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Disciplinary Procedures

GENERAL NOTES:

  1. For the purposes of this document, the terms “ethical or professional misconduct” shall refer to the behaviour or conduct of professional members pertaining to the OHA Code of Ethics and Code of Practice or directions, advice or statements issued or made by or on behalf of the Board of the OHA.
  2. The strictest confidentiality will be maintained throughout all parts of these procedures.

COMMITTEES:

  1. Professional Ethics Sub-Committee (PESC): shall consist of four professional members and one general member of the Ontario Herbalists Association (OHA), resulting in a quorum of five. Members of this committee are chosen by the OHA Board of Directors (BOD). This committee is responsible for the first hearing and is convened by the President of the OHA. The professional member accused shall have the right to object to any of the members of the PESC with reasonable cause. Should the professional member object to any member of the PESC, the OHA BOD will be responsible for selecting alternate members.
  2. The Professional Ethics Committee (PEC): shall consist of the OHA President and four other members of the OHA BOD, resulting in a quorum of five. Members of this committee are chosen by the OHA BOD. This committee is responsible for hearing all appeals and is convened by the President of the OHA. The professional member accused shall have the right to object to any of the members of the PEC with reasonable cause. Should the professional member object to any member of the PEC, the OHA BOD will be responsible for selecting alternate members.
  3. No member of the PESC is eligible to be a member of the PEC. As well, no professional member who has had a complaint placed against them, has a vested interest in the case or who will be offering evidence within the particular case may sit on either the PEC or the PESC.

FIRST HEARING AND THE PESC:

