2nd Session, 62nd General Assembly
64 Elizabeth II, 2015
The Honourable Leo A. Glavine
Minister of Health and Wellness
First Reading: November 18, 2015 (LINK TO BILL AS INTRODUCED)
Second Reading: November 19, 2015
Third Reading: November 27, 2015
Royal Assent: December 18, 2015
Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:
1 This Act may be cited as the Paramedics Act.
2 (1) In this Act,
(a) "by-law" means a by-law of the College;
(b) "College" means the College of Paramedics of Nova Scotia;
(c) "committee" includes a committee of the Council, an investigation committee, a reinstatement committee, the Registration Committee or the Hearing Committee, as the context requires;
(d) "competence" means the ability to integrate and apply the knowledge, skills and judgement required to practise safely and ethically in a designated role and practice setting;
(e) "complaint" means a notice in writing indicating possible professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming the profession, incompetence or incapacity of a member;
(f) "conduct unbecoming the profession" means conduct in a member's personal or private capacity that tends to bring discredit upon the practice of paramedicine;
(g) "Council" means the Council of the College;
(h) "disciplinary committee" means an investigation committee or the Hearing Committee;
(i) "disciplinary matter" means any matter involving an allegation of professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming the profession or incompetence, including incompetence arising out of physical or mental incapacity;
(j) "essential competencies" means the minimum occupational skills required for each class of licence;
(k) "hearing" means a process before the Hearing Committee following the issuance of a notice of hearing, in which the parties lead evidence and make submissions to the Hearing Committee, but does not include the consideration by the Hearing Committee of a settlement proposal, an application for a consented-to revocation or any hearing or proceeding before an investigation committee;
(l) "Hearing Committee" means the Hearing Committee appointed by Council pursuant to this Act;
(m) "hearing panel" means a hearing panel appointed pursuant to subsection 64(1);
(n) "incapacity" means a medical, physical, mental or emotional condition, disorder or addiction that renders or rendered a member unable to practise with competence or that may endanger or has endangered the health or safety of individuals;
(o) "incompetence", in relation to a respondent, means the display of a lack of knowledge, skill or judgement in the respondent's practice of paramedicine that, having regard to all the circumstances, rendered it unsafe for the respondent to practise at the time or renders it unsafe for the respondent to continue in practise without remedial assistance;
(p) "investigation committee" means an investigation committee appointed pursuant to this Act;
(q) "investigator" means a person designated by the Registrar or an investigation committee to conduct or supervise an investigation into a complaint;
(r) "judge" means a judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia;
(s) "legal proceeding" means any civil proceeding, discovery, inquiry, proceeding before any tribunal, board or commission or arbitration, in which evidence is or may be given, and includes an action or proceeding for the imposition of punishment by fine, penalty or imprisonment for the contravention of a Provincial enactment, but does not include any proceeding or hearing conducted pursuant to this Act or the regulations;
(t) "licence" means a valid and subsisting licence issued in accordance with this Act and the regulations that authorizes the holder of it to practise paramedicine;
(u) "licensing sanction" means
by a disciplinary committee or an equivalent body of another jurisdiction;
(v) "medical practitioner" means a medical practitioner as defined in the Medical Act;
(w) "member", unless the context otherwise requires, means a person whose name is entered in the Register;
(x) "Minister" means the Minister of Health and Wellness;
(y) "paramedic" means a person who is licensed to practise paramedicine under this Act;
(z) "party" means the College or a respondent, as the context requires;
(za) "practice of paramedicine" means the practices and procedures usually performed by a paramedic under the direct or indirect supervision of a medical practitioner;
(zb) "professional misconduct" includes such conduct or acts in the practice of paramedicine that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, may include breaches of
(zc) "Provincial Medical Director" means the medical director responsible for emergency health services for the Province;
(zd) "public representative" means a member of the Council or of a committee of the Council who is not a member of the College;
(ze) "Register" means the Register of the College kept pursuant to this Act;
(zf) "Registrar" means the Registrar of the College appointed pursuant to this Act;
(zg) "Registration Appeal Committee" means the Registration Appeal Committee appointed pursuant to this Act;
(zh) "Registration Committee" means the Registration Committee appointed by Council pursuant to this Act;
(zi) "reinstatement committee" means a reinstatement committee appointed pursuant to this Act;
(zj) "respondent" means a person who is the subject of a complaint or an appeal pursuant to this Act or the regulations;
(zk) "roster" means the record of a class of licence or a category of licence established pursuant to this Act or the regulations;
(zl) "standards of practice" means the entry-level professional practice expectations for any member in any setting or role, approved by the Council or otherwise inherent in the profession.
