Professional Liability Protection

Council has approved a by-law requiring all members (excluding those in the Non-Practicing Class) to hold Professional Liability Protection (PLP). This by-law comes into effect March 31, 2014.

The following information is for members who may have questions about the PLP requirement.

General questions

What is professional liability protection?
Professional liability protection (PLP) provides financial compensation for members of the public who have been harmed as a result of malpractice or negligence by a professional.

Who does this new requirement affect?
All members of the General, Extended, Temporary, Emergency Assignment and Special Assignment classes are required to hold PLP beginning March 31, 2014. Members in those classes are accountable for ensuring they hold PLP that meets the requirements set out in By-Law 44.4 by that date.

What about nurses who are not practicing?
Nurses in the Non-Practicing Class do not need PLP. However, all members in the other classes are required to hold PLP, regardless of whether they are currently practicing nursing. The public can expect that any nurse who is listed on Find a Nurse as eligible to practice nursing in Ontario has professional liability protection.

Does this by-law mean I need to purchase PLP?
If you are employed as a nurse, then your employer may have coverage that covers its staff, including nurses. You are responsible for confirming that this coverage meets the requirements set out in the by-law. If it does, then you do not need to purchase additional PLP.

Will the College ask for proof of PLP?
As of March 31, 2014, the College may request proof of adequate PLP at any time. When the College requires proof from a member, it will inform the member of the specific type of proof it needs. For example, it may be a letter from an employer, confirmation of membership in an association that provides PLP, or a certificate of insurance from a private insurer. Starting with the 2015 renewal, nurses in the identified classes will be required to declare that they understand their obligation to maintain PLP in accordance with the by-laws as a condition of membership.

Obtaining Professional Liability Protection

I dont have PLP. How can I get it to meet the by-law requirements?
The by-law sets out three options for members:

·        through your employer

·        through a provincial or national nursing association or

·        by purchasing your own professional liability protection from an insurance provider.

How much PLP coverage do I need to have?
The minimum coverage required is:

·        $1 million per claim for General, Temporary, Emergency Assignment and Special Assignment classes

·        $5 million per claim for Extended Class (NPs).

If your coverage includes a maximum amount that will be covered in a year, it must be at least:

What kind of PLP exists?
There are two types of liability protection:

1.      Occurrence-basedcovers claims for incidents that occur while the coverage is in place. It does not matter when the claim is filed.

2.      Claims-madecovers claims for incidents if the claim is filed while the policy or protection is active.  The coverage is based on when the claim is filed, not when the incident occurred

If your liability protection is   protection, you are required to obtain extended coverage (called “tail coverage”) for a period of two years after the policy or protection ends.


Who should I talk to if I have any questions about my PLP coverage?

Your employer, professional association, insurance broker or insurance company should be able to answer questions about whether your employer policy, your association protection or your policy meets the requirements in the College’s by-law.

What if I don’t hold PLP? What should I do?
If you do not currently hold PLP, you are accountable for having coverage in place by March 31, 2014.

Professional Liability Protection and nursing practice

What if I work in more than one setting?
Nurses need to be confident they have PLP coverage for all of their nursing practice. For example, nurses working for two employers will need to confirm that both employers have PLP that meets the by-law requirements. If they do not, the member will need to obtain additional coverage to address any gaps.

What if I am not practicing but do not want to join the Non-Practicing Class?
Members who are not practicing but remain in the General, Extended, Temporary, Special Assignment or Emergency Assignment Class are accountable for having PLP as of March 31, 2014.

I am not working in a clinical role. Why do I need PLP?
Members in the specified classes are eligible to practice nursing to their full scope and may change roles at any time.  The College requires that all nurses who are eligible to practisenursing in Ontario hold PLP. The public can expect that any nurse who is listed on Find a Nurse as eligible to practise nursing in Ontario has professional liability protection.

I am registered as an RN and an RPN. Will I need coverage for both roles?
Since you are eligible to practice as both an RN and an RPN, you are accountable as a member of the General Class to ensure you hold PLP that covers you in both roles.