Registry for Autism Service Providers Complaint Resolution Process Who

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					                           Registry for Autism Service Providers -
                              Complaint Resolution Process

Who this process is for?

This is the formal complaint process established for parents or guardians of children with
Autism Spectrum Disorders under six years of age who are paying for the services of a
professional on the Registry of Autism Service Providers for the Autism Funding Under Age
6 Program (RASP) using their autism treatment funds.

Your right to make a complaint

You have a right to make a complaint if and when you are dissatisfied with the service being
provided and/or have concerns regarding the professional conduct of a service provider.

ACT – Autism Community Training, under its contract with the Ministry of Children and Family
Development, has agreed to collaborate with MCFD to administer a formal complaint process for
those service providers who do not belong to professional regulatory bodies.

ACT – Autism Community Training will only accept formal complaints when the
complaint is about a professional on the RASP who is NOT a member of a
professional governing college. ACT can only accept formal complaints about Speech
Language Pathologists and Behaviour Consultants who are not Registered Psychologists or
Board Certified Behaviour Analysts.

Complaints about service providers who belong to professional regulatory bodies should be
directed to their member association. These service providers include: Registered
Psychologists, Board Certified Behaviour Analysts, Occupational Therapists, and Physical
Therapists. These organizations have fully developed complaint processes which are
available on their websites or by telephoning their offices. For contact information please
see the list at the end of this article.

Why is ACT Involved in a Complaint Process?

The Ministry of Children and Family Development, owner of the Registry of Autism Service
Providers, has asked ACT to administer a complaint process to ensure that parents or guardians who
experience difficulties with the conduct of service providers have a place to have their concerns

ACT – Autism Community Training is not a regulatory body however there is not yet a professional
regulatory association for Behaviour Consultants or Speech Language Pathologists in BC. In the
absence of these bodies, we have agreed to accept complaints from parents and guardians regarding
the service provided by professionals on the RASP who do not belong to a regulatory body or
governing college.
It is important to note that while there is no regulatory body for Behaviour Consultants in BC
there are guidelines for behavior analysts who have become Board Certified Behavior Analysts.
When signing the Registry of Autism Service Provider Application form (CF0901 (06/08) all
Behaviour Consultants, whether they are certified or not, commit to having “a thorough
understanding of the Conduct Guidelines published on the BACB website
It is ACT’s intention to utilize these guidelines as a framework to address complaints related to the
practice of behaviour consultants.

Speech Language Pathologists in BC do not currently have a regulatory body to govern their practice
but their national organization has a code of conduct which ACT will utilize as a framework to
address complaints for this group .

A Fair Process

ACT – Autism Community Training is committed to work with families and service providers in an
effort to facilitate a satisfactory resolution using a fair process. This means that when ACT receives
your complaint we will discuss your complaint with you, the service provider you are complaining
about and others who may have relevant information regarding your complaint.

When you have a complaint:

1. Please attempt to resolve your complaint directly with the service provider and/or supervisor,
where applicable. (See How to Avoid Having to Make A Formal Complaint -Steps to
Resolving a Concern Directly with a Service Provider A Guide for Parents.) If your efforts to
resolve your concern informally are not successful, consider filing a formal complaint.

2. Determine to whom you file your complaint noting that
    ACT can accept complaints regarding:
    • Behaviour Consultants who have no governing college. (This excludes registered
      psychologists and Board Certified Behaviour Analysts.)
    • Speech Language Pathologists since they currently have no governing college.

    ACT cannot accept complaints
          o From third parties – if you are not the parent or legal guardian of the person
             receiving services we cannot receive your complaint for confidentiality reasons.
             However, ACT may interview third parties who may have relevant information.
          o About the level of fees or rates, except when the fee is unfairly charged, such as
             overcharging or charging for services not provided.
          o Regarding those who are members of a governing professional college*
          o Regarding those not on the RASP list
          o Regarding matters before the courts or already decided by courts

If you are unsure whether your complaint can be made to ACT please contact an Information
Worker at ACT. ACT Information Officers can be reached at 604-205-5467 or toll free at 1-866-

*If your complaint needs to be directed to a professional governing organization please see
the list of contact information for professional organizations at the end of this article.
Filing a Complaint about a service provider to ACT

      A) Submit a written complaint where possible.

              You may use the attached template or if you prefer you may write a letter
              thoroughly describing your complaint.

              If you cannot file a written complaint, we will accept an oral complaint. We will
              then transcribe the complaint and you will be asked to sign the written statement.

              If you need assistance in preparing your complaint you may contact an
              Information Worker at ACT and that person will help. If you require
              assistance because your English language skills are limited we will attempt
              to locate a translator to help you. This assistance is currently available in
              Cantonese and Mandarin from ACT staff.

