OIPRD/PSA Information

If the incident date of your complaint is before April 01, 2024, please refer to the below information.

As of April 01, 2024, we transitioned from the OIPRD – LECA. Please refer to our FAQ.

Please review LECA information if the incident date of your complaint is on or after April 01, 2024.

OIPRD Legislation, Rules, and Regulation


The Ontario legislature passed The Independent Police Review Act, 2007​, to create the Office of the Independent Police Review Director. The act amended the Police Services Act (PSA) and established new guidelines for public complaints. The amendments came into effect on October 19, 2009.

Police Services Act, 1990

The act sets out the OIPRD’s mandate as well as its authority and obligations to operate the public complaints system for Ontario.

Part II.1: Independent Police Review Director

This section of the act establishes the Independent Police Review Director, the Director’s office, its functions and investigative powers.

  • Establishes that there shall be an Independent Police Review Director, appointed by Lieutenant Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Attorney General
  • A police officer or former police officer cannot be appointed as the Independent Police Review Director
  • Employees of the Office of the Independent Police Review Director cannot be sworn police officers
  • The Independent Police Review Director and OIPRD employees cannot give testimony in a civil proceeding, and documents created by the OIPRD are not admissible in civil proceedings
  • OIPRD investigators may conduct interviews, collect evidence or obtain a warrant to collect evidence if required, pursuant to the Public Inquiries Act.
Part V: Complaints and Disciplinary Hearings

This section of the Police Services Act establishes the OIPRD’s authority to receive, manage and oversee public complaints about the police in Ontario.

  • Any member of the public may make a complaint about the conduct of a police officer, the policies of a police service or about the services provided by a police service
  • Third parties or witnesses to an incident may make a complaint
  • Some people cannot make a complaint to the OIPRD; they include:
    • OIPRD employees
    • The Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services (Solicitor General)
    • Members of the board and employees of the Ontario Civilian Police Commission
    • Police officers and auxiliary police officers about a member of their own service
    • A member of a police services board about a member of the service they oversee
  • Complaints may be made about all municipal, regional and provincial sworn police officers
  • The OIPRD shall review every complaint and determine whether the complaint is about the policies or services of a police serve, or the about the conduct of a police officer
  • The Director may decide not to deal with a complaint if the complaint is received more than six months after the date of the incident. In making this determination, the Director must consider if the complainant is a youth, has a disability as defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with a Disability Act (AODA), if criminal proceedings related to the complaint are underway and if it is in the public interest to deal with the complaint.
  • The Director may decide not to deal with a complaint if the complainant was not directly affected by, or a witness to the incident, or if the complaint is frivolous, vexatious, made in bad faith, could be better dealt with by another act or law, or if it is not in the public interest to proceed.
  • Complaints about the policies or services of a police service shall be referred to the chief of police to be dealt with. Complaints about OPP policies and services shall be referred to the Commissioner to be dealt with.
  • Following a review of a policy or service complaint the police chief or Commissioner shall take any action or no action as appropriate.
  • Complaints about the conduct of a police officer may be retained by the OIPRD for an investigation, or referred to a police service for investigation.
  • Complaints about the conduct of a municipal chief or deputy chief shall be referred to the police services board.
  • Complaints about the conduct of the OPP Commissioner or deputy Commissioner shall be referred to the Solicitor General (Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services).
  • Informal Resolution may take place before, during or after an investigation for matters that are not of a serious nature.
  • Following an investigation, conduct complaints may be unsubstantiated, substantiated less serious or substantiated serious.
  • For conduct complaints that are substantiated serious, the Director shall direct the police chief to hold a disciplinary hearing.
  • The Independent Police Review Director may examine and review issues of a systemic nature that are the subject of, or that give rise to, a complaint made by members of the public.

Regulations are rules that are governed by law and backed by the use of penalties. Regulations are made by the Lieutenant Governor in Council and must be followed.

The following regulations, made under the authority of the Police Services Act, further develop and clarify the legal responsibilities and powers of the Office of the Independent Police Review Director:

Regulation 263/09: Public Complaints – Local Complaints

A member of the public may make a complaint about the conduct of a police officer, the policies of a police service or about the services provided by a police service at a police station and have the complaint dealt with by an officer designated by the police chief. This is called a local complaint and is not part of the formal complaint process under Part V of the PSA. This process may be used for less serious complaints that can be dealt with easily at the local level.

