What SSMLT Does
The Saskatchewan Society of Medical Laboratory Technologists (SSMLT) is responsible for regulating in the public interest, the registration and practice of Medical Laboratory Technologists under provincial legislation called Medical Laboratory Technologists Act, 1995. All Medical Laboratory Technologists in Saskatchewan must be licensed by SSMLT to practice medical laboratory technology in Saskatchewan. The duties of the SSMLT are licensing qualified and competent MLTs, monitoring and maintaining standards of practice, set requirements for continuing education and the development of standards and policies that support the MLT to practice medical laboratory technology accurately, safely and ethically. SSMLT protects the public by holding accountable the licensed medical laboratory technologists. The SSMLT investigates complaints against member that are received from members, the public, co-workers or other health care professionals.
As the Regulatory Organization for the Medical Laboratory Technologist profession, the SSMLT is responsible for receiving and investigating complaints regarding the Conduct and Competence of Licensed Medical Laboratory Technologists practicing medical laboratory technology in the province of Saskatchewan. The mandate of the SSMLT is to regulate MLTs in the public interest and to ensure that the public is protected.
SSMLT cannot investigate anonymous complaints or a complaint against another laboratory professional who are not a member of SSMLT such as medical laboratory assistants, phlebotomists, combined laboratory and X-ray technologists and degree individuals working in medical laboratories.
What is a complaint?
A complaint refers to any complaint, report or allegation in writing and signed by a person regarding the conduct, actions, competence, character, or ability of a member of the SSMLT or former member of the SSMLT pursuant to subsection 20(2) of the Act. Complaints may be filed by members of the public, colleagues, supervisors and employers. The process by which complaints are received and investigated is governed by The Medical Laboratory Technologists Act, 1995 and the Bylaws and Policies of the SSMLT.
If you are concerned that the care or treatment you received from a SSMLT member constituted professional misconduct &/or professional incompetence, you may submit a complaint to the SSMLT. If you are unsure if filing a complaint is the best way to proceed, please contact the SSMLT Executive Director (306-352-6791), who can answer your questions regarding the practice of medical laboratory technology and the complaints process.
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.
What is Professional Misconduct?
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 this Act if:
- 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 definitions of Professional Incompetence and Professional Misconduct are taken from The Medical Laboratory Technologists Act, 1995.
How to File a Complaint
Information required to submit a complaint:
- Your name and contact information
- Name of the Medical Laboratory Technologist involved
- A description of your concerns
- The date(s) the event(s) occurred
- The name of any hospital or institution involved
- The name, address and phone number of any other person who may have information pertaining to your complaint
- Copies of any relevant documents you have relating to your complaint
To file a complaint, you may use the online Complaint Form
Once your complaint has been received, the SSMLT will open a file, send you an acknowledgment, and the Counselling and Investigation Committee will start an investigation. An investigator will be assigned to the file.
The Counselling and Investigation Committee with the assistance of the investigator will gather more information relating to your complaint. This may include interviewing you, the MLT, and anyone else who may have information relating to your complaint. All personal information relating to the investigation and resolution of a complaint is held confidential by the Counselling and Investigation Committee.
Once the investigation is completed, the Counselling and Investigation Committee has three options:
- Determine that there are no grounds for the complaint and dismiss the complaint;
- Refer the matter to be resolved informally by Alternative Dispute Resolution;or
Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a collaborative process where the accused member agrees to have committed an infraction and is willing to work with the Counselling and Investigation Committee in order to resolve the dispute in a cooperative manner. The function is not to administer discipline, but rather to educate the member to avoid future incidents of misconduct or incompetence. ADR agreements are structured on the ideals of enhancing job performance, increasing practise proficiency, and assuring future quality of care.
- Refer the matter to the Discipline Committee to hear and determine the complaint through a formal hearing process. As the complainant, you may be called as a witness at this hearing.
Once a decision is reached, both you and the MLT will be notified in writing with a copy of the decision.
If the matter is referred to hearing by the Counselling and Investigation committee the hearing is open to the public.
Hearings are conducted by the Discipline Committee which consists of both MLTs and members of the public appointed by the provincial government to represent the public.
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.
Where the Discipline Committee finds a member guilty of professional incompetence or professional misconduct, it may:
- order that the member be expelled from the association and that the member's name be struck from the register;
- order that the member be suspended from the association for a specified period of time;
- order that the member be suspended from the society pending the satisfactory completion of any conditions specified in the order;
- order that the member may continue to practice under specific conditions which may include, but are not restricted to:
- not do specified types of work;
- successfully complete specified classes or courses of instruction;
- obtain medical or other treatment or counselling or both;
- having a reprimand placed on his/her file; or
- make any other order that it considers just.
Copies of such orders shall be sent to the member involved and the person who made the complaint.
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 Medical Laboratory Technologists Act 1996 requires employers to:
- notify the SSMLT if they terminate the employment of a MLT on the basis of conduct or competence.
SSMLT recommends the following:
- ensure that persons they employ as MLT are members who are entitled to practice.
- review the license status of their MLT employees each year to ensure their practicing licenses are renewed.