The PPG Ethics Policy
The Ethics Committee of The Pet Professional Guild consists of a committee chair three other individuals made up of PPG Steering Committee members, other PPG members and impartial professionals. The key role of the Ethics Committee is to investigate all reported ethics violations.
Under these guidelines, PPG considers two types of ethics inquiries:
- Membership Qualification inquiries and
- Reviews of Alleged Ethics Violations.
The Committee may choose to deal with a matter according to either procedure and may convert an inquiry from one type to another as appropriate.
#1 Membership Qualification
A membership qualification inquiry is initiated based on preliminary evidence submitted in a complaint that indicates that a PPG member may, in fact, not qualify for membership based on PPG’s ‘non-negotiable’ code of conduct. In the case of a Membership Qualification inquiry, the committee refers the complaint to PPG’s membership manager to review the membership eligibility.
#2 Alleged Ethics Violations
A review of alleged unethical conduct is initiated by a complainant or the Ethics Committee, and in the opinion of the Ethics Committee Chair, the alleged unethical conduct concerns violations of PPG’s professional ethics.
How To Report an Ethics Violation
Reports of alleged membership violations will be handled according to this policy. Complaints must be limited to alleged violations of the Guild’s vision, mission, pledge, key values and professional ethics, collectively referred to as The Guiding Principles.
The responsibility for investigating alleged membership violations is designated to the Chair and committee members of the Ethics Committee.
- Complaints must be made promptly; allegations of violations occurring more than thirty (30) days prior will be considered only under exceptional circumstances as determined by the Ethics Committee.
- Any person that feels they have been treated in a fashion that violates PPG Guiding Principles may file a complaint; The Ethics Committee will only consider complaints filed on behalf of a third party if the complaint is accompanied by verifiable independent evidence such as publicly available records, reports, business records, including those of a public agency, judgments of a court, marketing advertisements a commercial document and reports, commercial publications and the like.
- All ethics complaints will be investigated and handled to an appropriate timeline.
Filing a Report of an Alleged Membership Violation
- The individual filing the alleged violation must present the allegation to the Committee Chair in writing.
- The report will remain confidential.
- The following information must be included in the alleged violation report:
- The names of the alleged violator and the actual complainant in reference to the violation of the Guiding Principles. This must be specific.
- The complaint must reference the area of the Guiding principles that you feel have been violated by including and quoting the actual text in your report;
- A specific description, including when and where the violation was alleged to have occurred, who was involved, and what happened.
- The PPG Ethics committee Chair will acknowledge receipt of the alleged violation without comment within 24 hour of receipt.
- The individual filing the report will be notified to keep the complaint confidential; this means no information about the complaint will be discussed with any other person. If confidentiality is breached it may be considered a violation of the Guiding Principles.
- The Committee chair will forward the complaint to the Ethics Committee members within 48 hours and notify the Steering Committee that a complaint has been filed. The details of the complaint will be kept confidential in order to preserve the Steering Committee’s ability to fairly and objectively interact with the member.
The Ethics Investigation
- The Ethics Committee will review the complaint. If necessary, they will gather more information and schedule an interview with the complainant.
- If the initial review indicates that the alleged infraction is not a violation of the Guiding Principles, then the complainant will be notified in writing, and no investigation will be pursued unless further facts or evidence is proffered.
- If it appears that a violation of the guiding principles has occurred based on the preponderance of the evidence, (is more likely to be true than not), then the Chair will notify the individual or group that are the subjects of the complaint and provide seven (7) calendar days for a reply. If there is no reply to the compliant notification, the Ethics Committee will decide based on all available information.
- Once all the information has been gathered, the Chair and committee will decide about the sanctions; this may include:
- Education. The need for education and mentoring.
- Membership Probation. This may be combined with education from one week up to six months.
- Exclusion. Termination of PPG membership
- If an individual wishes to appeal the Ethics Committee’s decision, they will be given ten (10) calendar days to do so.
- All materials considered by the Ethics Committee will be given to the PPG President and/or a Board Member and one other Steering Committee member.
- A final decision will be made within five (5) calendar days and the individual will be notified in writing.
- All involved parties shall maintain complete confidentiality throughout the process.
- Once a determination has been made, the parties involved will be notified that a determination has been made.
- Details of the determination will remain private.
- A violation of confidentiality by any party involved in the matter will be considered a violation of the Guiding Principles