Complaints Policy and Procedures
The DTAA offers the following policy and procedures to its members and the general public for making complaints about the services of its members at Provisional and Professional level.
Procedures for Handling Complaints of Breaches of the Code of Ethics for Professional and Provisional Professional Members of the Dance Movement Therapy Association of Australasia
- Initiation of Complaints
1.1 The Ethics Committee of the Association shall recognise and accept written complaints from both Members and non-Members of the Association asserting breaches of the Code of Ethics by a DMT-practicing Member of the Association.
1.2 All complaints must be in writing via the Complaint Form (available on the website). Anonymous or oral complaints will not be recognised as a basis for action or investigation.
1.3 The Ethics Committee may proceed on its own initiative to investigate breaches of the Code of Ethics when it has been presented with sufficient facts which, if proven, would constitute a breach of the Code of Ethics. For example, ethics-related information received from another professional organisation or a government authority. If the Ethics Committee decides to proceed on its own initiative it shall prepare a written statement concerning allegations of a breach or breaches of the Code of Ethics.
1.4 The Ethics Committee may determine that a complaint, that has been lodged more than five years after the incident, cannot be acted upon since the delay in reporting the allegation to the Ethics Committee has impaired the Ethics Committee’s ability to render a fair determination.
- Initial Action by the Ethics Committee
Upon receipt of a complaint, the Ethics Committee shall determine whether the person about whom the complaint has been made is/was a practicing Member of the Association at the time of the alleged breach. If the person was not a practicing Member at the time of the alleged violation, the Ethics Committee shall inform the Complainant in writing of this and explain that the Association has no authority to proceed against the accused person. If the accused person was a practicing Member at the time of the alleged violation, the Ethics Committee shall send a letter to the Complainant acknowledging receipt of the complaint and informing the Complainant that the accused person is a Member which then precipitates the Association into the next step of the complaints process.
3. Next Action by the Ethics Committee
The Ethics Committee shall then review the complaint and determine whether the complaint warrants further action or whether the matter should be closed without further action. In the event that the Ethics Committee determines that the complaint should be closed without further action, the Complainant shall be notified of such decision and the reason for such decision. To aid in making such determination, the Ethics Committee will request a written response to the complaint from the accused member, consult with other preliminary investigators, and/or request additional information from the Complainant.
All correspondence to the Complainant or to the Accused shall be marked “Confidential” or “Personal and Confidential”.
- Investigation by Ethics Committee or Designees
4.1 When the Ethics Committee has determined that the complaint warrants further investigation, it shall inform the President of the DTAA and ensure that all members of the Ethics Committee have copies of the complaint and any supporting documentation/evidence and any written response from the accused member.
4.2 The Ethics Committee shall cause an investigation of the complaint to take place. This investigation may be carried out by one or more members of the Ethics Committee.
4.3 It is considered a conflict of interest if a member of the Ethics Committee is personally involved with either the Complainant or the accused member, and such member shall not review or participate in the case. Such member shall be excused from the investigation and/or any proceedings or decisions on the case.
4.4 Investigations may be conducted by corresponding and/or interviewing the parties involved in the dispute. Interviews may be conducted in person, by telephone or web technologies.
4.5 After the investigation is completed, a full report shall be made to the Ethics Committee detailing the findings and recommendations.
4.6 The Ethics Committee, after receiving the report of the investigation, shall issue its decision. The decision shall state in writing:
(a) the Ethics Committee’s findings of fact;
(b) whether a violation of the Code of Ethics was found and, if so, the Code of Ethics violated;
(c) the Ethics Committee’s decision; and
(d) an outline of the Ethics Committee’s reasons for its findings and decision.
(i) If no violation of the Code of Ethics is found, the Ethics Sub- committee shall order the complaint dismissed.
(ii) If one or more violations of the Code of Ethics are found, the Ethics Committee shall order a suspension of membership, or any other action which the Ethics Committee deems appropriate. The decision shall also specify the manner and timing in which the action is to be implemented and/or supervised.
- Records and Disclosure of Information
The permanent files of the Ethics Committee shall be maintained in the National Office of the Association.
5.1 All information obtained by the Ethics Committee, and all proceedings of the Ethics Committee, shall be confidential except information that may be disclosed by those investigating the complaint to the extent reasonably necessary to pursue a thorough investigation.
5.2 Whenever there is a finding made that a Member has violated the Code of Ethics and disciplinary action is ordered, the Ethics Committee or its designee is authorised to disclose the ethics breach and disciplinary action to the membership of the Association and any actions affecting membership status.
5.3 The Ethics Committee may inform government authorities and other professional organisations of any disciplinary action taken against a Member for breaching the Code of Ethics.
INFORMATION FOR MAKING A COMPLAINT ABOUT A PROFESSIONAL MEMBER OF THE DANCE MOVEMENT THERAPY ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALASIA (DTAA)
Members of DTAA must comply with the Association’s Rules of Professional Conduct and Code of Ethics, (and legislative requirements for health professionals.
In the event that a member of the public believes that a DTAA member has breached their professional responsibilities and has first attempted to address the issue with the member, they may lodge a formal complaint with the Association.
The DTAA views complaints seriously and therefore welcomes accurate information. However, the DTAA is unable to investigate a complaint for a matter that occurred more than five years prior to the date of the complaint or a complaint that is not supported by available evidence. Please note that DTAA is not in a position to offer compensation to complainants. The role of DTAA is strictly limited to the disciplining of its Members.
DTAA must not be used as an influence against the Member to achieve a result not readily forthcoming because you do not desire to use more appropriate modes of action such as as court process or in some cases a regulatory authority.
Fees are a commercial matter. In the event of a fee dispute you may wish to use mediation which is conducted on a commercial basis and must be agreed to by each party. The DTAA is unable to appoint a mediator. DTAA has no power to enforce any agreeent between parties in mediation.
The DTAA will usually only accept a signed written complaint where the identity of the complainant is known. The DTAA does not accept anonymous complaints. A complaint will not generally be accepted unless the complainant provides all the information requested including documentation in support of the complaint.
The DTAA will acknowledge written complaints and advise the complainant of further procedures. The complaint form and attachments will be sent to the member for comment. Please note that if the complaint is deemed unviable, it will be sent to the member in accordance with our Complaint Process. If a complaint is submitted and withdrawn by the complainant before it is submitted to the member, the member will not be notified.
The time taken to investigate a complaint varies from case to case and will depend on a number of factors, including response times, the complexity of the matter and any relevant legal issues. Complainants will be notified in writing of the outcome of their complaint.
Completed should be forward to Code of Ethics Committee, C/O DTAA firstname.lastname@example.org or PO Box 5029, Garran, ACT 2605, Australia.
Please direct enquiries to Convener, Ethics Committee, C/O email@example.com.