Best Behaviour Inc. is committed to protecting personal information and keeping it safe. The following policies and procedures have been introduced to ensure personal information is handled with care and kept private, according to the rules and regulations enacted in the Province of Ontario and within the professional field of Applied Behaviour Analysis(“ABA”). Current legislation that applies to Best Behaviour Inc. includes the Child and Family Services Act, 1990 (“CFSA”), Healthcare Consent Act (“HCA”), Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 1990 (“MFIPPA”), Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (“PHIPA”), Protection of Personal Information and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”), and the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts.
Definition of Personal Information
- Personal Information is defined as any information about an identifiable individual. This includes, but is not limited to, personal characteristics (e.g. name, home address, home phone number, age, marital status, ethnic background, education level), health information (e.g. medical history and conditions, health services received), and activities/views (e.g. community involvements, religious affiliations).
Personal Information does not include business information (e.g. business phone number, business address). Business information is not protected by privacy legislation.
Definition of Consent and Assent
- Consent is the voluntary agreement of an individual, or his or her authorized representative, who has the legal capacity to give consent and exercise free power of choice, without undue inducement or any other form of constraint or coercion to participate in treatment. The individual must have sufficient knowledge and understanding of the nature of the proposed treatment, the anticipated risks and potential benefits, and the requirements of the treatment to be able to make an informed decision.
- It is important to note that the age of majority in Ontario is eighteen (18) years of age. Written or verbal consent from a parent/guardian is required for individuals under the age of eighteen (18). Individuals over the age of eighteen (18) may provide and revoke their own consent if deemed capable of consenting.
- Assent is a term used to describe an individual’s willingness to participate in treatment by persons who are by definition too young to give consent but who are old enough to understanding of the nature of the proposed treatment, the anticipated risks and potential benefits, and the requirements of the treatment, to be able to make an informed decision.
- Minors may be provided with written information regarding the nature of the proposed treatment, the anticipated risks and potential benefits, and the requirements of the treatment, to be able to make an informed decision when assenting. A simple verbal explanation may also be given with reassurances that they do not have to agree if they do not want to. This verbal assent discussion will be documented and retained. Minors are not required to write their name on an official document, rather that the person obtaining assent will note that a discussion occurred, what was discussed, whether the minor agreed to participate, and the date on which the discussion occurred.
Collection and Use of Personal Information
- Best Behaviour Inc. only collects and uses personal information deemed necessary to provide services. This information is needed to develop an individualized, effective treatment plan for the learner, as well as to maintain accurate client and team member files. Personal information is also collected to invoice for services rendered and to share relevant information and discuss the learner’s therapy with person(s) where written or verbal consent has been obtained.
- Personal information can only be collected with written or verbal consent, with the following exceptions:
- It is believed that consent would be provided but it is not practical to obtain consent
- The law requires the collection or use of information in an emergency situation
- Consent may be revoked in writing at any time.
- Personal information is not collected at www.bestbehaviour.ca and cookies are not used. Personal information is not collected for the purpose of sending mail-outs about services.
Disclosure of Personal Information
- Personal information will not be shared without written or verbal consent, with the following exceptions:
- An individual expresses intent to seriously harm themselves or others
- An individual shares information about a child, currently under the age of sixteen (16), who has been abused or neglected, or is at risk of being abused or neglected
- An individual indicates that they or a child has been sexually abused by a Regulated Health Professional
- A court of law subpoenas files that contain personal information
- Various government agencies (e.g. Office of the Privacy Commissioner, Canada Revenue Agency, Canadian Human Rights Commission, Ontario Autism Program) require information or conduct an interview as part of their mandate
- Individuals are encouraged to raise concerns that meet these exceptions to Sophia Catania for assistance and direction on how to proceed.
