As a nurse, you hope to never receive a complaint about your care. If you plan ahead and apply for Supplementary Protection, you can also be eligible for CNPS assistance in the event of a complaint to your nursing regulator.
What is the CNPS Supplementary Protection program?
As a CNPS beneficiary who is currently eligible for CNPS Professional Liability Protection and Core Services you have the option to apply for the Supplementary Protection program, which expands the circumstances in which you can seek assistance from the CNPS.
With the CNPS Supplementary Protection program, you will be generally eligible for the following:
Legal assistance with complaints to your nursing regulator
Nursing regulatory bodies receive complaints about the conduct of nurses. Generally, the regulatory body is required to address every complaint they receive. While some matters may be dismissed or resolved early on in the process, the regulatory body may elect to proceed by way of a formal investigation.
As a registrant of the Supplementary Protection program, you will generally be eligible for legal assistance if you are the subject of an investigation with the provincial or territorial entity that regulates nursing practice. A complaint is considered to be under investigation until it is dismissed, resolved on consent, resolved by way of a decision by a complaints committee or formally referred for a hearing before the Discipline Committee or a Fitness-to-Practice Committee. CNPS legal assistance with a regulatory investigation is discretionary and will be granted on a case-by-case-basis.
Legal assistance with disciplinary hearings
This assistance extends to complaints for which you have received assistance during the investigation stage from the CNPS and that have been formally referred to a Disciplinary Committee, Board of Inquiry, Fitness-to-Practice Committee or other equivalent tribunal for determination. This may be made available through a partnership with an insurer. There is a limit of $50,000 for this assistance.
If you receive a notice of complaint, please contact us immediately.
What’s generally included?
The Supplementary Protection program generally includes:
- Legal advice and legal representation
- The cost of expert evidence, if expert evidence is necessary
- The expenses that you have to reimburse to the nursing regulator, if this is ordered after a disciplinary hearing and included in the insurance policy
What’s generally excluded?
The Supplementary Protection program generally does not include:
- Assistance with quality assurance proceedings
- Assistance with appeals or applications for judicial review
- Fines that may be imposed as a result of the process
- Other expenses such as medical or any other professional assessments; remedies imposed on or agreed to by the nurse; courses or training; personal expenses to meet with your legal counsel, attend a meeting with the nursing regulator or a hearing
- CNPS Supplementary Protection does not act as a source of funding in excess to another provider of assistance with complaints to a nursing regulator or an appeal or judicial review of a regulatory matter
- Assistance with commercial business decisions
Are there any eligibility prerequisites?
Several conditions must be met in order to be eligible for assistance under the Supplementary Protection program:
- You must be a CNPS beneficiary
- Your application for CNPS Supplementary Protection must have been accepted
- You must have a valid nursing license in the jurisdiction where the complaint was made at both (1) the time of the events giving rise to the complaint and/or investigation, and (2) the time that the complaint was made. If the complaint or investigation pertains to more than one incident or to a continuous or repetitive course of conduct, you must be a registrant of the program when every incident took place or for the entire duration of the conduct giving rise to the complaint and/or investigation
There is no retroactive eligibility for complaints and/or investigations:
- You must be or have been a registrant of the Supplementary Protection program at the time of the incident giving rise to the complaint or investigation: If the complaint or investigation pertains to more than one incident or to a continuous or repetitive course of conduct, you must be a registrant of the program when every incident took place or for the entire duration of the conduct giving rise to the complaint and/or investigation.
- You must have maintained your registration with the Supplementary Protection program at the time when the nursing regulator decided to initiate an investigation; and
- You must have maintained your registration with the Supplementary Protection program at the time when the complaint was submitted by the complainant to the nursing regulator.
- Beneficiaries must remain cooperative and forthcoming throughout the complaint and/or investigation process, and be willing to abide by the advice of counsel. Failure to do so can result in the withdrawal of CNPS legal support.
- There may be circumstances in which a beneficiary may opt out of assistance with a complaint the CNPS is already in the process of assisting with. However a beneficiary (unless there are exceptional circumstances) will generally not be eligible for assistance with the same matter should they elect to return for assistance with the CNPS at a later date.
For additional information on eligibility, requesting assistance and more, please consult our Frequently Asked Questions.
How much does Supplementary Protection cost? How do I apply?
Please note that the protection period is based on a calendar year. The protection begins on or after the date of application, depending on your selected protection dates, and ends on December 31st.
Visit cnps.ca/join-or-renew/ to check your eligibility and submit an application.