CNPS Information and FAQ
As of November 1, 2019, all practising duly registered psychiatric nurses of Saskatchewan (including graduate psychiatric nurses) became beneficiaries of the Canadian Nurses Protective Society (CNPS). RPNAS created bylaws to support this change and outline requirements.
The CNPS is a not-for-profit society that provides legal advice, risk management services, legal assistance and professional liability protection related to nursing practice to over 140,000 eligible Canadian nurses across all Canadian provinces and territories.
As a CNPS beneficiary you are eligible for a wide a range of services listed on the CNPS website under their Core Services and Professional Liability Protection page.
Below we have listed some commonly asked questions regarding Professional Liability Protection. If you have additional questions, or if you have any legal questions related to your nursing practice, we recommend that you contact the CNPS directly at 1-800-267-3390 or email email@example.com.
What is Professional Liability Protection (PLP)?
Professional liability protection (PLP) exists to compensate individuals who are found by a court to have suffered injury as a result of care that falls below accepted standards. As a result, the public is protected because an adequate source of compensation is available. The healthcare professional is also protected because they benefit from legal representation when facing a claim for compensation and does not have to personally bear the full cost of the legal proceedings and the compensation, if the court orders that it be paid.
Why can’t I instead rely on my employer’s PLP?
Best practices now require healthcare professionals who owe a duty of care and can be held personally liable for their care to hold an individual source of PLP.
There is no legal requirement in Canada for employers to provide a minimum amount of liability coverage for their employees. While health authorities and institutional employers provide adequate PLP, that protection extends to activities within the scope of employment. As a regulated healthcare professional, RPNs can practice in many different settings and must have a source of adequate PLP wherever they practice.
Some employer PLP may not extend to certain types of claims, such as allegations of breach of privacy, abuse, sexual impropriety, and defamation. CNPS PLP extends to all civil claims arising from nursing practice.
An employer’s insurance business coverage may not continue if the employer discontinues its operations. CNPS beneficiaries remain eligible for assistance with respect to claims arising from services provided while they are a CNPS beneficiary, irrespective of when the claim arises.
Does CNPS PLP extend to my business? I have an independent practice and I have been insured under an insurance policy for some time. Can I cancel my policy?
Not necessarily. Although all members will be required to have the type and amount of PLP directed by the bylaws as of November 1, 2019, this protection will apply solely to personal PLP. Some members may operate as independent providers. Others may operate a more elaborate business (with its own physical premises and/or employees, for instance). In these cases, it will likely be important to maintain insurance coverage to address commercial, property or business liability risks. It would be unadvisable to cancel an insurance policy without first obtaining legal advice. If you already have an insurance policy in place, please contact the CNPS to discuss your options before making changes to your current insurance coverage. There may be an opportunity to reduce the extent or cost of your business coverage, but this should be done with the benefit of appropriate consultation.
What are the CNPS fees?
The RPNAS has entered into an agreement with the CNPS so that RPNAS can ensure that every Practising and Graduate member will have access to an appropriate form of professional liability protection while they are a practising registrant. The added benefit is that RPNAS members will benefit from a more favorable group rate. A further benefit is that the liability protection will be made available on an occurrence-basis, which means that as long as you were a CNPS beneficiary at the time the incident occurred, you remain eligible for CNPS assistance. An additional fee will be applied systematically to the agreement for the first five years so that Saskatchewan RPNs can fairly access the funds to which other organizations have been contributing to for over 30 years. It is the additional fee that will extend your eligibility for CNPS professional liability protection to all incidents that may have occurred as part of your duly licensed psychiatric nursing practice while you were a practising member on the RPNAS registry, provided that those incidents occurred on or after March 29, 1988 and that the claim arising from those incidents is commenced after November 1, 2019. As such, each practising RPNAS member will pay an annual unit fee, plus a transitional fee of $24.25 for five years. The transitional fee will remain in place until 2025. The basic individual annual unit fee is reassessed every year and could be adjusted from year to year if necessary, depending on the number of claims and the cost of defending claims. The annual unit fee can be found on our fee schedule page.
How will I pay?
You will pay the CNPS fee when you renew your registration each year. The CNPS fee will be invoiced as a separate item, but you can pay for it in the same transaction as you pay your practising registration fee. The payment of the CNPS fee will satisfy the RPNAS that you
have met its PLP requirement. Should your employer or another party require evidence of PLP, it will be necessary to contact the CNPS for the documentation. We will forward basic information about you (your name as it appears on the register; your professional designation (RPN or grad); the date you were entered onto the register; your registration number; contact information) and your payment to CNPS. This will provide CNPS proof of your registration with the RPNAS and automatically make you a CNPS beneficiary.
Are there additional costs if I use CNPS services?
No. There are no additional costs if you consult a CNPS legal advisor or if the CNPS hires legal counsel on your behalf. Once the CNPS grants assistance, the CNPS will also generally pay, on your behalf, any amount awarded as compensation in a lawsuit, unless that amount is fully covered by your employer. The CNPS however will not pay fines and other penalties that are imposed against you further to an investigation, or as part of a sanction. The CNPS may, from time to time, offer additional optional services. These services will be found under the banner of “Supplementary Protection Program.” To become eligible for these services, CNPS beneficiaries submit a separate application and an additional fee. This is unrelated to any PLP agreement between RPNAS and CNPS.
Will I have to continue to pay the CNPS fee after I retire to continue to be eligible for CNPS professional liability protection in the event that a claim is commenced after I retire?
No. CNPS professional liability protection is made available on an occurrence-basis, which means that as long as you were a CNPS beneficiary at the time the incident occurred, you remain eligible for CNPS assistance, even if a claim is commenced years later. This is important because in health care, claims can be commenced many years after the care was provided.