(a) The National Asthma Educator Certification Board (the “National Board”) was established as a certification body for the evaluation of individuals who wish to enter, continue and/or advance in the profession through the certification process.
(b) Those certified (referred to as “certificants”) have successfully completed the required certification process, which includes meeting certain educational requirements, passing a certification test, verifying professional knowledge, and demonstrating experience in the profession. National Board certificants subscribe to a Code of Conduct established by the National Board.
(c) Successful candidates are granted certification by the National Board and may hold themselves out to the public as such. In order to maintain and enhance the credibility of the National Board certification program, National Board has adopted these Administrative Procedures to allow consumers and others to bring complaints concerning certificants’ conduct to the National Board. In the event of a violation of the Code of Conduct or of other substantive requirements of the certification process by a National Board certificant, the Board may reprimand or suspend the certificant, or revoke the certificant’s certification. The grounds for sanctions under these Procedures are as follows:
1. Conviction of a felony or other crime of moral turpitude under federal or state law in a matter related to the practice of, or qualifications for, professional activity.
2. Gross negligence or willful misconduct in the performance of professional services, or other unethical or unprofessional conduct based on demonstrable and serious violations of the Code of Conduct.
3. Fraud or misrepresentation in the application or maintenance of organizationalmembership, professional accreditation, or other professional recognition or credential.
(d) The National Board will ensure that information concerning the complaint process as developed by the National Board will be available to consumers and the public at appropriate locations. These Administrative Procedures apply to all complaints or inquiries received about a National Board certificant.
(e) It should be emphasized that actions taken under these Procedures do not constitute enforcement of the law, a]though referral to appropriate federal, state, or local government agencies may be made about the conduct of the certificant in appropriate situations. Individuals initially bringing complaints are not entitled to any relief or damages by virtue of this process, although they will receive notice of the actions taken.
II. National Board
(a) The National Board is responsible for development and administration of the National Board certification program and for the implementation of these Procedures. The National Board is composed of 17 individuals elected or appointed in accordance with the National Board’s Bylaws.
(b) The National Board elects one member of its members to be the Chair of the National Board, as prescribed by the Bylaws. The Chair presides at all meetings of the National Board and is specifically responsible for ensuring that these Administrative Procedures are implemented and followed.
(c) All National Board members, staff, and other individuals engaged in investigations or decisions with respect to any complaint under these Procedures may be indemnified and defended by the National Board against liability arising from National Board related activities to the extent provided by law.
(a) Complaints may be transmitted in any manner by any individual or entity, but must be in writing. Inquiries or submissions other than complaints may be reviewed and handled by the National Board at its discretion.
(b) Upon receipt and preliminary review of a submission involving the National Board certification program or the Code of Conduct, the Chair may conclude, in the Chair’s sole discretion, that the submission: (1) contains unreliable or insufficient information, or (2) is patently frivolous or inconsequential. In such cases, the Chair may determine that the submission does not constitute a valid and actionable complaint that would justify bringing it before the National Board for investigation and a determination of whether there has been a violation of the Code of Conduct or other substantive requirements of the certification process. If so, the submission is disposed of by notice from the Chair to its submitter, if the submitter is identified. All such preliminary dispositions by the Chair are reported to the National Board.
(c) If a submission is deemed by the Chair to be a valid and actionable complaint, the Chairperson shall see that written notice is provided to the certificant whose conduct has been called into question and to that individual’s employer, if applicable. The Chair also shall ensure that the individual submitting the complaint receives notice that the complaint is being reviewed by the National Board.
IV .Review of Complaint
(a) For each submission involving an alleged violation of the Code of Conduct that the Chair concludes is a valid and actionable complaint, the National Board authorizes an investigation into its specific facts or circumstances to whatever extent is necessary in order to clarify, expand, or corroborate the information provided by the submitter. The Chair appoints a Review Committee of three or more, who may or may not be members of the National Board, including a member to represent consumer interests, to investigate and make an appropriate determination with respect to each such valid and actionable complaint; the Committee may review one or more such complaints as determined by the Chair. The Committee initially determines whether it is appropriate to review the complaint under these Administrative Procedures or whether the matter should be referred to another entity engaged in the administration of law. The Committee may be assisted in the conduct of its investigation by other members of the National Board or by the National Board staff or legal counsel. The Chair exercises general supervision over all investigations.
(b) Both the individual submitting the complaint and the certificant who is the subject of the investigation (or his or her employer) may be contacted for additional information with respect to the complaint. The time for providing such additional information shall be established by the Committee. The Committee, or the National Board on its behalf, may at its discretioncontact such other individuals who may have knowledge of the facts and circumstances surrounding the complaint.
(c) All investigations and deliberations of the Committee and the National Board are conducted in confidence, with all written communications sealed and marked “Personal and Confidential,” and they are conducted objectively, without any indication of prejudgment. An investigation may be directed toward any aspect of a complaint which is relevant or potentially relevant. Formal hearings are not held and the parties are not expected to be represented by counsel, although the Committee and National Board may consult their own counsel.
(d) The member on the Review Committee to represent consumer interests shall beselected by the Chair in consultation with consumer organizations. Members of the Review Committee shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in connection with the activities of the Committee.