(2) A person is registered if the person's name has been recorded in the Register in accordance with the regulations.
(3) In addition to any other power conferred by this or any other Act, the Council may do such things as it considers appropriate to carry out the objects of the College and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, may
(e) borrow money for the use of the College on its credit, limit or increase the amount to be borrowed, issue bonds, debentures, debenture stock and other securities on the credit of the College and pledge or sell such securities for such sums or at such prices as it considers expedient;
(f) secure the repayment of money borrowed, in such manner and upon such terms and conditions as it considers fit, and, in particular, by the execution and delivery of mortgages of all or any part of the real or personal property of the College, both present and future; and
(4) Where an officer of the Council resigns or otherwise ceases to hold office before the expiration of the officer's term, the Council shall appoint a person from among its members to hold such office for the balance of the unexpired term.
13 The Council may appoint such agents or employees at such salaries or other remuneration, and for such terms of office, as the Council considers necessary to assist it in carrying out its duties pursuant to this Act.
19 The Council may appoint from time to time such committees from among members of the Council or the College as the Council considers necessary to assist it in carrying out its duties pursuant to this Act.
(d) fixing the time and place for regular meetings of the Council, determining who may call meetings, regulating the conduct of meetings, providing for emergency meetings and regulating the notice required with respect to meetings;
(g) respecting the composition, powers and duties of such committees as may be appointed by the Council, and providing for the holding and conduct of meetings of such committees, if such requirements are not otherwise set out in this Act or the regulations;
(i) setting the fees payable by applicants and members and, where Council considers it advisable, designating different fees for the different classes and categories of licence set out in the regulations;
(e) creating one or more rosters and prescribing rights, privileges, qualifications and obligations of the members included in the Register and each roster and the conditions for the entry and maintenance of members' names in the Register and each roster;
(g) respecting a continuing competency program, and requiring members to participate in any such program for continued licensure and registration, and providing for any other matter that will facilitate or give effect to such program;
(k) respecting the suspension or revocation of licences issued pursuant to this Act and the reinstatement of such licences and allowing for conditions or restrictions to be attached to a reinstated licence;
(m) providing that the licence of a member be suspended without notice or investigation upon contravention of any regulation that requires the member to pay a fee, file a document or do any other act by a specified or ascertainable date, and providing for the reinstatement of a licence so suspended;
(t) respecting the powers, authority and processes of the College, the Registrar, a disciplinary committee, a reinstatement committee, and panels of those committees, as the case may be, with respect to complaints, professional conduct matters and settlement proposals;
(5) The exercise by the Council of the authority contained in subsection (2) or by the Governor in Council of the authority contained in subsection (3) is a regulation within the meaning of the Regulations Act.
(7) A certificate purporting to be signed by the Registrar stating that a certain by-law or regulation of the College was, on a specified day or during a specified period, a duly enacted by-law or regulation of the College in full force and effect constitutes prima facie evidence in any court of that fact without proof that the person who signed it is the Registrar or that it is the Registrar's signature.
(2) The Council shall designate one of the members of the Registration Committee as the Chair of that Committee and one of the members of the Registration Appeal Committee as the Chair of that Committee.
(4) The Registrar, the Registration Committee and the Registration Appeal Committee shall perform such registration and licensing functions as are set out in this Act, the regulations and the by-laws.
(5) Subject to subsections (6) to (8), the Registrar, the Registration Committee and the Registration Appeal Committee have all the powers, privileges and immunities of a commissioner appointed pursuant to the Public Inquiries Act, with the exception of the powers of contempt, arrest and imprisonment.
(6) The Registrar, the Registration Committee and the Registration Appeal Committee may only exercise a power or privilege conferred by subsection (5) if authorized to do so by the Chair of the Committee.
