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Occupational Therapy Association of the Philippines, Inc.

Enforcement Procedure For Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics

I. PREAMBLE
A. This material is an official document of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). It has been adopted with minor revisions for use by the Occupational Therapy Association of the Philippines and its members. The Occupational Therapy Association of the Philippines and its members are committed to improving individuals ability to function fully within their total environment. To this end, the occupational therapy practitioner renders services to clients in all phases of health and illness, to institutions, to other professionals and colleagues, and to the general public. The occupational Therapy Association of the Philippines Code of Ethics is a public statement of the values and principles to use as a guide in promoting and maintaining high standards of behavior in occupational therapy. OTAP and its members are committed to improving peoples ability to function within their total environment. To this end, occupational therapy personnel provide services to individuals in any stage of illness, to institutions, to other professionals and colleagues, to students, and to the general public. The Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics is a set of principles that applies to occupational therapy personnel at all levels. The roles of practitioner (registered occupational therapist and certified occupational therapy technician), educator, supervisor, administrator, consultant, fieldwork coordinator, faculty program director, researcher/scholar, entrepreneur, student, and support staff are assumed. Any action that is in violation of the spirit and purpose of this code shall be considered unethical. To ensure compliance with the code, enforcement procedures are established and maintained by the Committee on Standards and Ethics (CSE). Acceptance of membership in the OTAP commits members to the Code of Ethics and its enforcement procedures. As preamble to the official procedures, the CSE urges particular attention to the following issues:

B. Professional Responsibility All occupational therapy personnel have an obligation to maintain the standards of ethics of their profession and to promote and support these same standards among their colleagues. Each member must be alert to practices, which undermine these standards and be obligated to take whatever remedial action is required. At the same time, members must carefully weigh their judgments of unethical practice to ensure that they are based on objective evaluation and not on personal bias or prejudice. C. Jurisdiction The Occupational Therapy Association of the Philippines shall have jurisdiction over all members of the Association in the monitoring and enforcement of the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics. The Code applicable to any compliant shall be that version or edition in force at the time the alleged act or omission was committed. If the date of the alleged act or emission cannot be determined, then the act or omission shall be judged by the code in force on the date of the complaint. D. Disciplinary Action Disciplinary action for the members of the Association shall be limited to reprimand, censure, suspension, or revocation from the association. These are defined as follows: Reprimand a formal expression of disapproval of conduct communicated privately by letter from the Chairperson of the CSE. Censure a formal expression of disapproval that is public. Suspension removal of membership for a specified period of time. Revocation denial of membership

E. Dismissal of Complaints CSE may dismiss a complaint for any of the following: 1. No Violation. The CSE finds the individual against whom the complaint is filed has not violated the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics, (e.g., accusing a person of being rude.) 2. Corrected Violation. The CSE determines that any violation it might find has been or being corrected. 3. Insufficient Evidence. The CSE determines there is insufficient fact, evidence, or detail to support a finding of an ethics violation. 4. Absolute Time Limit/Not Timely Filed. The CSE determines that the alleged violation of the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics occurred more than ten (10) years prior to the filing of the complaint. 5. Lack of Jurisdiction. The CSE determines that it has no jurisdiction over the defendant or complaint. (e.g., complaint against a non-member.) 6. Subject to Jurisdiction of Another Authority. The CSE determines that the complaint is based on matters which are already covered by another authority, jurisdiction or are regulated by law, (e.g., accusing a superior of sexual harassment at work; accusing someone of anti-competitive practices.) 7. Advice of Counsel. On the Advice of counsel, or other advice, that no further action should be taken on the complaint. F. Advisory Opinions 1. The CSE may issue advisory opinions on certain issues to inform and educate the membership. These opinions shall be publicized to the membership.

Ethics. The original records and reports, which form the initial basis for the complaint, actual evidence, and disposition of the complaint, shall be filed in the confidential file of the President of the Association. All others copies shall be destroyed. IX. PUBLICATION Final Decisions of the Judicial Council will be publicized only after all appeals have been exhausted.