V .Determination of Violation
(a) Upon completion of an investigation, the Committee recommends whether the National Board should make a determination that there has been a violation of the Code of Conduct or of other substantive requirements of the certification process. When the Committee recommends that the National Board find a violation, the Committee also recommends imposition of an appropriate sanction. If the Committee so recommends, a proposed determination with a proposed sanction is prepared under the supervision of the Chair and is presented by a representative of the Committee to the National Board along with the record of the Committee’s investigation. If the Committee recommends against a determination that aviolation has occurred, the complaint is dismissed with notice to the certificant, the certificant’s employer, and the individual or entity who submitted the complaint.
(b) The National Board reviews the recommendation of the Committee based upon the record of the investigation. The National Board may accept, reject, or modify the Committee’s recommendation, either with respect to the determination of a violation or the recommended sanction to be imposed. If the National Board makes a determination that a violation has occurred, this determination and the imposition of a sanction are promulgated by written notice to the certificant, the certificant’s employer, and to the individual submitting the complaint, if the submitter agrees in advance and in writing to maintain in confidence whatever portion of the information is not made public by the National Board.
(c) In certain circumstances, the National Board may consider a recommendation from the Committee that the certificant who has violated the Code of Conduct should be offered an opportunity to submit a written assurance that the conduct in question has been terminated and will not recur. The decision of the Committee to make such a recommendation and of the National Board to accept it are within their respective discretionary powers. If such an offer is extended, the certificant at issue must submit the required written assurance within thirty days of receipt of the offer, and the assurance must be submitted in terms that are acceptable to the National Board. If the National Board accepts the assurance, notice is given to the certificant’s employer and to the submitter of the complaint, if the submitter agrees in advance and in writing to maintain the information in confidence.
(a) Any of the following sanctions may be imposed by the National Board upon acertificant whom the National Board has determined to have violated the Code of Conduct, although the sanction applied must reasonably relate to the nature and severity of the violation, focusing on reformation of the conduct of the member and deterrence of similar conduct by others:
(1) written reprimand to the certificant;
(2) suspension of the certificant for a designated period; or
(3) termination of the certificant’s certification from the National Board.
For each of these three sanctions, a summary of the determination and the sanction with the certificant’s name is published by the National Board.
(b) Reprimand in the form of a written notice from the Chair normally is sent to a certificant who has received his or her first substantiated complaint. Suspension normally is imposed on a certificant who has received two substantiated complaints. Termination normally is imposed on a certificant who has received two substantiated complaints within a two year period, or three or more substantiated complaints. The Board may at its discretion, however, impose any of the sanctions, if warranted, in specific cases.
(c) Certificants who have been terminated shall have their certification revoked and may not be considered for National Board certification in the future. If certification is revoked, any and all certificates or other materials requested by the National Board must be returned promptly to the National Board.
(a) Within thirty days from receipt of notice of a determination by the National Board that a member violated the Code of Conduct, the affected certificant may submit to the National Board in writing a request for an appeal. Upon receipt of a request for appeal, the Chair of the National Board establishes an appellate body consisting of at least three, but not more than five, individuals. This Appeal Board may review one or more appeals, upon request of the Chair. No current members of the Committee or the National Board may serve on the Appeal Board; further, no one with any personal involvement or conflict of interest may serve on the Appeal Board. Members of the Appeal Board may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in connection with the activities of the Board.
(b) The Appeal Board may only review whether the determination by the National Board of a violation of the Code of Conduct was inappropriate because of:
(1) material errors of fact, or
(2) failure of the Review Committee or the National Board to conform to published criteria, policies, or procedures. Only facts and conditions up to and including the time of the National Board’s determination as represented by facts known to the National Board are considered during an appeal. The appeal shall not include a hearing or any similar trial-type proceeding. Legal counsel is not expected to participate in the appeal process, unless requested by the appellant and approved by the National Board and the Appeal Board. The National Board and Appeal Board may consult National Board legal counsel.
(c) The Appeal Board conducts and completes the appeal within ninety days after receipt of the request for an appeal. Written appellate submissions and any reply submissions may be made by authorized representatives of the member and of the National Board. Submissions are made according to whatever schedule is reasonably established by the Appeal Board. The decision of the Appeal Board either affirms or overrules the determination of the National Board, but does not address a sanction imposed by the National Board. The decision of the Appeal Board, including a statement of the reasons for the decision, is reported to the Association Board of Directors and the National Board. The Appeal Board decision is binding upon the National Board, the certificant who is subject to the termination, and all other persons.
(a) If a certificant who is the subject of a complaint voluntarily surrenders his or her National Board certification at any time during the pendency of a complaint under these Procedures, the complaint is dismissed without any further action by the Review Committee, the National Board, or an Appeal Board established after an appeal. The entire record is sealed and the individual may not reapply for certification by the National Board. However, the National Board may authorize the Chair to communicate the fact and date of resignation, and the fact and general nature of the complaint which was pending at the time of the resignation, to or at the request of a government entity engaged in the administration of law. Similarly, in the event of such resignation, the certificant’s employer and the person or entity who submitted the complaint are notified of the fact and date of resignation and that National Board has dismissed the complaint as a result.
(a) The National Board is also responsible for review of the recertification process, under requirements for recertification promulgated by the National Board. The Chair shall appoint a Recertification Committee from the members of the National Board, which shall review all matters concerning recertification. The Committee recommends appropriate actions in all situations, for final approval by the National Board. An individual who is denied recertification may appeal the decision to the National Board, but has no right of formal appeal under the appeal procedures above.
Approved September 13, 2003