(7) The Registrar and each member of the Registration Committee is authorized to sign documents on behalf of the Registration Committee issued under the authority of the Public Inquiries Act, if the Chair of the Registration Committee has authorized the issuing of such documents.
(8) The Registrar and each member of the Registration Appeal Committee is authorized to sign documents on behalf of the Registration Appeal Committee issued under the authority of the Public Inquiries Act, if the Chair of the Registration Appeal Committee has authorized the issuing of such documents.
(3) The Registrar may impose conditions or restrictions on the licence of a member with the consent of the member if the Registrar considers such conditions or restrictions to be necessary in the interest of the public.
(3) A statement certified under the hand of the Registrar respecting the membership and entry of a person's name in a roster is admissible in evidence as prima facie proof of that person's entry on such roster.
28 (1) Where a person's name has been removed from a register pursuant to clause 26(1)(d) or (e) or from a roster pursuant to clause 27(1)(g), the person may only apply to have the person's name restored to the register and the roster if the panel or Registrar, as the case may be, when authorizing the person's resignation also authorized the person to reapply for membership.
(2) Where a person's name has been removed from a register pursuant to clause 26(1)(c) or from a roster pursuant to clause 27(1)(f), the person's name may only be restored to the register if the Reinstatement Committee determines that it may, and subject to any conditions or restrictions that the Reinstatement Committee directs.
(2) The licence of any member who fails to pay fees as required by subsection (1) or who fails to comply within the period set out in the regulations with any continuing competency requirements established in the regulations is liable to be suspended in accordance with the procedure set out in the regulations.
(4) Where the licence of a member has been suspended pursuant to subsection (2), or in any other case where the licence of a registered person has expired pursuant to this Act for non-payment of fees, such person may apply to the Registrar for the re-issuing of the licence.
(2) Where the right of a person to practise has been limited by the imposition of conditions or restrictions pursuant to this Act or the regulations, particulars of the conditions or restrictions imposed on that person must be noted in the records of the College and may be disclosed to the public in accordance with this Act.
(b) where the person's employment is terminated or the person resigns because of allegations of professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming the profession, incompetence or incapacity, report the matter to the Registrar forthwith and provide a copy of the report to the person whose employment is terminated.
35 (1) A member who engages in practice outside the Province and who was subject to any disciplinary findings while outside the Province or has outstanding complaints from outside the Province shall not engage in practice upon returning to the Province before providing the Registrar with notice of such disciplinary findings or complaints and receiving from the Registrar a notice authorizing the member to resume practice in the Province.
(e) the practice of any profession authorized pursuant to an enactment of the Province by a professional licensed pursuant to such enactment, practising within the scope of practice for that profession.
37 In accordance with the objects of the College, the purpose of the professional conduct process is to inhibit professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming the profession or incompetence by a member or to inhibit a member from practising while incapacitated.
38 The College or a disciplinary committee may employ, at the expense of the College, such legal or other assistance as it considers necessary for the purpose of the investigation and conduct of any disciplinary matter.
39 (1) All complaints received or under investigation, all information gathered in the course of the professional conduct process and all proceedings and decisions of a disciplinary committee that are not open to or available to the public in accordance with this Act or the regulations must be kept confidential by the person who possesses such information.
(a) the Registrar, on the recommendation of a disciplinary committee, may disclose to law enforcement authorities any information about possible criminal activity on the part of a member that is obtained during an investigation pursuant to this Act;
(c) the Registrar may disclose information with respect to a complaint or matter before a committee to the regulatory body of another jurisdiction if it is relevant and concerns the fitness of a member for membership in the regulatory body of the other jurisdiction; and
40 A person or disciplinary committee investigating a disciplinary matter concerning a member may investigate any other disciplinary matter concerning the member that arises in the course of the investigation.
41 (1) A witness in any legal proceeding, whether a party thereto or not, is excused from answering any question as to any proceedings of a disciplinary committee or reinstatement committee, and is excused from producing any report, statement, memorandum, recommendation or other document prepared for the purpose of the professional conduct process, including any information gathered in the course of an investigation or produced for a disciplinary committee or reinstatement committee.
(3) Unless otherwise determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, a decision of a disciplinary committee or reinstatement committee is not admissible in a civil proceeding other than an appeal or review pursuant to this Act.
