s Investigation Committee reviews complaints against registrants for failure to meet their professional and ethical obligations as set out in:

The College will review all complaints received.

Confidentiality and the College Investigation Process

The Professional Governance Act and College bylaws require that the College keep information about any ongoing investigation confidential. This is communicated to all parties at the beginning and during the investigation process.

What happens when the College receives a complaint submission?

  • The complainant will receive an acknowledgement (mail or electronic) regarding the complaint.
  • The complaint will be reviewed by the Registrar, who:
    • Will within 10 days inform the CEO and Investigation Committee that a complaint has been received
    • Will review the complaint to determine if it falls within the jurisdiction of the College
  • If the complaint falls within the jurisdiction of the College, the Registrar must take action that includes one or more of the following:
    • Request more information from the complainant and/or respondent
    • Refer the complaint to a practice review
    • Refer the complaint to the Investigation Committee
    • Dismiss the complaint pursuant to sections 9-5 and 9-6 of the College bylaws

Note: Reviewing information can take time and this may involve multiple submissions from both parties and from investigators.

What are the potential actions available to the Investigation Committee in response to a complaint submission?

  • Request further information from the respondent and/or the complainant
  • Authorize an investigation per section 66 of the Professional Governance Act for:
    • Professional misconduct
    • Conduct unbecoming of a registrant
    • Incompetent performance of duties undertaken while engaged in the registrant’s regulated practice
  • Authorize a practice review to be executed by the Audit and Practice Review Committee
  • Issue a disciplinary action according to the list below
  • Dismiss the complaint

What types of remedies can the Investigation Committee pursue in response to a complaint?

The Investigation Committee may implement the following sanctions pursuant to section 72 of the Professional Governance Act:

  1. Reprimand or remedial action by consent (RRAC)*
  2. Consent order**
  3. Alternative complaint resolution (ACR)***
  4. Issue a citation, transferring the complaint file to the Discipline Committee

* The RRAC is defined in Part 9, division 2, section 9-16 of the College bylaws
** The consent order is defined in Part 9, division 2, section 9-17 of the College bylaws
*** The ACR is defined in Part 9, division 2, section 9-18 of the College bylaws

What types of remedies can the Discipline Committee pursue once a citation is issued by the Investigation Committee?

The Discipline Committee may take the following actions pursuant to section 75 of the Professional Governance Act:

  1. Appoint a Discipline Panel
    • The Discipline Panel presides over a discipline hearing and provides a decision to the Discipline Committee based on materials presented during the hearing
  2. Prescribe the procedures for a discipline hearing
  3. Determine if a hearing will be in-person, oral or written
  4. In place of a hearing, pursue an alternative remedy (RRAC, ARC, etc.) as listed above
  5. Dismiss the complaint

For any questions regarding the investigations process, please contact the College office at (250) 383-3306 or email registrar@cab-bc.org.

Submit a Complaint Webform

Complaint Submission

Information Regarding the Person Submitting the Complaint

About the College Registrant Under Complaint

What Does the Complaint Regard?
Please check all that apply.
Provide a description on the elements of your complaint. The box that follows will allow you to upload pdf documents to provide evidence to support your complaint.

Maximum file size: 10MB

Please provide proof in PDF format. Files must be less than 10 MB.

Information Regarding Potential Violations

To assist the College please provide those principles in the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct which you believe the College registrant has contravened. A link to the College Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct is provided to assist you in understanding the components considered under each principle listed below.

You may also indicate if the registrant has breached the Professional Governance Act or the College bylaws

Potential violations of the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct may include breaches of one or more of the following Principles:
Check those that specifically apply to your complaint:
Potential violations of the Act or bylaws:
Check those that specifically apply to your complaint:

Submit Complaint By Mail

Alternatively, complaints can be submitted by mail using the mail-in Complaint Form. Attach the details of your complaint and any evidence to the form and mail to:

Attention: Registrar, College of Applied Biologists
#310 – 1207 Douglas St.
Victoria, BC
V8W 2E7

Complaints must include an identified contact person as the complainant. For any questions or assistance with submitting a complaint, contact the College office at (250) 383-3306 or email registrar@cab-bc.org.

Complaints & Discipline FAQs

All complaints about registrants are reviewed. Many can be resolved at the investigation stage and others may ultimately be sent to a Discipline Panel. The Investigation Committee, the body charged with reviewing complaints, consists of registrants of the College and members of the public. The Committee reviews and discusses all material submitted about the complaint.

What happens when the College receives your complaint submission?

  1. You will receive an acknowledgement (mail or electronic) regarding your complaint.
  2. Your complaint will be reviewed by the Registrar to determine if the subject registrant is/was a registrant with the College during the time of the alleged infraction.
  3. If the subject of the complaint was a registrant with the College at the time of the alleged infraction, the complaint will be forwarded to the Investigation Committee within 30 business days.
  4. You may be contacted if further information is required by the Discipline Committee. (Note: Ensuring that all information is available to the Discipline Committee can take time as this may involve submissions from both parties and sometimes a separate investigation).

Depending on the findings of Investigation Committee, the following outcomes are possible:

  • Dismissal of the complaint
  • Dismissal of the complaint with a letter of advice
  • Reach a Conditional Admission with the subject registrant
  • Issue a Citation to the subject registrant, convene a Discipline Panel and proceed to a Discipline Hearing (Note: At this time, the subject registrant’s name and nature of the alleged infraction will be published on Discipline Digest page of the College website)

At any point in the Investigations process, the subject registrant may agree to an alternative complaints resolution (ACR) prescribed by the registrar, Investigation Committee or Discipline Committee as applicable.

The Professional Governance Act section 58 requires registrants to report the practice of an identified registrant when there is reasonable and probable grounds to believe that the identified registrant’s practice may pose a risk of significant harm to the environment or to the health and safety of the public or group of people. This reporting duty extends to an employer or partner of an identified registrant when employment or partnerships are impacted because of the risk of harm from the identified registrant’s practice.

For clarity, the s. 58 duty to report is not meant to require registrants to raise concerns to regulatory bodies about risk of significant harm arising from government policies or authorization decisions a registrant may be operating under. There are other mechanisms for registrants and others to bring these types of concerns to the authority having jurisdiction.

Regulatory bodies must treat a report under s.58 as a complaint to the regulatory body by:

  • Following the general complaint process
  • Ensuring there is a process to triage and prioritise given the potential risk of significant harm to the environment or health and safety of the public (as appropriate, may draw upon the extraordinary measures to protect the public).
  • Considering whether another authority having jurisdiction should be notified.
  • Notifying other authorities if appropriate.

— OSPG staff

If you believe a registrant of the College — or a registrant of any other regulator under the Professional Governance Act — has contravened the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, you should submit a complaint to the College by completing and submitting the complaint form.  

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