Disciplinary code

Disciplinary Code For Members

1. Introduction

1.1 When a person applies for membership of the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors (“the Institute” or “CIEA”), he or she agrees that, if accepted for membership, he or she (the “Member”) will be bound by the terms of this Disciplinary Code (the “Code”) (as amended from time to time).

1.2 The Code is reviewed and re-issued to Members periodically. Amendments and updates are published on the Institute’s website at www.ciea.org.uk. If Members are in any doubt about any aspect of this Code they should consult the Institute.

1.3 The principles and responsibilities described in this Code do not take precedence over national law. Members should take its provisions as a minimum requirement and fulfil any other responsibilities set down in law or by nationally agreed standards. Any conflict should be reported to the Institute.

1.4 The Byelaws of the Institute’s Charter provide that membership of the Institute may be revoked by the Institute if the Board is satisfied that the Member of the Institute concerned:

1.4.1 has committed any material breach of the code of professional practice of the Institute in force from time to time;

1.4.2 has failed to comply with any continuing professional development requirements;

1.4.3 is in arrears with its subscription (if any) or any other sum due to the Institute;

1.4.4 has acted or omitted to act in such a way as to bring, or risk bringing, the Institute into disrepute;

1.4.5 has provided false or misleading information in their application for membership of the Institute; or

1.4.6 has been convicted of any arrestable criminal offence, other than an offence under road traffic legislation for which a fine or non-custodial sentence is imposed.

The Board of Trustees has appointed a Disciplinary Committee to investigate and handle disciplinary matters and complaints made against any Member (and appeals in connection with them) in accordance with the following procedure.

2. The Disciplinary Committee

2.1 The Board of Trustees has appointed a Disciplinary Committee to investigate and handle disciplinary matters and complaints made against any Member (and appeals in connection with them) in accordance with the following procedure.

2.2 The Disciplinary Committee has overall responsibility for matters relating to the professional conduct of Members (including responsibility for complaints against those admitted to the Register of Chartered Educational Assessors).

2.3 The Disciplinary Committee shall comprise Members of the Institute who shall not be Members of the Registration Authority. There may be up to two independent members (i.e. non-CIEA Members) of the Disciplinary Committee. The Disciplinary Committee may also appoint a legal advisor to give advice on law and procedure but any such legal advisor shall not have a vote on the decisions regarding cases under consideration.

2.4 The Disciplinary Committee’s members must declare any conflict of interest in the Complaint or disciplinary action immediately as soon as such a conflict of interest becomes evident. They will then be required to stand down, and the Chair of the Disciplinary Committee shall appoint some other person to the Disciplinary Committee.

2.5 The Disciplinary Committee will consider each case in accordance with the Procedure for the Disciplinary Hearing set out below and shall make its recommendations on how to respond to a Complaint to the Board of Trustees.

3. Complaints

3.1 Any person (including non-Members, i.e. members of the public) may make a complaint about the conduct of a Member of the Institute (the “Complainant” and “Complaint” respectively).

3.2 All Complaints must be made in writing and describe in detail the nature of the Complaint. For the avoidance of doubt, “in writing” includes correspondence by e-mail and facsimile.

3.3 All Complaints must be sent for the attention of the Chief Executive Officer at the registered office of the Institute.

3.4 The name and address of the Complainant must be given.

3.5 The name and, where known, the address of the Member complained against must also be given; or, alternatively, a sufficient description for identification.

3.6 The Complaint must also set out the circumstances which constitute the Complaint and state the relationship, if any, between the Complainant and the Institute Member.

3.7 The Institute itself may be the complainant where a Member does not adhere to the requirements of membership or the requirements of this or any of the codes of the Institute are thought not to have been complied with. In addition the Institute may make a Complaint where it is aware of unprofessional conduct or of a disciplinary issue (including the failure to comply with any undertaking or condition connected with a disciplinary issue), or of any action or inaction which it considers may bring the Institute into disrepute.

4. Administration of Complaints

4.1 An acknowledgement of receipt of the Complaint shall be sent to the Complainant within 14 days, together with a copy of this Code and confirmation that the Complaint will be dealt with in accordance with its provisions.

