Certified Pedorthist Disciplinary Process
The pedorthic profession exists for the primary purpose of assisting patients with maintaining functional lives. Certified Pedorthists assume specific responsibilities to physicians and other appropriately licensed healthcare prescribers, patients, the public, colleagues as well as to the profession itself. Members of the profession are responsible for maintaining and promoting ethical practice including, without limitation, reporting unethical practices. This code shall be binding upon all Certified Pedorthists who maintain membership with this association. Certified Pedorthists are obligated to report knowledge of code violations within 30 days. All credentialed members of this association are Certified Pedorthists and obligated to abide by the Code of Conduct/Ethics/Professional Responsibility and Scope of Practice of PFA Canada in addition to following the code of conduct and scope of practice of their credentialing body (see links below). Any breach of the rules governing these members are investigated by Ethics / Disciplinary committee of this association in addition to being reported directly to their certifying body.
To report an incident to PFA Footcare Association (Canadian Chapter) please complete the complaint form and return it to our office for investigation by the ethics committee.
Certified Pedorthists who fail to conform to this code will be subject to disciplinary action. Any breach of the rules governing these members will be investigated as follows:
Complaint: A complaint against any PFA Canada member must be in writing, signed and must contain complete and accurate information. No action will be taken solely on the basis of an anonymous or oral complaint. The complaint will be forwarded to the PFA Canada Ethics Chair within 20 days of receipt. A copy of the complaint will also be forwarded to the credentialing body of the PFA Canada member for their own assessment and review.
Complaint assessment: The complaint will be assessed by the ethics chair. Should the complaint not fall within the jurisdiction of PFA Canada the complaint will be dismissed. A notice of the case dismissal and reason for the dismissal will be forwarded to the complainant and the PFA Canada member. Should the ethics chair determine the complaint does have merit the following will occur.
Discipline Committee: The Ethics/Professional Discipline Chair first establishes a committee of 4 people (the chair, 2 Certified Pedorthist members and a public member) – The committee members must not practice within a 1 hour drive of the member whom the issues are concerning.
The complaint will then be investigated by the Ethics / Disciplinary committee. The committee will then inform the PFA Canada member of the complaint in writing.
Additional Information The Committee may, through correspondence or otherwise, seek supplementary information from the Complainant or any other party, when necessary, in order to completely evaluate the substance of the allegations. In the event that the Committee determines that additional information is necessary but the Complainant refuses to provide such information, the Committee may determine that the case should be closed.
Initial Determination: Within 45 days of receiving a Complaint from the Complainant, the Committee shall determine whether sufficient information exists to proceed with a formal investigation. The Committee shall not proceed until such time as the Committee is satisfied that the Complainant has complied with all procedural requirements. If the Complainant refuses to have his/her name known to the PFA Canada member, the Committee shall not consider the matter unless it determines to proceed with the complaint based on independent verifiable information. If the Committee concludes that an investigation is not warranted, it shall notify the Complainant within 30 days of its determination.
Formal Investigation: If the Committee determines that a formal investigation should ensue, it shall notify the Complainant and PFA Canada member within 30 days of its determination. The notification sent by the Committee to the PFA Canada member shall include the Complaint and a description of the alleged behaviors involved in the Complaint, including the specific Section of the Code that the member is alleged to have violated. The notification shall include a copy of the Code and these Rules. The notification will contain the name of the Complainant.
Response to Complaint: The PFA Canada member is required to provide to the Committee and personally sign his/her written response within 15 days from the date of the notification sent by the Committee. The PFA Canada Member’s response must be complete, accurate and fully responsive to the Complaint and any and all Committee inquiries. Failure to respond, or any other unwarranted delay by the PFA Canada member, or the lack of the PFA Canada member’s cooperation, shall in no way prevent the continuation or conclusion of the proceedings by the Committee as it deems fit.
Additional Information: If, after receipt of the PFA Canada member’s response, the Committee determines that additional information is warranted from either or both the Complainant or the PFA Canada member, or from any third party, it shall notify the Complainant and the PFA Canada member of the request for additional information. The parties shall provide the additional information no later than 15 days from the date of the request for additional information.
No Further Action: Once all of the information has been received pursuant to the Committee may conclude that the Complaint has no basis in fact, is insufficient or is likely to be corrected on its own merit and, therefore, may determine to close the case without further action. Such decision shall be made within 45 days of the Committee’s receipt of all of the information. If the Committee determines to close the case, it shall inform both the Complainant and the PFA Canada member.
