Online Ethics Complaint Form
The Complaint Adjudication Process and the Board of Ethics
When a complaint alleging a violation or violations of the Code of Ethics (2023) or the Assistants Code of Conduct (2020) is filed with ASHA's Board of Ethics ("BOE"), the complaint adjudication process begins. The BOE published ASHA's Code of Ethics and Assistants Code of Conduct and Principles Associated with Their Enforcement, which provides an overview of the purpose of the BOE, the Code of Ethics, the Assistants Code of Conduct, and the complaint adjudication process. When considering whether to file a complaint, please keep the General Complaint Guidelines below in mind.
General Complaint Guidelines
- The BOE only has jurisdiction to act upon complaints filed against
- current or former ASHA members;
- individuals who hold or have held the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC);
- individuals who hold or have held assistants certification (C-AA or C-SLPA); and
- individuals who have applied for the CCC or for the C-AA or C-SLPA credential.
- The events that are the subject of the complaint must have occurred while the individual was an ASHA member, a certificate holder, or an applicant for certification.
- The person filing the complaint (the "Complainant") does not have to be an ASHA member or hold the CCC, C-AA, or C-SLPA.
- The BOE does not accept anonymous complaints.
- The BOE does not accept complaints filed against an organization, university, school district, or company.
- A copy of the complaint form, a written Statement of Complaint, and all supporting documentation will be provided to the individual against whom the complaint is filed (the "Respondent").
How to File a Complaint
To file an online complaint, fully complete the Online Ethics Complaint Form and attach any supporting documentation that you have. Once you finish the form and click "submit," your information will be sent directly to the ASHA Ethics Office for review.
Email or U.S. Mail
To file a complaint by email or U.S. mail, complete a Complaint Form for Alleged Violation of the Code of Ethics or the Assistants Code of Conduct [PDF] or submit a statement that includes the information listed below in What Information to Include with the Complaint. Then, send your completed complaint form or statement and any additional documentation by email or U.S. mail to:
Mark your message "CONFIDENTIAL"
U.S. Mail: Mark your envelope "CONFIDENTIAL"
ASHA Ethics Office
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
2200 Research Boulevard, #309
Rockville, Maryland 20850
What to Include with the Complaint Form
In order for a complaint to move forward in the adjudication process, the complaint must include the following information:
- Your name and contact information
- Respondent's name
- Respondent's contact information (if known)
- Respondent's ASHA status (if known)
- A written Statement of Complaint that contains the information and facts on which the complaint is based (see details below).
- A list of Code of Ethics or Assistants Code of Conduct sections you believe, in good faith, that the Respondent violated. Use the following effective dates as a guideline. Please contact the ASHA Ethics Office at email@example.com if you have any questions on which Code of Ethics version to select.
- Any additional documents and/or evidence that corroborates and supports the allegations, if applicable.
- If the documentation you provide contains confidential information (i.e., client/patient/employment records), redact all identifying information (e.g., name, SSN) and replace it with a letter or number code, if necessary.
- If a complaint containing the same allegations as your complaint was filed with another agency (e.g., state licensure board; academic institution; federal, state, or local official) attach copies of all related correspondence showing to whom it was submitted, date of filing, whether/how the matter was resolved, and the final decision (if available).
- Your signature at the bottom of the complaint form.
What to Include in the Statement of Complaint
The facts and evidence to be provided in your Statement of Complaint may include but are not limited to the following:
- Date(s) of incident(s)
- Your relationship to the Respondent (e.g., employer, employee, student, colleague, clinical fellowship supervisor, client/patient or caregiver)
- Location/occasion of incident
- How and when you observed/discovered the alleged violation(s)
- The Respondent's actions, practices, and/or behavior that you think were violations of the Code of Ethics or Assistants Code of Conduct
- Descriptions and copies of any communications with others regarding this incident
- Descriptions and dates of actions taken, if any, to try to rectify the situation before submitting this complaint
- Descriptions and dates of any communications sent to the Respondent regarding your concerns and any responses received from the Respondent
- Signed and dated witness statements
- Copies of all other materials and evidence that corroborates and supports your allegations
- Information about the facts and circumstances in your complaint that are also the subject of any complaint(s) to other regulatory entities (e.g., licensure board) or a legal cause of action
You will receive notification from the ASHA Ethics Office acknowledging receipt of your complaint. If your complaint is outside the BOE's jurisdiction, is not ethical in nature, or does not meet the complaint requirements, your form and materials will be returned to you with a letter of explanation.
Before the BOE can move forward with your legitimate complaint (i.e., it meets complaint requirements), you must sign a Waiver of Confidentiality and Privacy Rights and, if needed, other waivers specific to the case. This waiver will, in part, allow the BOE to provide a copy of the complaint and supporting documents to the Respondent to obtain their response to the alleged violations. In addition, you may be required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement.
The BOE meets three times per year to adjudicate complaints: February/March, May/June, and October. The complaint process may take more than 12 months from beginning to end, depending on a number of factors including but not limited to the type of complaint filed, whether or not additional documentation is required, and whether a Further Consideration hearing or appeal is conducted.
The ASHA Ethics Office will not provide updates regarding your complaint; it can only provide confirmation that your complaint is still undergoing review. No further information will be provided until the BOE renders a Final Decision.
For general questions about the complaint filing process, contact the ASHA Ethics Office at:
- 800-498-2071 (members) or 800-638-8255 (consumers)
- senior director of ethics, ext. 5785
- associate director (ethics adjudication), ext. 5654