Complaints Process

Members and Registered Students are required to comply with the By-laws, Code of Ethics and the Practice Standards at all times.

Members and Registered Students must also meet continuing professional development requirements.

The Institute maintains a procedure to receive, consider, investigate and adjudicate any complaints of allegations of breaches of the By-laws, the Code of Ethics or the Practice Standards.

The Institute, through a Conduct and Discipline Committee (“CDC”) comprised of CBVs, reviews complaints regarding the conduct of a Member or Registered Student. It asks the complainant to provide material and information in support of the complaint and the Member or Registered Student about whom the complaint is made is given an opportunity to respond to the complaint. Depending on the complexity of the matter the CDC may appoint an investigator to conduct an investigation and report to it. If there is sufficient evidence that the CICBV Code of Ethics, By-laws or Practice Standards were breached, and that such breach was not trivial, the CDC may make a charge against the Member or Registered Student. Unless the Member or Registered Student accepts the charge and agrees to the disciplinary action proposed by the CDC, the matter is referred to a Discipline Tribunal for a full hearing.

The Institute’s complaints process is not a forum for resolving fee and/or financial disputes between Members and Registered Students and their clients or other parties.

The below provides a summary of the process. For the complete details, please refer to the CICBV By-laws , section 5.0.

Receiving Complaints

Any person (“Complainant”) may lay a complaint against a Member or Registered Student. Complaints against Members or Registered Students are taken seriously.

A “complaint” is a complaint about the conduct or alleged conduct of a Member or Registered Student (“Respondent”) and must be in writing, and signed by the Complainant, and must give the reasonable particulars of the grounds for the complaint.

The complaint is made to the Institute’s President and CEO.

President & CEO

Mary Jane Andrews, FCPA, FCA, FCBV, CFF

maryjane.andrews@cicbv.ca

Considering Complaints

Complaints are reviewed by a committee of the Board of Directors, the Conduct and Discipline Committee (“CDC”). The CDC is comprised of experienced volunteer members of the profession. The CDC is comprised of three to five Institute Members. The Chair of the CDC is appointed by the Board of Directors for a term of three years, and may be a director of the Institute. The Chair of the Institute’s Board of Directors appoints the additional members of the CDC, none of whom are directors of the Institute, for a term of three years. The Chair of the CDC reports to the Board of Directors on the activities of the CDC. Decisions of the CDC require approval of at least three members at a duly held meeting.

Upon receiving the complaint, the President and CEO forwards the complaint and all supporting materials to the Chair of the CDC. The Chair of the CDC performs an initial review of the complaint to determine whether the complaint is within the scope of the Institute or is trivial/vexatious. A meeting of the CDC may also be convened to perform an initial review of the complaint. Following this initial review, if the complaint is within the scope of the Institute and is not trivial/vexatious, the Chair of the CDC will inform the Respondent of the complaint against them and send them a copy of the complaint. The complaint will then be further reviewed and investigated by the CDC.

If the complaint is not within the scope of the Institute or is trivial/vexatious, the Complainant will be advised in writing that no further action will be taken.

Investigating Complaints

The Chair of the CDC will request that the Complainant provide any material or information necessary to support the complaint, and all such information shall be made available to the Respondent. The Chair of the CDC will also request that the Respondent provide any material or information necessary to refute the complaint.

Once such information is received, the Chair of the CDC will convene a meeting of the CDC to review the complaint and the additional information provided to determine whether there are sufficient grounds to initiate an investigation, or whether the complaint should lead to further proceedings. If an investigation is needed, the CDC shall appoint one or more investigators with appropriate professional capabilities. The investigators investigate the complaint and gather additional information, and ultimately prepare and deliver a report to the CDC about the investigation.

The CDC may determine that:

  • there is sufficient evidence of professional misconduct having taken place to lay a charge and direct the matter to a hearing before a Discipline Tribunal. The CDC may accept a settlement agreement with the Respondent, which if accepted closes the matter; or
  • there is insufficient evidence that the Respondent committed professional misconduct, and the matter should be closed.

If a charge is to be made, the Chair of the CDC prepares the charge setting out the breaches. The President and CEO serves notice of the charge on the Respondent and informs the Complainant of the decision to lay a charge before the Discipline Tribunal.

Adjudicating Complaints

The Chair of the CDC requests the Chair of the Board of Directors to appoint a Member as a Discipline Tribunal Chair. The Discipline Tribunal Chair appoints two other Members of the Institute in good standing to serve on the Discipline Tribunal, none of whom are members of the Board of Directors. Members of the Discipline Tribunal cannot serve on the tribunal if they have prior familiarity with the proceedings, are intimate acquaintances of the Respondent or Complainant, or are biased in any manner. The Discipline Tribunal has the power to perform the functions imposed upon it.

