A. An Initial Review Panel (IRP1) convenes by telephone or by Internet voice connection. The ED managing the case and the Ethics Commission Chair leading the process (EPC), with the ethics consultant [if one], determine if there is jurisdiction for the complaint:

1. Is the respondent a member of ACPE and or APC?

2. Are the circumstances of conduct alleged within the purview of association standards?

3. Are time limits for filing met or are any exceptions applicable? And

4. If alleged conduct were proven, would it violate standard(s) of ACPE or APC?

If “no” to any question, the complaint is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

If “yes” to 1-4, jurisdiction is established and the ED sends the complaint and a response form to the respondent and requests a reply to the ED within 30 calendar days.

B. Cross Commission Referral
Jurisdiction is established in the case of a cross commission referral and the ED sends a copy of the cross commission referral form and a response form to the respondent and requests a reply to the ED within 30 calendar days.

C. After the response is received, the IRP reconvenes (IRP2) to consider the status of the process:

1. If the complaint was not addressed at the local level, and it is appropriate, the ED instructs complainant and respondent to engage local resolution processes. Their materials can be re-submitted after local process if no resolution occurs.

2. If a local option has been engaged and not succeeded, or is inappropriate to engage, or issues remain over which ACPE has concern, the IRP may:

a. refer materials to another commission of the association;
b. hold complaint pending completion of another forum’s adjudication;
c. suggest mediation to both parties prior to investigation (see XI below);
d. name additional standards to be considered;
e. conclude there is cause for an investigation to commence;
f. conclude there is not cause for an investigation and dismiss the complaint, (may suggest other avenues for addressing situation alleged);
g. conclude no cause for an investigation; based on data at hand, refer for Hearing and/or sanctions;
h. implement the determined option(s).

3. If an investigation will commence, an investigator is appointed by the managing ED from the collaborative investigative pool of the respondent’s association.

D. Notification: The ED will notify the parties of the IRP action. Notification will normally be by secure email unless a party has requested certified U.S. mail or specified another means of notification that is both secure and provides notice of delivery. The regional PEC representative of ACPE respondents will be notified. The Regional Director may be informed by the regional representative.

1. If there will be mediation, the ED makes the arrangements as set forth in section XI. For ACPE respondents, their Regional Director may assist the ED.

2. If there will be an investigation, the notification will include the specific allegations, the standards alleged violated and the name and contact information of the investigator(s). If the IRP has implicated additional standards, the respondent is informed. Henceforth, all associational contact with the parties is only through the investigator until the investigation is complete.

3. Section XIII governs cases proceeding directly to a Hearing; Section XIII.V and those cases proceeding directly to a Sanction.