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Complaints & Discipline

The Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) is responsible for regulating and governing the conduct of its members in the practice of their profession. All Candidate and Full members must adhere to The Professional Code of Practice which forms the basis of planning practice by members. This Code is enforceable through Institute's Complaints and Discipline provisions.

Complaints & Discipline PROCESS

Please see below for a simplified, step-by-step summary of the Complaints & Discipline process.

1. A complaint is received. Once a complaint is submitted, the Registrar will send the complainant a letter acknowledging receipt of the completed complaint form. The member will also be notified that a complaint has been filed against them, and a copy of the complaint will be shared with them.

2. The Complaints Committee is notified. The Registrar will assign a file number to the complaint and notify the Complaints Committee that a new complaint has been filed. The Committee will complete a “conflict check” to ensure there is no conflict between Committee members, the complainant and member. Once the conflict check has been concluded, a Panel will be formed.

3. The complaint is reviewed. The Panel will then review the complaint in its entirety. All complaints received by OPPI are reviewed by a Panel of the Complaints Committee. After review, the Panel may determine to either dismiss the complaint, or refer it for investigation.

4. The complaint is investigated. If the panel decides to investigate, the complaint is assigned to a third-party investigator. The member will have an opportunity to respond to allegations, and the complainant may be asked to provide further information and respond to the member’s response during this process. Once the investigation is complete, the finished investigation report will be shared with the Panel.

5. The investigation report is reviewed by the Panel. The Panel will review the investigation report and convene to discuss their findings. In certain cases, the Panel may request a legal opinion. At this stage, Panel has several options available to it. It can take no action and dismiss the complaint, refer the matter to the Discipline Committee, issue a caution, or take some other appropriate action.

6. The complaint is referred to the Discipline Committee. In cases where a complaint is referred by the Complaints Committee to the Discipline Committee, that referral triggers a more formal hearing, and pre-hearing process. During this phase, the involved OPPI member is entitled to a high degree of fairness, which can sometimes make the process seem slow. For instance, involved member is legally entitled to comprehensive documentary disclosure, itself a time-consuming process. Other pre-hearing steps can include resolution discussions, the pre-hearing conference process, the obtaining of expert evidence, evidence gathering, and witness identification and preparation.

7. Discipline hearing. The final stage of the process is a hearing. Hearings are open to the public except in special circumstances. The parties to the hearing are OPPI and the involved OPPI member. Complainants are not party to the hearing, but may be asked to participate as a witness, produce relevant documents, and answer questions posed by the Discipline Committee, the parties, and/or their lawyers.

Complaints & Discipline Committees

The Complaints and Discipline Committees of OPPI are standing committees that operate at arms length from OPPI Council.
OPPI Complaints Committee OPPI Discipline Committee
OPPI’s Complaints Committee is made up of OPPI members and a public interest representative to review all complaints submitted to OPPI. All complaints received by OPPI are reviewed by the Complaints Committee. Once a complaint has been filed, the Complaints Committee are notified.
The role of the Complaints Committee is to review, and often, order investigations into allegations of professional misconduct by members of OPPI; it is a screening committee that does not determine “guilt” or “innocence.”

In addition, once a complaint has been made, OPPI will take on the responsibility to pursue the complaint, not the person submitting the complaint, and can continue the case even without the complainant’s co-operation to ensure the public interest is protected.
When the Complaints Committee has fully reviewed and discussed the investigation report, it can choose to do one or more of the following:
  • Take no action
  • Direct the matter, in whole or in part, to the Discipline Committee or direct that the matter not be referred at all
  • Require the member who is subject to the complaint to appear before the Committee to be cautioned
  • Determine other action that it considers appropriate within OPPI’s By-laws, but does not include actions that can be taken by OPPI’s Discipline Committee
OPPI’s Discipline Committee is made up of several OPPI members and a public interest representative to review cases referred to it by the Complaints Committee.
After a complaint is investigated by OPPI’s Complaints Committee, a matter may be brought to the attention of OPPI’s Discipline Committee for further action. A hearing may be called to discuss the matter.
If the Discipline Committee finds a member guilty of professional misconduct, it may order one or more of the following:
  • Revoke membership
  • Suspend membership for up to 24 months and direct a suspended member to not use any term, title, designation or description that implies they are a member of OPPI during their suspension
  • Determine the time and manner of return of a certificate of membership to OPPI for a suspended member
  • Impose restrictions or conditions on the right of the member to practice in the field of professional planning as a member of OPPI
  • Issue a reprimand and direct the reprimand be recorded in the member register
  • Direct a member to take any specified rehabilitative measures, including professional development courses or specified counselling or treatment
  • Pay a fine up to $25,000
  • Postpone any measure for a specific period or specific terms, including the successful completion of courses

Discipline Committee Decisions

Decisions of the Discipline Committee are published in OPPI’s Annual Report documents and may also be published in any other OPPI publication, such as Y Magazine.


