Rules & Procedures Regarding Standards of Conduct
©Copyright 2011 American Ambulance Association
Section 1. Rejection, Suspension, Expulsion.
The membership of any applicant, member, entity or entity’s representative can be rejected, suspended or revoked upon the violation of one or more of American Ambulance Association (AAA) Standards of Conduct (Standards).
Section 2. Procedures.
The following Rules and Procedures (Rules) set forth the procedures to be followed concerning allegations that an applicant for membership or an existing member (Accused Party) has violated the Standards.
- 2.1 Submission and Contents of Complaints. Complaints (Complaints) must be made either by a majority vote of the Board of Directors (Board) or by any Active Member in good standing (Member). All Complaints must be set forth in writing with specific and sufficient detail regarding the nature and circumstances of the allegations and the alleged Standards that have been violated and must be signed, sworn to and dated by the complaining party(s). Anonymous Complaints that cannot be independently verified will not be considered. All Complaints should be addressed to the AAA President.
- 2.2 Receipt of Complaints. The President of AAA, upon receipt of a written Complaint properly filed, shall immediately forward all materials to the Chairperson (Chair) of the AAA Ethics Committee (Committee).
- 2.3 Initial Evaluation of a Complaint. As soon as practicable after receipt of a written Complaint alleging a violation of one (1) or more Standards, the Committee shall meet to determine the merits of the Complaint. If the Committee determines that the alleged facts, if true, would constitute a violation of the Standards, the Committee shall so notify the complaining party (Complaining Party) and the Accused Party in writing. The notifications shall include copies of these Rules and the Standards. If the Committee determines that the allegations, if true, would not constitute a violation of the Standards, the Committee shall inform the Complaining Party of the Committee’s decision within thirty (30) days of such determination.
- 2.4 Accused Party Response. The Accused Party shall have thirty (30) days to submit a written response to the Committee. Failure to respond -2- to the Complaint may be considered a factor by the Committee when considering the merits of the Complaint. The Accused Party’s failure to respond shall not prevent the Committee from taking action based on the information available. After receipt of all relevant information, the Committee shall determine if there are grounds for further investigation.
- 2.5 Determination of Hearing. Upon receipt of all information and materials, the Committee shall review the allegations and responses and shall determine whether to proceed. A quorum of the Committee shall be comprised of at least four (4) voting members of the Committee. If the Committee determines that the allegations are without sufficient merit, the matter shall be closed and the parties shall be so notified. If the Committee determines that the allegations have sufficient merit, the Chair shall schedule a formal hearing.
- 2.6 Notice of Hearing. Written notice of the hearing shall be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, at least (30) days prior to the hearing date to the Accused Party and the Complaining Party.
- 2.7 Hearing Notice Information. The written notice shall describe the charges raised and shall set forth the hearing date.
- 2.8 Board Complaint. If a Complaint is brought by the Board, the President, or his or her designee, shall represent the Board.
- 2.9 Hearing Process. The hearing shall be closed. The hearing shall take place at AAA’s headquarters or, of agreed to by the Committee, at another place mutually convenient to the Committee, Complaining Party, and the Accused Party. The Accused Party shall be responsible for his or her transportation, lodging and other costs. The Accused Party shall have the right to appear before the Committee and may present witnesses and relevant evidence. This is a peer review hearing although the Accused Party may bring an attorney. All materials collected and discussion within the hearing process are deemed confidential and cannot be shared outside of the hearing room with the exception in cases of appeals when the Board requests such material/s.
- 2.10 Notice of Action. Within thirty (30) days from the conclusion of the hearing, the Committee shall notify the applicable parties of its decision. An affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3rds) of a quorum of the voting Committee is required to sustain the allegation and invoke sanctions.
Section 3. Sanctions.
The Committee shall determine the appropriate sanctions, if any.
- 3.1 Violation by an Individual. If the Committee determines that the violation has been committed by: (a) a person who is a Member of AAA; (b) a Responsible Individual of an entity member, as defined in AAA’s Bylaws; or (c) an individual with the knowledge and/or consent of the entity Member; then the Committee may, in its sole discretion, sanction such persons and/or entities.
- 3.2 Responsibilities of a Member Entity. A Member entity must remove -3- any person who has violated the Standards from being the contact person with AAA and shall designate a new person to represent the entity Member.
Section 4. Appeal, Reconsideration or Reinstatement.
The Board can overturn actions of the Committee, reconsider an applicant or reinstate a Member or Member’s organization, upon such terms as deemed appropriate, when such written requests are submitted to the Board and provided that the Board’s actions are ratified by two-thirds (2/3rds) vote a quorum of the Board at a closed meeting.
- 4.1 Timing. Within thirty (30) days following receipt of the Committee’s decision, the Accused Party may file a written appeal request (Appeal Request) with the Board. Absent extraordinary circumstances, in the event that an Accuse Party fails to properly and timely submit an Appeal Request, the Accused Party shall be deemed to have waived the right to such an appeal. The Committee’s action shall thereupon be final.
- 4.2 Appeal Decision. After reviewing the Appeal Request, the Board shall conduct deliberations. Within thirty (30) days of the date of consideration of the Appeal Request, the Board shall notify the Accused Party of its decision. The Board’s decision is final and cannot be appealed.
Section 5. Conflict of Interest.
Prior to the review of any Complaint, all members of the Committee shall declare any existing or potential conflict(s) of interest that could possibly prejudice the Committee’s decision-making process. If such a conflict of interest is revealed, the applicable Committee member(s) will recuse himself or herself from any further involvement in the action. Prior to considering any appeal of a Committee decision, all members of the Board shall declare any existing or potential conflict(s) of interest that could possibly prejudice the Board decision-making process. If such a conflict of interest is revealed, the applicable Board member(s) will recuse himself or herself from any further involvement in the action.
Section 6. Amendment.
Rules and Procedures can be amended only upon the written approval of at least two-thirds (2/3) of the entire Board of Directors. The Association shall notify all members about amendments to these rules and procedures, which notification shall (i) specify the section(s) of these rules and procedures that has been amended; and (ii) set forth the actual amendment language. Notification may include, but is not limited to, electronic notification or notification on the Association’s website or the equivalent thereof. Amendments to these rules and procedures shall be deemed effective thirty (30) days after the date of the notification to the members of the Association.