Complaints and Disciplinary Rules
For handling complaints against HKMFTA members
(adopted by the Board of Directors of the HKMFTA Ltd on 18th September 2016)
Purpose & Definitions
- All members of the HKMFTA are required to comply with its published Code of Ethics and Practice as updated from time to time. The purposes of these rules are to put in place procedures for handling complaints, and if appropriate, taking disciplinary proceedings against HKMFTA members for misconduct or for breaches of HKMFTA’s Code of Ethics and Practice.
- For the purposes of these Rules, unless the context otherwise requires, the following words have the meanings attributed to them.
|Board||Board of Directors of the HKMFTA Ltd.|
|Code||The Code of Ethics and Practice of the HKMFTA as published and updated from time to time.|
|Complainant||Any person making a Complaint.|
|Complaint||A complaint made against a Respondent Member for misconduct in accordance with these Rules.|
|Complaint Notice||A written Complaint made using the Complaint Form in Schedule 1.|
|Complaint Officer||A person designated by the Board to handle Complaints.|
|Complaints Register||A register containing a summary of all Complaints received and processed under these Rules.|
|Disciplinary Committee||A committee formed by the Board with authority to handle and investigate Complaints and to recommend to the Board penalties and sanctions made against any Respondent Member found guilty of Misconduct. This Committee shall be composed of not less than 3 persons appointed by the Board for such term as the Board decides.|
|HKMFTA||Hong Kong Marriage and Family Therapy Association operated by the HKFMTA Ltd.|
|HKMFTA Ltd||Hong Kong Marriage and Family Therapy Association Limited, a company with limited liability incorporated in Hong Kong.|
|Misconduct||Any conduct of any member of HKMFTA that:-
(i) appears to be dishonourable, improper or unprofessional as Marriage and Family Therapists, or
(ii) is in breach of the Code, or
(iii) discredits or damages the HKMFTA, or the professional reputation of Marriage and Family Therapists.
|Respondent Member||Any member of the HKMFTA against whom a Complaint has been made.|
|Response Form||A written response made by a Respondent Member in relation to a Complaint against him/her using the Response Form in Schedule 2.|
|Rules||The Complaints and Disciplinary Rules for handling complaints against HKMFTA members as published and updated from time to time.|
- As used in these Rules and where the context so requires or permits, words importing the masculine include the feminine and vice versa; words importing the singular include the plural and vice versa.
- The Complainant should make a complaint in writing in the form of a Complaint Notice addressed to the Complaints Officer at the address published by the HKMFTA. The Complaints Officer will log the Complaint in the Complaints Register.
- If the Complainant does not make the complaint in writing, the Complainant will be invited to lodge the complaint in person by appointment. The Complaint Notice shall be filled in according to the Complainant’s instructions and the Complainant will be asked to confirm its accuracy by signing the same.
- No Complaint will be dealt with unless:-
- There is a signed Complaint Notice; or
- In the case of an anonymous Complaint, the Board considers that it warrants further action after the Board has taken into account the seriousness of the Complaint, the credibility of the Complainant and the likelihood of verifying the Complaint from reliable sources.
- Complaints will normally only be dealt with if they are lodged within a year of the date on which the complainant became aware of the circumstances giving rise to the Complaint. Complaints made thereafter will only be investigated if the Complainant has a good reason for the delay.
- The Complaints Officer may ask the Complainant for further information or documentation to give details or to substantiate the Complaint. Upon receipt of such further information or documents, or upon the Complainant’s refusal to provide the same, the Complaints Officer will acknowledge receipt of the Complaint and bring it to the attention of the Board as soon as practicable.
- Within one (1) month of presentation of a Complaint by the Complaints Officer, the Board shall consider whether to proceed with the Complaint.
- The Board, before deciding whether to proceed with the Complaint, may ask the Complaints Officer to invite the Respondent Member to make a response to the Complaint. Upon invitation, the Respondent Member may make a response in writing by filling the Response Form and submit to the Complaints Officer any further information relating to the Complaint.
- Upon receipt of the Respondent Member’s Response Form, or upon the Respondent Member’s refusal to provide the same, the Board will consider the Response, if any, and decide whether to proceed with the Complaint.
- Should the Board decide not to proceed with the Complaint, the Board must give written reasons for not proceeding. The Complaints Officer shall, if the Complainant has given contact details, inform the Complainant of the Board’s reasons for not proceeding with the Complaint.
- Should the Board decide to proceed, the Disciplinary Proceedings in these Rules shall follow.
Circumstances for Decision not to proceed
- The Board may take no further action in respect of the Complaint under certain circumstances, including but not limited to:-
- where the Complaint cannot be dealt with under these Rules;
- where incomplete or inaccurate contact details have been provided;
- where the Complaint is trivial in nature;
- where the Complaint contains insufficient information to enable it to be assessed comprehensively, and there is no reasonable prospect of obtaining the missing information;
- where the Complaint has already been considered and no new information in regard to the Complaint is provided;
- where there has been undue delay in making the Complaint;
- any other circumstances which shall be specified in writing.
- A Complainant may apply to the Board for review against a decision of the Board not to proceed by writing to the Board. The Board shall review its previous decision and determine whether to:-
- confirm the previous decision not to proceed with the Complaint;
- request the Complaints Officer to make further enquiries before making a decision, OR
- refer the Complaint to the Disciplinary Committee.
- Upon the Board deciding to refer the Complaint to the Disciplinary Committee, the