Submitting a Complaint
The ABCFP has a duty to investigate allegations of unprofessional conduct or improper practices by forest professionals. If you have witnessed conduct or practices of a forest professional that concern you or your community, please contact the ABCFP.
A complaint must allege conduct or practice that, if admitted or proven, would constitute:
- the incompetent performance of services or duties undertaken by the respondent while engaged in the practice of professional forestry;
- professional misconduct;
- conduct unbecoming a registrant*; or
- a breach of the Professional Governance Act (PGA) or ABCFP Bylaws.
*Section 1 of the PGA defines "conduct unbecoming a registrant" as conduct of a registrant that:
- Brings the regulatory body or its registrants into disrepute;
- Undermines the standards, methods or principles that are the foundation of the profession; or,
- Undermines the principle of holding paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public, including the protection of the environment and the promotion of health and safety in the workplace in the manner that reflects the stewardship of a given profession by each regulatory body.
ABCFP registrants also have a duty to report any instance where the continued practice of professional forestry by another registrant may pose a risk of significant harm to the environment or to the health and safety of the public.
The registrar reviews each complaint to make sure it meets the requirements set out in the PGA and ABCFP bylaws 9 or 12. The registrar may request additional information to complete a review.
The following reasons may result in a complaint being declined:
- the complaint is trivial, frivolous, vexatious, or made in bad faith, or constitutes an abuse of process;
- the complaint does not relate to a concern about the conduct or practice of a current or former registrant;
- the complaint does not include sufficient information or particulars to allow an investigation to proceed; or
- the subject matter of the complaint would more appropriately be addressed by a different regulatory or administrative organization, agency, board or tribunal, or by the courts.
Once reviewed, the complaint will be forwarded with a recommendation to the Investigation Committee to determine how it proceeds.
Complaints may be resolved through a number of different options:
- discipline hearings;
- referral to practice review; or
- alternative complaint resolution.
Penalties and costs may be imposed if it is determined that the responding registrant has incompetently engaged in the practice of professional forestry; engaged in conduct unbecoming a forest professional registered with the association; or contravened the PGA, ABCFP Bylaws, or the
Code of Ethical and Professional Conduct. These can be any combination of the following for registrants:
- penalty up to $100,000;
- conditions on the respondent’s registration;
- suspension of registration;
- cancellation of registration; or
- completion of remedial programs.
In the case of trainees, the following may apply:
- requirement for further training;
- penalty up to $2,000; or
- cancellation of enrolment.
The process is described further in ABCFP Bylaw 12.
All stages in the complaint process include a conflict of interest check. Regarding committees, inspectors, and staff, any conflict of interest or perceived one is identified, discussed openly, and addressed.
How to Make a Formal Complaint
Complaints must be made in writing, via email or other methods, including the Notice of Complaint Form. ABCFP staff are available to discuss your concerns and assist you in completing the complaint form to ensure that your allegations meet all of the requirements and conditions.
Contact Janine Jivani, compliance lead, with concerns or questions.
Notice of Complaint Form
To submit a complaint, download the Notice of Complaint Form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. You should include as much detail as possible about the matter and include supporting documentation.
Download Notice of Complaint Form