Complaints - The Hearing
Hearings before the Complaint Review Committee are confidential. Only the Member under investigation, the members of the Complaint Review Committee panel, and Association representatives are permitted to attend. Other witnesses are present only during their testimony.
The complainant may be called as a witness at the hearing but other than this, the complainant has no further involvement or role in the hearing or in the complaint review process. If called as a witness, the complainant is only present during his/her testimony. The Member under investigation is entitled to be represented by legal counsel.
The Member is present during the entire hearing and is entitled to hear all testimony and review all documentation presented in evidence.
There are two parts to a hearing. The first part is the presentation of information regarding the conduct of the Member. A panel of the Complaint Review Committee, composed of at least three volunteer architects or licensed interior designers, hears testimony from witness called by the Association and by the Member under investigation. The purpose of this part of the hearing is to present information so that the panel understands clearly the circumstances giving rise to the complaint. The Panel then judges the Member's conduct against established practice standards.
If a Member’s conduct is found to constitute unprofessional conduct or unskilled practice, then the hearing moves to the second part: submissions regarding appropriate sanctions. The Association and the Member both make submissions to the panel regarding what they consider a fair and reasonable consequence for the conduct.
The Panel then issues its decision, which includes its findings, reasons for each finding and identifies the sanctions imposed on the Member. The Complaint Review Committee panel has a wide range of sanctions available to it. It may, among other things, reprimand a Member, order fines, order that the Member pay all or part of the costs of a hearing, and may suspend or cancel the registration of a Member. Cancelled or suspended Members are precluded from practicing architecture or interior design in the province of Alberta.
The panel’s decision is confidential, unless the panel orders suspension or cancellation – in which case the Member’s name and the cancellation or period of suspension must be published. The Member is provided with the full written decision of the panel. The complainant is provided with a notice of the nature of the decision.