  1. If the President of the OHA (or in his/her absence, the Vice-President) is notified or becomes aware that a professional member is alleged to have conducted him/herself in a manner which might constitute ethical or professional misconduct, he/she will call a meeting of the OHA BOD to discuss the allegations.
    a) Should a majority of the OHA BOD decide that the allegations in question are not of a serious nature or sufficient grounds do not exist with which to conduct a professional misconduct hearing, the OHA President will contact the complainant to inform him/her of the decision of the OHA BOD.
    b) Should a majority of the OHA BOD believe that a professional misconduct hearing is warranted, a Professional Ethics Sub-Committee (PESC) will be selected. The OHA President will serve written notice of the allegations in question to the professional member concerned. This notice will include:
    • Full details of the complaint placed against him/her which will set out the types of violations incurred;
    • A copy of the OHA Code of Practice and Ethics;
    • Notification of his/her right to accept or reject any of the members of the PESC on reasonable grounds
    • A request for acceptance or rejection of the PESC membership in writing. This statement must be sent by the professional member within fifteen days of receiving said request.
  2. Should the professional member accept the PESC membership as it stands, the OHA President shall provide full details of the alleged misconduct in writing to the members of the PESC. The OHA president shall also contact the professional member in question in writing and notify him/her of the following:a) The date of the first hearing which shall not be less than fifteen days after the receipt of said notice;b) Notification of his/her right to submit within fourteen days of receiving said notice:i) A full written statement of evidence on his/her behalf and/or;ii) A written request to submit oral evidence together with an outline of the oral evidence to be submitted.
  3. Should the professional member reject the PESC membership as it stands, the OHA BOD will select alternate member(s). The OHA President shall then send a request for acceptance or rejection of the PESC membership in writing to the professional member in question. This statement must be sent by said professional member within fifteen days of receiving said request. The accused professional member may only reject the membership of the PESC once in any given case of alleged professional misconduct.
  4. The PESC shall also be responsible to contact the complainant within 48 hours of receiving said complaint. Should the complainant wish to remain anonymous, the PESC shall ask the OHA board to appoint a mediator from the professional members of the OHA.
  5. Notices shall be served on the professional member in question by courier or by registered mail at his/her last recorded address. Notices sent to the OHA shall be by courier or registered mail to the OHA office:
    Ontario Herbalists Association
    P.O. Box 123
    Station D
    Etobicoke, Ontario
    M9A 4X2
    Canada
  6. The PESC may call for the professional member to submit further evidence before the first hearing or subsequent hearings. This written request must be served as set out above on the member in question and must include clear details of what evidence is being sought. The professional member concerned must send his/her response in writing to the PESC not more than fourteen days after he/she receives the above stated notice. His/her response may include:
    a) A written response including the evidence requested;
    b) A written response requesting to present oral evidence together with an outline of the oral evidence to be submitted
    c) A written reply stating that he/she has no further evidence to submit.
  7. Should the professional member fail to serve the PESC their response to the above requests within the requested time period, the PESC shall proceed with the first hearing without the benefit of having considered the professional member’s evidence and/or in the absence of said professional member. Should there be a valid reason as determined by the PESC for the member’s lack of response, the first hearing may be postponed or adjourned.
  8. Should the professional member in question require further time to prepare his/her evidence, he/she must submit a request in writing to the PESC not less than seven days before the date set for the first hearing. On receipt of this request, the PESC shall postpone or adjourn the hearing for at least fifteen days from the receipt of the request for further time.
  9. The PESC may adjourn or postpone the date of the first hearing at its discretion, provided that written notice of the date, time and place for the new hearing is served on the professional member in question a minimum of fifteen days before such hearing is to take place.
  10. On the date of the first hearing and after considering the charges made against the professional member in question as well as the evidence (or lack thereof) supplied, the PESC shall decide whether there is a case of professional or ethical misconduct against said member. The PESC may then:
    a) Find that there is insufficient evidence to support the complaint and shall dismiss the case.
    b) Find that a valid case exists. The PESC then shall choose one or more of the following actions:
    • Impose no punishment;
    • Reprimand and give the professional member clear and unequivocal guidance regarding their actions in relation to the OHA Professional Code of Ethics and Code of Practice;
    • Reprimand and require the professional member to undertake a course in ethics or a subject that specifically addresses their act of misconduct. The member would be on probation for a period of one to three years as determined by the PESC.
    • Suspend the member from the OHA for a period of time as determined by the PESC and set a fine at not less than $250 and no more than $1000 to be paid within 28 days. The member’s listing as a professional member of the OHA shall also be removed from the OHA website, The Canadian Journal of Herbalism and other OHA literature and advertising for a period of time as determined by the PESC.
    • Permanently expel the member from the OHA professional membership and list the member’s name on the OHA website and The Canadian Journal of Herbalism as a professional member officially expelled.
  11. The PESC shall, within fourteen days of its decision, serve written notice on the professional member in question as well as send a copy to the OHA President and the complainant. This notice shall include:
    a) The PESC’s decision;
    b) The professional member’s right to appeal said decision to the PEC, including information regarding the appeals process.
  12. Any professional member who has incurred the above fines and has not paid within the proscribed period of time may not attend OHA meetings, receive OHA printed materials or be entitled to vote on OHA issues. The OHA BOD at its discretion may also determine that said person may be no longer regarded as a professional member of the OHA for a period of time as determined by the PESC. The member in question may re-apply to the OHA for professional membership when their fines have been paid in full.

APPEALS AND THE PEC: 

