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“Disciplinary Programs: Does Yours Measure Up?”

“Disciplinary Programs: Does Yours Measure Up?”

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“Disciplinary Programs: Does Yours Measure Up?”

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  1. Expect the Unexpected: Are We Clearly Prepared? “Disciplinary Programs: Does Yours Measure Up?” Christine D. Niero, PhD, Professional Testing, Inc. Richard Bar, Esq., Galland, Kharasch, Greenberg, Fellman & Swirsky, P.C. D. Scott Williamson, Jr., CAE, MBA, The American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics, Inc. Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation 2006 Annual Conference Alexandria, Virginia

  2. Overview and Objectives • Learn about private sector practices • Learn how to recognize fair and effective disciplinary programs • Learn how to evaluate private sector codes of ethics Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  3. Overview and Objectives • Understand the scope of authority of private sector certification boards • Benchmark private sector practices • Learn how to enhance communication between private and public sectors Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  4. Benchmarking Data Survey of Certification Organizations—Benchmarking • 37 Question Survey • Disseminated to 879 Certification Boards • 8% Response Rate (70 respondents) Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  5. Benchmarking Data General Survey Categories • Information about the Certification Organization • General Information about the Disciplinary Program • Actionable Offenses • Processing Cases • Qualifications of Personnel Handling Cases Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  6. Benchmarking Data Organizational Structure • 97% of Certification Programs are Part of a Parent Non-profit • 44% of Certification Programs are Separately Incorporated Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  7. Benchmarking Data Reasons Certification Programs Were Established • 75% Established to Raise Level of Professionalism • 66% Establish Industry Standards • 40% Consumer Protection Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  8. Benchmarking Data Reasons for Implementing Disciplinary Programs • 50% Advised by Legal Counsel/Consultants • 30% Implemented due to Complaints • 34% Accreditation Compliance (NCCA, ISO 17024, ISO 9000, Other) Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  9. Benchmarking Data Importance of Certification • 77% No Requirement for State or Federal Licensure • 15% Requirement for the Industry • 88% Moderate or Significant Impact on Earning Power Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  10. Benchmarking Data Active Certificants • 12% Fewer than 500 • 23% Between 501 – 2,500 • 23% Between 2,501 – 10,000 • 13% Between 10,0001 – 25,000 • 13% Between 25,001 – 50,000 • 15% More than 50,000 Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  11. Benchmarking Data Length Discipline Program has been in Existence • 47% Since Inception • 33% More Than Last 10 Years • 19% Less Than 5 Years Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  12. Benchmarking Data Requirement to Uphold Code of Conduct • 72% At time of application • 19% At time certification is awarded • 15% Do not require a pledge to uphold Code of Conduct • 13% At time of renewal or recertification Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  13. Benchmarking Data Actionable Offenses • 85% Falsification of Application • 80% Violation of Code • 51% Criminal Charges • 46% Felony Convictions • 31% Poor Services/Products Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  14. Benchmarking Data Actionable Offenses • 28% Violation of Other’s Codes • 21% Misdemeanors Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  15. Reference and Guidance Documents • NCCA Accreditation Standards • ISO/IEC 17024 (ANSI) Accreditation Standards • 35% of responding organizations are accredited Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  16. NCCA Accreditation Standards Standard 2—Purpose, Governance, Resources • Program must be structured and governed to protect against undue influence • Policies and procedures must provide for autonomy in decision making regarding important aspects of the certification program Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  17. NCCA Accreditation Standards Standard 6—Responsibilities to Stakeholders • Policies and procedures related to discipline and appeals • Disciplinary policies must address complaints about conduct that is harmful to the public or inappropriate for the discipline Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  18. NCCA Accreditation Standards Standard 9—Responsibilities to Stakeholders • Maintain a list and provide verification of certified individuals • Addresses “good standing” while safeguarding confidentiality Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  19. ISO/IEC 17024 4.1 Certification body 4.1.2—The certification body defines policies and procedures for … suspending or withdrawing the certification Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  20. ISO/IEC 17024 4.2 Organizational Structure 4.2.1 c)—The certification body shall have overall responsibility for formulating policies regarding … decisions on certification and the implementation of policies and procedures Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  21. ISO/IEC 17024 4.2 Organizational Structure 4.2.6—The certification body shall define policies and procedures for the resolution of appeals and complaints • Policies must ensure appeals and complaints are resolved independently and in an unbiased manner Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  22. ISO/IEC 17024 4.7—Confidentiality Through legally enforceable commitments keep confidential all information … and release information required by law with the requirement of informing individuals concerned Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  23. ISO/IEC 17024 6.6 Use of certificates and logos/marks 6.6.2—The certification body shall require discontinued use of all claims to certification; upon suspension or withdrawal of certification the Certificant must return certificate Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  24. Typical Codes/Standards • Abide by Laws • Conduct business in a professional manner • Respect the confidentiality of client information Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  25. Typical Codes/Standards • Perform services in a competent manner • Be truthful and honest in the performance