Local Resolution allows the police to discuss, solve, explain or settle a matter directly with the complainant, or to facilitate a discussion or other communication between the complainant and the involved police officer. Police must inform the complainant about the formal OIPRD process and the complainant and the involved officer are required to agree to the final resolution and sign a form indicating that the complaint was resolved. The complaint must be resolved within 30 days of filing the complaint. If the complaint is too complex to be resolved in 30 days, or if the police service determines that the matter isn’t appropriate for a local resolution, the police must forward the complaint to the OIPRD.

If the complainant and the involved police officer cannot come to a resolution, the complainant may file a formal complaint with the OIPRD, otherwise the matter is deemed to be a local inquiry and no further steps are taken. Police chiefs are required to provide the OIPRD with signed copies of Local Resolution forms within seven days of completion and to report the number of local inquiries on a quarterly basis.

Regulation 268/10: General.  Part VII: Code of Conduct

This section of the regulation lays out the Code of Conduct that all sworn police officers in Ontario are required to follow.

Any officer or chief of police commits misconduct if he or she engages in:

  • Discreditable conduct
  • Insubordination
  • Neglect of duty
  • Deceit
  • Breach of confidence
  • Corrupt practice
  • Unlawful or unnecessary exercise of authority
  • Damage to (police) clothing or equipment
  • Consuming drugs or alcohol in a manner prejudicial to duty
  • Conspiring, abetting or being an accessory to misconduct

Regulation 58/16: Collection of Identifying Information in Certain Circumstances — Prohibition and Duties

This regulation describes the limitations and duties of police officers when collecting identifying information (also known as “carding” or “street checks”).

The regulation applies if a police officer asks a person for identifying information or to see an identifying document while:

  • Looking into suspicious activities
  • Gathering intelligence
  • Investigating possible criminal activity

During these interactions officers must inform the person of their right to not provide identifying information and provide a reason for requesting identifying information. The reason cannot be:

  • Arbitrary
  • That the person declined to answer a question or attempted to end the interaction
  • Based on race or solely because that individual is in a high-crime location

Officers must keep detailed records of each interaction and offer the person a document that includes the officer’s name and badge number and information on how to contact the OIPRD if they have concerns about the interaction.

The regulation does not apply if a police officer asks for identifying information or to see an identifying document while:

  • Conducting a traffic stop
  • Arresting or detaining someone
  • Executing a warrant
  • Investigating a specific crime

If an officer collects information contrary to this regulation, his or her actions could be considered a breach of the Code of Conduct (unlawful or unnecessary exercise of authority).

Police service boards and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (for the OPP) must ensure policies are in place in relation to this regulation, including access to data, data retention and disclosure of collected information. Police chiefs and the Commissioner must ensure that procedures consistent with the regulation are in place and, among other things, provide annual reports to the board (or MCSCS for the OPP) that include information in relation to attempted collections of identifying information.

For more information about street checks, please visit Ontario street checks.

OIPRD Rules of Procedure

OIPRD Guidelines 
001 – OIPRD Guideline for Reviewing Complaints
002 – OIPRD Guideline for Retaining Complaints
003 – Guideline for Publishing Notification Letters
005 – Guideline for Publishing Disciplinary Hearing Decisions

OIPRD MOU Reaffirmation Letter

OIPRD Complaint Process

This chart is an overview of what happens, and when, in the public complaints process. Each complaint is looked at individually and is handled according to the Police Services Act and the OIPRD’s Rules of Procedure.

Text Version

1. Complaint is submitted, either:

(a) Directly to the OIPRD
(b) At a police station or detachment and forwarded to OIPRD.

2. Screening

(a) Complaint is screened in, or
(b) Complaint is screened out and closed.

3. Optional: Early Resolution – Provides an opportunity for complaints and respondent officers to voluntarily resolve a complaint before it is formally screened in under the PSA.

(a) If successful, the complaint is closed
(b) If unsuccessful, the complaint is screened in.

4. Investigation by police service.

* Informal Resolution or Informal Resolution via mediation may be requested during investigation.

(a) Allegations unsubstantiated, or
(b) Allegations substantiated less serious, or
(c) Allegations substantiated serious.


5. Investigation by OIPRD.

* Informal Resolution or Informal Resolution via mediation may be requested during investigation.

