RVTs: Responding to a Complaint

Receiving a formal complaint concerning your professional conduct may be one of the most stressful and upsetting events in your career as a Registered Veterinary Technician. As a regulatory body, the investigation of professional complaints made against Registered members is a responsibility of the OAVT. A second role that the OAVT plays is one of an associated body. As a member of the OAVT, you are entitled to access independent legal counsel through your professional liability insurance. Please contact BMS Group at 1-855-318-6558 or oavt.insurance@bmsgroup.com to discuss your legal options.

Now what should I do?

Besides contacting independent legal counsel, here are the steps you should take once a complaint is made against you:

  1. Clarifying Issues: Before making any attempt to respond to a complaint, you should first wait for the committee to clarify the complainant’s issues. In this way, you can focus on addressing the complainant’s specific concerns. This part of the process may take several weeks following receipt of the original letter of complaint. Next, you should consult any workplace records to review how events relating to the complaint were originally documented. Even if you have a great memory, you should know that the complaints committee will rely heavily on the official documentation for the best description of those events.
  2. Other Witnesses: Once the issues are clarified the committee will discuss the events of the case with others to obtain additional perspectives. Avoid soliciting submissions from co-workers and submitting them to the committee yourself. It is preferable that you simply identify these witnesses to the committee and let the committee approach them directly for a submission. Neutral third party accounts are more valuable to the committee. While you may not knowingly influence the submissions of others, approaching them can give that impression.
  3. Respond to the Complaint: Any response you submit to the complaint should be professional and focus on the issues. Approach your response with focus to addressing the specifics of the complaint.
  4. Include Additional Supporting Materials: Related medical records, diagnostic images, laboratory findings or relevant correspondence may be included to assist in the investigation of the complaint. All supporting materials should directly relate to the complaint specifics.

Additional Information

Please see the Registered Veterinary Technicians: Responding to a Professional Complaint pamphlet to help guide you through this process. You can contact the OAVT to request print copies of the pamphlet.

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