4.2 At the same time, a copy of the Complaint shall be sent or e-mailed to the Member complained against, who shall be asked to make a written statement within 28 days.

4.3 The Disciplinary Committee will review all Complaints at this stage to ensure they are made in good faith.

4.4 Where the Disciplinary Committee conclude upon their initial review of a Complaint that a Complaint has been made in bad faith, or maliciously or vexatiously, or that the allegations are manifestly false, it shall inform the Complainant that the Complaint will not be taken forward and that it shall be struck out.

4.5 The Complainant may appeal against such a strike-out of their Complaint in accordance with clause 8.

4.6 Unless the Complaint has been struck-out in accordance with clauses 4.3 and 4.4 above, the Complaint and the Member’s statement will be received and considered by the Disciplinary Committee.

4.7 The Member may be required to attend a hearing by the Disciplinary Committee and/or by the Board of Trustees.

4.8 The Member has the right of attendance and rights of address at any such meeting(s). However any such meeting(s) shall be entirely at the Disciplinary Committee and/or Board of Trustees’ behest and should a Member become violent or disruptive during any such meeting they will waive their rights to attend and speak.

4.9 The Member must be given 14 days written notice about any meeting which he or she is required to attend in connection with the Complaint.

4.10 If the Board of Trustees decides that the Complaint does not amount to a disciplinary offence, it will notify the Complainant and the Member accordingly in writing.

4.11 If a Member does not wish to attend, or fails to attend, for any reason, the Complaint shall still be considered by the Disciplinary Panel and the Board of Trustees shall make a decision on the Complaint.

4.12 Once a decision has been taken it will be communicated to the Membership Committee and to the Registration Authority.

4.13 Any appeal against the decision must be received within 28 days.

4.14 All decisions made on appeal will be made by the Board of Trustees and shall be final and no further correspondence will be entered into.

4.15 Decisions made on appeal will be conveyed in writing to the Member concerned, and to the Complainant.

4.16 Final decisions will be recorded on the individual’s Membership record on the Institute’s database.

4.17 In the event that a Complaint is upheld, the CIEA shall have the right to recover costs from the Member against whom the Complaint was made.

4.18 In the event that a Complaint is upheld following appeal, the Institute shall have the right to recover costs from the Member against whom the Complaint was made.

5. Procedure for the Disciplinary Hearing

5.1 The Disciplinary Committee shall meet in person to consider the complaint within 3 months of the Complaint being received by the Institute.

5.2 The Chair of the Disciplinary Committee must ensure that the Disciplinary Committee is quorate. A quorum shall be three members of the Disciplinary Committee.

5.3 The Chair must name the individual against whom the Complaint was made and ask the Members of the Disciplinary Committee to declare any conflict of interest.

5.4 The Chair must ensure that the exact nature of the Complaint is presented in a fair and appropriate manner to the Disciplinary Committee.

5.5 The Chair must ensure that all the information relevant to the Complaint is presented to the Disciplinary Committee, and as a minimum must include:

5.5.1 The original letter of Complaint or reason for the disciplinary hearing

5.5.2 The written statement made by the Member against whom the Complaint has been made

5.5.3 The CIEA membership category of the Member concerned

5.5.4 Profile of the Member from information held on the Institute’s database

5.5.5 A copy of this Disciplinary Procedure for Members

5.5.6 A copy of the CIEA Code of Practice for Members.

5.6 The Chair shall direct discussion of the Complaint and summarise the conclusion of the Disciplinary Committee.

5.7 A report on the proceedings and outcome will be made by a professional Member of staff of the CIEA, who will act as Secretary to the Disciplinary Committee.

5.8 This report must be approved by the Chair, then confirmed by the Disciplinary Committee.

5.9 Once the Board of Trustees have considered the recommendations of the Disciplinary Committee, notification of the decision of the hearing shall be sent to the Member against whom the Complaint has been made, and to the Complainant. Such notification shall be made within 28 days of the meeting of the Disciplinary Committee.