(a) has been charged with, has pleaded guilty to or has been found to be guilty of any offence inside or outside of Canada that is inconsistent with the proper professional behaviour of a member, including a conviction under
and such person is a member or applies for registration or a licence or the renewal of a licence, the Registrar may, by such notice as the Registrar specifies, require the person to attend a hearing before a disciplinary committee to fully disclose the facts and circumstances of any of the matters referred to in clauses (a) to (d).
(3) For the purpose of subsection (1), a certificate of conviction of a member is conclusive evidence that the member has committed the offence stated therein, unless it is proven that the conviction has been quashed or set aside.
44 (1) The College shall investigate, on its own initiative or on the complaint of another, alleged instances of professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming the profession, incompetence or incapacity and, when appropriate, dispose of the matter in accordance with the regulations.
(2) Except where considered prejudicial to the attainment of the objects of the College, the professional conduct process followed by the College must take into account the potential for the rehabilitation of the respondent.
45 Where a member ceases to be registered or licensed for any reason, such person remains subject to the jurisdiction of the College for the purpose of the professional conduct process, if the subject-matter of the professional conduct process arose out of the person's conduct while registered or licensed.
(5) Failure of one or more investigation committee members to receive notice of a meeting does not invalidate the proceedings at the meeting, and nothing herein precludes the committee members from waiving notice of meetings.
48 (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Registrar, an investigator, an investigation committee and each member of an investigation committee has all the powers, privileges and immunities of a commissioner appointed pursuant to the Public Inquiries Act, with the exception of the powers of contempt, arrest and imprisonment.
53 Where an investigation committee has, pursuant to clause 52(1)(a), (b) or (c), required a member to submit to a physical or mental examination, inspection or audit of the member's practice or such other examination as the committee directs, the committee shall receive any resulting report and provide a copy to the member.
(b) require the member being investigated or any other member of the College who may have information relevant to the investigation to attend before the committee or the person conducting the investigation to be interviewed; and
(2) An investigation committee retains jurisdiction over a matter until such time as a hearing commences before a hearing panel or the matter is otherwise resolved by a hearing panel or in accordance with this Act and regulations.
(2) When a complaint is forwarded to an investigation committee for disposition, the committee shall give its decision in writing and send a copy of the written decision, by registered mail or personal service, to the respondent and the complainant and may send some or all of the written decision to such other persons as the committee determines.
57 (1) An investigation committee may, in its discretion, impose a publication ban on such portion of any decision it has issued that is available to the public pursuant to this Act or the regulations.
60 Where a proceeding is commenced before an investigation committee and the term of office of any person sitting on the investigation committee expires, that person remains part of the committee until the proceeding is concluded.
62 Where an investigation committee issues an interim suspension or imposes restrictions on a respondent's licence, the committee shall provide a written copy of the decision to the complainant and the respondent and determine whether any part of the committee's decision is to be provided to other affected individuals, other regulatory bodies in other jurisdictions, any past, present or intended employer of the respondent or the public.
(4) Where, for any reason, neither the Chair nor the Vice-chair is available for the purpose of Sections 70 and 71, the Council may appoint a member of the Hearing Committee as interim chair of the Hearing Committee.
64 (1) Where an investigation committee refers a complaint to the Hearing Committee, the Chair of the Hearing Committee shall appoint a hearing panel consisting of at least three persons from the Committee, at least one of whom must be a public representative and at least one of whom must be a member of the College, to act as the Hearing Committee for the purpose of the professional conduct process.
(4) Failure of a hearing panel member to receive a notice of a meeting does not invalidate the proceedings at the meeting, and nothing precludes the hearing panel members from waiving notice of meetings.
67 (1) Where an investigation committee refers a matter to the Hearing Committee, the Registrar shall, within 30 days from the date of the referral, fix a date, time and place for holding a hearing, to commence not later than 90 days from the date of the referral, or such later date as the respondent and the College may agree to or the Hearing Committee may order following an opportunity for submissions from both parties as to such date.
68 Where an investigation committee refers a matter to the Hearing Committee, the College, before the commencement of a hearing by the hearing panel, may enter into a settlement proposal with the respondent, which must be dealt with in accordance with the regulations.
