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Information for the Public

The College protects your right to safe, competent and ethical veterinary care. When you require the services of a veterinarian, you can expect to receive safe, quality care from a highly-trained licensed professional.

Mediated Resolutions Programs

The Mediated Resolutions Program (MRP) provides an alternative means of resolving disputes through negotiation. The program is voluntary and confidential to resolve certain complaints.

The goal of the MRP is to resolve complaints in a manner that protects public interest while giving all parties the opportunity to participate in seeking a positive and constructive resolution. This approach focuses on quality improvement and education, not punishment. An independent facilitator works with the parties involved to reach a mutually agreeable settlement. The College assumes all costs associated with the mediation.

With the consent of participants, this process is useful to resolve complaints involving miscommunication or inappropriate remarks and/or minor standards issues. If either party does not wish to participate in the MRP, the matters proceeds to the traditional Complaints process.

While MRP offers an opportunity to resolve issues between a veterinarian and a client, MRP is not suitable for all complaints. The College Registrar identifies cases which are appropriate for MRP. Those involving misuse of controlled drugs, fraud, animal abuse, misrepresentation, sexual impropriety or falsification of records will go to the Complaints Committee for decision. Cases involving a licensed members who has been subject to more than one similar complaint or discipline finding will also be dealt with by the Committee. When an agreement has been reached, it must be accepted by the College’s Complaints Committee. If for some reason, the parties do not reach a negotiated settlement, the complaint will continue through the traditional complaints process.

This voluntary process promotes quality veterinary practice. The veterinarian and the client have input into the process which leads to greater satisfaction with the results.

How the program works

  1. complaint selected for Mediated Resolutions Program by the College Registrar in accordance with the criteria
  2. consent obtained from both parties to participate in a mediated process
  3. an independent mediator is appointed
  4. mediator talks to all parties to clarify process and confirm the issues for resolution
  5. mediator determines best method for engaged resolution – a teleconference, face-to-face, etc.
  6. mediation
  7. joint resolution reached and submitted to the Complaints Committee for consideration
  8. resolution approved by the Committee and implemented

Possible outcomes

Any reasonable proposal may be explored as a resolution. Some options for resolving a case through MRP include:

  • a letter acknowledging the incident with an understanding of the distress it caused the patient/family;
  • the facility establishes policy changes or initiatives that will serve to improve veterinary care;
  • an agreement the veterinarian will undertake further education on the issues surrounding the complaint; or
  • an apology by the veterinarian to the complainant.