Created in September 2003 for Occupational Therapy Association of the Philippines Approved and Adopted by the Board of Directors, March 1998

B. Grounds for Appeal The appeal must relate to issues and procedures that are part of the record of the hearing before the Judicial Council. The appeal may also address the substance of the disciplinary action. 1) The President shall forward any letter of appeal to the Appeals Panel within fifteen (15) days of receipt. 2) Within forty-five (45) days after the appeals are received by the Appeals Panel, the Panel shall determine whether a hearing is required. If the Panel decides that a hearing is necessary, timely notice for such hearing shall be given to the appealing party. Participants at the hearing shall be limited to the appealing party and legal counsel (if so desired), legal counsel for the Association, and any others approved in advance by the Appeals Panel. C. Decision Within forty-five (45) days after receipt of the appeal, if there is no hearing, or within fifteen (15) days after the appeals hearing, the Appeals Panel shall notify the President of the Association of its decision. The President shall immediately notify the appealing party, the original complainant, and appropriate bodies of the Association, and any other notifications deemed necessary. For Association purposes, the decision of the Panels shall be final.

2. Educative letter The CSE determines that the allegations in the complaint are not unethical, however they do not fall completely into the prevailing standards of practice or good professionalism, the CSE may send a letter to educate the complainant and respondent regarding standards of practice and/or good professionalism. G. Confidentiality Strict confidentiality shall be maintained by all who are involved in the reporting, monitoring, reviewing, and enforcing of alleged infractions of the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics. The maintenance of confidentiality, however, shall not interfere with the provision of proper notice to all parties involved in the disciplinary proceedings as determined by the Committee on Standards and Ethics. Likewise, final decisions of the Judicial Council and the Appeals Panel will be publicized as described in the procedures.

II. DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES


A. Complaint Complaints stating an alleged violation of the Associations Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics may originate from any individual or group within or outside the association. All complaints must be in writing, signed by the complainant(s), and submitted to the Chairperson of the Committee on Standards and Ethics at the address of the Associations National Office. All complaints shall be timely and shall identify the person against whom the complaint is directed (hereafter, the respondent), the ethical principles, which the complainants believe have been violated, and, an explanation of the alleged violations. If available, supporting documentation should be attached.

VII. NOTIFICATION
All notification referred to in this procedure shall be in writing and shall be registered, return-receipt mail.

VIII. RECORDS AND REPORTS


At the completion of this procedure, all records and reports shall be returned to the Chairperson of the Committee on Standards and

B. Sua Sponte Complaints D. Decision 1. The CSE may file a sua sponte complaint and thereby initiate a disciplinary inquiry against a member of the OTAP whose actions violate the Code of Ethics, If the CSE receives or discovers through public records any of the following actions by other authorities, including but not limited to: a) a felony conviction; b) findings of malpractice; c) revocation, suspension, or surrender of a license to practice; d) censure or monetary fine of an individual licensed to practice; e) finding of academic misconduct; or f) actions by a duly authorized tribunal or administrative hearing procedure. 2. The CSE may initiate a sua sponte complaint from other information discovered. 1. Within fifteen (15) days after the hearing, the Judicial Council shall notify the president of the Association of its decision, which shall include whatever disciplinary action might be required. 2. Within ten (10) days of notice from the Judicial Council, the President shall notify all parties, and the original complainant, of the Councils decision. Within thirty (30) days after the notification of the Councils decision, any individual or individuals judged deserving of disciplinary action might appeal the judgment to the Executive Board of Association. (See below). If no appeal is filed, the President shall notify appropriate bodies within the Association and make any other notifications deemed necessary.

VI. APPEAL PROCESS


C. Continuation of Complaint Process If a member fails to cooperate with the ethics investigation, CSE shall continue to process the complaint noting in its report the circumstances of the respondents resignation from membership or his/her failure to cooperate. Failure to renew membership or to cooperate with the investigation shall not deprive the CSE of jurisdiction. D. Rules of Evidence Formal rules of evidence, which are employed in legal proceedings do not apply to these Procedures of disciplinary Action. The Judicial Council and the Appeals Panel can consider any evidence, which they deem appropriate and pertinent. The Judicial Council may take additional material evidence at any time Appeals shall be written, signed by the appealing party, and sent by registered mail to the President of the Association. The basis for the appeal shall be fully explained in this document. A. Appeal Panel The Vice-Presidents, Secretary, and Treasurer of the Association shall constitute the Appeals Panel. In the event of vacancies in these positions or the existence of a potential conflict of interest, the First Vice-President shall appoint replacements drawn from among the other board members. The President and the Chairperson of the CSE shall not serve on the Appeals Panel.

