CBV Institute maintains a procedure to receive, consider, investigate and adjudicate any complaints of alleged breaches of the By-laws, Code of Ethics or the Practice Standards with which CBVs and Students are required to comply.
The Institute’s Conduct and Discipline Committee (“CDC”), comprised of CBVs, reviews complaints regarding the conduct of a CBV or Student. The complainant is asked to provide material and information in support of the complaint.
The CBV or Student about whom the complaint is made has the opportunity to respond to the complaint. Depending on the complexity of the matter, the CDC may appoint an investigator to conduct an investigation and report to it. If there is sufficient evidence that CBV Institute’s Code of Ethics, By-laws or Practice Standards were breached, and that such breach was not trivial, the CDC may make a charge against the Member or Student. Unless the Member or Student accepts the charge and agrees to the disciplinary action proposed by the CDC, the matter is referred to a Discipline Tribunal for a full hearing.
The Institute’s complaints process is not a forum for resolving fee and/or financial disputes between Members and Students and their clients or other parties.
The full complaints process is summarized here. For more details, refer to CBV Institute By-laws, section 5.0.
Any person (“Complainant”) may lay a complaint against a Member or Student. Complaints against Members or Students are taken seriously. A “complaint” is a complaint about the conduct or alleged conduct of a Member or Student (“Respondent”) and must be in writing, signed by the Complainant, and must give the reasonable particulars of the grounds for the complaint. The complaint is made to the Institute’s President and CEO.
Complaints are reviewed by a committee of the Board of Directors, the Conduct and Discipline Committee (“CDC”). The CDC is comprised of three to five experienced CBVs and may also include one layperson. The Chair of the CDC is appointed by the Board of Directors for a term of three years, and may be a Director of the Institute. The Chair of the Institute’s Board of Directors appoints the additional members of the CDC, none of whom are Directors of the Institute, for a term of three years. The Chair of the CDC reports to the Board of Directors on the activities of the CDC. Decisions of the CDC require approval of at least three members at a duly held meeting.
Upon receiving the complaint, the President and CEO forwards the complaint and all supporting materials to the Chair of the CDC. The Chair of the CDC performs an initial review of the complaint to determine whether the complaint is within the scope of the Institute or is trivial/vexatious. A meeting of the CDC may also be convened to perform an initial review of the complaint. Following this initial review, if the complaint is within the scope of the Institute and is not trivial/vexatious, the Chair of the CDC will inform the Respondent of the complaint against them and send them a copy of the complaint. The complaint will then be further reviewed and investigated by the CDC.
If the complaint is not within the scope of the Institute or is trivial/vexatious, the Complainant will be advised in writing that no further action will be taken.
The Chair of the CDC will request that the Complainant provide any material or information necessary to support the complaint, and all such information shall be made available to the Respondent. The Respondent is requested to provide any material or information necessary to refute the complaint.
Once such information is received, the Chair of the CDC will convene a meeting of the CDC to review the complaint and the additional information provided to determine whether there are sufficient grounds to initiate an investigation, or whether the complaint should lead to further proceedings.
If an investigation is needed, the CDC shall appoint one or more investigators with appropriate professional capabilities. The investigators investigate the complaint and gather additional information, and ultimately prepare and deliver a report to the CDC about the investigation.
The CDC may determine that:
- There is sufficient evidence of professional misconduct having taken place to lay a charge and direct the matter to a hearing before a Discipline Tribunal. The CDC may accept a settlement agreement with the Respondent which, if accepted, closes the matter; or
- There is insufficient evidence that the Respondent committed professional misconduct, and the matter should be closed.
If a charge is to be made, the Chair of the CDC prepares the charge setting out the breaches. The President and CEO serves notice of the charge on the Respondent and informs the Complainant of the decision to lay a charge before the Discipline Tribunal.
The Chair of the CDC requests the Chair of the Board of Directors to appoint a CBV as a Discipline Tribunal Chair. The Discipline Tribunal Chair appoints two other CBVs (or one CBV and one layperson) to serve on the Discipline Tribunal, none of who are members of the Board of Directors. Members of the Discipline Tribunal cannot serve on the tribunal if they have prior familiarity with the proceedings, are intimate acquaintances of the Respondent or Complainant, or are biased in any manner. The Discipline Tribunal has the power to perform the functions imposed upon it.
