The other day I downloaded a device driver to my computer in an (unsuccessful) attempt to fix something. And when the long, wordy agreement notice came up, I will freely admit that I didn’t read it – but instead quickly clicked “I agree”. I suppose its human nature to just want to get the job done and move on, and there are numerous instances when it may not really be necessary to read the fine print. However, there are other times when we need to be much more careful about what we are agreeing to, and the CRTO Registration Renewal process is one of them.

When you complete your registration forms – either for the first time or annually – there are a series of declarations where you are required to answer either “yes” or “no”. The renewal form is fairly lengthy, and I am sure that by the time you get to the end you are just anxious to get it over with. Consequently, I suspect that some Members simply respond “no” to all of the conduct questions and “yes” to all the declarations without considering what they are agreeing to. Yet it is important to remember that you are held accountable for your responses.

One such registration renewal declaration that can come back to haunt an RT is, “I declare that I am participating in the CRTO Quality Assurance Program by maintaining my professional portfolio on an ongoing basis”. It seems like a harmless little statement, right? And yet each year a certain number of Members who are selected for QA respond that they cannot submit their professional portfolios because they do not have any continuing education activities to report. But had they checked “yes” on the QA declarations on their renewal forms? Yes they had.

A number of years ago there was a new applicant to one of the other health regulatory Colleges in Ontario who responded “no” when asked if they had been “disciplined, suspended, required to resign, terminated or subjected to similar action in respect to employment or a contract of service”. This person was granted a license and, a short time later, ended up in front of the College’s discipline committee for causing serious harm to a patient. Turns out she had had been fired from several U.S. hospitals in several states for incompetence, but the matter had not been reported to the respective regulatory agencies, nor had she declared these to the Ontario College when she applied for registration.

Legislation has since changed to tighten up reporting requirements, but Colleges do still depend upon honest declarations from the healthcare professional. That is why one of the CRTO’s declarations asks Members if they “understand that making a false or misleading statement or representation to the CRTO may be considered professional misconduct…”

Sometimes we all need to think (and read) before we click.

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