The respondent can choose at this time to admit to the violation, accept the disciplinary action, and relinquish the right to a hearing by the Judicial Council. The respondent has two (2) weeks from receipt of the CSEs decision to notify the Chairperson of his or her decision.

while the matter is pending before it. In general, appeals brought before the Appeals Panel shall be limited to the Judicial Council proceedings. In the interest of fairness, the Appeals panel may take additional material evidence not submitted to the Judicial Council.

V. THE JUDICIAL COUNCIL


A. Panel Selection The Judicial Council, comprised of three members in good standing of the Association, shall be appointed by the President of the Association within thirty (30) days of the notification to hear the formal charges against the respondent and decide on the merits of the case. Members appointed shall (1) never have had a substantial professional relationship with either the complainant or the respondent; and (2) not have a conflict of interest with either the complainant or the respondent. B. Hearing Thirty (30) Days in advance of the hearing, the Judicial Council shall notify in writing all parties of the date, time, and place for the hearing. Within twenty (20) days of notification of the hearings, the respondent charged by the Association may submit to the Council a response to the Associations charges. C. Support Personnel Legal counsel shall represent the Association at the hearing. The respondent may be represented by legal counsel. Full opportunity to refute all charges shall be afforded. All parties shall have the opportunity to confront and cross-examine witnesses. Testimony may be presented by others than those who are parties to the charge. A record of the hearing shall be made.

III. INVESTIGATION
A. Acknowledgement and Review of Complaint Within ninety (90) days of receipt of a complaint, the CSE shall make a preliminary assessment of the complaint and decide whether or not an investigation is warranted. If, in its preliminary review of the complaint, the CSE determine that an investigation is not warranted, the individual filing the complaint will be so notified. The respondent will be notified that a complaint was received. No record will be maintained. If an investigation is required, the CSE chairperson shall, within fifteen (15) days do the following: (1) Notify the OTAP National Office and investigate the complaint. (2) Notify the respondent (by registered, returned-receipt mail) that a complaint has been received and an investigation is been conducted. A copy of the complaint shall be enclosed with this notification. (3) Notify the complainant that an investigation is being conducted. B. Conflict of Interest The investigator shall (1) never have had a substantial professional relationship with either the complainant or the respondent; and (2) not have a conflict of interest with either the complainant or the respondent. In the event that the investigator does not meet this

criteria, the CSE Chairperson shall appoint an alternate investigator. C. Response to the Complaint 1. The respondent shall given thirty (30) days from the receipt of the notification to response verbally and/or in writing to the Investigator, and must be given the opportunity to refute all charges. Apart from the complainant and the charge party (respondent), no other persons will participate in the investigation without prior approval of the respondent. 2. The complainant shall be made aware of any new evidence submitted to the investigator, be given a copy of it, and shall have fourteen (14) days in which to submit a rebuttal. Thereafter, the record shall be closed. 3. Failure to Act or Participate in Cases-Failure of the respondent to cooperate with the investigation, (1) shall not prevent continuation of the Enforcement procedures of the Code of Ethics, and (2) shall in itself constitute a violation of the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics. D. Investigator Timeline The investigation process will be completed within ninety (90) days of the appointment of the investigator. The investigator shall report to the CSE unless the CSE determined special circumstances, which warrant additional time for the investigation. The investigators report shall state findings regarding the validity of the complaint. E. Retention and Referral of Complaint The CSE may at any time refer the matter to the Professional Regulation Commission, or other recognized authority/authorities for appropriate action.

Upon such referral with the appropriate authority, the CSE shall (a) retain jurisdiction; (b) stay any action until the CSE receives notification of a decision by that authority. A stay in conducting an investigation shall not constitute a waiver of CSE jurisdiction. F. Notification of Stayed Action The CSE shall send written notification of a stayed case. Such notification will be sent by registered mail to the complainant and the respondent.

IV. STANDARDS AND ETHICS COMMITTEE REVIEW AND DECISION


A. The committee on Standards and Ethics shall review the Investigators report and shall render a decision within ninety (90) days of receipt of the report whether a formal charge by the Association is warranted. The CSE may, in the conduct of its review, take whatever further investigatory actions it deems necessary. B. Acceptance of CSE Decision If the respondent accepts the charge and disciplinary action as the result of the preliminary investigation, the CSE Chairperson notifies all parties involved and carries out the disciplinary action. The disciplinary action shall be publicized. If the respondent refutes the allegation, the President of the Association shall be so notified in writing by the CSE Chairperson. C. If The CSE decides that a formal charge is warranted, the respondent to the complaint is notified of the CSEs decision to file a formal charge and the recommended disciplinary action.