The mandate of the New Brunswick Society of Medical Laboratory Technologists (NBSMLT) is the protection of the public by ensuring only qualified technologists perform laboratory testing.
If you believe that a technologist is guilty of professional misconduct, or if you have a complaint about a technologist or medical laboratory, you may send an official complaint to the NBSMLT to initiate an investigation according to the regulations set out in the "Act Respecting the New Brunswick Society of Medical Laboratory Technologists" Chapter 67 assented to May 9th 1991
The template is available here for your convenience. NBSMLT Complaint Template (revised Feb 2011)
Investigation/Discipline Process Overview for website
As the regulatory organization for the Medical Laboratory Technologist profession, the NBMLT has the legislated authority through the Act Respecting the NB Society of Medical Laboratory Technologists to establish, maintain and promote standards of practice for MLTs within New Brunswick. The NBSMLT is responsible for governing and regulating MLTs in a manner that protects the public. Regulation makes the profession, and its members, accountable to the public for the delivery of safe, competent and ethical practice.
Formal Complaint Part V, 24(1)
A formal complaint is any written, signed report or allegation by a complainant, regarding the conduct, competence or health of an MLT. A complainant can be any individual including a supervisor, a co-worker, another health care professional, or a member of the public such as a patient or family member. Complaints lodged with NBSMLT are usually of a very serious nature such as:
1. Professional misconduct
Part III, 13(1) of the Act is sometimes referred as mandatory reporting. Reporting to NBSMLT about “ a person’s engagement as an MLT is terminated because of dishonesty, incompetence, or incapacity , shall forthwith report the matter to the Society” is mandatory by the employer under the following circumstances:
• the dismissal of an MLT for reasons of incompetence, incapacity or professional misconduct;
• when an MLT resigns or retires from employment, while the employer is in the process of investigating the MLT’s practice for reasons of incompetence or incapacity or the employer has established a remediation plan that has not been completed;
• after all appropriate avenues have been exhausted at the organization, any MLT who has reason to believe that another MLT is unable to practise safely to such an extent that the welfare of patients is jeopardized; and
• failure to report the above circumstances is considered to be professional misconduct in and of itself.
Step 1: Complaint
Lodging a complaint with NBSMLT is a measure of last resort, once all other avenues have been exhausted. In general, every attempt should be made to deal with the problem at the institutional level, prior to lodging a complaint.
When you are filing a complaint, provide as much of the following information as possible to the NBSMLT:
• A description of your concerns
• The date(s) the event(s) occurred
• The name of any hospital or institution involved
• Copies of any relevant documents you have relating to your complaint
• The full name of the MLT(s), if known
Please note: Anonymous complaints cannot be accepted.
Step 2: Investigation
Once your complaint has been received, the NBSMLT will open a file, send an acknowledgment to both the complainant and the defendant, and the Complaints Committee will start an investigation. All personal information relating to the investigation and resolution of a complaint is held confidential by the Complaints & Discipline Committees and by all persons involved.
The Discipline Complaints Committee consists of a minimum of three persons appointed by the Board of Directors, one of which may be a public representative, the majority of the committee will be practicing MLTs. The panel will gather more information relating to the complaint. This may include interviewing you the complainant, the MLT, and anyone any person else who may have information relating to the complaint. All personal information relating to the investigation and resolution of a complaint is held confidential by the Complaints & Discipline Committees. The investigations process is a screening of the written documents only. Legal representation at this level of the process is limited. Full disclosure is practiced by forwarding the complaint and related documents to the defendant, the complainant and the panel.
Once the investigation is completed, the Complaints Committee has two options (part V, 24(12)) :
1. Determine that there are no grounds for the complaint and dismiss the complaint.
2. May attempt to informally mediate and resolve a complaint (V,24(10))
3. Refer the matter to Discipline Committee to hear and determine the complaint through a formal hearing process. The complainant may be called as a witness at this hearing.
If the matter is referred to the Discipline committee, a third party trained in this process may be appointed to facilitate the hearings. NOTE: Both the complainant and the defendant will be informed of the decision of the Complaints Committee.
Step 3: Hearing
The Discipline Committee consists of a minimum of three persons appointed by the Board of Directors, one of which may be a public representative, the majority of the committee practicing MLTs. Elected members of the Board of Directors are not eligible for this Committee.
At least 14 days prior to a hearing, a copy of the complaint is sent to the member who is the subject matter of the discipline hearing along with a “Notice of Hearing” with notification of the date, time and place of the hearing.
The discipline hearing is a process similar to but less formal than any other court. For example:
• the hearing may accept any evidence it considers appropriate, relevant and admissible;
• all parties involved may be represented by legal counsel at their own expense;
• testimony of witnesses is under oath;
• examination, cross-examination and re-examination is a full right of all parties involved;
• failure of the member to appear does not delay nor postpone the hearing.
Rights of the defendant Part V, 24(11)
• A hearing in the language of their choice
• May be represented by legal council at their own expense
• Receive copies of all the documents
• Fourteen Days written notice of a first hearing
• Prompt notice of any decision rendered by the committee
Step 4: Decision Part V, 25(8)
Where the Discipline Committee finds a member guilty of professional incompetence or professional misconduct, it may:
· order that the member be suspended from the association for a specified period of time;
· order that the member be suspended from the association pending the satisfactory completion of any conditions specified in the order;
· order that the member be expelled from the association and that the member's name be struck from the register;
· order that the member may continue to practice under specific conditions which may include, but are not restricted to:
o not do specified types of work;
o successfully complete specified classes or courses of instruction;
o obtain medical or other treatment or counselling or both;
o having a reprimand placed on his/her file; or
o make any other order that it considers just.
o Accept the voluntary resignation/surrender of the license by the member
Also, the Discipline Committee may make an order that the member pay to the Association (within a fixed period) a fine and/or costs of the inquiry and hearing, in a specified amount.
Copies of such orders shall be sent to the member involved and the person who made the complaint.
Step 5: Appeal
A member who has been found guilty by the Discipline Committee may appeal the decision of the Committee within 30 days of the decision. The Appeal is brought forward to the Board of Directors, for more information on the appeal refer to NBSMLT Act & Bylaws.
As the regulatory body in the interest of public safety, the report of a final guilty verdict, as well as the summary of the proceedings is posted on the NBSMLT website, annual report and is on the defendant’s permanent record.
What is Incapacity?
Physical or mental condition or disorder that no longer permits the practice of medical laboratory technology
Practice of medical laboratory technology is suspended or subjected to conditions, limitations, & restrictions.
What is Professional Incompetence?
Professional incompetence is a question of fact, but the display by a member of:
• a lack of knowledge, skill, judgement; or
• a disregard for the welfare of members of the public served by the profession;
of a nature or to an extent that demonstrates that the member is unfit to continue in the practice of the profession is professional incompetence within the meaning of the Act.
Professional misconduct is a question of fact, but any matter, conduct or thing, whether or not disgraceful or dishonourable, is professional misconduct within the meaning of the CSMLS Code of Professional Conduct and Code of Ethics.
• it is harmful to the best interests of the public or the members;
• it tends to harm the standing of the profession;
• it is a breach of the Act or the bylaws; or
• it is a failure to comply with an order of the counselling and investigation committee, the discipline committee or the council.
The Medical Laboratory Technologists Act, 1991. PART V
NBSMLT Standards of Practice
CSMLS Code of Professional Conduct
CSMLS Code of Ethics