(a) Allegations unsubstantiated. Complaint closed, or
(b) Allegations substantiated is sent to chief to decide whether its serious or less serious.
(c) Allegations substantiated serious and sent to chief for disciplinary hearing and decision.
(d) Allegations substantiated less serious is sent to chief for Informal Resolution or penalty.

** Complainants may not request a review (appeal) of an investigation conducted by OIPRD.

6. OIPRD reviews investigative report.

7. Complainant may request a review (appeal).

(a) OIPRD confirms decision, or
(b) OIPRD substitutes decision for that of chief’s.

8. Decision

(a) Allegations unsubstantiated. Complaint closed, or
(b) Allegations substantiated less serious, sent to chief for informal resolution or penalty, or
(c) Allegations substantiated serious, sent to chief for disciplinary hearing and decision.

Informal Resolution

Informal Resolution is a way to resolve less serious complaints and can be attempted at any time during the OIPRD complaint process. The complainant, the respondent officer and the police chief or OPP Commissioner must all agree.

The decision to recommend Informal Resolution depends on the circumstances of each complaint. Some examples of conduct that may be suitable for Informal Resolution include:

  • Discreditable conduct that does not involve a breach of trust
  • Incivility, including allegations of unfair or biased treatment or rude or profane language
  • Damage to clothing or property
  • Unlawful or unnecessary exercise of authority
  • Excessive use of force that does not result in serious injury

The OIPRD will advise the police service that Informal Resolution may be an option to explore prior to launching a complaint investigation. Informal Resolution may also be recommended at the conclusion of a conduct complaint that is substantiated as less serious.

Informal Resolution may not be a suitable way to resolve conduct complaints of a more serious nature, such as:

  • Deceit
  • Corruption
  • Breach of confidence
  • Unlawful or unnecessary exercise of authority that results in serious injury
  • Incidents involving firearms or conducted energy weapons (Tasers) in a manner that is inconsistent with the Police Services Act
  • Conduct that would support a criminal charge
Participation in Informal Resolution

The Informal Resolution may be facilitated by a senior officer designated by the police chief or OPP Commissioner. The complainant or respondent officer may withdraw from the process at any time, provided no agreement has been reached.

Once a complainant and respondent officer have agreed to a proposed Informal Resolution, they have 12 days to change their minds. The party wishing to revoke must notify the Director and the chief of the affected police service, in writing, within the 12 days.

When an Informal Resolution agreement is signed and accepted by the Director, the file is considered closed. For an Informal Resolution to be considered complete, the agreed-upon resolution must have been carried out. For example, if training is part of the resolution, the training must have been completed for the Informal Resolution to be satisfied. The OIPRD requires the respondent officer to commit to a timeline and report any non-compliance of terms. The OIPRD also monitors Informal Resolutions to ensure all resolutions are carried out.

Informal Resolution via Mediation, coordinated by the OIPRD, may be requested if the regular Informal Resolution process in unsuccessful.

Policy and Service Complaints

The OIPRD screens complaints about policies and services of a police organization and oversees each complaint, but we cannot investigate them. The Police Services Act requires that all policy and service complaints be sent to the appropriate police chief or the OPP Commissioner for a response. The chief or Commissioner has 60 days to provide a written report on all policy and service complaints to the complainant, the OIPRD and the police services board outlining their decision with reasons.

Decisions made by the Commissioner regarding provincial OPP policies cannot be appealed.

The OPP has both local and provincial policies. Local OPP policies are developed by a police services board to guide an OPP detachment providing municipal or regional services. A decision regarding local OPP policies may be appealed to the local police services board.

In the case of municipal and regional services, the complainant may appeal the chief’s decision to the appropriate police services board within 30 days of receiving the decision.

When a board receives a request for a review, it must:

  • Advise the chief of police of the request
  • Review the complaint and take any action, or no action, in response to the complaint as it considers appropriate
  • Notify the chief of police, the complainant and the OIPRD in writing of its disposition of the complaint, with reasons

If the board has more than three members, it also has the following options:

  • Appoint a committee of at least three members (two of whom constitute a quorum) to review the complaint and make recommendations to the board after the review is complete
  • While conducting a review, the board or committee of the board may hold a public meeting with respect to the complaint but it is not mandatory
  • Consider the recommendations of the committee and take any action, or no action, in response to the complaint as it considers appropriate
  • Notify the complainant, chief of police and the OIPRD in writing of its disposition of the complaint with reasons

Local Resolution

Local Resolution allows less serious complaints to be resolved directly with a police service outside of the formal OIPRD process. This process is defined and governed by Regulation 263/09 of the Police Services Act, 1990.

