Policies and Procedures Related to Complaints Against the CFCC
Criteria for Complaints Against the CFCC
Complaints against the CFCC must relate to the violation of procedures in the activities of the council, which must have occurred at least in part within 1 year of the date the complaint is filed and provide supporting data for the charge. Complaints may be filed by any candidate, clinical fellowship (CF) mentor, supervisor, audiologist, speech-language pathologist, and/or member of the public. The complainant's burden of proof is a preponderance, or greater weight, of the evidence.
Complaints must meet the following submission requirements:
- clearly describe the specific nature of the violation of procedures;
- include any supporting data or additional documents and evidence for the charge;
- include the complainant's name, address, and telephone contact information;
- be signed and submitted in writing via U.S. mail, overnight courier, or hand delivery; submissions will not be accepted via telephone, e-mail, or facsimile.
The complainant should mail the written statement of complaint and any additional documentation—in an envelope marked CONFIDENTIAL—to either the Vice President for Standards and Ethics in Audiology or the Vice President for Standards and Ethics in Speech-Language Pathology (as appropriate to the profession involved) at the ASHA National Office:
Vice President for Standards and Ethics in Audiology or Speech-Language Pathology
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
2200 Research Boulevard #308
Rockville, MD 20850
Determination of Jurisdiction
Receipt of a complaint is acknowledged by the ASHA Certification Office staff and forwarded to the vice president within 15 days of receipt of the complaint. The original letter of complaint is filed in the ASHA Certification Office. The vice president determines whether the complaint meets the above-specified criteria. If the vice president makes the determination that the complaint does not meet the above criteria, the complainant is so informed within 30 days of the vice president's recepit of the complaint that the complaint will not be evaluated.
Evaluation of Complaint
If the vice president determines that the complaint meets the above criteria, the complaint will be evaluated as specified below.
- Within 30 days of the vice president’s receipt of the complaint (and letter transmitting the complaint), the vice president informs the complainant that the evaluation will proceed. Because it may be necessary to identify the complainant to the CFCC, a review committee, or other sources of relevant information, the complainant will be required to sign a waiver of confidentiality within 30 days of receipt of the letter indicating that the complaint will be evaluated. The complainant is given the opportunity to withdraw the complaint during that time. If the complainant does not wish to pursue the matter, the process is concluded. If the complainant wishes to proceed, the complainant is asked to keep the initiation of an investigation confidential.
- Within 15 days of receipt of the complainant's waiver of confidentiality, the vice president shall notify the CFCC that a complaint has been registered against the council and that an evaluation is in process. Notification includes a redacted copy of the complaint that protects the identity of the complainant. The CFCC is asked to provide complete responsive information and supporting documentation, which it considers relevant to the complaint, within 45 days of the date of the notification letter.
- Within 30 days of receipt of the complainant's waiver of confidentiality, the vice president shall appoint a Review Committee to review the complaint. To ensure that the committee is thoroughly familiar with certification standards and council policies and procedures, the committee shall consist of three past members of the CFCC who have served during the preceding 5 years—none of whom shall have any relationship with the complainant that could be considered a conflict of interest. Within 15 days of receipt of the CFCC's response to the complaint, the vice president shall forward the complaint and CFCC response to the Review Committee.
- Within 60 days of receipt of the material related to the complaint, the Review Committee shall review all relevant information and determine a course of action to recommend. Recommendations may include, but are not limited to:
- dismissal of the complaint,
- changes in council policies and procedures to be accomplished within a specified time period,
- other actions.
- Within 15 days of the conclusion of its evaluation of the complaint, the Review Committee shall forward its recommendation(s) to the vice president. The recommendation(s) shall be disseminated to the CFCC for review. A full discussion of committee recommendations shall be placed on the agenda of the next regularly scheduled CFCC meeting during which the CFCC will determine appropriate council action. In the event that more immediate action is required, the CFCC may conduct a conference call to discuss and consider appropriate council action.
- The vice president shall notify the complainant of council action on the complaint within 15 days of the council's decision in the matter. Council decisions relative to complaints may not be appealed.
Summary of Time Lines
- The complaint is acknowledged and forwarded to the vice president within 30 days of their receipt of the complaint.
- If the vice president determines that the complaint does not meet the criteria for complaints and therefore will not be evaluated, the complainant is so informed within 30 days of the vice president's receipt of the complaint.
- If the vice president determines that the complaint meets the criteria, the complainant is so informed within 30 days of the vice president's receipt of the complaint that an evaluation will proceed.
- The complainant is given 30 days from receipt of the vice president's letter to sign a waiver of confidentiality or to withdraw the complaint.
- Within 15 days of receipt of the waiver of confidentiality, the complaint is sent to the CFCC for a response within 45 days.
- Within 30 days of receipt of the waiver of confidentiality, the vice president appoints the Review Committee to review the complaint.
- Within 15 days of receipt of the CFCC's response, the vice president forwards the complaint and CFCC response to the Review Committee.
- Within 60 days of receipt of all materials related to the complaint, the Review Committee determines a course of action to recommend.
- The Review Committee forwards its recommendation(s) to the vice president within 15 days of its decision, and the vice president disseminates the recommendation(s) to the CFCC.
- The CFCC discusses the Review Committee recommendation(s) at its next regularly scheduled meeting (or by conference call if immediate action is required) and takes appropriate action.
- The vice president notifies the complainant of CFCC action within 15 days of the CFCC decision.