Complaint Process

Policy Approved by Council June 22, 2001

Complaints

If you have a concern about a member of the association, you should first try to speak to the member unless there are reasons why this would be inappropriate. You should explain why you are not satisfied and discuss with the member what could be done to resolve matters. If you need help to do this, Association staff may be able to provide assistance. Many cases can be easily resolved in this manner.

If you cannot resolve concerns this way, you have the right to make a formal complaint to the Association. This must be done by filling out a form available for this purpose and sending it to the Registrar. Only complaints filed using the Associations ‘complaint form’ can be acted upon by OPFA. If you need help filling out the form, contact Association staff for assistance. The form can be found by using the following link:

Ontario Professional Foresters Association Complaint Form

Please answer as many of the questions as you can, and return the Complaint Form to The Registrar at the OPFA Office.

Investigation

Your complaint will be investigated unless it is outside the responsibility of the Association, or the complaint is minor and is resolved informally by association staff with your consent. If your complaint is more complicated it will be referred to the Complaints Committee. However, the Committee shall refuse to consider and investigate complaints if, in its opinion, (a) the complaint does not relate to professional misconduct, unskilled practice or incapacity on the part of a member, or (b) the complaint is frivolous, vexatious or an abuse of process. Otherwise, the Committee will then write to the member providing the member with the particulars of the complaint. The member must provide a response which will be shared with you. If the response does not lead to a resolution, the Committee will investigate your complaint.

The Committee, in accordance with the information it receives, may dismiss the complaint, take action it considers appropriate in the circumstances (which could include offering advice or a warning to the member, or referring the matter to another committee of the association for education or skills upgrading) or refer the matter to the Discipline Committee for a hearing. Generally, only the most serious cases will be referred to the Discipline Committee.

Proceedings before the Complaints Committee are not open to the public, and are usually conducted based solely on written submissions.

Confidentiality

The Association will keep you informed of the progress of your complaint. In order to protect the rights of complainants and members, and to avoid possible prejudice to the process, the Association will not comment publicly or otherwise provide information on a complaint or an investigation unless it is referred to the Discipline Committee for a public hearing.

For further information on the complaints and discipline process, please contact the Registrar.