Managing a Bad Experience 

If you have had an experience with a professional who is regulated, and you feel that the service you received might have been inappropriate, illegal, and/or in violation of professional standards, then you might be able to file a complaint against that professional with the regulatory body that oversees the individual's profession. Their job is to protect you, the patient or consumer, and ensure that the highest standards of professional practice are followed.

It is important to know that regulatory bodies typically only discipline professionals if their conduct broke the law or violated the regulator's professional code of ethics.  Some examples of offences that regulators want to know about are:

  • Services promised, paid for, but never rendered

  • Unlawfully disclosing personal or confidential information about you to a third party

  • Sexual interference, harassment, and assault

  • Spending money that should have been held in trust

Visit the website of the regulatory body that oversees the conduct of the professional for more information.

Below are recommended steps on how to manage a bad experience before filing a complaint with a regulatory body.  Note that this information below is not legal information, nor does it pertain to a particular regulator.  This are simply recommendations to assist you:

Steps to Managing a Bad Experience and Settling a Dispute

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Evaluate Whether You Have a Case and If It's Worth Pursuing


Similar to lawsuits, filing a complaint against someone and going through a disciplinary process can be financially costly, emotionally painful, and might not result in a favourable outcome.  It is therefore important that you feel you have a strong case before filing a complaint with a regulatory body.


If you have experienced unprofessional conduct that you feel violated the law or Code of conduct of the regulatory body that oversees the profession, make sure you document what happened.

Although it is not necessary to hire legal counsel, it is advisable that you get a legal opinion about your grievance to avoid unnecessary delays and disappointment.

Attempt to Settle the Dispute


Unless a crime has been committed, and you feel that your case may be settled by speaking to the professional or their employer, it might be worth pursuing.  You may do that yourself or have someone assist you.


Here are some steps to consider taking:

  • Identify the action(s) that you felt were inappropriate/unprofessional

  • Disclose how those actions made you feel

  • Be clear about how you would like this grievance settled

Make sure that you document your conversation and keep any receipts and other materials that could help your case.

Research Your Options

Find Witnesses

Evaluate the Financial and Emotional Impact

Prepare Your Claim

Ask Someone to Review Your Claim

Submit Your Claim

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