Complaint Process

The Board's Complaint Process

  1. Upon receipt of a complaint, the investigations manager reviews the complaint allegations to determine Board jurisdiction and whether or not sufficient evidence exists to establish reasonable cause that a violation of the Board’s Practice Act may have occurred.

  2. If  jurisdiction has been established and evidence provided, the investigations manager assigns the complaint to an internal agency investigator.

  3. The investigator will provide notice of the complaint to the respondent and the respondent will have the opportunity to provide a response to the allegations.

  4. The investigator will interview the complainant, respondent, and any witnesses and collect evidence for the investigation file.

  5. If the complaint is regarding technical practice standards,  Board appointed subject matter experts, who are members of the Board’s Enforcement Advisory Committee (EAC)*, will conduct an initial technical assessment of the investigative evidence. The subject matter experts will then make a recommendation as to whether to dismiss the matter or proceed to an EAC meeting .

  6. If recommended after an initial technical assessment, the investigator will convene an EAC meeting where subject matter experts will review and discuss the complaint, assess the evidence, and conduct interviews.  The committee can make recommendations to the Board regarding whether or not a violation of the Board's Practice Act has occurred pursuant to A.A.C R4-30-120(B).  Respondents are encouraged to participate in EAC committee meetings and may be represented by counsel, however, attendance or participation is not required pursuant to A.A.C R4-30-120(D). An EAC meeting is not a formal hearing. 

  7. If violations of the Board’s Practice Act are identified through the investigative process, such that disciplinary action may be warranted, the investigator will attempt to informally resolve the complaint  through a settlement agreement commonly referred to as a “consent agreement” pursuant to A.A.C R4-30-120(G).

  8. If the respondent does not agree to resolve the complaint through the investigator’s proposed consent agreement, the respondent may provide a counterproposal to the Board for consideration. Respondents can elect to have the complaint moved to a formal hearing which will be conducted by either the Board or an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH).

  9. The Board is presented with, and acts upon, all complaints assigned for investigation at its regularly scheduled Board meetings, regardless if a settlement has been reached. The Board reviews and considers information developed through the investigative process including technical assessments and EAC committee reports. Board staff provides the following information and materials to Board members:

    1. A synopsis of the complaint allegation;

    2. Complainant, respondent and witness interviews and all collected case evidence;

    3. Subject matter expert assessments if a technical assessment was conducted; 

    4. EAC recommendations if a committee was convened;

    5. Staff recommendations if no technical issues were identified (the Board did not require the use of subject matter experts), or if the case does not fall within the Board’s jurisdiction;

    6. A consent agreement signed by the respondent for Board consideration, if one has been received;

    7. Respondent’s counter proposal or the investigator’s proposed consent agreement if no signed consent agreement has been received;

    8. An Administrative Law Judge’s opinion if the case went to formal hearing at the Office of Administrative Hearings. 

  10. The Board has final decision making authority and may take appropriate action. Possible Board action can include, but is not limited to, the following:

    1. If the Board finds that no violation of the Board’s Practice Act has occurred, the Board may dismiss the complaint;

    2. If the Board finds that there is insufficient evidence to support disciplinary action, but the registrant’s conduct raises a concern, the Board may issue a non-disciplinary letter of concern;

    3. 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;

    4. If the Board finds that a non-registrant has violated the Board’s statutes, the Board may impose a civil penalty of no more than $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.

  11. A consent agreement containing a Board order signed by both the respondent and the Board is considered a final disciplinary action. A Board order issued by the Board after a formal hearing is also considered a final disciplinary action.