The Discipline Tribunal Chair sets the date and location of the hearing, and informs the Respondent and the CDC. Before the date of the hearing, the CDC must provide the Respondent with written particulars of the evidence that will be introduced on behalf of the CDC, including any expert witnesses, and the Respondent must do the same.
The hearing is held before the Discipline Tribunal by the Respondent and the CDC, who present oral and written evidence under oath. The Complainant does not have standing before the Discipline Tribunal. The hearing is not open to the public, unless the CDC and the Respondent otherwise agree.
The Discipline Tribunal delivers its decision at the conclusion of the hearing or may reserve its decision for not more than 60 days. The decision is given in writing to each of the Institute, the CDC and the Respondent. The Discipline Tribunal may dismiss the charge, find the charge proved, or find the charge not proved, but a lesser charge proved.
If the Discipline Tribunal finds the charge (or another lesser charge) proved, it may decline to impose any sanctions or may impose, separately or in combination, sanctions which include:
- An order that the CBV’s membership be terminated (or that a Student’s affiliation be terminated);
- An order that the CBV’s membership (or a Student’s affiliation) and the right to use any designation indicating membership in the Institute be suspended;
- An order that the Respondent practice only under the supervision of a designated CBV who agrees to act as supervisor for such period and under such terms as the Discipline Tribunal may specify;
- An order that the Respondent take steps to improve his/her professional competence, which order may either specify the actions to be taken by the Respondent or provide that the actions taken by the Respondent shall be such as satisfy the President and CEO;
- An order that the Respondent keep such records of his/her practice as the Discipline Tribunal considers desirable to be kept;
- An order that the Respondent pay a fine to the Institute;
- An order that the Respondent pay costs to the Institute;
- An order that reimbursement of all or part of the fees and/or disbursements paid by the Complainant to the Respondent be made to the complainant in such amount as the Discipline Tribunal may determine; or
- A reprimand.
The Institute shall publish a summary of the issues reviewed by the Discipline Tribunal and the sanctions imposed in the newsletter of the Institute, or on the website of the Institute or in such other publication as appropriate for giving notice to CBVs and Students of matters considered by the Discipline Tribunal and its decision, if the sanctions pertain to a termination or suspension. The Discipline Tribunal may, at its discretion, order that publication, on a named basis, be expanded to include non-Institute publications.
If the sanctions include the termination of the CBV’s membership, the name of the CBV and location of practice shall be disclosed in publications distributed in the geographic area of the CBV’s current or former practice or employment or in such other manner as the Discipline Tribunal may determine to be appropriate. If the Discipline Tribunal’s sanctions do not include termination or suspension, the publication will not name the individual disciplined.
Annually, or as often as necessary, the Board of Directors shall appoint one or more CBVs, each of whom shall be authorized to convene an Appeal Board and to be its Chair. The Respondent may appeal all or any portion of the decision of the Discipline Tribunal by delivery of notice of such appeal to the President and CEO within 20 days of the notification of the decision of the Discipline Tribunal.
The Appeal Board Chair shall appoint two other CBVs in good standing (or one CBV and one layperson) to serve on the Appeal Board. CBVs serving on an Appeal Board shall not be members of the Institute Board of Directors or have had any prior involvement with the Tribunal as a Discipline Tribunal Chair or Discipline Tribunal Member, an investigator or as a witness at related proceedings before the Discipline Tribunal.
Upon review of the submissions and rebuttal, the Appeal Board may dismiss the charge and rescind the sanctions imposed by the Discipline Tribunal, find the charge in whole or in part proved, or find all or part of the charge not proved, but a lesser charge proved. If the Appeal Board finds the charge (or another lesser charge) proved, it shall review the sanctions imposed by the Discipline Tribunal and may ratify the sanctions imposed by the Discipline Tribunal, reduce or otherwise amend the sanctions imposed by the Discipline Tribunal or may impose, separately or in combination, additional sanctions.
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