5. APPEAL PROCEEDINGS
BHIDAPA has a Complaints Procedure including information about the acceptability or otherwise of a complaint made by a third party against a practitioner; approved by BHIDAPA and appropriate for practitioners and their clients. The purpose of the Complaint Procedure is to provide practitioners and their clients with clear information about the complaint procedure and the process involved in the complaint. All therapists must adhere firmly to the Appeal Procedure of their organization or umbrella organization, if any.
5.1. Filing a complaint: The complaining client is advised to contact BHIDAPA.
5.2. Receiving a Complaint: The complaining organization will ensure that the therapist is informed as soon as possible and that the therapist or complainant is informed of the complaint procedure.
5.3. Complaint: After completion of the Complaint Procedure within the organization, the timeframe of the procedure should be stated, stating the deadlines, reasons and procedures.
5.4. BHIDAPA Reports: If an appeal is accepted, BHIDAPA will notify the umbrella organization of EIATSCYP and EAIP.
5.5. Complaints and Verdicts Accepted: Psychotherapists/counselors/supervisors are required to inform BHIDAPA if they are objected to in another member organization, if they have been convicted of any criminal offense that may be reported or if litigation is directed against them with their work as a psychotherapist/counselor/supervisor.
5.6. Colleagues ‘behavior: Colleagues who find their colleagues’ behavior inappropriate or inconsistent with the Ethics of the organization are required to file a complaint within BHIDAPA, a member of EIATSCYP and EAIP.
5.7. The resignation of a member of the organization should not interfere with the investigation process as long as the alleged misconduct occurred during that person’s membership.
1. DETAILED APPEALS PROCEDURE
1.1. Complaints are usually considered by the BHIDAPA Ethics Committee and are addressed to the president who is a senior member of BHIDAPA. Any person, whether a member of the Ethics Committee or not, who considers complaints or grievances should not have anything to do with the person against whom the complaint is expressed.
1.2. The Ethics Committee may decide that a senior member of another educational organization should consider the subject more appropriately.
1.3. All individuals involved in the grievance process must act in a manner that does not violate confidentiality. Written material relating to the complaint must have a date, and all recorded and dated verbal communication.
1.4. The complaint procedure is examined and guided by the principle of establishing truth, justice and fairness. The section 3.1 below explains the informal procedures that may initially follow to determine if there are grounds for a solution. Formal proceedings are listed below in 3.2, and may be followed by judgment and disciplinary proceedings.
1.5. A formal complaint shall be filed within six (6) months of the alleged events constituting the complaint. Proceedings are normally completed within (6) six months of receipt of the formal
complaint. Timelines must be clearly set at the beginning, and strictly adhered to throughout the process. Where time limits cannot be strictly adhered to, all parties involved in the complaint shall be notified in clear written form.
2. INITIATING A COMPLAINT
2.1. A person wishing to initiate a complaint may initiate confidential discussions with the President of the Ethics Committee regarding the proceedings. If the complaint concerns a BHIDAPA training institute lecturer, it is recommended that the injured person first talk to the head of education, where applicable.
2.2. The purpose of the hearing is to inform the injured party about the proceedings. A copy of the relevant complaint procedure of the Ethics Committee should be available to the injured party.
2.3. After the initial meeting, the injured party may continue to complain informally or formally. In both cases, the injured party gives a written statement and submits it to the president of the Ethics Committee. The Ethics Committee accepts the written statement of the injured party within ten (10) working days.
2.4. All written documentation between the injured party and the President of the Ethics Committee is copied and is available to the person against whom the written complaint was filed.
3. UNOFFICIAL PROCEDURES
3.1. BHIDAPA is not responsible for travel expenses or other expenses incurred by the injured party or the defendant in connection with the stage of the complaint procedure.
3.2. When the President of the Ethics Committee and the Professional Practice Committee receive a complaint, they primarily follow informal procedures. A complaint may be lodged on the basis of the following:
3.2.1. Offensive and harmful behaviour;
3.2.2. Behaviour that is contrary to natural justice;
3.2.3. Dishonesty, you
3.3. Informal proceedings are not normally considered appropriate when the complaint concerns:
3.3.1. Bad professional conduct;
3.3.2. Non-compliance with the Code of Ethics;
3.3.3. Violation of criminal law, and
3.3.4. Behaviour that could damage BHIDAPA's reputation and the profession of psychotherapist.
3.5. The informal procedure shall be held twenty-eight (28) working days from the receipt of the written complaint.
4. OFFICIAL PROCEDURES
4.1. If the injured party wishes to continue with the official complaint, the same should be written to the President of the Ethics Committee. The Ethics Committee confirms the receipt of the official complaint within ten (10) working days and invites the injured party to submit documentation that is evidence in support of the complaint. The President of the Ethics Committee appoints the Judicial Council consisting of three (3) persons, at least one of whom may not be a member of BHIDAPA. One of the three persons is appointed the President of the Judicial Council. All BHIDAPA members should be impartial towards the parties to the complaint, and one (1) of them shall, as far as possible, conduct therapy of the same modality as the person against whom the complaint is filed. Members of the Trial Chamber shall report any information that may cast doubt on their impartiality in the conduct of the formal complaint procedure.