      B) If you have documents that support your complaint, please submit copies with
         your written or oral complaint. Remember to keep the originals or copies for

      C) You must sign an agreement that permits ACT – Autism Community Training to
         share and discuss your complaint with the Registered Service Provider and other
         relevant parties. This will allow a fair review of your complaint allowing all sides to
         provide information and feedback relevant to your complaint.

      D) You must agree to allow release of confidential information by the Registered
         Service Provider you are complaining about to ACT. The service provider is
         committed to keep your information private and so without your permission, they
         cannot respond to our inquiries about your situation.

      E) You must agree to a release of confidential information to the Ministry of
         Children and Family Development. The Ministry of Children and Family
         Development owns the Registry of Autism Service Providers and ACT therefore must
         provide information to them regarding your complaint. While ACT investigates your
         complaint and makes recommendations, MCFD as owners of the registry will have final
         approval over the outcomes of the investigation based on these recommendations.

What ACT does when your complaint is received?
ACT will:

a) Review your complaint to ensure it is regarding a service provider who is on the RASP but is not
   a member of a governing professional organization.

b) Conduct a review of ACT’s files to determine whether a there is any history of complaints made
   against the service provider.

c) Contact you to discuss your complaint. This may also include a request for more information
   and for the names and contact information regarding others who may provide additional
   information regarding your complaint.

d) Share and discuss the written complaint with Registered Service Provider. The Registered Service
   Provider will be asked to provide any information or evidence that is relevant and available to

e) Review the complaint and the response of the service provider and where appropriate bring
   together the complainant and the service provider for a facilitated discussion in an effort to
   resolve the matter.

f)   Consult with MCFD staff and determine an outcome should the matter continue to be

g) A written review of the investigation will be shared with MCFD. ACT will communicate, in
   writing, the decision regarding the outcome or resolution of the complaint to you, the service
   provider, and MCFD.

Possible Resolutions/Outcomes:

Dismissal of Complaint – where the complaint is determined to be trivial or where there is
no evidence or the complaint is unsubstantiated

Referral of Complainant to An Alternate Body – such as Small Claims Court where the
complainant wishes to recover money or to the police if the matter is regarding a criminal

Letter of Concern, where appropriate, may be issued to the service provider by ACT, with a
copy to MCFD outlining suggested remedial activities/training if the actions were
considered inappropriate

Consensual Resolution may include, in cases where a breach of conduct is evident:
   a) an undertaking, signed by the service provider, not to repeat the conduct; and/or
   b) an undertaking, signed by the service provider, to take educational courses to address

Removal from RASP
Where the breach of conduct is so serious that consensual resolution is not appropriate (or
where the service provider refuses to work to resolution) the professional may be removed
from the RASP list – depending on the severity of the breach. This decision must be
approved by the owner of the list, the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

ACT – Autism Community Training has no authority to limit the practice of service
providers but with MCFD’s approval, we can remove someone from the RASP. This would
make them ineligible to provide services where payment is from Autism Treatment Funds
for Children with ASD under 6.

Professional Governing Organizations

Registered Psychologists
        BC College of Psychologists
        #404, 1755 West Broadway
        Vancouver, B.C. V6J 4S5
        (604) 736-6164 or
        1-800-665-0979 (toll free within B.C. only)
        Facsimile (604) 736-6133

Board Certified Behavior Analysts
       Behavior Analyst Certification Board
       Gerald L. Shook, Ph.D., BCBA
       Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc
       1705 Metropolitan Boulevard, Suite 102
       Tallahassee, Florida 32308

Occupational Therapists
     College of Occupational Therapists of BC
     Suite 219, Yarrow Building
     645 Fort Street
     Victoria, BC V8W 1G2
     (250) 386-6822 or Toll-free line for British Columbia: 1-866-386-6822
     Facsimile (250) 383-4144

Physical Therapists
         College of Physical Therapists of BC
         Suite 302-1765 West 8th Avenue,
      Vancouver, BC V6J 5C6
       Facsimile 604-730-9273

Complaint Process Principles:
(Adapted from MCFD: Complaints Process Policy effective Oct. 31, 2001)

Accessibility and Information: The complaints process must not present any
administrative or systemic barriers. Information describing the complaints process and how to access
it must be available.

Accountability: The complaints process is an integral part of overall quality assurance. From a
professional and ethical point of view, we accept that where public funds are spent, in this case
Autism Treatment Funds, the need for and the benefit of accountability to the individual and to the

Child-Centred: Where a complaint is about services to a child, the best interests of the child shall
guide the complaints process.

Client-Centred: The needs, concerns and issues of the primary client receiving service shall guide
the complaints process. The process will seek to hear and protect the best interests of vulnerable

Fairness: ACT incorporates the concept of administrative fairness and due
process in its decisions and actions. Complainants are assisted in the process of initiating and
following through on complaints upon their request.

Timeliness: All complaints will be dealt with in an expedient manner, and prioritized where

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