1. Upon receipt of a complaint, the complaint allegations will be reviewed to determine Board jurisdiction and whether or not sufficient evidence exists to establish reasonable cause that a violation of the Board’s Practice Act occurred.
2. If it appears jurisdiction has been established and there is evidence of a violation, the complaint will be assigned to a staff member of the Board’s Enforcement Unit to investigate.
3. The respondent will be provided notice of the complaint and have the opportunity to respond to the allegations.
4. The complainant, respondent and witnesses will be interviewed as necessary, and additional evidence may be developed.
5. If the complaint appears to be a possible violation of technical practice standards, the complaint allegations will be technically assessed by Board appointed volunteer registrants who are members of the Board’s Enforcement Advisory Committee (EAC).
6. If recommended after a technical assessment, an EAC committee meeting will be convened to review and discuss the complaint, assess the evidence, and conduct interviews. The committee shall make findings with regard to the complaint allegations, and can make recommendations to the Board for disposition of the complaint. Respondents are encouraged to participate in EAC committee meetings, however, attendance or participation is not required.
7. If, through the investigative process, violations of the Board’s Practice Act are identified such that disciplinary action is warranted, the respondent shall be offered an opportunity to settle the complaint informally through a settlement agreement commonly referred to as a “Consent Agreement”.
8. If a settlement cannot be reached, the respondent may provide a counterproposal to the Board for consideration. Respondent can elect to have the complaint moved to a formal hearing which will be conducted by either the Board or an Administrative Law Judge.
9. The Board shall be presented with, and act upon, all complaints assigned for investigation. The Board will review and consider information developed through the investigative process including technical assessments and EAC committee reports. Possible Board action can include, but is not limited to, the following:
- If the Board finds that no violation of the Board’s Practice Act has occurred, the Board may dismiss the complaint;
- If the Board finds that there is insufficient evidence to support disciplinary action, however, the registrant’s conduct raises a concern, the Board may issue a Letter of Concern;
- If the Board finds that a registrant has violated the Board’s Practice Act, the Board may take disciplinary action against the respondent’s registration or certification, pursuant to A.R.S. § 32-128. This can be achieved informally by the Board’s acceptance of a signed Consent Agreement or through a formal hearing process;
- If the Board finds that a non-registrant has violated the Board’s statutes, the Board may impose a civil penalty of up to $2000.00 per violation, pursuant to A.R.S. § 32-106.02(B). This can also be achieved informally by the Board’s acceptance of a signed Consent Agreement or through a formal hearing process.
10. To assist them in determining the appropriate disposition, the Board will be presented with the following at a Board meeting:
- A synopsis of the complaint allegation;
- Investigative information relevant to the Board’s review;
- EAC recommendations if a committee was convened;
- Staff recommendations;
- A Consent Agreement signed by the respondent for Board consideration, if one has been received;
- Respondent’s counterproposal or a Consent Agreement proposed by staff if no signed Consent Agreement has been received.
- A Consent Agreement containing an Order of Discipline signed by both the respondent and the Board is considered a final disciplinary action. An Order of Discipline issued by the Board after a formal hearing is also considered a final disciplinary action.