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Code of Ethical Conduct for Prevention Professionals Policy & Procedures

The principles of ethics, defined in the PSCBW Code of Ethical Conduct for Professionals document, are models of exemplary professional behavior.


Filing Complaints

Persons wishing to file a complaint against a Certified Prevention Professional in Washington or against someone seeking certification from the PSCBW may do so by obtaining an Ethics Complaint Form and a personal release form from the PSCBW.

All complaints must be signed by the complainant, contain the complainant’s home address, and be accompanied by the signed personal release. Upon request, the PSCBW shall make reasonable efforts to accommodate special needs.

Completed complaints shall be mailed directly to “President-Investigation” of the PSCBW. The PSCBW shall respond to the complainant regarding receipt of the complaint and shall keep the complainant

advised about the status of the complaint review process.


Review of Complaint/ Investigation

Within 30 days of receipt of the complaint, the PSCBW President shall review the complaint to determine whether the PSCBW has jurisdiction. If the President has a conflict of interest in reviewing the complaint, another member of the PSCBW Executive Committee will review the complaint and provide recommendations to the PSCBW Ethics Committee. The PSCBW President (or delegate) shall report the complaint and review findings to the Ethics Committee upon their next scheduled session.


Within 30 days of receiving the President’s Report, the Ethics Committee will inform the complainant and the respondent of the results of the President’s review. The Ethics Committee shall notify the respondent by certified mail at the last known address available to the PSCBW. The notice will include the charges, the name of the complainant, and the PSCBW action and reason(s). The Ethics Committee shall also convene a PSCBW review panel to conduct an investigation. The PSCBW review panel will schedule a meeting and conduct their investigation within 45 days of the notice to the complainant and the respondent. If during the course of the investigation it appears that criminal behavior may have occurred, the PSCBW’s President will report the alleged criminal behavior to the appropriate authority.

Within 15 days of its meeting, the PSCBW review panel shall recommend to the PSCBW Executive Committee to dismiss the complaint, obtain additional evidence sufficient upon which to base a decision, or impose disciplinary action. If disciplinary action is recommended, it shall consist of one or more of the following:


  • Written caution

  • Public reprimand

  • Suspension

  • Revocation of certification or certification plan minimum of two years before re-applying for certification

  • Denial of application for certification or recertification

  • Other sanctions which may be deemed appropriate by the PSCBW



Within 15 days of receipt of the PSCBW review panel’s report, the Executive Committee shall either: (1) Affirm the report and recommendations, or (2) return to review panel for further clarification to be agreed upon between both groups within 30 days.

If no disciplinary action is to result, the PSCBW President shall notify the respondent by certified mail and the complainant by regular mail, and the matter shall be closed. A report shall be submitted at the next PSCBW meeting and a full report filed.

If disciplinary action is contemplated, the recommendation and name of the respondent shall be announced to the full PSCBW at its next meeting (or by mail at the discretion of the PSCBW Executive Committee). Within five working days after the announcement to the full Board, the respondent shall be notified by certified mail of the following:

  • Findings of fact

  • Conclusions as to which Rules of Conduct have been violated

  • The sanction to be imposed

  • Right of appeal and procedures for appeal

If no appeal is filed within 30 days, the decision of the PSCBW review panel and affirmation of the Executive Committee shall be final, and any disciplinary action imposed shall take effect upon passage of the prescribed time period. When any disciplinary action takes effect, the President shall notify the complainant of the results of the disciplinary process.


Appeals Process


The respondent shall receive full written information about the right of appeal and procedures for appeal, which includes:

  • The appeal must contain the name, address and telephone number of the appealing party, as well as a written statement of the reasons supporting the appealing party’s dissatisfaction with the review panel’s decision, a statement of the relief desired by the appealing party, copies of all relevant documents, and signature of the appealing party.

  • The appeal shall be mailed to “President-Investigation” by certified mail and postmarked no later than 30 days after receiving notice of intended disciplinary action. The appeal must be accompanied by a non-refundable certified check or money order for $100.

  • The PSCBW President and President Elect shall, within 21 days of receipt of the appeal, schedule a hearing to take place no less than 21 days and no more than 45 days from the date of notice of appeal. The PSCBW shall notify by mail all parties expected to attend the hearing.

  • The hearing shall be closed to the public. Failure of the respondent to attend the hearing shall be deemed a waiver of the appeal. In such cases, the hearing will be dismissed, and the prior decision of the review panel and Executive Committee shall take effect immediately. Any request by the respondent for postponement of the hearing must be immediately served in writing to the PSCBW – the PSCBW shall have discretion to grant or deny such request.

  • Within 21 days of the completion of the hearing, if held, the hearing panel shall prepare a written decision containing the findings of fact, and conclusions as to whether any of the rules of the Code of Ethics have been violated. This decision shall be submitted to the Executive Committee, and a copy to the respondent by certified mail and the complainant by regular mail. At its next scheduled regular meeting, the PSCBW shall be notified of the hearing panel’s decision.

    Download a hard copy of these policies (pdf).

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