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PCSAS's Policy on Questions, Concerns, and Complaints:  

PCSAS will respond to questions, concerns, and complaints from the public as follows:

Submissions.  Questions, concerns, and complaints should be submitted in writing, by e-mail or U.S. Mail, to the President of the PCSAS Board of Directors or PCSAS Executive Director (ED). The policy for handling such submissions and relevant contact information are presented in the POPP Manual and below.

Initial Handling of Submissions.

(a)  Initial Review and Response.  Upon receipt of a written question, concern, or complaint, the ED and Board President (or their designated surrogates) will determine how the matter raised should be addressed. In particular, they will determine whether the matter raised is properly within the purview of PCSAS and, if so, whether the matter can be addressed without additional investigation or action or, if not, what additional investigation or action by PCSAS might be required. Submitters will be informed in writing of this initial response to their submission or the results thereof within 21 days of receipt of the submission, where practicable.

If the ED and President conclude that a submission is directed to a matter not within the purview of PCSAS, the submitter will be so informed. If they conclude that a matter is within the purview of PCSAS and if PCSAS is able to respond without further investigation or action, PCSAS will do so. For example, in most instances, questions about PCSAS's purpose, operation, policies, or procedures will be handled in this fashion.

Submissions that require further investigation or action by PCSAS will be directed by the ED and Board President to the Board of Directors, Review Committee, legal counsel, or other appropriate PCSAS resources.

(b)  The Scope of Complaints within PCSAS's Purview.  Without intending to limit the matters that PCSAS may address, PCSAS will deem written complaints as potentially within its purview if they fall into either of two categories: (a) complaints against PCSAS or its representatives for allegedly engaging in specific actions inconsistent with, or in violation of, PCSAS's official policies and procedures; or (b) complaints against a doctoral program accredited by PCSAS or a program seeking PCSAS accreditation for allegedly engaging in specific actions that violate PCSAS's accreditation standards.

Not all complaints against programs are within the purview of PCSAS. For example, PCSAS will not involve itself in complaints against individual members of accredited programs, or in disputes between individuals within programs, departments, or universities. PCSAS allows programs to handle such matters within their local grievance procedures. PCSAS also does not act as a mediator of disputes between individuals, between individuals and programs, or between organizations. Nor does PCSAS investigate or adjudicate charges of illegal behavior. Persons submitting complaints alleging unlawful conduct should contact appropriate law enforcement authorities.

(c)  Further Handling of Complaints within the Purview of PCSAS

(1)  Complaints against PCSAS.  Complaints against PCSAS or its representatives will be forwarded to the Board of Directors for consideration and possible action. The Board will be responsible for coordinating an appropriate fact finding investigation, evaluating the complaint, and deciding what corrective actions, if any, are required. If individual representatives of PCSAS are identified in a complaint, they will be notified in writing and given 30 days to respond in writing.

(2)  Procedures for Complaints against Programs.  Complaints against programs will be investigated, evaluated, and decided by the PCSAS Board of Directors. The Board's first step will be to notify the target program of the complaint in writing and ask for a written response within 30 days. The Board's subsequent actions will depend upon its evaluation of the program's response.

Some complaints may be handled simply. If the program acknowledges the problem and proposes a suitable and prompt remedial action, the Board may accept the program's proposal, monitor the program's actions, and notify the submitter in writing once the problem has been resolved. For example, if a complaint accuses an accredited program of providing inaccurate or misleading information on its website, the program's Director, upon being notified of this complaint, might acknowledge the problem, provide an explanation, and correct the website.

If a program disputes the complaint, the Board is empowered to engage in a full investigation and to take whatever remedial actions it deems appropriate to resolve the matter. For example, if a complaint accuses an accredited program of violating PCSAS standards, the Board may instruct the Review Committee to investigate the accusation, evaluate the program's compliance, reevaluate the program's accreditation status, and report its finding and recommended actions to the Board within a specified time frame. The Board's final decision may range from exonerating the program of all allegations to terminating the program's accreditation status.

If the PCSAS Board of Directors elects to terminate a program's accreditation status, that program has the right to appeal the decision, as outlined under PCSAS's Appeal Policy.

Comments may be directed to either or both of the following PCSAS contacts:

PCSAS Office Contact:

     Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System
     Alan G. Kraut, Executive Director
    1800 Massachusetts Ave NW, Suite 402
    Washington, DC  20036-1218  USA 
Phone: (301) 455-8046
Email: akraut@pcsas.org 

PCSAS Board of Directors Contact:

Robert W. Levenson, Ph.D., Board President
Professor, Department of Psychology
4143 Tolman Hall #5050
University of California
Berkeley, CA  94720-5050
Phone: 510-642-5050
Email:  boblev@berkeley.edu

© 2011, Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System, All Rights Reserved.
Last update: 06/21/2017