69 (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Hearing Committee and each member of the Hearing Committee has all of the powers, privileges and immunities of a commissioner appointed pursuant to the Public Inquiries Act, with the exception of the powers of contempt, arrest and imprisonment.
72 It is the duty of a member who is charged in a disciplinary matter to appear at the hearing but in the event of non-attendance by such member, a hearing panel, upon proof by affidavit, statutory declaration or other evidence acceptable to the panel of service of the notice of hearing pursuant to Section 74, may proceed with the hearing and, without further notice to such member, render its decision and take such other action as it is authorized to take pursuant to this Act.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a hearing panel may, in its discretion, allow the introduction of evidence that is otherwise inadmissible under subsection (1) and may make such directions it considers necessary to ensure that a party is not prejudiced.
75 No member of a hearing panel holding a hearing shall communicate outside the hearing, in relation to the subject-matter of the hearing, with a party or the party's representative unless the other party has been given notice of the subject-matter of the communication and an opportunity to be present during the communication, except for communications in which the sole purpose is to make administrative arrangements.
77 The Registrar shall provide the respondent, the complainant and such other persons as the Registrar considers appropriate with a copy of the decision of a hearing panel except that, where there are references identifying patients or other persons other than the complainant, those references as well as any personal information about those persons must be deleted if, in the Registrar's opinion, it is appropriate to do so.
80 (1) Where a hearing panel has revoked the registration or licence of a member, the panel shall determine whether the member is entitled to apply for reinstatement of the registration or licence or whether the revocation is final.
82 All hearing panel decisions require the vote of a majority in favour of the decision of the panel of the Committee appointed pursuant to subsection 64(1) or a majority of those panel members present and constituting a quorum of such panel in the event the full panel is not sitting.
84 (1) Subject to subsection (2), where the period of suspension of a member expires, the conditions imposed on the member are satisfied or the restrictions imposed on the member are removed, the Registrar shall restore the licence to the member in the form it existed prior to the imposition of the suspension, conditions or restrictions, if the member otherwise meets the criteria for the issuing of a licence.
(b) where registering bodies in other jurisdictions had previously been informed of the suspension, conditions or restrictions, notify such registering bodies of the lifting of the suspension, conditions or restrictions; and
85 (1) Upon receipt of an application for reinstatement following revocation of a licence the Council shall appoint a reinstatement committee, composed of not less than three members of the Registration Committee, at least one of whom must be a public representative.
86 (1) The reinstatement committee shall, in the circumstances set out in this Act and the regulations, review applications for reinstatement of registrations and licences and perform such other duties as set out in this Act and the regulations.
(3) Where a member's licence has been reinstated pursuant to this Section, the reinstatement committee, in its discretion, shall determine whether publication of the reinstatement is required in the interest of the public.
87 (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Registrar, a reinstatement committee and each member of a reinstatement committee has all the powers, privileges and immunities of a commissioner appointed pursuant to the Public Inquiries Act , with the exception of the powers of contempt, arrest and imprisonment.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the reinstatement committee may, in its discretion, allow the introduction of evidence that is otherwise inadmissible under subsection (1) and may make such directions it considers necessary to ensure that a party is not prejudiced.
(3) Where a member is ordered to pay costs pursuant to subsection (2), the Council may make it a condition of the licence of the member that such costs be paid forthwith or at such time and on such terms as the Council may fix.
(3) The record on appeal from the findings of a hearing panel consists of a copy of the transcript of the proceedings, the decision of the panel and the evidence before the panel certified by the Chair of the Hearing Committee.
(4) The Nova Scotia Civil Procedure Rules governing appeals from the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal that are not inconsistent with this Act apply mutatis mutandis to appeals made to the Court of Appeal pursuant to this Section.
(5) Where a matter is appealed to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal pursuant to this Section, the decision of a hearing panel takes effect immediately unless the Court of Appeal grants a stay of any order made pursuant to this Act.
(2) Where a body corporate contravenes this Act or the regulations, a director, officer or agent of the body who authorized, permitted or acquiesced in the contravention is also guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to the penalties set out in subsection (1), whether or not the body corporate has been prosecuted or convicted.
94 (1) In a prosecution for an offence under this Act or the regulations, the onus of proof that a person accused of an offence has the right to practise paramedicine, or that a person comes within any of the exemptions provided by this Act, is on the accused person.
