In order to maintain and enhance the credibility of the certification program, and to protect the consumer, stakeholders and the integrity of the profession, the ACCBC has adopted the following procedures to allow individuals to bring relevant complaints concerning the conduct of registrants and certificants to the ACCBC.
Complaints and Disciplinary Actions
The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) Substance Use Disorder Compliance Division (SUDCD) investigates complaints against California’s alcohol and other drug recovery and treatment programs. Through complaint investigations, SUDCD ensures the provision of quality treatment through the enforcement of standards for professional and safe treatment.
SUDCD also investigates violations of the code of conduct of registered or certified AOD counselors. Alcohol or Drug Abuse Recovery or Treatment Facilities licensed and/or certified by DHCS are required to report counselor misconduct within 24 hours of the violation. Consistent with Title 9, California Code of Regulations, Section 13065 complaints about a licensed and/or certified alcohol or other drug service provider OR a registered or certified counselor should be submitted to the Department of Health Care Services Substance Use Disorder Services using their website at http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/individuals/Pages/Sud-complaints.aspx.
Complaints under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health Care Services Substance Use Disorder Compliance Division must be filed with the Department.
Complaints regarding individuals certified by CAADE’s ACCBC who (1) do not practice in the State of California and/or (2) that are not under the purview of the Department of Health Care Services Substance Use Disorder Compliance Division may be filed directly with the ACCBC as described in this policy.
An individual can submit a formal complaint against the ACCBC or other Department approved certifying organizations on the DHCS SUDCD website at http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/provgovpart/Pages/CounselorCertificationOrganizations.aspx. Please email your questions, complaints, or concerns regarding certifying organizations to COCOMPLAINT@DHCS.CA.GOV
Information regarding the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) Substance Use Disorder Compliance Division (SUDCD) complaint process and the ACCBC’s complaint process will be available to the public via the ACCBC web site (https://www.accbc.org/ethics/) or other published documents.
In order to maintain and enhance the credibility of the certification program, the ACCBC has adopted the following procedures to allow individuals to bring relevant complaints concerning the conduct of Registrants and/or AOD Counselors to the ACCBC.
In the event a Registrant and/or AOD Counselor violates the ACCBC Code of Ethics, Code of Conduct, ACCBC certification rules, requirements, and/or policies the ACCBC may reprimand or suspend the individual or may revoke registration and/or certification.
Grounds for Sanctions
The grounds for sanctions under these procedures may include, but are not necessarily limited to:
Any restrictions such as revocation, suspension, probation or other sanctions of the registration and/or certification, where applicable.
- Violation of the established ACCBC Code of Ethics, Code of Conduct, ACCBC rules, requirements, and/or
- Conviction of a felony or other crime of moral turpitude under federal or state law in a matter related to the practice of, or qualifications for, services provided by a Registrant or AOD
- Gross negligence, willful misconduct, or other unethical conduct in the performance of services for which the individual has achieved CATC
- Fraud, falsification, or misrepresentation in an initial application or renewal application for certification.
- Falsification of any material information requested by the ACCBC.
- Misrepresentation of CATC status, including misuse of the certification mark.
- Cheating on any certification exam.
Actions taken under this policy do not constitute enforcement of the law, although referral to appropriate federal, state, or local government agencies may be made about the conduct of the Registrant or AOD Counselor in appropriate situations. Individuals initially bringing complaints are not entitled to any relief or damages by virtue of this process, although they will receive notice of the actions taken.