Code of Professional Conduct Discipline Process

Preamble

Complaints under the Code of Professional Conduct or By-laws (sections 4.5, 4.6 and 4.8.4) of the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA) may be made by anybody, whether they are members of the Association or the general public. Where individuals believe they have such a complaint, they are required to submit their complaints in writing marked confidential to the Chair of the Professional Conduct Committee, including their name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, information regarding the complaint and supporting documentation if applicable, to:

Chair, Professional Conduct Committee
The Canadian Payroll Association,
1600 – 250 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario M4W 1E6

The Chair will consider the merits of the complaint in conjunction with the code and determine whether or not it will go to the full Professional Conduct Committee. Those complaints that are upheld following rigorous investigation may result in expulsion, suspension, reprimand, admonition and guidance on future behaviour of the Member.

The mandate of the Professional Conduct Committee includes but is not limited to:

  1. Assessing and investigating allegations of breach of the CPA’s Code of Professional Conduct.
  2. Conducting hearings for unresolved allegations.
  3. Reporting the final disposition of the hearing process to the CPA Board of Directors.
  4. Publicizing discipline violations of the Code of Professional Conduct.
  5. Dealing with violations of the Code of Professional Conduct in a consistent manner.

Committee members must maintain confidentiality and avoid conflict of interest regarding all matters that they become aware of during the course of their duties as members of the Professional Conduct committee.

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Professional Misconduct

As defined by the Code of Professional Conduct

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Code of Professional Conduct Committee

The Professional Conduct Committee is to be established and appointed by the Board of Directors and shall oversee the enforcement of the Code of Professional Conduct through the Discipline Process and in accordance with the By-laws of the Association.

The Professional Conduct Committee shall consist of not fewer than 5 Members of the Association appointed by the Board of Director’s of the Association in accordance with the By-laws of the Association.

A member of the Professional Conduct Committee may not hold office for more than 2 terms (a term may be a 2 year or 3 year appointment).

No current member of the Board may sit on the Professional Conduct Committee.

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Duties of the Professional Conduct Committee

The duties of the Professional Conduct Committee shall include:

  1. investigating matters involving any alleged incompetence, professional misconduct or contravention of the Bylaws or Code of Professional Conduct as may be brought to its attention;
  2. investigating matters referred to it by the Board and report the results of their investigation  to the Board;
  3. reviewing reports;
  4. reviewing requests made to it.

After a review and investigation of a complaint, the Professional Conduct Committee may dismiss a complaint and shall provide written reasons for its decision to the complainant and the Member.

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Hearing

If, after a review and investigation, the Professional Conduct Committee does not dismiss a complaint, the Professional Conduct Committee shall hold a hearing.  Notice shall be given to the complainant and the Member thought to be in contravention of the Code of Professional Conduct. The hearing is to take place not more than 30 days after the date on which the matter is referred to the Professional Conduct Committee.

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Rights of Investigated Member

A representative of the Association, the complainant, and the Member may appear and be represented by counsel at a hearing before the Professional Conduct Committee.

Each party shall pay their own legal fees and other costs.

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Evidence Before the Professional Conduct Committe

Evidence may be given before the Professional Conduct Committee in any manner that the Professional Conduct Committee considers appropriate, and the Professional Conduct Committee is not bound by the rules of law respecting evidence applicable to judicial proceedings.

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Duties on Conclusion of an Inquiry or Review

Upon concluding the hearing, the Professional Conduct Committee shall do the following, within 30 days:

  1. submit a written report respecting the hearing and its decision to the Board of Directors of the Association;
  2. make a recommendation to the Board of Directors; and
  3. make a recommendation as to the disciplinary action to be taken, if any, of the Member from the Association.  The recommendation must be supported by a 3 to 5 majority vote. (In the event of a tie, the Chair will cast the deciding vote)

With respect to each case, at the Professional Conduct Committee meeting the Chair (or where designated, a Professional Conduct Committee member) will be expected to summarize the following:

  1. facts of the case;
  2. issues in the case;
  3. relevant provisions in the Code of Professional Conduct;
  4. relevant evidence; and
  5. any required further investigation.

The President shall notify all parties of the decision of the Board and Professional Conduct Committee within 30 days following receipt of such decision. The Member will be notified at their last known address.

Upon the disciplining of a Member (such as suspension or expulsion), the Association shall communicate to the membership of the Association the actions and the reason for its actions including the name of the Member.

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Appeal to Board of Directors

The complainant or the Member found to be in violation of the Code of Professional Conduct may appeal to the Board of Directors a finding or an order of the Professional Conduct Committee, within 30 days of notification of that decision.

An appeal should be commenced by written notice of appeal, which shall:

  1. describe the finding or order appealed; and
  2. provide additional information not previously provided that supports the reason for the appeal.

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The Boards Power on Appeal

The Board shall, within 90 days from the conclusion of all proceedings before it, do all or any of the following:

  1. make any finding that in its opinion ought to have been made by the Professional Conduct Committee;
  2. overturn vary, or confirm the finding or order of the Professional Conduct Committee or substitute or make a finding or order of its own; or
  3. refer the matter back to the Professional Conduct Committee for further consideration in accordance with any direction that the Board may make.

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Possible Actions

Where the Professional Conduct Committee finds a Member guilty of a breach of the Code of Professional Conduct or the By-laws, the Professional Conduct Committee may decide that any one or a combination of the following be implemented and shall make a recommendation to the Board that the Member be disciplined accordingly:

No grounds exist for a complaint against the member and therefore:

  1. the Member not be reprimanded, and no penalty imposed;
  2. Grounds do exist for a complaint against the member and therefore the following actions can be taken:
    1. the Member be reprimanded and/or penalty imposed;
    2. the Member be suspended from any office held at any level of the Association for up to 2 years;
    3. the Member be declared ineligible to hold any office at any level of the Association;
    4. the Member be suspended or expelled from membership in the Association;
    5. the Member may no longer use the PCP or CPM certification;
    6. the Member will be fined an amount not exceeding $25,000;
    7. the name of the Member be published in a regular Association publication; and
    8. other measures as determined by the Board.

Following any suspension period, the Member shall agree in writing to adhere to the Association's Code of Professional Conduct and By-Laws.

A suspended Member shall be responsible for all applicable Association fees during the period of suspension in addition to maintenance of the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirements.

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