The Physical Activity Australia Code of Conduct for Exercise Professionals is a guide to acceptable standards of professional practice for Exercise Professionals’ Registrants. The aim is to ensure the maintenance of proper professional standards and to uphold and increase public confidence in the profession.
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that there is a fair process for dealing with complaints against Registrants in relation to a breach of professional standards. The Disciplinary Policy is intended to assist and inform Registrants and the public of the disciplinary procedures available.
This Policy applies to Physical Activity Australia Exercise Professionals’ Registrants.
This Policy aims to ensure:
- the process is managed in a way which is respectful of all persons involved
- the matter is addressed in a timely and effective manner
- the disciplinary process is fair
- the Registrant is provided with detailed information about his/her unsatisfactory performance and has the opportunity to respond to the complaint
This Policy provides a procedure to:
- resolve allegations relating to a breach of our Code of Conduct
- investigate allegations against a Registrant and consider sanctions where appropriate
- impose sanctions as necessary to protect the public and the integrity of the Registration Program. We will take disciplinary action against any Registrant that is found to breach the Code of Conduct
If a complaint involves a breach of the criminal law, it must not be dealt with under this process and must be referred to the appropriate authorities.
If a complaint involves a civil dispute over fees or the terms of a contract of engagement, then it must not be dealt with under these processes until any civil proceedings between the parties are complete.
Power to Impose Sanctions
We have the power to suspend, de-register, reprimand or otherwise deal with a Registrant in accordance with this Policy.
Where we have determined further investigation of a written complaint is warranted, the following procedure applies.
1. Informing relevant parties
We shall advise:
1.1 the Registrant that he/she is the subject of a complaint.
- The Registrant must be notified of the complaint and a copy of the complaint provided to him/her.
- The notification must also inform the Registrant that sanctions may be made.
- The Registrant’s file must be provided.
- The Registrant must be given 14 days to send his/her response to the complaint and provide any supporting documentation.
1.2 The Complainant that the matter is being investigated and that the Complainant will be informed of the outcome.
- If required, obtain further information or clarification of the issues from the Complainant.
2. Consideration of Complaint
2.1 We will assess all information provided, including the Registrant’s response to the complaint, with reference to the Code of Conduct.
2.2 Legal advice may be sought.
2.3 Upon conclusion of the investigation, a decision shall be made to determine whether the complaint is upheld, and what, if any, sanction will be imposed.
3. Notice of Decision
3.1 We will provide written notice to the Registrant of the decision within 7 days of the decision being made, and inform of his/her right of appeal.
3.2 The suspension, de-registration, reprimand or otherwise does not take effect:
- until the expiration of the period within which the Registrant is entitled to appeal against the resolution concerned, or
- if within that period the Registrant exercises the right of appeal, unless the decision is confirmed by us, whichever is the later.
4. Respond to the Complainant
4.1 Once the decision is made we will write to the Complainant informing him/her of the outcome.
4.2 However, if an Appeal has been lodged, then the Complainant will be advised that an Appeal has been lodged.
5. Appeal Process
A Registrant may appeal against a disciplinary sanction in accordance with this Policy. The appeal must be made in writing within 14 days of the decision, with a statement of the grounds on which the Registrant intends to rely on for the purposes of the appeal.
5.1 If no appeal is received within 14 days, we shall recommend that the complaint be upheld and the proposed sanction imposed.
5.2 If an appeal is received, we will refer the appeal to a Review Panel of three members who did not participate in the original hearing.
5.3 The Review Panel shall consider the original decision and the Registrant’s statement, and consider whether due processes were followed and the Registrant received a fair hearing.
5.4 The Review Panel may recommend that the:
- original decision be upheld; or
- complaint is dismissed
5.5 The Registrant must receive a written statement of the Review Panel’s decision and reasons for the decision.
5.6 The Registrant is not entitled to any further review or appeal.
Last updated: December 2011