The Commission of Psychologists has two disciplinary bodies: a Disciplinary Committee and a Board of Appeal. Both boards take an independent position in our organisation. They are authorised to assess infringements on the code of conduct or the code of ethics for psychologists.
- The Disciplinary Committee receives the initial complaint, assesses it and gives its first ruling in case of ethical infringements.
- The Board of Appeal, on the other hand, offers the sanctioned psychologist the possibility of appealing against the ruling of the Disciplinary Committee.
Please note: the disciplinary bodies cannot treat any complaints yet. For this, the authorised minister must first appoint the chairpersons. However, it is already possible to file a complaint.
How the Disciplinary Committee works
The Disciplinary Committee can institute a disciplinary procedure in two instances:
- after a client, another person or body has filed a complaint
- after the Commission of Psychologists has filed a complaint at its own initiative, when taking cognisance of a serious deontological infringement
The Disciplinary Committee then assesses whether the complaint is admissible. This means that there is an actual presumption of an infringement of the code of ethics for psychologists. Only if the complaint is admissible, can an inquiry be held.
During this research phase the psychologist also gets the chance to examine the complaints file and give his/her version of the facts. For this, he/she gets an invitation by registered letter. He/she may be assisted by a lawyer or another person, e.g. a representative of his/her professional association. Afterwards, the Disciplinary Committee decides whether the action of the psychologist was or was not ethically correct.
Based on the results of the investigation, the Disciplinary Committee decides whether the complaint is legitimate and/or a sanction is appropriate. It does this after thorough consultation and by majority vote. Its final decision is always substantiated. The code of ethics acts as a touchstone.