Complaint Process

For a complete description of the complaint process, please refer to Section 10.0 of CoARC's Accreditation Policies and Procedures Manual.
 

Complaint Process Against a Respiratory Care Program

It is the policy of CoARC to review all complaints received from any source, including students, against an accredited program that are related to compliance with CoARC’s standards, policies, and procedures and to resolve any such complaints in a timely, fair, and equitable manner using established timelines for each step of the complaint procedure. Furthermore, it is the policy of CoARC to retain all documentation associated with any such complaint received against an accredited program for a period of not less than one accreditation cycle (typically ten years), and for a period of not less than five (5) years for any complaints received.

Unless the complaint of conduct potentially constitutes a violation of the Standards or established Accreditation Policies or Procedures, the CoARC will not intervene on behalf of individuals or act as a court of appeal for faculty members or students in matters of admission, grades, appointment, promotion, or dismissal. The CoARC cannot assume authority for enforcing the policies of programs or institutions regarding faculty, professional staff, or student rights. The CoARC’s role is to ensure that the policies and procedures of an institution regarding complaints are implemented fairly and as written, or if policies are not present, to make certain that such policies and procedures of a program are developed and implemented. A copy of the Standards may be obtained through the CoARC Web site (www.coarc.com) or by contacting the CoARC Executive Office.

Before submitting allegations, the individual should first attempt to resolve the complaint directly with program/institution officials by following the due process or grievance procedures provided by the program/institution. If the individual is unable to resolve the complaint with program/institution officials or believes that the concerns have not been properly addressed, he or she may submit allegations of non-compliance to the CoARC:
 

Executive Director
Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, TX 76021-4244
Ph: (817) 283-2835 Fax: (817) 354-8519
E-mail: tom@coarc.com
 

To receive formal consideration, all complaints must be submitted in writing to the CoARC Executive Office using the Complaints Reporting Form that:

  1. describes the nature of the allegation and the CoARC Standards, policies or procedures pertaining to the complaint;
  2. documents that the complainant has made reasonable efforts to resolve the complaint, or alternatively that such efforts would be unavailing; and
  3. is signed and dated by the complainant.
  4. contains a return postal address and phone number.
If the complaint indicates circumstances which, if substantiated, would indicate areas of noncompliance with accreditation standards, the Executive Director will contact the complainant to (1) obtain additional documentation or corroboration, if needed.  If the complainant does not comply with this request, the file will be closed and no further action will be taken. 

The CoARC shall attempt to maintain the confidentiality of complaints and any corroborating material. However: A. Any information about a program may be released to the Chief Executive Officer or Program Director, members and staff of the CoARC, their respective attorneys, and other persons authorized by the sponsor, required by law or necessity, at the discretion of the CoARC, to fully investigate the complaint; and B. The complainant will be required to sign an authorization to release the written complaint and corroborating materials to the sponsor, staff and Commission members of the CoARC, their respective attorneys, and appropriate outside parties.

The CoARC will take whatever action it deems appropriate regarding complaints that are submitted anonymously or complaints in which the complainant has not given consent to being identified.  Receipts of all identifiable written complaints will be acknowledged within ten (10) business days.

If a complainant fails to submit appropriate materials as requested, the complaint will be closed.

 

Complaint Process Against CoARC

The Executive Committee of the CoARC receives complaints made against the CoARC staff, Commissioners, program referees, or site visitors with respect to monitoring a program’s compliance with the CoARC Standards or adherence to accreditation policies or procedures. When such a complaint is received, the Executive Committee, operating under the Conflict of Interest Policy, appoints a special committee to investigate the complaint in a timely, fair, and equitable manner. Commissioners shall not participate in any capacity on the special committee.

The CoARC is dedicated to providing a sustained quality of program evaluation and review. Established procedures are followed when complaints are received alleging that CoARC has not complied with established accreditation practices, including noncompliance with its own policies and procedures, exceeding its scope as defined by the Standards, the behavior of its on-site evaluation team members, or noncompliance with the Standards. The CoARC will not consider complaints that include matters pertaining to an adverse accreditation action or citing of areas of noncompliance. If a program wishes to appeal an adverse action, it should refer to the Requests for Reconsideration and Appeal in Section 1.06 of the CoARC Accreditation Policies and Procedures Manual.

Complaints must be submitted to the CoARC Executive Office as a written, signed, and dated statement with supporting evidence.

Questions about the complaint process should be sent to the Executive Director at tom@coarc.com.

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