1.1 The Complaints Procedure is intended to provide a means of examining a complaint against a Member Organisation of the European Interdisciplinary Association for Therapy with Children and Young People (hereafter EIATSCYP), to determine whether a breach of the EIATSCYP Code of Ethics as taken place, and to recommend further action. Such action may include sanctions against the EIATSCYP Member Organisation.
1.2 `Members` refers to all categories of organisational membership of EIATSCYP – Full, Provisional, Associate and Honorary. EIATSCYP has claims no jurisdiction to hear complaints against individuals, which complaints are processed by the individuals Member Organisation or National Professional Body. In the event that a holder of the European Certificate of EIATSCYP is suspended or ‘struck off’ their Member Organisation and/or National Register then Euroips must automatically replicate such action.
1.3 A complaint can be brought against a Member Organisation of EIATSCYP, up to 3 years from the date of the alleged breach of the Ethics Codes:
1.4 The Member Organisation complained against should have been a Member of EIATSCYP at the time of the alleged breach of the Code of Ethics.
1.5 EIATSCYP is not responsible for expenses incurred by either party to a complaint.
2.1 The following procedure will only become operational on receipt of a written complaint.
2.2 The written complaint should be sent to the Chairperson of EIATSCYP Complaints Committee (hereafter CC) and should include information specifying the clause or clauses of the Code of Ethics which the complainant alleges have been breached. The Chairperson of the CC will forward a copy of the complaint to the EIATSCYP Board, where applicable.
2.3 The Chairperson of the CC plus one other senior practitioner member of the Ethics Committee will determine whether the complainant has demonstrated reasonable grounds for believing a breach of professional ethics may have taken place, which requires the following conditions to be met:
2.3.1 The allegation is about a breach of a specific clause or clauses of the EIATSCYP Code of Ethics.
2.3.2 The organisation named in the complaint was a Member of EIATSCYP at the time of the breach.
2.4 If the above conditions (2.3.1; 2.3.2) are not met then the Chairperson of CC will inform the complainant and advise them that, EIATSCYP is unable to proceed with the complaint.
2.5 If conditions 2.3.1 and 2.3.2 are met the complainant proceeds in the following stages:
3. Stage I
3.1 The Chairperson of the CC will forward a copy of the written complaint to the Member Organisation complained against and request a written response within 28 days of receiving the written complaint, a copy of which will be forwarded to the complainant.
3.2 If the Member Organisation complained against fails to provide the written response without a satisfactory reason, action will be taken by the Chairperson of CC as if the alleged breach of Ethics had indeed taken place.
4. Stage II
4.1 The Chairperson of the CC will offer both the Complainant and a senior representative of the Member Organisation complained against an opportunity to meet together, at a time and place convenient to both parties, and in the presence of a Senior Member of EIATSCYP acceptable to both parties. The Senior Member of EIATSCYP will act as a mediator to facilitate resolution.
5. Stage III
5.1 If a satisfactory resolution is not achieved at Stage II or the Complainant or Member Organisation complained against decline the Stage II meeting, then the Chairperson of the CC will appoint a Panel of Enquiry.
5.2 The Panel of Enquiry will comprise of two Senior Members of EIATSCYP, plus one person external to EIATSCYP who will be a person of standing in the profession of Counselling/Psychotherapy, in Europe.
5.3 The composition of the Panel of Enquiry will be sensitive to issues of race and gender.
5.4 The Members of the Panel of Enquiry will elect one of the Panel to act as Chairperson.
5.5 The formal Panel of Enquiry will convene:
5.5.1 Within sixty (60) days of the appointment of the Panel of Enquiry. The date of the Enquiry will whenever possible, be determined in co-operation with all parties, first by telephone and subsequently confirmed in writing. If the parties to the complaint are unable to agree a date, then the Panel of Enquiry will determine a date. The sixty day time-scale will only be waived under extreme circumstances and at the discretion of the Chairperson of the Panel of Enquiry. The Panel of Enquiry must take place not later than ninety (90) days from the appointment of the Panel of Enquiry.
5.5.2 The complainant and the Member Organisation complained against may be accompanied by a friend/advocate.
5.6 All written evidence and submissions must be submitted to the Chairperson of the Panel of Enquiry not less than fifteen days before the date of the Panel of Enquiry. All parties to the complaint will be circulated copies of all written evidence and submissions.
5.7 New evidence will not be admitted on the day of the Enquiry except at the discretion of the Panel and will be confined to short oral or written submissions.
5.8 The Panel of Enquiry may invite witnesses to attend to answer questions about their written submissions.
5.9 The Chairperson of the Panel of Enquiry will, in the presence of all parties to the complaint, present:
5.9.1 A summary of the complainant’s case.
5.9.2 A summary of the case of the Member Organisation complained against.
5.9.3 The complainant and/or their friend/advocate puts questions, through the Chair, to the Member Organisation complained against.
5.9.4 The Member Organisation complained against or their friend/advocate puts questions, through the Chair, to the complainant.
5.9.5 The Panel of Enquiry members then seek clarification through questions to the complainant, the Member Organisation complained against, and any witnesses present.
