Formal complaint procedures
The Board has delegated the functions of investigating complaints to a committee of the Board called the Complaints Committee. The Complaints Committee consists of three Board members; two registered veterinary practitioners and one consumer representative.
The Complaints Committee investigates the complaint and reports to the Board regarding the substance and findings of the complaint. The Complaints Committee also makes a recommendation to the Board regarding a decision.
The full Board makes the final decision regarding a complaint.
The complaint handling process typically takes 3-4 months to complete. The following points summarise the complaint handling process adopted by the Board:
- The completed Complaint Form is received by the Board
- The veterinary practitioner(s) concerned with the complaint receive notification and a copy of the complaint
- The veterinary practitioner must respond to the Board’s request for information in regard to the complaint within a specified time
- A copy of the response from the veterinary practitioner(s) may be sent to the complainant for comment (the complainant may withdraw the complaint, may wish to comment or may not have any further information)
- The complainant’s comments (if any) may be forwarded to the veterinary practitioner for a response
- The Complaints Committee may recommend dismissal at this point or may notify the veterinary practitioner of specific particulars alleging either unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct
- The veterinary practitioner has a final opportunity to address the particularised allegations in writing and may be required to attend an interview
- The Complaints Committee makes a recommendation to the Board
- The Board makes a decision in accordance with the legislation.
Both the complainant(s) and the veterinary practitioner(s) are notified of the Board’s decision after investigation is completed.