4.2. The injured party shall provide the Trial Chamber with an official written complaint and all documentation of evidence, and the person against whom the complaint is filed shall receive all written answers or documentation.
4.3. The President of the Ethics Committee must ensure that the injured party has received a copy of the complaint procedure.
4.4. The President of the Ethics Committee must ensure that the person against whom the complaint is addressed is informed of the official complaint and that the same complaint is filed, and a copy of the complaint procedure is delivered to the person against whom the complaint is filed.
4.5. The Trial Chamber examines the evidence and arranges a meeting with the injured party and the person against whom the complaint has been lodged. The Judicial Council shall give written notice of the meeting to the Parties within fourteen (14) days of the appointment of the Council.
5. TRIAL CHAMBER PROCEDURE
5.1. The Trial Chamber examines complaints in an official manner to decide on their validity.
5.2. The injured party and the person against whom the complaint has been lodged may be accompanied by a colleague or friend who would speak on their behalf.
5.3. Conduct of the Trial Chamber:
5.3.1. The injured party or his / her colleague / friend provides a summary of the complaint.
5.3.2. The person complained about or a colleague / friend provides a summary of the case.
5.3.3. The injured party asks questions through the President of the Trial Chamber to the person against whom the complaint has been lodged.
5.3.4. The person against whom the complaint is filed asks questions to the injured party through the President of the Trial Chamber.
5.3.5. Members of the Trial Chamber may request clarification from both parties.
5.3.6. When the President of the Trial Chamber is satisfied with all the clarifications given to the Trial Chamber, he shall inform all parties that they will receive a written decision of the Trial Chamber within the next ten (10) working days. The President of the Trial Chamber then requests the withdrawal of the parties.
5.4. Judgment: When all the parties have withdrawn under the above point, the Trial Chamber shall continue to meet to determine whether there is a possibility of resolving the complaint, and if so, it shall recommend how to resolve it. The Trial Chamber may determine that there are no grounds for appeal.
5.5. After the discussion, the President of the Judicial Council writes a report, together with recommendations, which he submits to the President of the Ethics Committee within ten (10)
working days from the end of the judgment procedure. The ethics committee then decides what action to take and informs the parties of the outcome of the judgment and the action to be taken.
5.6. In the event that the investigation lasts longer than initially expected, then the President of the Ethics Committee writes to the injured party and the person against whom the complaint is filed with an explanation of the delay and gives a new date for completion of the report.
5.7. In the event that the injured party does not attend the meeting of the judgment without a valid reason or without a timely apology, then the complaint is rejected, and the president of the trial council reports in writing to the president of the Ethics Council.
5.8. In the event that the person complained of does not attend the verdict meeting without a valid reason or without a timely apology, the President of the Trial Chamber shall inform the Ethics Committee. The meeting of the Ethics Committee is held as soon as possible. The meeting is then in the capacity of a disciplinary committee that gives an official recommendation to the BHIDAPA management on the actions to be taken and on the type of appropriate sanctions recommended.
5.9. Sanctions: If the complaint is upheld, then the Trial Chamber may request the persons against whom it states that:
5.9.1. Obtain to the Trial Chamber a written statement of receipt of the judgment with a written apology to the injured party;
5.9.2. Obtain the above, together with a written statement stating that he is taking action on the issues of the complaint in personal therapy and informing the supervisor of all the details and outcome of the complaint;
5.9.3. He/she satisfies the above points and stops working as a psychotherapist or student psychotherapist for a certain period of time while working on the subject;
5.9.4. Suspend, if necessary, its membership in the Association with or without the obligation to adhere to the above points;
5.9.5. Conclude, as appropriate, its membership in the Association with or without the obligation to adhere to the above points
5.10. A member of the Judicial Council shall be appointed to monitor the sanctions, if any.
5.11. In the event that the Trial Chamber does not accept the complaint, the injured party is then required to write a written statement of acceptance to the Trial Chamber as well as a written
apology to the person against whom the complaint was lodged.
6.1. Both parties may file a written appeal with the President of the Ethics Committee against the decision of the Judicial Council within twenty-one (21) days from the delivery of the decision of the first instance appeal procedure:
6.1.2. on the basis of possible irregularities in the proceedings;
and / or
6.1.3. on the basis of possible significant new evidence to be presented during the judgment proceedings, which would significantly influence the decision of the Trial Chamber;
and / or
6.1.4. Based on the fact that the sanction / decision is considered unreasonable or unfair for the parties to the proceedings.
6.2. In case of a complaint, the President of the Ethics Committee submits all documentation related to the complaint to the external moderator of BHIDAPA. The external moderator investigates the case and then reports to the parties and the BHIDAPA management
6.3. The external moderator reports to the BHIDAPA management on his / her decisions and recommendations, if any.
6.4. The decision of the external moderator is final.
Therapists who are suspended, or expelled from BHIDAPA, are automatically expelled as members of EIATSCYP and EAIP.
7. SUPERVISION / MONITORING OF COMPLAINTS
BHIDAPA is obliged to inform the EIATSCYP and EAIP on an annual basis about the number of complaints received, as well as the nature of their content and resolution schedule.