5.9.6 When the Chairperson is satisfied that the Panel of Enquiry has gained all the clarification required or possible, all parties to the complaint, except the Panel, will withdraw.
5.9.7 The proceedings of the Panel of Enquiry will be tape-recorded.
5.10 The Panel of Enquiry then determines whether or not a breach of the specific clause or clauses of the Code of Ethics of EIATSCYP has occurred or whether it is probable that a breach has occurred. In the event that unanimity is not achieved, a split decision can be handed down.
5.11 Within fifteen (15) days of the Panel of Enquiry, the Chairperson of the Panel of Enquiry advises the complainant and the Member Organisation complained against of its conclusions in writing. At the same time it passes its conclusions on to the Chairperson of the CC. The Chairperson of the CC informs the Board of EIATSCYP, in writing, of the outcomes of each Stage of the procedure (namely Stage I, Stage II and Stage III), together with its recommendations as to sanctions that might be applied.
5.12 Where a complaint against a Member Organisation is upheld by the Panel of Enquiry then the said Member Organisation may be required to either:
5.12.1 Provide the panel with a written statement of acceptance to the adjudication and an apology to the complainant.
5.12.2 Provide the above together with a written undertaking showing how they intend to address the issue(s) raised by the complaint.
5.12.3 Suspension of membership of the Member Organisation with or without a requirement to comply with 5.12.1 and 5.12.2 above.
5.12.4 Termination of membership of the Member Organisation.
A member of the panel will be nominated to monitor any sanctions imposed.
The consequence of non-compliance to 5.12.1; 5.12.2; 5.12.3; 5.12.4; above will be termination of membership of the Institute after a second written warning.
6. Appeals Procedure
6.1 The complainant or Member Organisation being complained against may appeal against the sanction and/or decision on grounds of improper procedure by writing to the President of EIATSCYP within fourteen (14) days of receiving notice of the findings.
6.2 The President of EIATSCYP forwards the appeal to an External Moderator appointed by EIATSCYP who reviews the case and reports back to all concerned as to whether the procedures were improperly applied.
6.3 The decision of the External Moderator is final and there is no further appeal within the structures and procedures of EIATSCYP.
7. Protocols Governing Complaints Procedure
7.1 If the Complainant fails to attend the Panel of Enquiry without good reason or due notice then the complaint is regarded as withdrawn and the Member Organisation complained against is automatically exonerated with regard to that complaint. In this event the complainant loses his/her right to appeal.
7.2 If the Member Organisation complained against fails to attend the Panel of Enquiry without good reason or due notice then the Panel of Enquiry may recommend the termination of membership of that EIATSCYP Member Organisation. In this event the Member Organisation complained against loses the right of appeal.
7.3 Findings of complaints procedures are notified to the complainant, the Member Organisation complained against, the Board of EIATSCYP, and to other parties directly involved.
7.4In the event that the Member Organisation complained against has their membership terminated, this fact may be published at the discretion of the Board of EIATSCYP
via advertisement on the web site of EIATSCYP.
by notification to any relevant professional bodies, at the discretion of the Board of Directors of EIATSCYP.
The Chairperson of the CC will action 7.4 jointly with the Board of EIATSCYP.
7.5 All persons involved in the EIATSCYP Complaints Procedure should act in a manner that does not breach confidentiality.
7.6 At any point in the Complaints Procedure but after the receipt of the formal complaint the Board of EIATCYP acting with the Chair of CC can suspend EIATSCYP membership of the Member Organisation complained against with immediate effect. Such suspension is considered if:
7.6.1 Physical or emotional harm has allegedly been caused.
7.6.2 The complaint if upheld could result in termination from membership.
7.7 The resignation of a Member Organisation complained against will not be accepted by the Board of EIATCYP until the EIATSCYP Complaints Procedure has been completed.
7.8 Names of EIATSCYP Member Organisations complained against are kept confidential from everyone other than the EIATSCYP Board , the Chairperson of the CC, the Chairperson of the Ethics Committee and members directly investigating the complaint until such a time as a recommended course of action or sanction is to be implemented.
7.9 Complaints made anonymously are normally rejected unless they are sufficiently serious such that the police, or other relevant authorities, need to be notified.
7.10 A complainant can withdraw their complaint in writing at any time but in this event the complaint cannot be resubmitted at some later date.
7.11 EIATSCYP records annually regarding the number of complaints received, their nature and disposition.
7.12 A relevant professional body or national regulatory body will normally be informed of the outcome when any complaint is sustained against an EIATSCYP Member Organisation.
7.13 All correspondence regarding the complaint must be sent, whenever possible, by Recorded Delivery. Correspondence that is alleged to have been ‘lost in the post’ will be assumed not to have been sent unless evidence of dispatch of the correspondence can be produced. A claim of lost correspondence is not grounds for changing the timetable of the procedures.
7.14 Powers of attorney will not be accepted except under extraordinary circumstances that must be advised by the Chairperson of the CC and approved by the Board of EIATSCYP. Complainants and a senior representative (s) of the Member Organisation complained against must therefore appear in person.
7.15 All documentation and tape recordings that have been pertinent to the formal complaints procedures will be archived for seven (7) years from the date of the formal complaint.