of the job • Do not discriminate Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  26. Typical Codes/Standards • Promote professional integrity • Abide by industry accepted practice norms • Advance the body of knowledge Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  27. Typical Codes/Standards • Use logos and credentials in accordance with organization’s policies • Affirm behaviors and practices consistent with Code of Conduct and Standards of Practice Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  28. Developing Fair Disciplinary Programs • Mission and purpose of certification organization • Authority over credential (Bylaws) • Guiding documents (Policies and Procedures; Code of Conduct; Standards of Practice) Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  29. Developing Fair Disciplinary Programs • Mission of certification organization typically includes serving the public’s trust, upholding high standards, and credible processes • Key feature separating certification from regulatory functions and membership status • Key program component is to document safeguarding the public’s trust Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  30. Developing Fair Disciplinary Programs • Scope of Authority—supported in Bylaws, Policies and Procedures and other guiding documents such as published roles and responsibilities for all parties • Nature of authority for each phase of the process is clearly delineated • Ultimate authority for process and liability rests with governing board Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  31. Developing Fair Disciplinary Programs • Code of Ethics or Standards of Professional Practice/Behavior developed with input and representation of certificant population • Complaints and investigations must be limited to published codes and standards • May not extend to issues relating to legitimate marketplace competition Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  32. Developing Fair Disciplinary Programs • Codes and Standards are considered “living” documents to keep pace with developments in the profession and/or industry • Circulated for input from stakeholders • Documents disseminated at application stage and in public domain (handbook, website) Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  33. Benchmarking Data Codes of Conduct • 86% Have a Code • 81% Enforce it Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  34. Benchmarking Data Frequency of Code Review • 65% As Needed • 30% Every 1 – 3 Years • 6% Every 4 - 6 Years Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  35. Developing Fair Disciplinary Programs Fairness in Investigative Procedures • Complaints must be signed • Complaints must be submitted in writing • State alleged violations of Code or Standards • Provide adequate statement of facts or description of violation/incident Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  36. Developing Fair Disciplinary Programs • Complainant agrees to disclosure of information to Certificant and authoritative bodies • Must be actionable or dismissed • Notify the Certificant in writing of an actionable complaint • Include complaint Code and Rules • Certificant must respond to complaint Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  37. Benchmarking Data Receipt of Complaints • 86% In Writing of Any Kind • 25% Written Complaint Form • 19% By Phone Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  38. Benchmarking Data Sharing Information with All Involved Parties • 64% No • 36% Yes Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  39. Checks & Balances: Role & Authority Governing Board, Committees, Investigative Panels & Professional Staff • Governing Board—ultimate responsibility for administration of program and final authority; may handle appeals • Ethics & Standards Committee—responsibility for administering the program and assuring implementation of Codes/Standards Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  40. Checks & Balances: Role & Authority • Review findings and recommendations of Investigators • Recommend sanctions, corrective action, further action, dismissal of case • Formally communicate outcome to the governing board Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  41. Checks & Balances: Role & Authority • Investigators—composed of seasoned certificants and experts in the field of investigation & nature of complaint • Conduct investigations and have direct interaction with complainant, Certificant and witnesses • Data gathering and recommendations Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  42. Checks & Balances: Role & Authority Professional Staff & Administrators • Prepare all case documentation • Provide “institutional memory” • Offer assistance with complaint process • Direct to other agencies, BBB, attorney, etc. • Provide updates regarding complaint status Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  43. Benchmarking Data Authority to Implement the Disciplinary Program • 46% Board of Directors • 48% Committee • 26% Staff • 11% Other Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  44. Benchmarking Data Initial Review of Complaints • 86% Staff Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  45. Benchmarking Data Timing of Committee Involvement • 72% After initial determination of a valid complaint • 20% At time of review and decision • 14% At the time the complaint is filed Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  46. Conducting Investigations Prompt and competent investigation All decisions must be “legally defensible” Requirements for Investigators • Impartiality • No conflict of interest • Expertise • Ability • Time Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  47. Conducting Investigations Volunteer Committees • Confidentiality • Conflict of Interest • Subject Matter Experts • Clearly Defined Objective Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  48. Benchmarking Data Frequency of Disciplinary Matters Review • 76% As Needed • 8% Quarterly • 10% Semi-Annually • 8% Annually Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  49. Benchmarking Data Number of New Investigations Annually • 67% Less than 5 • 17% Between 6 and 10 • 3% Between 11 and 20 • 3% Between 21 and 40 • 3% Between 41 and 60 Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia

  50. Conducting Investigations Duty of Confidentiality • Facts must remain confidential • Confidentiality agreements for team • Court orders or valid subpoenas • Repercussions of a breach of confidentiality Presented at the 2006 CLEAR Annual Conference September 14-16 Alexandria, Virginia