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Disciplinary Procedures

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					Disciplinary Procedures

See Article 12. The disciplinary procedure must be brought into action when a complaint is received about a member of the Institute. All members of the Institute must abide by its Code of Professional Conduct and any alleged breach of the Code must be investigated according to the procedures laid down by the Institute. The disciplinary hearing should be carried out under the auspices of the Membership Committee of the Institute. 1. Complaint is received If the Office of the Institute receives a complaint against a member of the Institute, staff at the Office will request that the complaint is put in writing so that it can be addressed following the disciplinary procedures described below. Only written complaints addressed to the chair of Membership Committee will be considered. Anonymous complaints will not be investigated. 2. Preliminary investigation The role of the preliminary investigation sub-committee is to decide whether the information supporting the complaint justifies a full investigation. A sub-committee comprising two nominees of the Membership Committee will carry out the preliminary investigation. These would normally be the chair of the Membership Committee (or a past Chair) and an Officer of the Institute. The sub-committee will consider the written complaint and report its findings to the Membership Committee. A finding of “no case to answer” or a withdrawal of the complaint need not be reported to the Board. Should the preliminary investigation decide that the complaint warrants further investigation, the sub-committee will prepare a statement of the case for consideration by the Panel created to hear the case at the disciplinary hearing (see 3 below). The statement of the case, together with a copy of this protocol, will be provided to the defendant who will be given the opportunity to submit a written response. 3. Disciplinary hearing A finding that there is a case to answer will trigger a disciplinary hearing to be structured as follows: The Membership Committee will appoint a Panel to hear the case and report its findings to the Membership Committee and the Board. Page 1 of 3
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The Panel will comprise three senior members of the Institute who are former officers who are not currently members of the Board and who are not members of the preliminary investigation sub-committee. The Panel will elect one member of the Panel to act as chair throughout the proceedings. The defendant must not be personally known to any of the Panel. The defendant will be offered four names of proposed Panel members by the Membership Committee and will be given the opportunity to reject one. The defendant must not attempt to make contact with any of the Panel members. A senior member of the IFST staff will act as “clerk” to the Panel and will be present throughout the hearing to take notes and offer advice but will not take part in any voting. The member defendant will be invited to the hearing at which both parties will present the evidence, ie the evidence from the defendant and from the preliminary investigation. The defendant will be informed of the date and time of the hearing by special delivery post at least 42 days in advance. The Panel may also collect other written evidence relevant to the case and present it to the disciplinary hearing Defendants are entitled to bring to the disciplinary hearing a person to support them. This person will not be able to speak for the defendant if the defendant is absent. This process is essentially judgement by peers. It is envisaged that neither the Panel nor the defendant would employ professional legal advice at this hearing. The role of the Panel is to hear the case as impartial examiners of the complaint. The hearings will be conducted with transparent fairness on the basis that the member (defendant) is not in breach of the Code until it is proved otherwise. The disciplinary hearing will consider the statement of the complaint, provided by the chair of the preliminary investigation sub-committee and evidence to support it (with any cross examination of witnesses), and followed by a rebuttal by the defendant, with evidence, which is also open to cross-examination. Evidence may also be by means of written statements from persons who are not able to attend the hearing at the Panel’s discretion. 4. Results of hearing The decision of the Panel will be by simple majority. The Panel will make known their judgement to the defendant at time of the hearing. The hearing will result in either a dismissal of the complaint or acceptance of the complaint and imposition of an appropriate penalty. If the complaint is admitted, then the Panel will hear any mitigation and decide the recommended penalty. The results of the hearing will be reported to the Membership Committee for information and to the Board for endorsement. If the complaint is proven against a Chartered Scientist, the Institute will advise the Registrar of the Science Council of the result.
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MC/PROF COND/DISCIP JUN07

Institute of Food Science & Technology - Disciplinary Procedures

5.

Appeal Equity demands a right to an independent appeal. The leave to appeal will not be granted automatically, but only in circumstances where grounds for appeal are identified, eg new evidence, apparent injustice at first hearing. The defendant must give written notice to the Chairman of the Membership Committee of their appeal, together with grounds, within 5 clear days of the hearing. The appellate Tribunal will comprise three senior persons, two who shall be a past president or past vice president and who are not currently on the Board and one who is not a member of the Institute. None shall have had contact with the case beforehand. The defendant must not be personally known to any of the Tribunal. The Membership Committee will offer the defendant the names of three past presidents or past vice presidents and two other senior persons. From these, the defendant will choose two presidents/vice presidents and one other person to hear the appeal. The appellate Tribunal will elect one member of the Tribunal (who shall be an IFST member) to act as chair throughout the proceedings. The decision of the appellate Tribunal will be by two thirds majority. Such decision will be final and will be reported to the Board.

6.

Clerk to the Panel/Tribunal A senior member of the IFST staff will act as “clerk” to the Panel or appellate Tribunal and will be present throughout the proceedings to take notes and offer advice, but will not take part in any voting.

MC/PROF COND/DISCIP JUN07

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Institute of Food Science & Technology - Disciplinary Procedures


				
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