Protection of Personal Information
- The following safeguards have been put in place to ensure every attempt to protect personal information is being made:
- Paper information is under supervision when in use, or stored in locked or restricted areas. The current storage location is 15 Willow Street. Sophia Catania is the only team member with keyed access. If transmitted through Canada Post or Purolator, envelopes are sealed and marked confidential.
- Electronic hardware and storage (e.g. computers, cell phones, tablets, hard drives, cloud storage) are under supervision or stored in locked or restricted areas, and password protected. Electronic communication is accompanied by a privacy clause and includes minimal identifiable information when possible.
- When Telehealth services are being provided, only secure platforms will be used. Google Meet is the platform of choice, however any platform that is compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act("HIPAA") is acceptable.
Retention of Personal Information
- Best Behaviour Inc. is required to retain personal information for reasons that include, but are not limited to:
- Using older files to review treatment progress over time
- Answering questions about services received in the past, when services are currently being provided or services have been discontinued
- Remaining accountable to various government agencies and the BACB
- Security monitoring (e.g. Ring security system at 15 Willow Street)
- It is considered best practice to retain records for a minimum of seven (7) years after the date of last contact. In order to protect privacy, files are not kept beyond seven (7) years, except in circumstances where abuse has been alleged or substantiated. These files are kept indefinitely.
- In the unlikely event that Best Behaviour Inc. becomes unable to practice, personal information will be placed in the care of another professional or the original owner for protection and retention only.
Best Behaviour Inc. discontinued retention of personal information in paper format, effective January 1, 2022. At this time, electronic hardware and cloud storage will be used to retain all personal information. The purpose of this change is to facilitate easier access to personal information for clients and team members. All paper files will be updated to December 31, 2021.
Destruction of Personal Information
- Best Behaviour Inc. destroys paper files containing personal information by destroying them beyond recognition (e.g. shredding or ripping up).
- Electronic files are deleted, or electronic hardware is physically destroyed if needed.
Access to Personal Information
- Electronic files will be shared with team members and parent/guardians upon creation (e.g. Google Drive folders containing reports, paperwork, and other documentation).
- Owners of personal information being stored by Best Behaviour Inc. are permitted to view and/or make copies of their information, unless the information could potentially inflict harm.
- Owners may be asked to put their request for personal information in writing. If Best Behaviour Inc. cannot comply with the request, notification will be provided within thirty (30) days. There will be a charge of twenty-five (25) cents per page for paper copies.
- In the unlikely event that personal information is compromised (collected, used, disclosed, retained or destroyed in a manner inconsistent with privacy legislation), Sophia Catania will be notified immediately, as well as the individuals’ whose privacy has been compromised.
Challenges to the Accuracy of Your Personal Information
- Owners of personal information being stored by Best Behaviour Inc. have the right to challenge the accuracy of such information. Owners may be asked to put their request in writing. If Best Behaviour Inc. agrees that a mistake has been made, the mistake will be corrected and a copy of the correction will be sent to individuals who have received the mistaken personal information. If Best Behaviour Inc. does not agree that a mistake has been made, a statement of disagreement may be put in the file and sent to individuals who has received the mistaken personal information.
Questions or Concerns
Best Behaviour Inc. welcomes feedback on these Privacy Policies and Procedures. Our Information Officer is Sophia Catania. Sophia would be happy to discuss any concerns about this policy. She can be reached at (226) 755-0015 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A formal complaint or inquiry may be submitted in writing to the attention of Sophia Catania. She will acknowledge the complaint/inquiry, investigate it promptly, and send notification in writing of the outcome of the decision and the reasons behind the decision. If the notification does not satisfy the complaint, a complaint may be sent to either 1) the Privacy Commissioner of Canada or 2) our regulatory body, the BACB. Contact information is as follows:
- Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
- 112 Kent Street, Pace de Ville, Tower B, 3rd Floor, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 1H3
- (613) 947-1698 or (800) 282-1376
- Behaviour Analyst Certification Board
- 7950 Shaffer Parkway, Littleton, Colorado, 80127, USA
Updated: November 2021