BCCA does not discriminate against any candidate for certification on the basis of race, color, creed, age, gender, national origin, religion, disability, marital status, parental status, ancestry, sexual orientation, military discharge status or source of income, or any other status protected by law. All candidates for certification will be judged solely on the criteria determined by the BCCA Board of Directors.
The Board is committed to protecting confidential and/or proprietary information related to applicants; candidates; certificants; and the examination development, maintenance, and administration process. The confidentiality policy applies to all BCCA employees, Board members, committee members, consultants, and other individuals who are permitted access to confidential information.
Confidential materials include, but are not limited to: an individual’s application, application status, personal applicant /certificant information, examination development documentation, examination items and answers, examination forms, and individual examination scores.
Personal information about a candidate/certificant will only be released to that candidate/certificant if release of the information is authorized in writing by the individual or is required by law. Personal information submitted by candidates /certificants with an application or recertification application is considered confidential. Personal information retained within the candidate/certificant database will be kept confidential.
Examination scores are released only to the examination candidate unless a signed release is provided in writing by the individual or is required by law.
CODE OF ETHICS AND STANDARDS OF PRACTICE
As an organization of distinction, consisting of the world’s leading anaplastologists in practice and academia, the Board for Certification in Clinical Anaplastology (BCCA) is a nonprofit organization which promotes the enhancement of patient care and professional practice in the field of anaplastology.
The CCA designation demonstrates to colleagues, patients, employers, and the public that certified individuals have the knowledge and proficiency required of the clinical anaplastology professional. Professionals earn this distinction through education, experience, and meeting the highest standards of science and practice of professional anaplastology validated by their performance through examination.
The ethical obligations of the clinical anaplastologist include a commitment to continuous growth and development, professionalism across disciplines, and the highest standards of patient/client healthcare. This serves to clarify to current and future certificants, and to those served by certificants, the nature of the ethical responsibilities held in common by its certificants. All individuals certified by the Board for Certification in Clinical Anaplastology are required to adhere to the Code of Ethics.
Purpose of the Board for Certification in Clinical Anaplastology Code of Ethics
The clinical anaplastologist has an obligation to demonstrate actions that reflect values, ethical principles, and ethical guidelines. The Board for Certification in Clinical Anaplastology Code of Ethics sets forth these values and principles to guide conduct. It clarifies the social contract that dictates the profession’s responsibilities to the patient/client, the public, and the profession; and upholds the fundamental principle that the paramount purpose of the clinical anaplastologists services shall be to benefit the patient/client.
Code of Ethics, Principles, and Interpretative Guidelines
The following ethical principles are based on the core values of the Board for Certification in Clinical Anaplastology and apply to all CCA certificants. Guidelines included for each ethical principle are a non-exhaustive list of behaviors and situations that can help to clarify the principle. They are not meant to be a comprehensive list of all situations that can occur.
A CCA certificant agrees to adhere to the following Code of Ethics, Principles and Interpretative Guidelines:
- Foremost, do no harm. A CCA consciously avoids harmful actions or omissions, embodies high ethical standards and adheres to all applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations in the choices he/she makes.
- A CCA places service and the health and welfare of persons before self-interest and conducts oneself in the practice of the profession so as to bring honor to oneself, peers, and to the healthcare profession.
- A CCA respects and understands that he/ she is a healthcare professional dedicated to providing competent and scientifically sound health care and other appropriate care within their own scope of practice, with compassion and respect for human dignity and rights.
- A CCA employs his/her best good faith efforts to provide unbiased information and facilitate understanding to enable the patient/client to make informed choices in regard to all recommended plans of care or assessment. The patient/ client should make his or her own determination on such recommendations and assessment. A CCA shall not mislead patients into false or unjustified expectations of favorable results of treatment.
- A CCA upholds the standards of professionalism, and is honest in all professional interactions. A healthcare professional will additionally be knowledgeable about established policies and procedures for handling concerns about unethical behavior. These include policies and procedures created by BCCA, licensing and regulatory bodies, employers, supervisors, agencies, and other professional organizations (see BCCA Disciplinary and Complaint Policy).
- A CCA upholds the standards of professionalism and commits to performing his/her duties competently, safely and ethically. Drug and alcohol abuse will not be tolerated by the BCCA. Any person discovered using alcohol or drugs in a professional practice would be subject to discipline, including certification revocation. (see BCCA Disciplinary and Complaint Policy)
- A CCA respects the rights of patients, clients, colleagues, and other health professionals, and safeguards patient/client confidence, trust, and privacy in accordance with the law. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, being familiar with and carrying out all privacy (i.e. HIPAA) compliance requirements.
- A CCA commits to the study, application, and advancement of scientific knowledge, continues to seek related health education, makes relevant healthcare science information available to patients/clients, colleagues, and the public, obtains consultation, and recognizes the talents of other health professionals when indicated.