(2) Where an offence pursuant to this Act or the regulations is committed or continued on more than one day, the person who committed the offence is liable to be convicted for a separate offence for each day that the offence is committed or continued.
(3) For the purpose of this Act and the regulations, proof of the performance by a person who is not a member of a single act in the practice of paramedicine is sufficient to establish that the person has engaged in the practice of paramedicine.
97 (1) In the event of a threatened or continuing contravention of this Act or the regulations, the College may apply to a judge for an injunction to restrain a person from continuing or committing a contravention, and the judge, where the judge considers it to be just, may grant such an injunction.
(2) A judge may, on application, grant an interim injunction pending the hearing of an application for an injunction pursuant to subsection (1) if the judge is satisfied that there is reason to believe that a person is likely to commit or is continuing to commit a contravention of this Act or the regulations.
99 Any fine payable as a result of a prosecution by or on behalf of the College and any costs ordered to be paid pursuant to this Act or the regulations are debts due to the College recoverable by civil action, in addition to any other remedy available to the College for non-payment of a fine or cost.
100 (1) No action for damages lies against the College, the Council, the Provincial Medical Director, the Registrar, a member, officer, agent or employee of the College or the Council or a member of a committee or subcommittee of the College or the Council for
(3) Without limiting the generality of subsection (2), no action for damages lies against a member or other person for disclosing any books, records, papers or other documents in that person's possession or control if done pursuant to this Act.
(4) No member, officer, agent or employee of the College and no person on the Council or a committee or subcommittee of the College or the Council is personally liable for any of the debts or liabilities of the College unless such person expressly agrees to be liable.
101 A certificate purporting to be signed by the Registrar stating that any person named in the certificate was or was not, on a specified day or during a specified period, registered and licensed, is prima facie evidence in any court of that fact without proof that the person signing it is the Registrar or without proof of the Registrar's signature.
102 The presence of the name of any person in a document purporting for any year to be an annual list published by the Registrar pursuant to subsection 32(1) is prima facie evidence in any court of the fact that a person whose name so appears is or was registered and licensed at the time of publication of the annual list.
(2) Where service is made by registered letter, service is deemed to be made on the third day after the notice, order, resolution or other document is mailed, and proof that the notice, order, resolution or other document was addressed and posted in accordance with subsection (1) is prima facie proof of service.
104 Where a member of the College voluntarily renders first aid or emergency treatment without the expectation of monetary compensation to a person outside of a hospital, or in any other place not having proper and necessary medical facilities, that member is not liable for the death of such person, or damages alleged to have been sustained by such person by reason of an act or omission in the rendering of such first aid or emergency treatment, unless it is established that such injuries were due to, or such death was caused by, conduct on the part of the member that, if committed by a person of ordinary experience, learning and skill, would constitute negligence.
106 Until such time as the initial Council of the College is established in accordance with Section 105, the Minister is vested with the authority to make by-laws pursuant to subsection 21(1) and, with the approval of the Governor in Council, to make regulations pursuant to subsection 21(2).
107 Every person who, on the coming into force of this Act, practises paramedicine in the Province and is registered under the Emergency Health Services Act, upon payment of the relevant fees as determined by the Council, must be entered into the Register under this Act, but continues under any conditions or restrictions attached to the person's previous registration.
(a) current and former complaints and allegations of professional misconduct or incompetence made against registered paramedics and proceedings taken by the Department with respect to those complaints and allegations;
(b) current and former applications for registration as registered members on the EHS Paramedic Register and the educational qualifications of applicants for registration on the EHS Paramedic Register;
(3) Notwithstanding the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, on the coming into force of this Act, the Minister may disclose the information, including personal information, described in subsection (1) to the College, and the College may collect and use such information, including personal information, in order for the College to carry out the objects of the College and the purpose of this Act.
(4) The Minister may request and collect information and records described in subsection (1) from the College for purposes directly related to or necessary for any legal proceeding, or preparation for a legal proceeding, with respect to an action or claim or with respect to the negotiation or settlement of an action or claim before it is before a court, or while it is before a court, and the Minister may disclose the information or records collected, as the Minister considers appropriate, in carrying out those purposes.