The Acupuncture Society (“the Society”) accepts no liability for the costs of the complainant or the practitioner in any case.
The Disciplinary Committee will investigate the following types of complaint:-
1. Written complaints from a client of a registered practising member received within 28 days
2. Substantiated allegations of breach of the Society’s Code of Ethics from any complainant
3. Complaints made to the Society from other Society members
4. Consideration of consensual resolution, without a hearing, of a complaint referred to a Panel by the Case Examiners, where appropriate
Practitioners must immediately report any complaints or criminal convictions made against them to the Society and must also inform the insurance company covering their professional practice.
Disciplinary committee powers
The committee may issue a formal warning to a member practitioner of its intention to investigate a complaint made against him/her and/or may suspend the practitioner from membership of The Acupuncture Society pending an investigation when deemed appropriate.
The Registrar of The Acupuncture Society will remove any practitioner from the membership register who is found to have seriously contravened the Society’s Code of Ethics, Rules and Regulations. All members have a right of appeal to the appeal panel of The Acupuncture Society within 28 days of the date of its decision being advised to the member practitioner complained of.
The Society reserves the right to take any action deemed appropriate by a majority of committee consensus this may result in temporary or permanent suspension prior to or after an investigation. Further in a potential criminal case or sexual impropriety complaint. The Society may inform the police for further investigation.
The Appeal Panel consists of 2 Society practitioner members and 1 lay non-practitioner panel member who was not sitting on the disciplinary committee which heard the original complaint made.
The appeal panel’s recommendations are final
Complaints must be made in writing to the disciplinary committee detailing the complainant’s name, address and contact details, the complaint, the practitioner involved, the date/dates, time and location of incident/incidents, documentary and supporting evidence and any witness statements and contact details.
Only complaints about the professional conduct of full practising Acupuncture Society members who, at the time of the complaint, were administering TCM treatments are within the disciplinary committee’s jurisdiction.
Complaints must relate to an incident or incidents which have taken place within the last 3 months
Practitioners under investigation and complainants must allow the disciplinary committee and the appeals panel access to examine the records of the patient involved in the incident or incidents.
Complaints can only refer to member practitioners whose alleged misconduct occurred during treatments or with clients who had sought treatment within their professional capacity as TCM practitioners.
Records of disciplinary committee cases will be retained by the committee in case there are future breaches.
Any complaints received by members of The Society must be immediately reported to the complaints committee.
Complaints must have sufficient grounds and substantiated evidence, and be within the jurisdiction of the Disciplinary Committee, where this is in doubt further questions will be sent to the complainant. The complainant will be informed in writing as to whether the committee considers that the complaint is of sufficient seriousness to warrant further investigation within 14 days of receipt of the written complaint.
If the complaint is substantiated the practitioner and the complainant will be informed in writing within 5 working days of the decision.
The Society will react promptly to any substantiated complaint made against its members and form a committee of suitably qualified members within 21 days of deciding that the complaint has merit.
The disciplinary committee will ensure that both parties have copies of submitted evidence and will consider oral and written evidence. The committee reserves the right to decide whether it should consider any new evidence which has arisen since the onset of the committee’s enquiries but fresh evidence cannot be submitted after three months of the date of the original Committee’s decision.
Practitioners found to be in breach of the Society’s Code of Ethics shall be informed in writing within 2 weeks of the finding of the Committee’s recommendations.
The complainant and the practitioner can each assign one person deemed relevant by the committee to support thier.
Appeal criteria require that evidence be produced to show that the original Disciplinary Committee recommendations were made in error or that vital information was withheld.
Appeals can be made to the Society registrar within 28 days of the date of the original Disciplinary Committee’s report.
The Appeal must be made in writing and must contain all information relating to the new evidence supporting their appeal.
The Society Registrar will determine whether the appeal conforms to the appeal criteria and his or her decision is final. The decision as to whether the appeal is to take place will be advised in writing to all parties within 5 working days of the decision being made.
The Appeal Panel will advise the complainant and practitioner of the time, date and venue of the hearing of the Appeal. All parties will receive copies of any new written evidence at the same time, or details of other evidence to be considered.
Both parties are permitted to assign one representative who will support their case. No other participants will be allowed other than witnesses to the incident complained of.
The Appeal Committee will consider the complaint in light of the written evidence presented. The Appeal Committee will then contact the Complainant and Practitioner within 28 days with their findings which is final.