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Peer reports

Reporting to licensing boards

If a patient safety event involves certain negligent behavior or misconduct on the part of a health care professional, the professional's licensing board may wish to hear about it. See professions below for more information.


Reporting obligation


Audiologist, Audiologist Assistant, Speech Pathologist, Speech Pathologist Assistant

Disciplinary Actions [defined]; previous reprimands, suspensions, or revocations of license - 260 CMR 2.04


Within 30 days, report in writing to the Board of Registration in Dentistry:

  • Any disciplinary action [as defined in 234 CMR §9.00] taken by any entity or its agent, including a(n) governmental authority, health care facility, employer, dental insurance company, or a professional dental or medical society, OR

Any criminal charge or conviction [as defined in 234 CMR § 2.03].


If you know or reasonably suspect that a licensed dietician/nutritionist violated the Board’s “Code of Ethics,” report such violation to the Board of Registration of Dietitians/Nutritionists. The “Code of Ethics” may be found in 268 CMR 5.02.

Genetic Counselor

Within 30 days, report in writing to the Board of Registration of Genetic Counselors any adverse action taken against your or your authorization to practice, as specified in 270 CMR §§ 4.01(11), (12), (13), and (14). This includes (but is not limited to):

  1. Criminal convictions, guilty pleas, pleas of no content, or admission of sufficient facts to warrant a guilty finding of any crime (270 CMR §4.01(11))
  2. Denial of, or disciplinary action against, your license or authorization to practice any trade, occupation, or profession by a governmental authority, on grounds substantially the same as those that the Board of Registration in Dentistry may use for discipline (under M.G.L. c. 112, §§ 61 and 233, 270 CMR §4.01)
  3. Denial of certification or recertification as a genetic counselor by a genetic counselor certifying agency, or any adverse action against your certification.

For further detail on each of these reportable categories, see 270 CMR §§ 4.01(11), (12), (13), and (14).

Massage Therapist

You must report “first-hand knowledge or evidence indicating any unethical, incompetent, or illegal act that has been committed by another [licensee of the Board of Registration of Massage Therapy]” or “first-hand knowledge or evidence of unlicensed practice.”


If you directly observe another nurse engaged in:

  1. abuse of a patient;
  2. practice of nursing while impaired by substance abuse; OR
  3. diversion of controlled substances,

submit a signed, written report to Executive Director of the Board of Registration in Nursing (address to the right).

For important information on what qualifies as reportable conduct and what information to include in your report, see the Board’s Guideline for Compliance with the Standard of Conduct at 244 CMR 9.03(26).

The Board encourages voluntary reporting of other nurse conduct that puts a patient at risk.

Occupational Therapist

Ethical code obligates you to “report to appropriate authorities any acts in practice, education, and research that are unethical or illegal.”

Source: AOTA’s Standards of Practice for Occupational Therapy and Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics [expressly adopted under 259 CMR § 3.01]


Within 7 days, report on the Board’s Mandatory Disclosure Form (available here):

  1. Any non-routine notice, correspondence, or disciplinary action (e.g. suspension, reprimand, etc.). (See the glossary (?) or 247 CMR § 6.15(1) for the definition of “disciplinary action”) [Note: Applies to pharmacies licensed under c.122 §39 (i.e. retain pharmacies) as well]
  2. Adverse change in status of accreditation, including but not limited to, withdrawal, discontinuance, termination, revocation, suspension, probation, or warning 247 CMR § 6.15(3) [Note: Applies to pharmacies licensed under c.122 §39 (i.e. retain pharmacies) as well]
  3. Discipline by the Board (based on grounds for discipline listed in 247 CMR § 10.03(1))
  4. Any final action (including license surrender or resignation), including actions against any other healthcare-related professional registration or license held by a registrant/licensee by any other governmental authority. 247 CMR 10.03(1)(z)

Within 30 days, report any criminal charges on the Board’s Mandatory Disclosure Form.

(Note: All of these requirements also apply to pharmacies and pharmacy departments registered with the Board (under M.G.L. c. 112 §39) )

Physical Therapist

Ethical code obligates you to “report illegal or unethical acts [of healthcare professionals] to the relevant authority, when appropriate.” Also, if you “knowledge that a colleague is unable to perform their professional responsibilities with reasonable skill and safety,” report this to the “appropriate authority.”

Source: APTA’s The Code of Ethics, Guide for Professional Conduct and Standards of Physical Therapy Services and Physical Therapy Practitioners [expressly adopted by the Board under 259 CMR § 5.05 (in its most recent form)]


You must report physician misconduct if you have reasonable basis to believe that a physician licensed in Massachusetts (including residents and physicians with temporary or visiting registration) violated MGL c. 112 §5 or any BORIM regulation. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Misconduct in the practice of medicine
  • Practicing medicine fraudulently, beyond its authorized scope, or with gross incompetence
  • Gross negligence on a particular occasion or negligence on repeated occasions
  • Practicing medicine while impaired or being habitually drug
  • Conviction of any crime
  • Prescription violations
  • Sexual misconduct or other boundary violations


Within 30 days of finalization of the following actions, report in writing to the Board of Registration in Podiatry:

  1. Disciplinary action by a state licensing board in another jurisdiction;
  2. The denial, suspension, or revocation of staff privileges, employment, or appointment in a hospital or other health care institution;
  3. Resignation from a medical staff in lieu of disciplinary action;
  4. Disciplinary action taken by any governmental authority, health care facility, and/or professional medical association;
  5. Having been a criminal defendant in any criminal proceeding other than minor traffic offenses;
  6. Findings being made against the licensee in connection with a medical malpractice proceeding or settlement in a medical malpractice proceeding; and
  7. Suspension, revocation, restriction of, or surrender of a privilege to possess, dispense, or prescribe controlled substances.


Ethical code requires you to take appropriate action when facing an apparent ethical violation that “has substantially harmed or is likely to substantially harm a person or organization and is not appropriate for informal resolution.” This may include reporting “to state or national committees on professional ethics, to state licensing boards or to the appropriate institutional authorities,” unless it “would violate confidentiality rights or [if you] have been retained to review the work of another psychologist whose professional conduct is in question."

Respiratory Care Therapist

Ethical code obligates you to report the “illegal, unethical, fraudulent, or incompetent acts of others."

Even if your profession is not listed, your board's regulations or your profession's ethical code(s) may require that you report peers. You may also choose to voluntarily report a peer's misconduct. Contact your respective board for further guidance. A directory of health care professional boards can be found here.