Right to a Hearing: If the Committee, having received all information determines that further action is warranted, it shall notify the Complainant and the PFA Canada member that the Committee is prepared to consider all of the information before it and render a decision on that basis. The PFA Canada member may request that, prior to such analysis and decision, he/she/it be afforded the opportunity to have a hearing before the Committee so that he/she may present his/her interpretation of the facts before the Committee. If PFA Canada member desires to have a hearing before the Committee, he/she must so notify the Committee, in writing, within 15 days of the Committee’s notification to the PFA Canada member and Complainant.
The PFA Canada member’s failure to timely request a hearing shall be deemed a waiver by the PFA Canada member of the right to a hearing. The Complainant shall be invited to be present during the hearing. If the Complainant is invited to be present during the hearing but does not attend, the hearing and investigation shall not be delayed or terminated.
Peer Review: The hearing process shall be conducted through peer review. The PFA Canada member may be accompanied by any third party, including legal counsel. However, the PFA Canada member personally, and not any other party including, without limitation, , shall make all presentations, responses and shall address all issues directly to the Committee.
The Committee shall schedule a hearing date no later than 60 days after receipt of the PFA Canada member’s request. The Committee shall notify the PFA Canada member and Complainant of the date, time and, if applicable, place of the hearing. If the hearing is conducted by telephone conference call, the Committee, in its sole discretion, shall determine the date and time of the hearing. If the hearing is conducted in-person, the Committee, in its sole discretion, shall determine the location, date and time of the hearing. The PFA Canada member and Complainant shall each pay all of his/her own costs.
DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES If the Committee concludes that some type of action is warranted, it shall adopt any one or more of the following sanctions or take any other appropriate actions: require that the PFA Canada member cease and desist the alleged conduct; require the supervision of the PFA Canada member as the Committee sees necessary; reprimand PFA Canada member if the Committee determines there has been a Code violation but no damage to another person, the public or the profession has occurred; place PFA Canada member on probation and actually and systematically monitor the PFA Canada member for a specific length of time; if appropriate, refer the matter to the police; suspend or revoke the membership of the PFA Canada member; require the PFA Canada member to take remedial personal rehabilitative or educational actions; take any other action; impose a fine of up to $15,000 to the PFA Canada member.
Notification of Committee Action : The Committee shall notify the Complainant and the PFA Canada member of its determination and action to be taken within 30 days of the date of its decision.
Notice of Appeal: If the PFA Canada member accepts the Committee’s determination and sanctions or the PFA Canada member does not Appeal within the 15 day time period, the Committee’s conclusions and sanctions shall be deemed final, effective immediately.
If the PFA Canada member desires to appeal (Appeal) the Committee’s decision, he/she must notify the Committee, in writing (Notice) within 15 days of the date of the Committee’s decision. The Notice must be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested or by verifiable overnight express mail service, to PFA Canada Head Office. The Notice must include a detailed description of all reasons and bases for the Appeal. Along with the Notice, the PFA Canada member shall pay to PFA Canada an Appeal administrative fee of $400. The Committee shall forward the Notice to the Board. The Board shall consider the written statement and all available evidence. The Board may elect to establish a panel consisting of three of its members, who are not simultaneously serving on the Committee, to act on its behalf to review, consider and make a final determination about an Appeal. As used herein, the term Board shall mean Panel where the Board has constituted a Panel to act on its behalf.
BOARD DECISIONS — Further Consideration The Board may, after reviewing the decision of the Committee, determine that the Committee did not adequately review the evidence prior to making its final decision in the matter. In such case, the Board may remand the matter back to the Committee for further consideration.
Board Decisions The Board shall only modify the Committee’s decisions based on clear and convincing evidence in the event of any or all the following: a. the Code was incorrectly applied; b. the findings of facts by the Committee were clearly erroneous; c. it would be unjust or unfair to implement the Committee’s decision; d. the procedures used by the Committee were in serious and substantial violation of the Code and these Rules; e. the disciplinary sanctions determined by the Committee were grossly disproportionate to the facts.
Within 60 days of receipt of the Noticethe Board shall notify the Complainant and the PFA Canada member of its decision which shall be final. The Board’s decision may not be appealed. Once the Board’s decision has been made, it shall notify the Committee, which shall implement the Board’s directives.
If the PFA Canada member has been suspended, notification will posted in the PFA Canada membership directory, Current Pedorthics Magazine. In addition to written notification sent to the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association; the Canadian Health Care Anti-fraud Association and Health Canada as well as, any interested person or public agency deemed necessary to protect the public or who recognizes the standards.
REQUEST FOR REINSTATEMENT PFA Canada will consider all written reinstatement requests, which must include the following information: (i) the date of the final Committee or Board disposition; (ii) a complete statement of reasons that the PFA Canada should be re-instated and (iii) copies of all relevant documents and materials supporting the reinstatement request. PFA Canada will provide its decision to the PFA Canada member within 45 days of receipt of the reinstatement request and all requested information.