About the College

En français: À propos de l’Ordre

Photo of the entrance to the CPSO building at 80 College StreetMedical Regulation in Ontario

The role of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is to regulate the practice of medicine to protect and serve the public interest. All doctors in Ontario must be members of the College in order to practise medicine.

This system of medical regulation is based on the premise that the College must act first and foremost in the interest of the public. The duties of the College include:

  • issuing certificates of registration to doctors to allow them to practise medicine
  • monitoring and maintaining standards of practice through peer assessment and remediation
  • developing policies to provide guidance to physicians about legislative/regulatory requirements and the expectations of the medical profession
  • investigating complaints about doctors on behalf of the public, and
  • conducting discipline hearings when doctors may have committed an act of professional misconduct or may be incompetent. 

The role of the College and its authority and powers are set out in the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA), the Health Professions Procedural Code under the RHPA and the Medicine Act.

College Functions


Physicians must be members of the College to practise medicine in Ontario. The College’s Registration Department handles all inquiries regarding the registration process.

Quality Assurance

The College has a legislated mandate to continuously improve the quality of care provided by physicians. This is achieved through several programs including peer assessment, the Independent Health Facilities program, the Out-of Hospital Premises Inspection Program and the Methadone program. In each of these programs, the College assesses physicians or inspects facilities to ensure they are meeting high standards for delivery of care.


A central responsibility of the College is to respond to concerns and to investigate complaints from members of the public about doctors in Ontario. The Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee investigates complaints if concerns should not or cannot be resolved.

Patient Relations Program

The mandate of the patient relations program is to prevent and deal with sexual abuse of patients by educating doctors and providing information to the public. The College also administers a fund for therapy and counselling for patients who have been sexually abused by a physician.


Cases are referred to the Discipline Committee when a physician appears to have shown a deliberate disregard for patient welfare, engaged in reprehensible behaviour, or demonstrated extreme substandard care that does not appear capable of remediation.