- A CCA values his or her responsibility to participate in activities contributing to the improvement of the community and the betterment of public health.
- A CCA truthfully and accurately states one’s credentials, professional education, professional work product, and experiences.
DISCIPLINARY AND COMPLAINTS POLICY
In order to maintain and enhance the credibility of the BCCA’s CCA certification program, the Board of Directors has adopted the following procedures to allow individuals to bring complaints concerning the conduct of CCA certificants’ to the BCCA Board of Directors.
In the event a certificant violates the BCCA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, certification rules, requirements, and/or policies, the Board of Directors may reprimand or suspend the individual or may revoke certification.
The grounds for sanctions under these procedures may include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- Violation of established BCCA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, rules, requirements, and/or policies.
- Conviction of a felony or other crime of moral turpitude under federal or state law in a matter related to the practice of, or qualifications for, clinical anaplastology.
- Gross negligence, willful misconduct, or other unethical conduct in the performance of services for which the individual has achieved CCA certification.
- Fraud, falsification, or misrepresentation in an initial application or recertification application for certification.
- Falsification of any material information requested by the BCCA or Board of Directors.
- Misrepresentation of CCA status.
- Cheating on any certification examination.
Actions taken under this policy do not constitute enforcement of the law, although referral to appropriate federal, state, or local government agencies may be made about the conduct of the certificant in appropriate situations. Individuals initially bringing complaints are not entitled to any relief or damages by virtue of this process, although they will receive notice of the actions taken.
Complaints may be submitted by any individual or entity. Complaints should be reported to the BCCA in writing and should include the name of the person submitting the complaint, the name of the person the complaint is regarding along with other relevant identifying information, a detailed description of factual allegations supporting the charges, and any relevant supporting documentation. Information submitted during the complaint and investigation process is considered confidential and will be handled in accordance with the BCCA’s Confidentiality policy. Inquiries or submissions other than complaints may be reviewed and handled by the BCCA Board or Executive Director at its discretion.
Upon receipt and preliminary review of a complaint involving the certification program, the Executive Director in consultation with the Board President may conclude, in their sole discretion, that the submission:
- contains unreliable or insufficient information, or
- is patently frivolous or inconsequential.
In such cases, the Executive Director and Board President may determine that the submission does not constitute a valid and actionable complaint that would justify bringing it before the Board for investigation and a determination of whether there has been a violation of substantive requirements of the certification process. If so, the submission is disposed of by notice from the Executive Director to its submitter.
Preliminary review will be conducted within 15 business days of receipt of the complaint.
For each complaint that the Executive Director concludes is valid and actionable, an investigation is undertaken into its specific facts or circumstances to whatever extent is necessary in order to clarify, expand, or corroborate the information provided by the submitter.
The Board President appoints a Review Committee, subject to subsequent approval by the Board, of three or more individuals, who may or may not be members of the Board to investigate and make an appropriate determination with respect to each such valid and actionable complaint; the Review Committee may review one or more such complaints as determined by the Board. The Review Committee initially determines whether it is appropriate to review the complaint under these Procedures or whether the matter should be referred to another entity engaged in the administration of law. The timeline for responses and for providing any additional information will be established by the Review Committee. The Review Committee may be assisted in the conduct of its investigation by other members of the Board or by Board and/or BCCA staff or legal counsel. The Board exercises general supervision over all investigations. The certificant or candidate whose conduct is at issue will also be given the opportunity to respond to the complaint. Responses must be submitted within 10 business days of receipt by the certificant or candidate.
Both the individual submitting the complaint and the certificant or candidate who is the subject of the investigation (or his or her employer) may be contacted for additional information with respect to the complaint. The Review Committee, or the Board on its behalf, may at its discretion contact such other individuals who may have knowledge of the facts and circumstances surrounding the complaint.
All investigations and deliberations of the Review Committee and the Board are conducted in confidence, and they are conducted objectively, without any indication of prejudgment. An investigation may be directed toward any aspect of a complaint which is relevant or potentially relevant. Formal hearings are not held and the parties are not expected to be represented by counsel, although the Review Committee and Board may consult their own counsel.
Members of the Review Committee will be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in connection with the activities of the Committee.
Determination of Violation
Upon completion of an investigation, the Review Committee recommends whether the Board should make a determination that there has been a violation of policies or rules. When the Review Committee recommends that the Board find a violation, the Review Committee also recommends imposition of an appropriate sanction. If the Review Committee so recommends, a proposed determination with a proposed sanction is prepared under the supervision of the Chair and is presented by a representative of the Review Committee to the Board along with the record of the Review Committee's investigation.
