Filing Ethics Complaints
Members and Non-members may file complaints. Filing a complaint must be done in adherence with the following guidelines.
1. The committee will only review complaints from the actual party claiming to have been wronged. The committee will not accept complaints from a second party (e.g.: Therapist John Smith acted unethically with my friend Mary Jones, would not be accepted).
2. The Ethics Committee always begins cases with the presumption of innocence of the accused. It is the complainant's responsibility to prove his or her accusations.
3. It is the complainant's responsibility to factually prove his or her case. The Ethics committee is not responsible to research or build a case for either the complainant or to defend the accused. As well, opinions, feelings or suspicions are not sufficient cause to bring a complaint to the Ethics Committee. As well, a statement that someone did something unethical is insufficient cause to bring action. Reputations can be easily tarnished and are difficult to repair. You must have proof of your claim.
4. If the Ethics Committee finds just cause to accept a complaint it is the responsibility and right of the accused to provide information in his or her defense within 14 days of receiving notice of the complaint.
5. Any complaint filed must be 5 pages or less in length, in font size 12, on 8 ½ x 11 pages one side only. If the committee requires additional information the committee will request it.
6. Complaints must be supported by facts or they will not be considered. A complaint will not be reviewed on the basis of hearsay.
7. Anonymous complaints will not be considered.
8. Complaints must be of an ethical nature. The Ethics Committee is not mandated to resolve business, legal or personal disputes that fall outside of specific ethics violations. Furthermore, all opinions rendered are evaluated based on The Association's ethical policy and are not legal opinions.
9. Complaints must be filed within 1 year of the alleged violation. Action will not be considered after that time.
The Ethics Committee may elect from the following options where a case is investigated.
In cases of malicious or frivolous complaints filed against a member by a member, the Ethics Committee may apply the same options above to the complainant. The Ethics Committee will not tolerate anyone using the ethics complaint process for the purpose of a personal or professional vendetta etc.
The Ethics Committee may also dismiss or expel from The Association any member convicted of a serious crime such as but not limited to: rape, murder, terrorism, robbery, extortion, blackmail, embezzlement, etc.
The Ethics Committee does not involve itself in legal disagreements and does not evaluate educational institutions or the validity of degrees or certifications that are outside the specific area of hypnosis/hypnotherapy certification. As well, the committee will not accept complaints that would fall under the jurisdiction of another professional body (e.g.: A complaint against a psychologist regarding his or her psychological counseling practices would need to be filed with the proper psychological association's ethics committee).
If any party disagrees with the finding of the Ethics Committee he or she may appeal that decision to the association's administration in writing within 14 days by Certified letter. If the administration finds cause for further review the administrator may call for a second review by the Ethics Committee and the administration to be conducted jointly. This can only occur in light of extenuating circumstances and/or new information.
If significant and substantial new information is presented within the time allotted for filing a complaint, the Ethics Committee - at its discretion, may choose to reopen any case.
The Association is designed to serve its members as a source of educational training, educational materials, a networking venue, to provide mentoring opportunities, to support continued education, enhance professional skills, and to aid in resolving disputes between members and/or members with non members. Membership does not imply or give agent status to the member and the member will not represent himself/herself as such. In signing this document members agree that they are independent contractors and are not employees of the Association. The Association accepts no responsibility for the actions, finances taxes, compliance with federal, state or local laws of the member. The member holds harmless & indemnifies for his/her self and his/her heirs and assignees the Association, its officers, staff and any associates etc. for any issues arising out of membership and/or out of his/her business or personal actions or activities. The member will be held responsible for any reasonable legal fees incurred by the Association arising out of the member, or member's agent's actions. If any part of this agreement is deemed unenforceable all other parts of this agreement shall remain in full effect.
In becoming a member of the Association all members agree to be bound by the findings/opinions of the Ethics Committee.