The Discipline Tribunal Chair sets the date and location of the hearing, and informs the Respondent and the CDC. Before the date of the hearing, the CDC must provide the Respondent with written particulars of the evidence that will be introduced on behalf of the CDC, including any expert witnesses, and the Respondent must do the same.

The hearing is held before the Discipline Tribunal by the parties (the Respondent and the CDC), who present oral and written evidence under oath. The Complainant does not have standing before the Discipline Tribunal. The hearing is not open to the public, unless the CDC and the Respondent otherwise agree.

The Discipline Tribunal delivers its decision at the conclusion of the hearing or may reserve its decision for not more than 60 days. The decision is given in writing to each of the Institute, the CDC and the Respondent.

The Discipline Tribunal may dismiss the charge, find the charge proved, or find the charge not proved, but a lesser charge proved. If the Discipline Tribunal finds the charge (or another lesser charge) proved, the CDC and the Respondent are requested to make submissions in respect to the sanctions to be imposed. Upon consideration of such submissions, the Discipline Tribunal may decline to impose any sanctions or may impose, separately or in combination, sanctions which include:

  • an order that the Member’s membership be terminated (or that a Registered Student’s affiliation be terminated);
  • an order that the Member’s membership (or a Registered Student’s affiliation) and the right to use any designation indicating membership in the Institute be suspended;
  • an order that the Respondent practise only under the supervision of a designated Member who agrees to act as supervisor for such period and under such terms as the Discipline Tribunal may specify;
  • an order that the Respondent take steps to improve his/her professional competence, which order may either specify the actions to be taken by the Respondent or provide that the actions taken by the Respondent shall be such as satisfy the President and CEO;
  • an order that the Respondent keep such records of his/her practice as the Discipline Tribunal considers desirable to be kept;
  • an order that the Respondent pay a fine to the Institute;
  • an order that the Respondent pay costs to the Institute;
  • an order that reimbursement of all or part of the fees and/or disbursements paid by the Complainant to the Respondent be made to the complainant in such amount as the Discipline Tribunal may determine; or
  • a reprimand.

The Institute may publish a summary of the issues reviewed by the Discipline Tribunal and the sanctions imposed in the newsletter of the Institute, or the website of the Institute or in such other publication as appropriate for giving notice to the Members and Registered Students of matters considered by the Discipline Tribunal and its decision. The Discipline Tribunal may, at its discretion, order that publication, on a named basis, be expanded to include non-Institute publications, or be dispensed with entirely.

If the sanctions include the termination of the Member’s membership, the name of the Member and location of practice shall be disclosed in publications distributed in the geographic area of the Member’s current or former practice or employment or in such other manner as the Discipline Tribunal may determine to be appropriate, unless the Discipline Tribunal determines that the circumstances of the case are of a nature that such notice is not necessary for the protection of the public.

Appeals

Annually, or as often as necessary, the Board of Directors shall appoint one or more Members, each of whom shall be authorized to convene an appeal board (an “Appeal Board”) and to be Chair of any Appeal Board. The Respondent may appeal all or any portion of the decision of the Discipline Tribunal by delivery of notice of such appeal to the President and CEO within 20 days of the notification of the decision of the Discipline Tribunal.

The Appeal Board Chair shall appoint two other Members of the Institute in good standing to serve on the Appeal Board. Members serving on an Appeal Board shall not be members of the Institute Board of Directors or have had any prior involvement with the Tribunal as a Discipline Tribunal Chair or Discipline Tribunal Member, an investigator or as a witness at related proceedings before the Discipline Tribunal.

Upon review of the submissions and rebuttal, the Appeal Board may dismiss the charge and rescind the sanctions imposed by the Discipline Tribunal, find the charge in whole or in part proved, or find all or part of the charge not proved, but a lesser charge proved. If the Appeal Board finds the charge (or another lesser charge) proved, it shall review the sanctions imposed by the Discipline Tribunal and may ratify the sanctions imposed by the Discipline Tribunal, reduce or otherwise amend the sanctions imposed by the Discipline Tribunal or may impose, separately or in combination, additional sanctions.

For further information, please contact:

Catalina Miranda, CPA, CA, CBV

Director, Professional Practice

416-613-0300

catalina.miranda@cicbv.ca

Robert H. Boulton, CPA, CA, CBV

Executive Vice President & COO

416-613-9550

robert.boulton@cicbv.ca