What is meant by an “external report”?

An external report is a verified report of unethical or criminal conduct by a CPA Member or Affiliate, or evidence that a Member or Affiliate is misusing the Association’s membership or affiliateship in a way that implies certification or licensure. It may come from several sources.

Where do such external reports come from?

Regulatory, licensing, or certification bodies sometimes publish the names of persons who have been sanctioned, the specifics of the sanction, and the nature of the conduct that led to the sanction. Also, the Association may be notified by CPA Members or Affiliates or by members of the public of media reports and/or records that a CPA Member or an Affiliate has been convicted or sanctioned, or has misused the Association’s membership or affiliateship.

Is an allegation of unethical behaviour or a criminal charge that has not resulted in a sanction or a conviction considered an “external report” subject to review by the Committee on Ethics?

No. The report must concern conduct that has been verified; that is, formally judged by an appropriate body (e.g., a professional regulatory body, a court of law, a statutory tribunal, a university disciplinary committee) to have been unethical or criminal. Allegations of unethical conduct or criminal charges alone are not considered to be subject to review by the Committee on Ethics.

How are external reports handled?

The Association’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), or the CEO’s designate, forwards the matter with all available information to the Chair of the Committee on Ethics for review. The Chair determines whether to: (i) make a recommendation directly to the CEO; or (ii) refer the matter to the Committee’s Review Subcommittee for a formal review of the unethical behaviour and recommendation to the CEO. The Chair and the Review Subcommittee may request further information from other sources to help determine whether the unethical behaviour is inconsistent with the expectations set out in the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists.

What happens after the Committee on Ethics completes its review of an external report?

Once the review of an external report has been completed, the Committee’s Chair or Review Subcommittee, as applicable, makes a recommendation to the Association’s Chief Executive Officer about whether any action needs to be taken regarding the individual’s membership or affiliateship in the Association (e.g., a “cease and desist” order to the Member or Affiliate, temporary conditions on continued CPA membership or affiliateship, recommendation that the Member or Affiliate be suspended or expelled from the Association).