Members of the public
The College of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners of Ontario (COMPO) is a voluntary organization that supervises osteopathic manual practitioners who are its members in the public interest. COMPO is not a regulatory health college as defined by the Regulatory Health Professions Act of Ontario. Please contact COMPO if you require any information about the following:
- registration status of an osteopathic manual practitioner who is a COMPO member
- COMPO standards of practice, policies and guidelines
- filing a complaint against a COMPO member
- filing a report
- disciplinary decisions against a COMPO member
- any other inquiry or concern related to the practice of the osteopathic manual practice profession
Policies and GuidelinesThe College develops and enforces its Standards of Practice, Policies and Guidelines on members.
COMPO guidelines and policies assist osteopathic manual practitioners to practice in a professional and ethical manner.
Appointment and Power of Investigators
Appointment of InvestigatorsCOMPO supervises osteopathic manual practitioners in the public interest. In some cases, this requires the formal investigation of an osteopathic manual practitioner’s practice. COMPO registrar may appoint investigators to carry out investigations on behalf of the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee.
Scope of Practice and Authorized Acts
Scope of PracticeOsteopathic manual practitioners are primary healthcare practitioners who facilitate healing through osteopathic assessment and treatment of dysfunctions of the whole person, with a focus on neuromusculoskeletal and joint disorders. Osteopathic manual practitioners use various, recognised osteopathic manual techniques to work with the body’s ability to heal itself, thereby promoting health and wellbeing.
Authorized ActsThere are a number of acts that are considered authorized acts and outside the scope of practice of COMPO members. Osteopathic manual practitioners are prohibited by law to provide any of these acts, unless they are a dual registrant with a license in another health profession that permits them to provide the acts listed below:
- Communicating a medical diagnosis identifying, as the cause of a person’s symptoms (COMPO members may provide a manual osteopathic diagnosis, but not a medical diagnosis),
- Moving the joints beyond a person’s usual physiological range of motion using a high velocity, low amplitude thrust (called manipulation or grade V mobilization),
- Putting a finger beyond the anal verge for the purpose of manipulating or mobilizing the tailbone (coccyx),
- Injection of any kind and breaking the skin, & surgery of any type,
- Prescribing any type of medication,
- Taking x-rays and offering radiological services,
- Casting and or bracing bone fractures,
- Setting dislocated joints.
How to File a Complaint
ComplaintsThe College of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners of Ontario (COMPO) protects the public’s right to safe, effective and ethical manual osteopathic care.
COMPO is responsible for investigating complaints made against osteopathic manual practitioners who are its members and, when necessary, disciplining its members who are found to be incompetent or guilty of professional misconduct. Mechanisms also exist for dealing with osteopathic manual practitioners who are incapacitated.
If you have a complaint:If you have a concern, you may contact the COMPO by phone to discuss the matter or write a letter outlining your concerns. Complaints must be filed in writing or recorded in some other manner, such as on tape. Due to privacy concerns, COMPO cannot accept a complaint via e-mail.
Complaints should include:
- your name and contact information (mailing address and phone number);
- the name of the osteopathic manual practitioner;
- as much information as possible about your concerns or the incident(s) in question, such as dates and names of individuals who may have been involved or who would be able to provide additional information.
Type of ComplaintsPatients can raise a variety of complaints, including:
- verbal, physical, psychological, emotional or sexual abuse
- failing to seek consent for treatment
- misinformation or lack of information regarding treatment
- providing unnecessary or excessive treatment
- incompetent practice causing harm
- discontinuing needed care without arranging for alternative services
- giving out information about a patient without consent
- failing to advise a patient to consult another health care professional when the practitioner knows the patient’s condition is beyond his/her scope of practice or competence
- failing to advise about the fee structure prior to treatment
- misleading advertising
The Complaints ProcessThe College of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners of Ontario (COMPO) has established a framework for dealing with complaints.
A complaint is made to COMPO in writing or on tape, film, disk or another permanent medium. COMPO is obliged to give the osteopathic manual practitioner a copy of the complaint and provide an opportunity for the osteopathic manual practitioner to respond to the complaint.
It is the responsibility of the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC), which consists of osteopathic manual practitioners and appointed public members, to ensure that a fair and thorough investigation is conducted and that an appropriate decision is made based on the results of the investigation. Before making a decision, the ICRC considers all relevant information obtained during the investigation.
The ICRC issues its decision in writing and may take any of the following actions:
- refer allegations of professional misconduct or incompetence to the Discipline Committee;
- refer issues of incapacity to another panel of the ICRC;
- require the member to appear before the ICRC to be cautioned;
- take any other action it considers appropriate that is not inconsistent with the regulations or by-laws of COMPO.
The Discipline Process
DisciplineComposed of two elected members, two non-Council members and two public members, the Discipline Committee adjudicates specified allegations of professional misconduct referred to the committee by the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports committees.
The Discipline Committee makes final decisions based on the evidence presented and imposes penalties, including reprimands, fines, suspension of licenses and, in serious cases, revocation of licenses.
The maximum penalty the Discipline Committee may impose is revocation of a licence with no possibility of reinstatement for five years.
Discipline decisions, except for findings of sexual abuse, remain on the public register for six years. Sexual abuse findings remain on the public register permanently.
If a former member moves to another jurisdiction, COMPO will not provide that member with a letter of good standing if there is a discipline finding against him/her.
Discipline decisions are also published in COMPO’s annual reports.
Funding for Therapy and CounsellingIt is mandated that COMPO create and administer a fund for therapy and counselling for patients who have been sexually abused by a member. This funding program is monitored by the Patient Relations Committee, a committee of COMPO.
The Patient Relations Committee reviews each applicant, determines if the applicant meets the eligibility requirements, and sets the level of funding allowed. The maximum amount of funding that may be provided to an applicant is $13,130 (200 half-hour sessions billed at $65.65 per session).
About the Patient Relations CommitteeThe Patient Relations Committee is responsible for implementing a pro-active patient relations program that promotes confidence in the osteopathic manual practice profession. In particular, the Committee is interested in ensuring that members are fully informed regarding the nature of professional relationships, that policy making and complaints processes of COMPO are open and accessible to the public, and that members of the public are fully informed regarding their rights to safe, effective, and ethical osteopathic manual practice are.
Areas of Responsibility:
- Develop and implement a program to enhance relations between the patient and the member.
- Develop and implement measures for preventing and dealing with sexual abuse of patients.
- Develop standards of practice, policies or guidelines for the conduct of members with their patients.
- Provide information to the public about their rights.
- Administer the funding program (i.e., funding for therapy and counselling for patients sexually abused by members).