If the Review Committee recommends against a determination that a violation has occurred, and the Board concurs, the complaint is dismissed with notice to the certificant or candidate, the certificant or candidate's employer (if involved in the investigation), and the individual or entity who submitted the complaint, where appropriate.
The Board reviews the recommendation of the Review Committee based upon the record of the investigation. The Board may accept, reject, or modify the Review Committee's recommendation, either with respect to the determination of a violation or the recommended sanction to be imposed. If the Board makes a determination that a violation has occurred, this determination and the imposition of a sanction are promulgated by written notice to the certificant or candidate, and to the individual submitting the complaint, where appropriate, if the submitter agrees in advance and in writing to maintain in confidence whatever portion of the information is not made public by the Board.
In certain circumstances, the Board may consider a recommendation from the Review Committee that the certificant or candidate who has violated the certification program policies or rules should be offered an opportunity to submit a written assurance that the conduct in question has been terminated and will not recur. The decision of the Review Committee to make such a recommendation and of the Board to accept it is within their respective discretionary powers. If such an offer is extended, the certificant or candidate at issue must submit the required written assurance within thirty (30) days of receipt of the offer, and the assurance must be submitted in terms that are acceptable to the Board. If the Board accepts the assurance, notice is given to the certificant or candidate’s employer and to the submitter of the complaint, if the submitter agrees in advance and in writing to maintain the information in confidence.
Any of the following sanctions may be imposed by the Board upon a certificant or candidate whom the Board has determined to have violated the policies and rules of its certification program(s), although the sanction applied must reasonably relate to the nature and severity of the violation, focusing on reformation of the conduct of the member and deterrence of similar conduct by others:
- written reprimand to the certificant or candidate;
- suspension of the certificant or candidate for a designated period; or
- termination or denial of the certificant or candidate’s credential.
Verification of this information will be made available only after any appeal has either been considered or the appeal period has passed.
Reprimand in the form of a written notice from the Board normally can be sent to a certificant or candidate who has received his or her first substantiated complaint, depending on circumstances. Suspension can be imposed on a certificant or candidate who has received two substantiated complaints, depending on circumstances. Termination can be imposed on a certificant or candidate who has received two substantiated complaints within a two year period, or three or more substantiated complaints, depending on circumstances. The Board may at its discretion, however, impose any of the sanctions, if warranted, in specific cases.
Certificants or candidates who have been terminated will have their certification revoked and may not be considered for BCCA certification in the future. If certification is revoked, any and all certificates or other materials requested by the Board must be returned promptly to the BCCA.
Within thirty (30) days from receipt of notice of a determination by the Board that a certificant violated the certification program policies and/or rules, the affected certificant may submit to the Board in writing a request for an appeal.
Upon receipt of a request for appeal, the Board establishes an appellate body consisting of at least three, but not more than five, individuals, including the Public Member. This Appeal Committee may review one or more appeals, upon request of the Board. Current members of the Review Committee may not serve on the Appeal Committee; further, no one with any personal involvement or conflict of interest may serve on the Appeal Committee. Members of the Appeal Committee may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in connection with the activities of the Committee.
The Appeal Committee may only review whether the determination by the Board of a violation of the certification program policies and/or rules was inappropriate because of:
- material errors of fact, or
- failure of the Review Committee or the Board to conform to published criteria, policies, or procedures.
Only facts and conditions up to and including the time of the Board’s determination as represented by facts known to the Board are considered during an appeal. The appeal will not include a hearing or any similar trial-type proceeding. Legal counsel is not expected to participate in the appeal process, unless requested by the appellant and approved by the Board and the Appeal Committee. The Board and Appeal Committee may consult legal counsel.
The Appeal Committee conducts and completes the appeal within ninety (90) days after receipt of the request for an appeal. Written appellate submissions and any reply submissions may be made by authorized representatives of the member and of the Board. Submissions are made according to whatever schedule is reasonably established by the Appeal Committee. The decision of the Appeal Committee either affirms or overrules the determination of the Board, but does not address a sanction imposed by the Board. The decision of the Appeal Committee, including a statement of the reasons for the decision, is reported to the Board.
The Appeal Committee decision is binding upon the Board, the certificant who is subject to the termination, and all other persons.
If a certificant who is the subject of a complaint voluntarily surrenders his or her certification(s) at any time during the pendency of a complaint under these Procedures, the complaint is dismissed without any further action by the Review Committee, the Board, or an Appeal Committee established after an appeal. The entire record is sealed and the individual may not reapply for certification. However, the Board may authorize to communicate the fact and date of resignation, and the fact and general nature of the complaint which was pending at the time of the resignation, to or at the request of a government entity engaged in the administration of law. Similarly, in the event of such resignation, the certificant’s employer and the person or entity who submitted the complaint are notified of the fact and date of resignation and that Board has dismissed the complaint as a result.