Please see some frequently asked questions below. Should you have any additional questions about the Complaints & Discipline process, please feel free to contact

Members of OPPI (except Student members, Pre-Candidate members and Public Subscribers) are governed by The Professional Code of Practice. The Complaints and Discipline provisions are outlined here and may be amended from time to time. The Discipline Committee itself has issued Rules of Practice and Procedure. These rules govern the committee's administration.

In addition to the rules document, please see below related forms:

No, professional planners who do not belong to OPPI are not governed by The Professional Code of Practice, and OPPI has no jurisdiction over them.

OPPI’s complaints process only considers allegations that an OPPI member has breached a provision of The Professional Code of Practice. For example, the complaints process cannot be used to:

  • Address policy issues, including policy regarding the profession or practice of planning in Ontario.
  • Object to or reverse planning decisions, such as those made by local/municipal/provincial governments, Committees of Adjustment, or Ontario Land Tribunal hearings.
  • Adjudicate business disputes, disputes over the quality of work performed, or fees charged by an OPPI member related to a specific contract unless there is an associated allegation that the member has breached OPPI’s Professional Code of Practice. OPPI does not have the jurisdiction to require a member to reimburse client fees.
  • Revisit complaints that have already been considered.

Request a complaint form from

Please read the Guide and fill out the Complaint Form in full. When complete, please email it to the OPPI Registrar at

Please note that the Complaint Form requires the complainant’s name, and stipulates that you cannot initiate a complaint on behalf of another individual or organization.

OPPI endeavours to address all complaints in a timely manner. The target time to respond to a new complaint is two (2) to six (6) weeks. Statistics obtained by OPPI in 2022/2023 indicate an average time of four (4) months between the receipt of a new complaint and the delivery to all parties of a decision of the Complaints Committee. The process will take longer if a complaint is referred by the Complaints Committee to the Discipline Committee. Consistent with other regulatory bodies, it may take from one (1) to two (2)  years after a complaint is referred to the Discipline Committee for a hearing to take place. These timelines will vary and may take longer for complex complaints.

All complaints received by OPPI are reviewed by the Complaints Committee. The Complaints Committee is made up of Full, Practicing members of OPPI and a Public Interest Representative. For those complaints referred for investigation, a third-party investigator is assigned to conduct the investigation and to share their findings with the committee for their ultimate decision on how to proceed.

A caution is a meeting between the Complaints Committee and member where they discuss instances where the member may have failed to meet best practices. It does not involve a hearing or evidence and does not involve a formal finding of misconduct.

The Complaints Committee could agree with the member that an appropriate resolution of the complaint would be if the member took a certain course, for instance. 

There is a prehearing conference between the parties and a chair is appointed by the Discipline Committee. The prehearing conference is used to explore settlement possibilities, and (if a hearing is actually required) to order disclosure, narrow issues and schedule the hearing itself.

The process is confidential to the extent that OPPI does not disclose or publicize the name of the complainant or the member against whom a complaint has been made. However, in order to properly and fairly deal with a complaint, that member will receive a copy of the complaint and learn the name of the complainant, and the parties may receive other information about each other during the course of the investigation and hearing. OPPI can direct its members not to disclose such information publicly in specific circumstances, but OPPI cannot guarantee that no information will be disclosed by the other parties.

Multiple complaints against different OPPI members must have separate complaint forms. Please complete a form for each involved OPPI member.

Professional discipline hearings are generally open to the public. If some compelling reason can be given why the hearing should not be open to the public, the Discipline Committee panel has the power to make that order.

No. If a member is found to have breached the OPPI Professional Code of Practice, the member may be suspended, revoked, reprimanded, fined, or ordered to complete relevant education measures, among other penalties.

Note that the “fine” is not paid to the complainant but to the general account of the Institute. Generally, in self-regulated professions, such fines are not payable to the complainant. Also note that even if the OPPI Discipline Committee determined that a member was careless or incompetent in giving a planning opinion or testimony, OPPI has no authority to overturn a planning decision made by an elected council, committee of adjustment, or tribunal.

Decisions of the Discipline Committee are published in OPPI’s Annual Report documents and may also be published in any other OPPI publication, such as Y Magazine. If the member was found to have breached The Professional Code of Practice, that summary may also include the member’s name and the penalty imposed.