Independent Complaints Procedures
The APPC is responsible for taking disciplinary action should the Code of Conduct or other regulations be breached. Any breach of the Code of Conduct is dealt with in accordance with the APPC Complaints & Disciplinary Rules & Procedures and it is an obligation of membership that each member is bound by those Procedures.
In 2012 the APPC formalised the appointment of the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) to carry out its Complaints & Disciplinary Rules & Procedures. This allows anyone to lodge a complaint that a member firm of the APPC has breached the APPC Code of Conduct, which regulates a member firm’s dealings with its clients and with institutions of UK Government.
The Procedures – including an independent Professional Practices Panel – have been in place since the formation of APPC in 1994. They were reviewed and updated in 2009, when APPC appointed Independent Adjudicators to resolve complaints, without any input from the members of the APPC or its Management Committee.
In the event of a complaint, the Management Committee appoints (through CEDR) an Independent Adjudicator and, if necessary, a Professional Practices Panel, comprising three persons from outside the profession, appointed on the basis of their knowledge and public reputation. If a member is found to have acted in breach of the Code of Conduct or any other APPC regulation, the independent adjudicator or the professional practices panel may issue a warning or reprimand, require remedial action, or recommend suspension or termination of membership. The Management Committee may also publish a statement on a complaint once it has been finalised.
The APPC Management Committee retains the right to lodge its own complaint in the event of it becoming aware of a possible breach of the Code of Conduct.