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The Ethics Committee of The Pet Professional Guild Australia consists of a committee chair three other individuals made up of PPGA Steering Committee members, other PPG members and impartial professionals. The key role of the Ethics Committee is to investigate all reported ethics violations.
Under these guidelines PPGA considers two types of ethics inquiries:
1) Membership Qualification inquiries and
2) Reviews of Alleged Ethics Violations.
The Committee may choose to deal with a matter according to either procedure and may convert an inquiry from one type to another as appropriate.
A membership qualification inquiry is initiated based on preliminary evidence submitted in a complaint that indicates that a PPGA member may in fact not qualify for membership based on PPGA's 'non-negotiable' code of conduct. In the case of a Membership Qualification inquiry, the committee refers the complaint to PPGA's membership manager to re-vett the PPG member.
A review of alleged unethical conduct is initiated by a complainant or the Ethics Committee and in the opinion of the Ethics Committee Chair the alleged unethical conduct concerns violations of PPGA's professional ethics.
How To Report an Ethics Violation
Reports of alleged membership violations will be handled according to this policy. Complaints must be limited to alleged violations of the Guild’s, vision, mission, pledge, key values and professional ethics, collectively referred to as The Guiding Principles. The responsibility for the investigation of alleged membership violations is designated to the Chair and committee members of the Ethics Committee.
1.Filing a report of an alleged membership violation
a) The individual filing the alleged violation must present the allegation to the Committee Chair in writing.Please click here to complete the complaint form.
b) The report will remain confidential.
c) The following information must be included in the alleged violation report:
· The names of the alleged violator and the actual complainant in reference to the violation of the Guiding Principles. This must be specific. The complaint must reference the area of the Guiding principles that you feel have been violated by including and quoting the actual text in your report;
· A specific description including when and where the violation was alleged to have occurred, who was involved and what happened.
a) The PPGA Ethics committee Chair will acknowledge receipt of the alleged violation without comment within 24 hour of receipt.
b) The individual filing the report will be notified to keep the complaint confidential; this means no information about the complaint will be discussed with any other person. If confidentiality is breached it may be considered a violation of the Guiding Principles.
c) The Committee chair will forward the complaint to the Ethics Committee members within 48 hours and notify the Steering Committee that a complaint has been filed. The details of the complaint will be kept confidential in order to preserve the Steering Committee’s ability to fairly and objectively interact with the member.
a) The Ethics Committee will review the complaint. If necessary, they will gather more information and schedule an interview with the complainant.
b) If the initial review indicates that the alleged infraction is not a violation of the Guiding Principles, then the complainant will be notified in writing and no investigation will be pursued unless further facts or evidence is proffered.
c) If it appears that a violation of the guiding principles has occurred based on preponderance of evidence, (is more likely to be true than not) then the Chair will notify the individual or group that are the subjects of the complaint and provide seven (7) calendar days for a reply. If there is no reply to the compliant notification then the Ethics Committee will make a decision based on all available information.
d) Once all the information has been gathered, the Chair and committee will make a determination about the sanctions, this may include:
· Education. The need for education and mentoring.
· Membership Probation. From one week up to six months; this may be combined with education.
· Exclusion. Termination of PPGA membership
· If an individual wishes to appeal the Ethics Committee’s decision, they will be given ten (10) calendar days to do so.
· All materials considered by the Ethics Committee will be given to the PPGA President and/or a Board Member and one other Steering Committee member.
· A final decision will be made within five (5) calendar days and the individual will be notified in writing.
· Complete confidentiality shall be maintained by all involved parties throughout the process.
· Once a determination has been made, the parties involved will be notified that a determination has been made.
· Details of the determination will remain private.
· A violation of confidentiality by any party involved in the matter will be considered a violation of the Guiding Principles.