Following up on its year-end announcement that it would institute an ethics complaint policy and would consider dismissing violators of its ethics code from the association, the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) has unveiled its new complaint procedures. Organizational ethics in the addiction treatment industry is expected once again to be a high-profile topic at NAATP's annual conference, to be held next month in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The complaint policy gives NAATP a mechanism for overseeing member organizations' compliance with the association's ethics code. Treatment facilities must adopt and comply with the NAATP code as a condition of membership in the association.
Here are key points about the NAATP ethics complaint procedures:
· Those wishing to file a complaint about an NAATP member are asked to do so in writing and to include their contact information. While the association will not accept anonymous complaints, the policy states that it “will attempt to keep the complainant's identity confidential from the entity if requested by the complainant.”
· NAATP's executive director will make an initial determination as to whether a complaint's allegations, if true, would amount to a violation of the association's ethics code. If this appears to be the case, the organization targeted in the complaint would be given an opportunity to review the allegation and respond in writing within 30 days.
· NAATP's Ethics Committee will make the determination of whether a code violation has occurred. It will then recommend to the executive director one of four actions: a warning letter to the member organization; a requirement that a corrective action plan be implemented; suspension of membership; or termination of membership.
· Terminated members can reapply for membership after a year, “upon a showing that the violation for which termination occurred has been remedied,” the policy states.
In releasing the details of the complaint process, the association stated, “NAATP knows that the majority of individuals in our field are dedicated ethical professionals whose values inform their services. We also know this is not the case for all providers and that we must hold ourselves accountable. NAATP cannot police the industry but we can work to ensure our own menbers are ethical.”