APPCIOS is not a regulatory organisation.
Members will usually see organisational clients within an organisation or within an NHS setting or by affiliation to a statutory or voluntary agency. When operating as such or as part of their own private practice they may be a member of a regulatory organisation that operates a public register and a complaints procedure.
If a complaint is raised within these prescribed contexts, the complaint should be dealt with in accordance with the relevant complaints process in operation within those organisations/agencies.
In particular, APPCIOS Full Members who are also members of the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) are subject to the BPC complaints procedure and any complaint regarding a breach of the BPC Code of Ethics should be addressed to the BPC (details).
However, as a matter of public interest, there may be exceptions to this which could necessitate APPCIOS reviewing/investigating the complaint.
Complaints against Associate and Senior Associate Members and Full Members who are not BPC Registrants
- APPCIOS may entertain a complaint about a breach of the Code of Ethics or may, on receiving information, generate a complaint itself.
- Complaints about APPCIOS Associates or Senior Associates should be addressed to the Chair of the Ethics Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- On receipt the Chair of the Ethics Committee will acknowledge receipt of the complaint by letter or email within 20 working days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays).
- The Chair may, where s/he deems appropriate, encourage the Complainant to further discuss the subject matter of the complaint with the member with a view to resolving the situation. This may necessitate written or telephone exchanges between the Chair and the Complainant.
- Where the subject matter of the complaint can be swiftly resolved the case will be closed. Where the subject matter of the complaint cannot be resolved, the Complainant will be advised to revert to the Chair and the Chair will determine how best to proceed.
- A complaint should be made as soon as possible and within 3 years from the date the alleged incident took place.
- Where a complaint is not received within 3 years from the date the alleged incident took place APPCIOS may, at its own discretion, decide to investigate the complaint where the Complainant has good reason for delay in bringing the complaint or for reasons of public interest.
- APPCIOS may, at its discretion, and where known legal proceedings are ongoing between the Complainant and the Trainee, delay investigating/hearing a complaint until the conclusion of these legal proceedings.
- The Complainant and the Trainee will be kept informed and updated at each stage of the process and the Complainant’s permission will be sought should it become necessary to share personal and confidential information to relevant parties outside APPCIO
- The complaint will be considered by a screening committee formed of members of the Ethics Committee or any senior members chosen by the Chair of the Ethics Committee. The Screening Committee will, within 20 working days, either dismiss the complaint by writing to the complainant or pass it to a panel.
- An Ethics panel will consist of three Full APPCIOS members chosen by the Chair of the Ethics Committee.
- On receiving a complaint the Panel will write to the complainant to acknowledge that the complaint is being investigated. The Complainant will be directed to the APPCIOS Code and the Complainant will be asked to submit their complaint in writing (‘written complaint’) together with their acceptance of this APPCIOS Complaints Procedure within 20 working days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.
- The Panel will then write to the member complained against, giving 20 working days excluding Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays to reply to the complaint.
- The Panel may also at its discretion request such additional information as it requires. Refusal by any member to supply further information to the Ethics Committee may itself be considered as a breach of the Code of Ethics.
- In all cases the Chair of the Ethics Committee, the Screening Committee and the Ethics Panel will consult the APPCIOS Code of Ethics and base their decision on this Code.
- Because APPCIOS is not an accrediting or regulatory body. the complaints procedure is normally summary. Most complaints will be adjudicated “on the papers” without calling the parties or witnesses. The panel has the discretion to call witnesses should it consider this necessary.
- The primary role of The Panel is three-fold:
- To determine whether the complaint raised against the Member is found proven on the balance of probabilities.
- To protect the public; and
- To uphold the APPCIOS Code
The Panel, when making a decision on the complain, will make a majority decision.
- If the panel determine that a breach of the Ethics Code has not taken place, and there are no grounds for further investigation, the Chair will inform all parties of this decision in writing detailing the reason(s) for the decision.
- If the Panel finds the complaint well founded it may impose some or all of the following sanctions:
- A letter of advice
- A letter of warning
- Additional supervision not exceeding one year with a supervisor acceptable to APPCIOS and approved by the Chair of the Ethics Committee
- Additional therapy not exceeding one year with a therapist acceptable to APPCIOS and approved by the Chair of the Ethics Committee
- Suspension of any APPCIOS post or membership of any APPCIOS committee
- Suspension of APPCIOS membership for a specified period
- Cancellation of APPCIOS membership.
- The panel may at their discretion communicate their decision to any other professional body they think appropriate. APPCIOS will not itself publish the decision.
Complaints against APPCIOS, its committees, officers or representatives
- APPCIOS may entertain a complaint by a member or applicant regarding the actions of any APPCIOS member, representative or committee towards that member or applicant.
- Complaints about APPCIOS the organisation itself, or any of its committees or officers, should be made in the first instance to the relevant committee or to the chair of the Management Committee.
- Procedural complaints shall be addressed by the Chair of the relevant committee or by the Chair of the Management Committee.
- Should the Chair of the Management Committee decide that the complaint discloses an ethical issue or if the Complainant themselves so wishes, the complaint will be referred to the Chair of the Ethics Committee (email@example.com).
- On receipt, the complaint will be considered by a screening committee formed of members of the Ethics Committee or any senior member chosen by the Chair of the Ethics Committee. The Screening Committee will, within 20 days excluding Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays, either dismiss the complaint by writing to the complainant or pass it to an ethics panel.
- An Ethics panel will consist of three members chosen by the Chair of the Ethics Committee
- On receiving a complaint the panel will write to the complainant to acknowledge the complaint, and to the member, representative or chair of the committee complained of, and give him or her 20 days excluding Saturdays Sundays and Public Holidays to reply to the complaint.
- In all cases the Chair of the Ethics Committee, the Screening Committee and the Ethics Panel will consult the APPCIOS Code of Ethics but are not bound to limit their decision to breaches thereof. They have the discretion to consider any other matters they believe are relevant.
- The panel may adopt the procedure it thinks best to achieve a fair and appropriate result
- If the Panel finds the complaint well founded it may take the following actions:
- A declaration
- A letter of warning to any individual involved
- Suspension of an individual from any APPCIOS post or membership of any APPCIOS committee.
- Enter a complaint against an individual member involved to the Chair of the Ethics Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Any further sanction or action it considers appropriate.
- The panel may at their discretion communicate their decision to any other professional body they think appropriate including publishing the decision.