Malpractice is intentional or negligent failure by any professional, eg, doctor, lawyer, accountant, to meet the standards of reasonable competence in his field. These standards are set taking into account the circumstances in which the professional is acting. Specialists must meet the higher standards of a reasonably competent specialist; beginners must meet ordinary standards, inexperience being no excuse. Professionals are expected to keep up to date and to act only within the sphere of their own competence, and those acting otherwise will be judged according to the standards of practitioners by whom the task should have been undertaken. Québec's Civil Code contains a standard similar to that existing in the common law of Tort which, with the law of contract, governs malpractice in the other provinces. The damages awarded in malpractice suits vary enormously, depending on the loss to the plaintiff. Generally, they are much higher in the US than in Canada.