Ethics Inquiry and Complaint Guidelines
Definition: An Inquiry is a question that an Academy member has about appropriate ethical behavior, but is not an actual complaint against an Academy member.
Procedure: An inquiry may be submitted to the Ethical Practices Committee (EPC) in writing via email or postal letter to the EPC, via address or email below, and must include the inquirer’s name and contact information. Inquiries cannot be addressed via phone call to the Academy office, as Academy staff is not qualified to answer questions regarding ethics. Academy staff will immediately forward inquiries to the EPC Chair for EPC discussion and resolution. The EPC will respond in writing to all Inquiries.
Timeline: Although the EPC attempts to address inquiries as soon as possible, responses may take up to 30-45 days in order to allow the EPC time to adequately review all relevant aspects of the inquiry.
Please note: This is an abbreviation of complete complaint procedural details that are enumerated in Part II of the Academy Code of Ethics.
Definition: A complaint is an allegation lodged against an Academy member for possible noncompliance with the Academy Code of Ethics. A complaint against an organization or employer is not permitted.
Procedure: An Academy member or consumer of Academy member services/products may contact the EPC to file a complaint. All complaints must be made in letter format and must include documentation that corroborates and supports the allegations made, as well as a Complaint Form for Alleged Noncompliance with the Academy's Code of Ethics. If the complaint was also filed with another organization or legal entity, any related correspondence, including current status and/or final resolution must be included. Complainants will be asked to sign a Waiver of Confidentiality, and must agree in writing that a copy of the complaint form and all attachments may be provided to the individual against whom the complaint is filed. If the alleged noncompliance has a high probability of being legally actionable, the complainant may be referred to the appropriate agency. The EPC will postpone member notification and further deliberation until the legal process has been completed.
- The EPC will meet either in person, by electronic means, or by teleconference to discuss the complaint within 60 days of receipt of the Waiver of Confidentiality, or of notification by the complainant of refusal to sign the Waiver. In cases where another form of notification brings the Complaint to the attention of the EPC, the Committee will also convene within 60 days of notification.
- If there is sufficient evidence of noncompliance with the Code of Ethics, the EPC will issue a written "Notification of Potential Ethics Concern" to the member against whom the complaint was lodged, to include the circumstances and specific Code of Ethics Principle(s) and/or Rule(s). The member will be allowed 30 days from receipt of the Notification to provide the EPC with a written response and supporting evidence to the complaint.
- The EPC will meet either in person or by teleconference within 60 days of receiving a response or no response from the member to the “Notification of Potential Ethics Concern” to review all information pertinent to the alleged noncompliance.
- If evidence supports the allegation of noncompliance with the Code of Ethics, the member will be provided with written notice of the right to a hearing before the EPC and the right to present a defense to the charges. This is the final opportunity for the member to provide new information.
- If the EPC determines there is insufficient evidence of ethical noncompliance, the parties to the complaint will be notified of case closure.
- If evidence supports noncompliance, the member will be cited and sanction(s) will be imposed by the EPC in writing through a “Final Finding and Decision.”
- The member may appeal the “Final Finding and Decision” of the EPC to the Academy Board of Directors by letter format through the EPC. No new documentation will be allowed. The decision of the Board of Directors will be final.
All correspondence (Inquiries, Complaints, and responses) should be addressed to:
American Academy of Audiology
Chair, Ethical Practices Committee
11480 Commerce Park Dr., Suite 220
Reston, VA 20191