The complaint may be dealt with at the police station by an officer in authority who is designated by the police chief. Local Resolution allows the police to solve, explain, clear up or settle a minor complaint directly with the complainant. Where a matter has been resolved by Local Resolution it is not considered to be a complaint. Police services must tell complainants about the OIPRD, complainants must voluntarily agree to participate in Local Resolution and be given the option to file a formal complaint with the OIPRD.

Local Resolution is possible for matters dealing with:

  • Personal property, other than money or a firearm
  • Failure to treat or protect a person equally
  • The use of profane language
  • Contraventions of the act or regulations
  • Acting in a disorderly manner
  • Neglect of duty
  • Failure to work in accordance with orders
  • Failure to report a matter
  • Omitting to make any necessary entry in a record
  • Improper dress or appearance
  • Conspiring and abetting the misconduct listed above

There are different ways of dealing with a complaint using Local Resolution. These may include:

  • Immediate resolution by providing information face-to-face
  • A letter from the police concluding the Local Resolution and explaining what has been done

Individual communication between the complainant and the respondent officer(s), organized through the officer dealing with the Local Resolution

  • Creating an opportunity for a face-to-face meeting that would include the officer, the complainant and the officer facilitating the resolution process. The respondent officer(s), as well as the complainant, would need to agree to a face-to-face meeting taking place
  • With the consent of the complainant, police chief, respondent officer and the Director, refer the matter to an alternative dispute resolution process

Complainants must be prepared to:

  • Provide their full name, address, telephone number and date of birth
  • Tell the police what happened
  • Explain what they feel would be an appropriate resolution
  • Agree to the final resolution and sign a form indicating that the complaint has been resolved in a satisfactory manner

The police are required to:

  • Listen to the complainant
  • Explain what action can be taken
  • Explain what cannot be done during the process so that the complainant understands the limitations
  • Confirm the process with the complainant, including who will deal with the complaint and what the resolution will be
  • Complete and sign the required forms and forward them to the OIPRD
  • Provide the complainant with copies of all forms

The issue must be resolved within 30 days of the initial complaint. If the police are unable to resolve the complaint within 30 days, they may request an extension from the OIPRD. If it is still unresolved after the extended time, it must be forwarded to the OIPRD to be dealt with as a formal complaint.

When the OIPRD receives all the Local Resolution forms and the agreed-to resolution has been carried out, the complaint is considered resolved and closed. The complainant cannot then file the same complaint with the OIPRD.

Request for Review

Complaints Investigated by a Police Service

If your complaint was investigated by a police service and either unsubstantiated or substantiated less serious and you disagree with the decision, you may ask the OIPRD to review the decision. You must request a review within 30 days of receiving the decision from the police service. To request a review, you must complete and submit a Request a Review form.

On the Request a Review form, please include the following information:

  • Reasons for requesting a review
  • Specify when and by what means you received the decision letter and Investigative Report from the police service
  • Specify the outcome you would like
  • Include any evidence that supports your request

Please remember to include your complaint number and sign the form. These materials are not to exceed 30 pages.

How Will the OIPRD Handle my Review?

When the OIPRD receives your completed Request a Review form, we will send you a letter confirming we have received your request. The OIPRD will then contact the police service to tell them you have requested a review and give them a copy of your form.

Upon review of the findings, the Director may:

  • Confirm the chief’s decision
  • Vary the chief’s decision
  • Direct the chief to deal with the complaint as the Director specifies
  • Assign the investigation to another service
  • Take over the investigation
  • Direct the chief to take other actions as the Director deems necessary or take action independently, including substituting his finding that misconduct was substantiated and directing the chief to hold a hearing
Complaints investigated by the OIPRD

You may not request a review of an investigative finding if the OIPRD conducted the investigation. If you wish to appeal the decision, you must bring an application for a judicial review to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice


Where serious misconduct is substantiated following an investigation, or where less serious misconduct is substantiated, but the matter cannot be resolved by way of informal discipline or disposition without a hearing, a disciplinary hearing will be held.

