Physiotherapists are expected to comply with all professional obligations including Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, however, complaints can happen.
Physiotherapy Alberta investigates complaints about its members. We do this to protect the public and help assure the delivery of quality and competent physiotherapy. All complaints are taken seriously and each is considered an opportunity to improve member knowledge and physiotherapy service delivery. Complaints are processed in accordance with the Health Professions Act and decisions or actions taken by Physiotherapy Alberta can be reviewed by the provincial Ombudsman.
While we have the authority to investigate concerns and discipline members, financial compensation for negligence is a matter determined in civil court and we cannot direct a physiotherapist to provide financial compensation. Please seek legal advice if financial compensation is a concern.
All complaints are confidential and reviewed in the order they are received. Our process is designed to ensure fairness to both the complainant and physiotherapist.
What to do if you have a concern or complaint about your physiotherapist
If you have a concern or complaint about your physiotherapist that can't be resolved by talking to them or their supervisor directly, contact Physiotherapy Alberta's Complaints Director. If your complaint involves sexual impropriety, contact our Complaints Director immediately.
You may also file a complaint. Alberta's Health Professions Act requires that your complaint is submitted in writing and signed as anonymous complaints cannot be considered. To initiate the complaint process, use Physiotherapy Alberta's fillable complaint reporting form, or submit your own written complaint, by mail, fax or email.
All written complaints must include:
- Name, address and daytime telephone number (email address is optional)
- Physiotherapist’s name
- Incident date, time and location
- Specific details and all pertinent supporting information
- Your signature
After receiving your written complaint, our Complaints Director will:
- Provide the physiotherapist in question with a copy of your complaint and request their response.
- Contact other individuals and institutions who may have relevant information and may provide one or more of these parties with a copy of your complaint.
- Gather and review information through:
- interviews with you, the physiotherapist, other relevant parties
- review of your patient chart (clinical and financial records).
- Provide a written decision to you and the physiotherapist after the review.
The Complaints Director will contact you within 30 days of receiving your complaint. However, a decision can take several months depending on the complexity and severity of the complaint.
What are the possible outcomes of the complaint process?
Your complaint may be resolved, dismissed if there is insufficient or no evidence of unprofessional conduct or it is determined the complaint is trivial or vexatious, or referred to a hearing.
If your complaint is dismissed without a hearing, you may request a review of this decision by the Complaints Review Committee. The request for review must be made in writing clearing indicating the reasons for the review and received by Physiotherapy Alberta within 30 days of receipt of the Complaints Director letter dismissing the complaint.
The fee for this review is $235. If you are not able to pay the Conduct Appeal Fee due to financial circumstances you may apply for a waiver of the fee. The fee will be waived if your gross family income falls within the Income Thresholds listed on the Application Fee Waiver and Statement of Finances.