The Ombudsman Service has the power to make decisions which are binding on the Professional Bodies, Formal Education Bodies, Private Commercial Training Organisations, Support Groups, Coaches, and Mentors in their jurisdiction unless the grievance, dispute, or complaint is successfully challenged through the courts.
Appeals will only be considered if new evidence of a significant nature is presented and the Head of Appeals considers that if the new evidence been available at the time of the hearing, it would have altered the outcome or sanctions applied.
Appeals where the sanction is deemed unfairly harsh in relation to the event will also be considered by the Head of Appeals.
Appeals must be made in writing within 30 calendar days of notification of the original decision. The appeal is required to clearly outline the grounds on which the appeal is being made. All appeals must be made in the first instance to the Director of Compliance using the Appeals form.
A Head of Appeals and Appeals Panel will be appointed by the Director of Compliance and will be a member of the IRCM’s Board of Directors. The Appeals Panel must always be comprised of an odd number and including the Head of Appeals, must be a minimum of three members who were not involved in any way whatsoever with the original hearing.
On receipt of the Appeal, the Director of Compliance will acknowledge the form.
The Director of Compliance will appoint a Head of Appeals and convene a Panel.
The Head of Appeals will forward the Appeal to both the Complainant and the Respondent with a link to the Appeals policy and process.
The Head of Appeals will issue an invite to the Panel within 7 calendar days of being appointed and will include the date, time and relevant attendance information of the Appeals Panel. The date and time offered will be 21 calendar days from the appointment of the Head of Appeals.
In advance of the hearing, the Head of Appeals will decide whether any legal advice needs to be obtained from the IRCM’s legal advisors.
Where the appeal or legal advice sought incurs a cost, it is understood and agreed by all parties that this cost will be incorporated into the outcome of this Appeal.
The hearing will be arranged using the IRCM’s Meeting and Conference platform.
The Head of Appeals will attend and will chair the hearing.
The Appeals Panel will attend.
On receipt of the information requested, the Head of Appeal will convene a Panel and follow the process in point 3 above.
Following on from the Panel review, the Panel will determine if the Appeal is;
Deferred for additional information to be obtained, or
Accepted as a valid appeal.
Where the Panel determines that there is no Appeal to answer, it will determine that the Appeal is ‘rejected’.
Where the appeal is rejected, the Head of Appeals will notify both parties of the reason for the rejection of the appeal and determine this appeal ‘Rejected’ on the IRCM Register.
Where the Panel determine that further information is required, they will:
request the additional information from the Complainant
request additional information from the Respondent
request any additional information from Third Parties. It is at this point that all relevant information (i.e. correspondence, etc.) pertaining to this appeal must be received no less than 30 calendar days after the request for additional information has been made to the Complainant, Respondent, or any third parties.
Where the Appeal is accepted as a valid appeal, a Review Panel will be convened.
The Head of Appeals will attend and will chair the Review Panel.
The Appeals Panel will attend.
If the appeal relates to a Facilitation, the Facilitation Panel will attend.
If the appeal relates to a Complaint, the Complaint Panel will attend.
The Head of Appeals will provide details as to the reason the newly submitted material has been accepted as a valid appeal.
All members of the Review Panel will review the newly submitted material against the original material submitted and the impact this newly submitted material has.
All members of the Review Panel will determine the Outcome. Where a casting vote is required the Head of Appeals holds the casting vote.
Outcomes will depend on the documentation submitted, the evidence presented and responded to at the hearing, and the severity and frequency of the complaint; and on factors which include:
The reason for the additional documentation submitted as part of the Appeal and not the original process.
The impact of the additional documentation submitted.
As per point 10, the Review Panel will agree the Appeals Outcome.
Within 7 calendar days of the Review Panel, the Appeals Outcome or the Appeals Outcome and Sanctions document will be created.
Within 7 calendar days of the Appeals Outcome or Appeals Outcome and Sanctions document being created, the Head of Appeals will approve the document.
Any changes requested by the Head of Appeals will be concluded within 7 calendar days of point 3.
On completion of the review and approval of the Appeals Outcome or Appeals Outcome and Sanctions document, the Head of Appeals will, within 30 calendar days of the date of the Review Panel, notify all parties in writing of the Appeals Outcome of the hearing and provide the Appeals Outcome or Appeals Outcome and Sanctions document.
Where Sanctions are awarded, the resolution of the Sanctions is as Step 3: Sanctions.
The Head of Appeals will update the IRCM Register (Complaint Summary, Complaint Details, Outcomes, and Sanctions Raised/Lifted) will all relevant information.
The Head of Appeals will inform the Director of Compliance of its decision.
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