Should you wish to lay an official complaint against any practitioner/therapist registered with the Allied Health Professions Council of South (AHPCSA), the following complaints procedure is provided for information purposes:
- The AHPCSA is required by law to process complaints in a specific manner and procedure;
- The relevant excerpt from the Regulations No.R. 2610 3 December 1982 to the Act reads as follows:
THE INSTITUTION OF A DISCIPLINARY INQUIRY
The manner in which a complaint, charge or allegation shall be lodged against a practitioner or student
- A complaint or charge or allegation of improper or disgraceful conduct against a practitioner or student shall be in writing, where possible in the form of an affidavit, addressed to the registrar by the person lodging it, and setting forth the conduct in question, and such complainant shall be prepared, if so requested, to give oral evidence in support of his complaint at a disciplinary inquiry before the board or a committee of the board.
- The complaint, charge or allegation and any accompanying document shall be submitted to the chairman, who shall then direct the registrar -
- to call for further information from the complainant;
- to forward to the accused copies of the documents received from the complainant or to inform the accused of the nature of such complaint or charge or allegation, calling upon him for a written explanation and warning him that such explanation may be used in evidence against him during a disciplinary inquiry which may allow; or
- to refer the matter to the board.
- (1) On receipt of the replies called for under the preceding regulation, the registrar shall submit them to the chairman or, if no replies are received, the registrar shall report such fact to the chairman.
(2) The chairman shall then make his recommendation on the matter, which, the registrar, together with all other documents concerning the case, shall refer to the board for consideration.
- If the board, on the strength of the information submitted, resolves that the conduct forming the subject of the complaint or charge or allegation does not constitute improper or disgraceful conduct or conduct which when regard is had to the accused’s profession(s) is improper or disgraceful, or for any other reason should not be subjected to any inquiry, it shall take such action as it may deem fit.
- If the board resolves that the information submitted constituted prima facie evidence of improper or disgraceful conduct or conduct which when regard is had to the person’s profession(s) is improper or disgraceful, it shall arrange for a disciplinary inquiry to be held.
- Due legal process is required;
- In summary, the process is as follows:
a. The AHPCSA Chairperson will review the complaint and will usually direct that the respondent be requested to reply to the matter as per Section 13 (b) above;
b. The complaint will be sent to the respondent and he/she has a period of time in which to reply;
c. Once the reply has been received, or even if no reply is received, the matter will be referred to the AHPCSA Chairperson once again;
d. The AHPCSA Chairperson shall make his recommendation on the matter which the Registrar, together with all other documents, shall refer to the Professional Board for consideration; and
- The Professional Board will revert to the Registrar, through the Chairperson of the Professional Board, with its decision and the matter will then proceed accordingly;
- Formulate your complaint into a comprehensive and substantial affidavit, with all relevant supporting documentation, and sign such before a Commissioner of Oaths (nearest SAPS office to your home would probably be the most convenient);
- Provide the Registrar with the affidavit by scanning and emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org, followed by sending the hard copy by registered post to the postal address as follows: The Registrar, AHPCSA, Private Bag X28, Lynnwood Ridge, 0040 or to deliver such to the AHPCSA offices as per the address in the cyber signature below.
- Kindly note that you must also be prepared to testify should the matter proceed to a disciplinary inquiry;
- Further, the AHPCSA appreciates that you would wish to resolve the matter speedily, but it is incumbent on the AHPCSA to do so legally procedurally correctly which, of necessity, is a lengthy process.
- Any sanction imposed on any person by the AHPCSA may be appealed, this being the legal right of such person.