Under the Police Services Act, disciplinary hearings are conducted by police services. The prosecutor and hearing officer are both designated by the police chief or OPP Commissioner, who is also responsible for discipline. Officers or retired officers of the rank of inspector or higher can conduct hearings, as can judges and retired judges. The OIPRD does not manage discipline or disciplinary hearings and is not a party to disciplinary hearings. OIPRD investigators may be called to testify in matters that were investigated by the OIPRD. PSA disciplinary hearings are open to the public.

Clear and Convincing Evidence

At a disciplinary hearing, the hearing officer must decide whether the allegations of misconduct have been proven on clear and convincing evidence. Clear and convincing evidence is a higher burden of proof than the standard of reasonable grounds, which is the threshold required to substantiate misconduct in the OIPRD complaints process.

Role of the Hearing Officer

The Ontario Civilian Police Commission decision Timms-Fryer and Amherstburg Police Service and Challans, 2015​ set out a minimum standard for hearing officers to ensure fairness for unrepresented complainants during disciplinary hearings.

Hearing Officers Must:
  • Confirm whether the public complainant is aware that he or she is entitled to be represented by legal counsel at the proceedings and whether he or she has waived the right to legal representation
  • Explain the roles of the parties at the proceeding and the process and the rights of each party, including the public complainant, to call witnesses, introduce evidence, object to evidence adduced, cross-examine witnesses, and make submissions on all motions and at the end of the hearing
  • Explain the role of the adjudicator in the proceedings, including his or her role in relation to the unrepresented public complainant
  • Confirm that the public complainant understands the process and his or her role in it
  • Ask the public complainant, at the appropriate time, if he or she would like to call witnesses
  • Ask the public complainant, at the appropriate time, if he or she would like to question each of the witnesses of the prosecution and the defence
  • Ask the public complainant if he or she would like to make submissions on all motions and at the end of the hearing

If an officer is found guilty of misconduct, hearing officers take a number of factors into consideration regarding the final penalty. Similar to other hearings, past disciplinary hearing or court decisions may be submitted by both sides as arguments for an appropriate penalty. The officer’s previous record and work performance is also considered. The hearing officer will also take into consideration whether the officer shows remorse and takes responsibility for his or her actions.

The Police Services Act provides guidance to police chiefs and hearing officers in imposing appropriate measures for misconduct and lists the following penalties and measures that may be imposed:

  • Reprimand
  • Direction to undergo specific counselling, treatment or training
  • Direction to participate in a specified program or activity
  • Forfeiture of pay or time off
  • Suspension without pay
  • Demotion
  • Dismissal

Where a disciplinary hearing is held about a complaint to the OIPRD, the police chief or police services board for complaints about police chiefs and deputy chiefs is required to provide a copy of the disciplinary hearing decision to the OIPRD. These decisions are required, by legislation, to be posted on our website.

*Please note that as of April 01, 2024, OIPRD was renamed to LECA, and we will post the results of disciplinary hearings that resulted from a complaint made under the Police Services Act. This will include the decisions of hearings conducted for incidents that occurred prior to April 01, 2024.*

Hearing decisions are posted in the language of the hearing. However, these documents can be translated into French upon request.

The Ontario Police Arbitration and Adjudication Commission will post the results of disciplinary hearings conducted for incidents that occurred after April 01, 2024. These matters will be reviewed under the Community Safety and Policing Act, 2019.


Both the respondent officer(s) and the complainant can appeal the findings of a disciplinary hearing to the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC) within 30 days of the decision. The complainant must seek leave to appeal if they disagree with the penalty imposed.


Notification letters proactively identify issues which, if left unaddressed, are likely to result in a loss of public trust in the police. The overall goal of this program is preventing policing issues from becoming systemic.

Notifications sent by the OIPRD to Ontario police services regarding potential systemic concerns are available below, along with the responses received from the respective police services.

For more information on Notification Letters, please review the OIPRD’s Guideline 003 for Publishing Notification Letters.

“Knock and Announce” Rule (Dynamic Entries)

Responses from Police Services
Chatham-Kent Police Service
Durham Regional Police Service
Hamilton Police Service
Kawartha Lakes Police Service
Niagara Regional Police Service
Ottawa Police Service
Owen Sound Police Service
Sudbury Police Service
Toronto Police Service

Strip Search Update

Investigative Detention and the Right to Counsel