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POLICY

Breaches within the College of the Code of Conduct
Approval Date: June 2013
Review Date: June 2016
Review By: Education and Training Committee


1. Purpose and Scope

This policy outlines the ways in which the RACMA deals with potential breaches of conduct within the College (complaints).

2. Background

The College has policies to ensure that Fellows and Candidates maintain the high standards of medical administration practice expected in Australia and New Zealand.

These documents have been established to regulate professional conduct, and in particular to deal with interactions within the College. The College believes that having professional conduct in line with these requirements is critical to preserving the reputation and high standards expected of our profession. However, the College is not a regulatory authority. As a membership based organisation, the College has limited capacity to conduct investigations and appropriately assess breaches of the Code of Conduct. It does not have legal or regulatory powers, and cannot require the production of records or information.

The College will therefore deal with potential breaches of its Code of Conduct through a number of pathways.

RACMA’s objects are focused on training and competency, not misconduct in the workplace/employer/employee context. This policy applies for all Fellows, Associate Fellows and Candidates of the College where complaints may include but are not limited to behaviours relating to:
  • integrity and ethical issues,
  • quality of training support,
  • conflict of interest,
  • fraud, bribery, dishonesty and favouritism,
  • discrimination, victimisation, bullying and harassment.
RACMA does not have a legal duty to deal with a complaint about from a non-member of the College.

3. Complaints process
  1. Complaints relating to the conduct of Fellows, Associate Fellows and Candidates need to be expressed to the College through the Office of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in writing.
  2. Complaints which will be handled by the College are those which could harm the reputation and interests of the College.
  3. No complaint will be considered unless it is in writing, names the Fellow or Fellows against whom the complaint is made, provides details of the nature of the conduct or complaint alleged and includes the name and address of the person or persons making the complaint.
  4. Receipt of a complaint will be acknowledged on behalf of the College by the Chief Executive within 5 working days.
  5. A complaint will be dealt with, as far as possible, on a confidential basis and consistent with the protection afforded by the legal principle of qualified privilege. The person or persons making the complaint should be informed that the College does not guarantee anonymity of those making complaints.
  6. The documented concerns are provided to the Fellow/Associate Fellow/Candidate along with relevant College reference material (Code of Conduct, Reconsideration, Review and Appeal of Decisions, Appeal of decisions of College Committees and Officers).
  7. When processing a complaint the Chief Executive, in consultation with the relevant College Committee Chair, shall consider whether the matter or complaint should be appropriately referred, including consideration of the following:
    • whether the matter or complaint falls within the scope of this procedure;
    • whether the matter or complaint would be more appropriately dealt with by another body or authority, either within or outside the College, e.g. Education and Training Committee; a sub committee of the RACMA Board (appointed for that purpose)
    • whether the matter or complaint is currently being dealt with by another Authority; and
    • whether the matter or complaint should be adjourned or not dealt with, pending a hearing or determination by another Authority, e.g. the relevant Medical Board or Medical Registration Authority.
       
  8. If the complaint is less serious, it is handled and investigated through the Office of the Chief Executive within 10 days of receipt of the written compliant.
  9. Responses received are reviewed by the CEO. No further action is required if they are satisfied that no breach of the College Code of Conduct has occurred.
  10. A letter is sent to the Fellow/Associate Fellow/Candidate and to the complainant informing them of the outcome of the review within 10 days of receipt of the written compliant.
  11. The outcome of a review may be:
    • No further action will be taken
    • Dismiss the complaint and exonerate the Fellow/Associate Fellow/candidate
    • Counsel the Fellow/Associate fellow/Candidate and require him/her to participate in any relevant College program/activity
    • Censure the Fellow/Associate fellow/Candidate
    • Refer the matter to the RACMA Board for consideration (including suspension or termination of the membership)
    • Refer the matter or complainant to an appropriate authority.
       
  12. If the situation is not explained and/or resolved satisfactorily under 3.7 – 3.11 above, the complainant will receive a response within 10 days of receipt of the written complaint and advised a more formal investigation will commence.
  13. More formal investigations within the College will be undertaken by officers of a RACMA Professional Standards Committee which will be established for this purpose and report to the College Board. More formal investigations will typically be completed within 20-30 working days.
  14. A complainant not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation of the RACMA Professional Standards Committee may initiate a staged process of reconsideration and review under the College policies: Reconsideration, Review and Appeal of Decisions, Appeal of decisions of College Committees and Officers.

4. College reporting
  1. Documentation of the complaints process is coordinated through the Office of the CEO.
  2. Reports about complaints will be made to the RACMA Board.

5. Relevant documents
  • RACMA Constitution 2009
  • RACMA Code of Conduct
  • Suspension or Termination of Appointment to Representative Positions
  • Reconsideration, Review and Appeal of Decisions
  • Appeal of Decisions of College Committees and Officers
  • RACMA Privacy Policy
  • New Zealand Privacy Act 1993
  • Australian Privacy Act 1988
  • AHPRA new guidelines on complaints in the National Scheme for health practitioners and the public: Notifications in the National Scheme: A guide for practitioners
  • Notifications in the National Scheme: A guide for people raising a concern (making a notification of complaint
  • See: http://www.ahpra.gov.au/Notifications/Fact-sheets.aspx



Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 July 2013 14:05