An Overview of the CPCS Committee Ethics Complaint Process

The CPCS Committee has the ability to investigate ethical complaints made against CPCS members. The complaint process is governed by the CPCS Committee Procedures for Handling Ethical Matters.

Initiating a Complaint

Complaints of unethical conduct must be initiated by someone with personal knowledge of the alleged behavior or by someone in a position to supply relevant reliable testimony or other evidence on the subject. Most of the complaints filed with CPCS Committee are filed by supervisees.

The CPCS Committee may also proceed on its own initiative when presented with sufficient allegations. Complaints initiated by the CPCS Committee are typically based on publicly available information from regulatory bodies and news sources. Whether initiated by an individual or the CPCS Committee, the complaint process is a peer-review process.

Preliminary Review of Complaint

When a complaint is filed, with the CPCS Committee, staff reviews the complaint materials for jurisdiction and completeness. In order for the complaint to be forwarded to the Ethics Committee Chair, complainants must waive therapist-client confidentiality and permit CPCS Committee to use their name and forward a copy of the allegations to the CPCS, if charged with a violation of the CPCS Committee Code of Ethics.

Determining Whether to Open a Case

Once the Chair receives the complaint materials, the Chair, in consultation with CPCS Committee, determines whether the allegations, if proven factual, would constitute a violation of the CPCS Code of Ethics. If so, a charge letter is sent to the CPCS for a response. If not, the case is closed.

With limited exceptions, when a case is opened based on a complaint that has been filed concurrently with a regulatory body, CPCS Committee’s case will be held in abeyance.

Consideration by the Full Committee

Once all case materials are received, the case will be submitted to the full CPCS Committee at its next meeting.

  • ·         The CPCS Committee typically meets twice a year.
  • ·         Only the full CPCS Committee can make a finding that a violation has occurred.
  • ·         If the CPCS Committee determines that a violation has occurred, the CPCS Committee will recommend an appropriate sanction based on the severity of the violation.
  • ·         In cases where the CPCS has already been disciplined by a regulatory body, the LPCA Ethics Committee will presume that the findings of that body are correct and will move on to its discussion of appropriate sanctions.

For lesser violations, the CPCS Committee may require the CPCS to take a certain number of continuing education courses or to practice under supervision for a period of time. For more egregious violations, the CPCS Committee may recommend the revocation or termination of Certification. In cases of termination with a permanent bar to readmission, that fact will be forwarded to the GA Composite Board of PC, SW, MFT once the Committee’ s decision becomes final.

Appeal to CPCS Committee

After the CPCS Committee has made its decision, the CPCS will be notified and given the opportunity to appeal the CPCS Committee’s findings and recommendations. The member must provide a written request for a hearing within 15 days after receiving notice of the Ethics Committee’s findings and recommendations. If the member/Clinical Supervisor does not appeal within the allotted time, the Ethics Committee’s decision becomes final.

Manner of Judicial Committee Hearing

The member may choose either an in-person hearing or a written review process. In-person hearings are typically held at the LPCA office. The CPCS Committee panel is required to render its decision within 30 days of the hearing.

Appeal to LPCAGA Board of Directors

A member may make a final appeal to the LPCAGA Board of Directors if the member/Clinical Supervision believes that a procedural violation substantially impaired the member’s ability to defend against the charges. The Board will review the appeal at its next scheduled meeting and will render a decision within 30 days of the meeting. The Board renders its decision based solely on the member’s written statement and the response from the CPCS Committee.

Confidentiality of Ethics Matters

All information obtained by the Ethics Committee and all case proceedings are confidential with limited exceptions. In cases that involve a finding of no violation(s) and cases that involve lesser sanctions, typically the only notification is to the member and complainant. The Procedures permit CPCS Committee to provide a limited report on an ethics case to a regulatory body or another professional association upon request.

How to Obtain a Complaint Packet

To obtain a complaint packet, available 24/7 online forms

You may also call to start the process via email.  Or give us a call so we may assist you.  770-449-4547

Ethics Consultations

Consultations Click Here

Are you a member of LPCA?  Your membership in LPCAGA allows you access to various member benefits, including free consultations with CPCS Committee ethics staff. All members of LPCAGA are eligible to receive Ethical Opinions. Members in the following membership categories are eligible for Consultations: Associate, Affiliated, Clinical, Retired, and Student.

Code of Ethics

The CPCS Committee strives to honor the public trust in Licensed Professional Counselors certified to be a Clinical Supervisor by setting standards for ethical practice as described in this Code. The ethical standards define professional expectations and are enforced by the CPCS Committee Ethics Committee.  CLICK HERE for the Code of Ethics

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