Professional Liability Program

The Professional Liability Program (PLP) has provided assistance to Ontario dentists for over 50 years. PLP staff and RCDSO Council members have been dedicated to the promotion of patient safety and responsible dentistry. 

In 2022, RCDSO Council established a PLP Expert Review Task Force to do a thorough review of the PLP program, outline any risks and recommend options to mitigate these risks.

The Task Force, composed of experts and former Council members, met from February to July of 2023 and developed a report for review by the Finance, Audit and Risk (FAR) Committee. Following that review, the report findings and FAR’s analysis were presented to Council on September 21st for discussion and deliberation.

The Task Force identified three main options for RCDSO to consider:

  • Status Quo: RCDSO retains the current structure of PLP with minor modifications that could mitigate risk.
  • Subsidiary: RCDSO establishes a subsidiary corporation that would create structural separation of mandate and finances, while retaining ownership of the program.
  • Divest: RCDSO stops directly offering its liability protection program over time and moves to transfer, sell or end the program.

The Task Force identified several risks with the PLP program, foremost among them reputational, regulatory and financial. RCDSO is one of the few health regulatory Colleges in Canada that directly operates an in-house liability program.  

After considerable discussion and debate, Council directed staff to explore the option of divesting from direct ownership and operation of PLP.

Council is satisfied that the program operates effectively and efficiently today.

The College will continue to require dentists to maintain adequate liability protection, which is consistent with other Ontario health Colleges and the expectations of the RHPA.

Next steps

With Council’s direction, RCDSO will develop an implementation plan, with deliverables and timelines. This will include communication and consultation with all staff, the profession, and stakeholders.

At its December 7th meeting, RCDSO Council directed staff to proceed with exploring the transfer of the Professional Liability Program (including current liabilities and staff) to a third party, with the goal of allowing the program to continue to operate, under separate ownership.

Council asked staff to begin the procurement process under the guidance of a procurement review group, as established by the Executive Committee. There will be a report on progress to Council in March 2024.

Moving away from the direct offering of such a long-standing program will need to be done carefully and responsibly. Implementation will take time.

As this decision is the beginning of a lengthy process, it is too early to answer many of your detailed questions, such as what future registration or liability fees might be.

Members of the RCDSO should continue to contact PLP directly, as usual, for assistance with claims or potential claims.

RCDSO is committed to keeping you informed as we further research and develop our plans.

If you would like to view Council deliberations on this topic, they are available on our YouTube channel.