Grievance Procedures & Ethical Violations

MPCB and its Grievance/Ethics Committee take potential violations of the Code of Ethics very seriously. The process for reporting a potential ethical violation is explained below. Please contact the Certification Program Manager at if you have questions or need to report a potential ethical violation.

Violations of the Code of Ethics

All Montana Prevention Specialists must adhere to the Prevention Code of Ethics. The MPCB Grievance/Ethics Committee (the “Committee”) has the authority to investigate any potential violation. If an applicant or certified prevention specialist is found to have violated any part of the Code of Ethical conduct, the violation will be brought to the attention of the Grievance/Ethics Committee Chairperson, who will notify the Board of Directors. The Grievance/Ethics Committee will consider all ethics violations on a case-by-case basis, with additional input from the applicant in question. The Committee is responsible for determining whether an ethical violation has occurred and issuance of any sanctions.

MPCB recognizes the validity of any ethics violation consequences determined by prevention certification boards from other IC&RC board jurisdictions. By signing the MPCB Code of Ethics, applicants attest to their duty in reporting any violations from any other certifying authority (Code of Ethics Principle 3: Integrity, Section E, Subsections 3 & 4).

Grievance Process

The process for investigating a complaint is as follows:

  1. Anybody may submit a signed, written complaint (“Complaint”) to the Certification Program Manager or MPCB Grievance/Ethics Committee Chairperson. All supporting documentation and information regarding the specific breach of the Code of Ethics should be submitted with the Complaint.
  2. Anonymous complaints are highly discouraged by the MPCB Grievance/Ethics Committee but in limited extenuating circumstances, the Committee may take jurisdiction over of an anonymous complaint.
  3. The Certification Manager or MPCB Grievance/Ethics Committee Chairperson will submit the Complaint to Committee.
  4. The Committee will determine whether they will take jurisdiction of the Complaint and whether an investigation is warranted.
  5. If the Committee determines that the Complaint, taken as true, does not allege a violation of the Code of Ethical Conduct for Prevention Specialists, the matter will be dismissed.
  6. If the Committee takes jurisdiction of the Complaint, the Respondent will be notified via writing of the Complaint. The Respondent will receive a copy of the Complaint and any supporting documentation submitted with the Complaint with the notification.
  7. The Respondent will be afforded thirty (30) calendar days to provide a written response (“Response”) to the Complaint.
  8. The Committee will determine their next course of action based on the Respondent’s submission (or lack thereof).
  9. At its discretion, the Committee may appoint a board member to serve as a neutral investigator (‘Investigator”) to investigate the Complaint. The Investigator may conduct interviews of witnesses (including the Complainant). After completing their investigation, the Investigator will create an Investigative Report, which outlines the investigative steps taken by the Investigator and has their written findings of fact. The Investigative Report will be submitted to the MPCB and the Respondent.
    • Recordings of interviews are not permitted.
    • The Committee will not draw an inference about responsibility based solely on a Respondent’s refusal to participate meaningfully in an investigation.
  10. The Respondent, having an ethical obligation to comply with and participate in MPCB ethics investigations (See Code of Ethics Principle 3: Integrity, Section E) must participate meaningfully in investigations, which may include submission to a formal interview if the investigator so requests. Failure to participate in the investigation may be considered a separate violation of the Code of Ethical Conduct for Prevention Specialists.
  11. The Committee will not draw an inference about responsibility based solely on a Respondent’s refusal to participate meaningfully in an investigation.
  12. The Complaint, Response, documentary evidence, and Investigative Report will be submitted to the Committee for decision on whether an ethics violation was committed. Within thirty (30) calendar days, the Committee will issue a written decision on the matter.
  13. If the Committee determines that the Respondent has violated the Code of Ethics or standard of practice, the MPCB Grievance/Ethics Committee may issue sanctions against the Respondent. Sanctions may include:
    • Suspension of an application or certification for up to two years.
    • Permanent revocation of the application or certification.
    • Other sanctions deemed appropriate by the Committee which could include, but are not limited to, private reprimands, public censures, or required trainings.
    • The Respondent will be notified of the MPCB Grievance/Ethics Committee’s decision within ten (10) business days of their decision.

Appeals Process

The Respondent has the right to appeal the MPCB Grievance/Ethics Committee’s decision. MPCB will provide Respondents with an opportunity to appeal any disciplinary decision and request a formal review of their case if they are dissatisfied with the MPCB Grievance/Ethics Committee’s decision only for the reasons stated below. Respondent may appeal the decision on the following bases only:

  1. Errors in the procedural process which affected the outcome;
  2. Conflict of interest or bias by Committee members or the Investigator that affected the outcome in the matter;
  3. The veracity of witnesses; and
  4. New evidence that was not reasonably available when the Committee’s decision was made and which would affect the outcome in the matter. The MPCB Grievance/Ethics Committee Chairperson shall maintain documentation of grievances and appeals.

To appeal the decision, the Respondent must submit a written notice of appeal to the MPCB Executive Committee (EC) within twenty-one (21) business days of receiving notification of the MPCB Grievance/Ethics Committee’s decision. The written appeal shall clearly indicate the Respondent’s intent to appeal, reasons for the appeal, and additional information the Respondent believes to be relevant to the case.

A Respondent may also request a hearing on appeal. In order to request a hearing, the Respondent must explain why a hearing is needed, identify the issues to be resolved at a hearing, list names of prospective witnesses, and identify documentation and other evidence to be introduced at the hearing before the Board.

The EC shall consider an appeal at the next regularly scheduled EC Board meeting following the receipt of the written notice of appeal. At its discretion, the EC may schedule an appeal hearing before the review of a written appeal. The EC has sole discretion to determine what witnesses, if any, may be presented at the hearing. The EC’s review of an appeal shall be the final decision regarding sanctions.

Voluntary Resolution Process

At the discretion of the MPCB Grievance/Ethics Committee, the Voluntary Resolution Process is available to resolve a Complaint.

At any point during the Grievance and Appeals process, the MPCB Grievance/Ethics Committee, through an appointed member of the MPCB Grievance/Ethics Committee (“Voluntary Resolution Officer”), may reach out to the Respondent to determine if they would like to utilize the Voluntary Resolution Process. The Voluntary Resolution Process is facilitated by the Voluntary Resolution Officer.

If the Respondent agrees, the Respondent and the Voluntary Resolution Officer will engage in confidential discussions regarding the Complaint and how to best resolve the Complaint.  While the Voluntary Resolution Process is underway, the Grievance and/or Appeals Process will be held in abeyance.

If agreement on resolution of the Complaint is reached, the Respondent and Voluntary Resolution Officer will sign a Voluntary Resolution Agreement, which dismisses the Complaint.  The Voluntary Resolution Officer has the full authority of MPCB Grievance/Ethics Committee to sign a Voluntary Resolution Agreement on behalf of the MPCB Grievance/Ethics Committee.  The MPCB Grievance/Ethics Committee will monitor compliance with the Voluntary Resolution Agreement.

At any time prior to signing a Voluntary Resolution Agreement, the Voluntary Resolution Officer may terminate the Voluntary Resolution Process and resume the Grievance and/or Appeals Process.  If the Voluntary Resolution Process terminates without a signed Voluntary Resolution Agreement, the Respondent will be notified of the next steps of the Grievance and/or Appeals process, including, when applicable, any revised upcoming dates or deadlines.

The Voluntary Resolution Officer will not participate in any decisions of the MPCB Grievance/Ethics Committee regarding Complaints which the Voluntary Resolution Officer facilitated through the Voluntary Resolution Process.