5.10 Where a CIEA Member is convicted of a criminal offence which in the opinion of the Disciplinary Committee and/or Board of Trustees renders the individual Member unfit to remain a Member, a recommendation to this effect must be ratified by the Board at the earliest opportunity. In certain extreme circumstances, such as those where it is in the interests of the Institute to act quickly, this decision may be taken by the Chair of the Board on behalf of the Board.

6. Actions available to the Board of Trustees:

6.1 The Board of Trustees may:

6.1.1 Dismiss the Complaint, where the Disciplinary Committee and it consider that:
(a) the Complaint is unjustified, and/or
(b) the Member has adhered to the CIEA Codes of Practice and there are no other substantial grounds for the Complaint, and/or
(c) the Complaint is beyond the scope of the Codes of Practice

6.1.2 Require a Member to make a written undertaking of their future conduct

6.1.3 Reprimand a Member and require one or more of the following:
(d) assessment or re-assessment to retain level of Membership and/or

6.1.4 Withdraw Membership either for life or for a specified period at the discretion of the Board of Trustees
(e) Where the conduct of the Member is considered to be serious and has brought, or is likely to bring the Institute into disrepute, Membership may be terminated for life (or suspended for a minimum period of time) and all privileges of Membership forfeited, without reimbursement of any part of any fees or subscriptions paid.

6.2 The action applied must be
1.1.2 proportionate to the seriousness of the offence, and
1.1.3 only determined when the Disciplinary Committee and Board of Trustees are in receipt of all available evidence, including a statement from the Member (unless no such statement is forthcoming within the period allowed, and no acceptable reason has been given for the delay in providing a statement)

6.3 Where the decision of the Board of Trustees requires the Member to take or refrain from any action, failure by that Member to do so is a disciplinary matter.

7. Re-application of Members

7.1 On receipt of a re-application for membership from a disqualified Member who has met the required period of time for suspension of their membership in accordance with clause 6.1.4, the Institutes database will be reviewed for information relating to the disqualification in question including a check on the period of time for which the former Member’s membership was suspended.

7.2 The application will then be processed in accordance with the normal procedure.

8. Appeals against struck out Complaints

A person may appeal against a Complaint struck out by the Disciplinary Committee at the initial stage. Such an appeal must be done within 28 days of the initial Complaint being rejected. Any appeal will be reviewed by a different person or persons to those who made the initial rejection of the Complaint. If the Complaint is deemed upon appeal to have been made in good faith the procedure for review of the Complaint shall be as set out above in clauses 4, 5 and 6.

9. Confidentiality

9.1 All materials relating to the Complaint will be provided to the Members of the Disciplinary Committee on the day of the hearing and collected at the end of the discussion.

9.2 The Disciplinary Committee will be given time to read the materials and consider the Complaint.

9.3 All materials relating to the Complaint will be retained by CIEA and marked “confidential”.

9.4 Under the Data Protection Act 1998 (“DPA 1998″), the person against who the Complaint was made has the right to see any papers relating to the Complaint. The Complainant consents to the Institute passing on such information, including, where appropriate, relevant “personal information” about the Complainant as defined in DPA 1998.

9.5 The decision and overall justification for the decision will be recorded in the report on the proceedings.

9.6 No discussion will be recorded and the report will be non-attributive.

10. Waiver of Claims & Compliance with Disciplinary Sanctions

All Members and Complainants agree that they acknowledge the terms of this Disciplinary Code. They also confirm that they shall make no claims or bring any proceedings of any kind in any court or other tribunal against the Institute or Board of Trustees as a result of any dissatisfaction or disagreement with:

(a) the Institute’s processing of Complaints in accordance with this Code,
(b) any decisions or disciplinary sanctions the Board of Trustees impose, and
(c) the outcomes of any appeals or initial reviews of Complaints.

All Members and/or Complainants hereby undertake to accept and comply with all decisions and/or disciplinary sanctions made in connection with a Complaint by the Institute and/or Board of Trustees.

11. Publicity

11.1 At the sole discretion of the Board of Institute, a statement may be issued concerning the withdrawal of membership or sanctions imposed on a Member.

11.2 Any such statement will be issued in a publication of the Institute, and the Board will decide if wider publication is necessary.