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Policy 1: Complaints Against Applicants and Certificants Operating Procedure

Processing of Complaints

Complainants (individual or organization) must submit a written complaint following the NICET-prescribed format. Click here to download the Complaint form, or call NICET at 888-476-4238 (or 703-548-1518) to request a form. Complaints will be processed in accordance with the following procedures:

  1. Complaint will be reviewed by the NICET staff to ascertain if the criteria for acceptance of a complaint are met. The acceptance criteria are as follows:
    1. Complainant must have personal knowledge of the alleged violation or misbehavior or must be in a position to supply relevant and reliable documentation.
    2. Complainant must demonstrate by documentation and factual evidence that the complaint involves an issue or issues directly related to the criteria set forth in the preceding section entitled "Complaints Accepted and Possible Actions." Matters of a personal nature or matters not related to the criteria set forth will not be considered.
    3. The complaint will not be processed if the NICET records show the named person is no longer in the NICET Registry or is not a NICET applicant, unless the complaint is related to such person representing themself as having a valid NICET certification.
  2. Accepted complaints will be processed by the NICET staff for the purpose of attempting to resolve the complaint informally.
  3. If resolution by the NICET staff is not possible, a NICET Hearing Panel will be established to review the complainant's statements and, if necessary, formally solicit answers to specific questions from the applicant or certificant. The Hearing Panel's ruling will then be conveyed in writing to the applicant or certificant and the complainant. The Hearing Panel shall be constituted as follows:
    1. One current NICET Board of Governors member, one former NICET Board of Governors member, and one certificant (SET or CT, as appropriate). The appointments shall be made by the NICET Chair and shall be made with the objective of having two of the three panel members familiar with the applicant's or certificant's certification technical area.
      1. No Hearing Panel member shall be appointed to serve for a case in which he or she has a conflict of interest or under any circumstances in which the member cannot render impartial and unbiased judgment.
      2. The Hearing Panel may, at its discretion, retain a special consultant familiar with the applicant's or certificant's area of expertise if it believes that the special consultant will assist it in its deliberations.
  4. A certificant may appeal a hearing panel’s ruling.  In such case, a Formal Hearing may be requested before the Hearing Panel. The request for a Formal Hearing must be received in writing by NICET no later than 30 days after the issuance of the Hearing Panel's ruling. The Formal Hearing will be scheduled between 60 and 90 days after NICET's receipt of the request for the Formal Hearing.
    1. NICET will make a reasonable effort to schedule the Formal Hearing at a time and location convenient to the applicant or certificant and that the panel will be the same initial members, if possible.
      1. In the event the Formal Hearing is postponed, it shall be rescheduled and be held within six months of the issuance of the Hearing Panel's original ruling.
    2. The applicant or certificant will be informed of the rules for the Formal Hearing, which will include the following:
      1. A written description of the scope of the hearing including a clear statement of the allegations to be heard will be given to the applicant or certificant.
      2. The applicant or certificant will, at the applicant or certificant’s own expense, have the right to have legal counsel present and to call witnesses.
      3. The proceeding will be audio recorded by NICET.
      4. The applicant or certificant will have the right to submit written testimony in lieu of appearing at the Formal Hearing provided such intent is made known thirty days prior to the scheduled hearing date.
      5. If written testimony is submitted, the hearing will proceed on the scheduled date whether or not the applicant or certificant is present.
    3. If the applicant or certificant does not appear and written testimony is not provided, no Formal Hearing will be conducted and the original Hearing Panel's ruling will be final and non-appealable.
  5. If the Formal Hearing results in a decision which is unsatisfactory to the complainant, applicant or certificant, a final appeal to the NICET Board of Governors may be requested provided a written request is submitted to the NICET Chief Operating Executive not later than 20 days after the Hearing Panel issues a written decision based on the Formal Hearing. This final appeal shall be scheduled in executive session at a regular Board of Governors meeting which is convened not later than ten months after the date the Formal Hearing was conducted.
  6. All decisions of the NICET Board of Governors are final and non-appealable.

Public Notice of Actions

Final actions will be reported in the NICET Newsletter and on NICET's website.

Definitions

  1. TEMPORARY SUSPENSION is an action that prevents testing activity, certification eligibility evaluations, certification decisions in any certification area, and recertification. Additionally, the individual will not be listed in any certification directory published during the suspension period. The length of a suspension period is influenced by the situation, but the minimum period is six months.
  2. PERMANENT REVOCATION is an action which terminates the individual's association with NICET. Prior testing records, certification records, etc. are purged and future association with NICET is blocked.
  3. REPRIMAND is an action that is taken by the Chief Operating Executive, in which, a letter is written that summarizes the facts regarding the complaint and the offense(s) committed. The letter is sent to the complainant and the applicant or certificant and becomes a permanent part of the applicant's or certificant's file.