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FAQs: Professional Liability Protection (PLP)
All members (excluding those in the Non-Practising Class) must hold Professional Liability Protection (PLP).
The following information is for members who may have questions about the PLP requirement.
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. Members in those classes are accountable for ensuring they hold PLP that meets the requirements set out in By-Law 44.4 .
What about nurses who are not practising?
Nurses in the Non-Practising Class do not need PLP. However, all members in the other classes are required to hold PLP, regardless of whether they are currently practising nursing. 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.
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?
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. Nurses in the identified classes are required to declare that they understand their obligation to maintain PLP in accordance with the by-laws as a condition of membership.
I don’t 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
- through protection under the Treasury Board of Canada Policy on Legal Assistance and Indemnification (for federally employed nurses) 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:
- $2 million per year for General, Temporary, Emergency Assignment and Special Assignment classes
- $5 million per year for Extended Class (NPs)
What kind of PLP exists?
There are two types of liability protection:
- Occurrence-based covers claims for incidents that occur while the coverage is in place. It does not matter when the claim is filed.
- Claims-made covers 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 “claims-made” 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’s policy, your association’s protection or your policy meets the requirements in the College's by-law.
Please note the College does not recommend or endorse any insurance provider.
PLP 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 practising but do not want to join the Non-Practising Class?
Members who are not practising but remain in the General, Extended, Temporary, Special Assignment or Emergency Assignment Class are accountable for having PLP .
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 practise nursing in Ontario hold PLP. 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.
I am registered as an RN and an RPN. Will I need coverage for both roles?
Since you are eligible to practise 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.
I am working as an RPN in one facility and as an unregulated care provider in another. Do I need PLP that will cover me for both roles?
Members of the College require PLP that will cover all of their nursing practice. Because nurses who work in different roles remain accountable to the College, they must ensure they have PLP that will cover them if a situation arises that would require them to step out of their UCP role and into a nursing one to provide nursing care.
Do I need PLP in the event I provide emergency care outside my practice setting?
The Good Samaritan Act, which speaks to the issue of health care professionals providing first aid and emergency care at the scene of an accident or in another emergency situation, applies to all health professionals, including nurses.