  1. If the professional member in question decides to appeal the decision of the PESC, he/she must serve notice of appeal to the President of the OHA within thirty days of receiving the decision. If he/she does not appeal within that amount of time, that member’s right to appeal will be considered lost.
  2. Should the President of the OHA receive the professional member’s notice of appeal, it shall ask the OHA BOD to convene the PEC within fourteen days of receiving said notice.
  3. The President of the OHA shall serve written notice to the professional member concerned:a) A list of the members of the PEC
    b) Notification of his/her right to object to any of the members of the PEC on reasonable grounds
    c) A request for acceptance or rejection of the PEC membership in writing. This statement must be sent by the professional member within fifteen days of receiving said request.
  4. Should the professional member accept the PEC membership as it stands, the OHA President shall contact the professional member in question in writing regarding the following:
    a) The date, time and place of the appeal, to be not less than fifteen days after the receipt of said notice.
    b) The need to submit written notice within fourteen days of receiving the PEC’s request including:
    • His/her intention to be heard personally by the PEC or if he/she has chosen to be represented by another professional member or;
    • His/her intention to submit a written statement of evidence on his/her behalf.
  5. Should the professional member reject the PEC membership as it stands, the OHA BOD shall select alternate member(s). The OHA President shall then send a request for acceptance or rejection of the PEC membership in writing to the professional member in question. This statement must be sent by said professional member within fifteen days of receiving said request. The accused professional member may only reject the membership of the PEC once in any given case of alleged professional misconduct.
  6. The President of the OHA shall also inform the complainant of the professional member’s request for an appeal.
  7. The PEC may call for the professional member to submit further evidence before the appeal. This written request must be served on the member in question and must include clear details of what evidence is being sought. The professional member concerned must send his/her response in writing to the PEC not more than fourteen days after he/she receives the above stated notice. His/her response may include:
    a) A written response including the evidence requested;
    b) A written response requesting to present oral evidence and what that evidence might entail;
    c) A written reply stating that he/she has no further evidence to submit.
  8. Should the professional member fail to serve the PEC their response to the above request within the requested time period, the PEC shall proceed with the appeal without the benefit of having considered the professional member’s evidence and/or in the absence of said professional member. Should there be a valid reason as determined by the PEC for the member’s lack of response, the appeal may be postponed or adjourned.
  9. Should the professional member in question require further time to prepare his/her evidence, he/she must submit a request in writing to the PEC not less than ten days before the date set for the appeal. On receipt of this request, the PEC will postpone or adjourn the appeal for at least fifteen days from the receipt of the request for further time.
  10. The PEC may adjourn or postpone the date of the final hearing as it sees fit, provided that written notice of the date, time and place for the new hearing is served on the professional member in question a minimum of fifteen days before such hearing is to take place
  11. On the date of the appeal and after considering the charges made against the professional member in question as well as the evidence (or lack thereof) submitted, the PEC shall decide whether there is a case of professional or ethical misconduct against said member. If it finds that no valid case exists, the PEC shall dismiss the case. If the PEC finds that the professional member in question is guilty of professional and ethical misconduct, it shall choose one or more of the following actions:
    • - Impose no punishment;
    • Uphold the decision of the PESC;
    • Reprimand and give the professional member clear and unequivocal guidance regarding their actions in relation to the OHA Professional Code of Ethics and Code of Practice;
    • Reprimand and require the professional member to undertake a course in ethics or a subject that specifically addresses their act of misconduct. The member would be on probation for a period of one to three years as determined by the PEC.
    • Suspend the member from the OHA for a period of time as determined by the PEC as well as fine a sum no less than $250 and no more than $1000 to be paid within 28 days. The member’s listing as a professional member of the OHA would also be removed from the OHA website, The Canadian Journal of Herbalism and other OHA literature and advertising for a period of time as determined by the PEC;
    • Permanently expel the member from the OHA professional membership as well as listing the member’s name on the OHA website and The Canadian Journal of Herbalism as a professional member officially expelled.
  12. The PEC shall submit its decision in writing to the professional member in question as well as to the complainant within fourteen days of making its decision. This decision shall be final and binding on all parties.
  13. Any professional member who has incurred the above fines and has not paid within the proscribed time period may not attend OHA meetings, receive OHA printed materials or be entitled to vote on OHA issues. As well, the professional member who has not paid these fines may, at the discretion of the OHA board, be deemed to no longer be a professional member of the OHA for a proscribed period of time. On the remittance of these fines, the person in question may re-apply to become a professional member of the OHA.
  14. The PEC shall have the power to make or change these rules for any matters relating to professional and ethical misconduct which are not covered by this document. All relevant documents pertaining to each complaint must be kept on file for seven years.