The Grievance Process
A Resolution Committee has been formed to hear and resolve complaints and disagreements, as well as violations of the Institute’s Bylaws and Code of Ethics. This committee is charged with resolving all disputes relating to:
Member /Certificatant vs. Member/Certificant disputes
- Client vs. Member/Certificant disputes
- Member/Certificant vs. Institute/Council/Society/Chapter disputes
The AIBD Bylaws Article IX, § 6, give authority to the Resolution Committee to hear and resolve complaints within the purposes defined in the bullets above as they pertain to AIBD membership.
The NCBDC Policies and Procedures give authority to the Board of Examiners to hear and resolve complaints within the purposes defined in the bullets above as they pertain to certification.
NEITHER the Resolution Committee nor the Board of Examiners has authority to render an opinion on any matters that involve legal issues or arbitrate financial disputes.
Who makes up the Resolution Committee?
The Resolution Committee consists of three volunteer Certified Professional Members. The chairperson is appointed by the AIBD President; the Institute’s Immediate Past President is the second member; and the third committee member is appointed by the AIBD College of Fellows from its membership.
Who makes up the Board of Examiners?
The Board of Examiners is a group of at least nine and no more than twelve volunteer Certified Professional Building Designers chosen to serve based on their personal experience and knowledge in various interest areas.
Major and Minor Infractions
Examples of major infractions of the Institute’s Bylaws and Code of Ethics shall include but are not limited to:
- Conviction of any business practice which is fraudulent, illegal, or deceptive;
- Copyright infringement;
- Discrimination in their professional conduct on the basis of race, religion, gender, physical disability, national origin or sexual orientation.
Examples of minor infractions of the Institute’s Bylaws and Code of Ethics shall include but are not limited to:
- Improper use of the acronym “AIBD,” “American Institute of Building Design,” or other such titles allowed as a benefit of membership and governed by membership category.
- Improper use of the term “Architect,” “Architectural,” or derivatives as determined by legal restrictions in the member’s geographic area of practice.
- A hearing may be requested by completing and submitting a signed Resolution Form. Any documents supporting the complaint should be attached.
- The AIBD National Office forwards the documents to the Resolution Committee, in the cases involving membership, and to the Board of Examiners, in cases involving certification. The documents are also forwarded to the defendant along with a request to provide a written response (and any supporting documents or attachments) within fifteen business days. A copy of the Resolution Form shall be sent to the member’s Society President, District Director, and the Institute’s President.
- The Resolution Committee chairperson and/or the Board of Examiners chairperson (e.g. the NCBDC President) reviews the documents, contacts the person filing the complaint and provides an overview of the procedures, the timetable and clarifies any questions in the written complaint.
- If the complaint involves pending legal action, then any discussion must be delayed until the legal issues are resolved.
- Every effort is made to receive a response to allegations and to hear all parties to any issue.
- The Resolution Committee and/or the Board of Examiners will meet and render a written opinion including disposition to the AIBD National Office within five business days. The Resolution Committee meets when needed and the Board of Directors normally meets on the first Monday of each month.
- Once the opinion is received, the AIBD National Office will notify all the parties of the disposition of the by certified return receipt mail within five business days.
In cases involving membership, the Resolution Committee may render an opinion in favor of the defendant and dismiss the complaint or they may render an opinion in favor of the complainant and take any of the following actions:
- Issue a verbal warning;
- Issue a written warning;
- Issue a written warning and recommend suspension of membership for up to three years; or
- Recommend the termination of membership.
If the suspension or termination is recommended, it would be the House of Delegates who would consider the recommendation and take action. Termination would require a two-thirds affirmative vote while suspension is determined by a simple majority. The House of Delegates meets twice each year; once in January or February and once in July or August.
The NCBDC Board of Examiners handles all complaints and actions involving persons who are certified by them. However, if the defendant is also an AIBD member, the Board of Examiners will delay any action until the Resolution Committee has resolved the complaint. The Board of Examiners may levy fines, letters of reprimand, suspension, probation, termination or other such action as might be deemed appropriate. A two-thirds affirmative vote by the Board of Examiners shall be required for action involving loss of certification; a simple majority vote is required for all other disciplinary actions.
Either the defendant or the complainant may appeal any opinion rendered by the Resolutions Committee. This request must be made to the AIBD National Office in writing, and the dispute will be placed on the agenda of the next House of Delegates meeting. The national office will provide notice to all parties thirty days prior to the House of Delegates meeting. The party filing the appeal (or their assigned proxy) must appear before the House of Delegates to explain the reason for the request. Failure to appear without sufficient reason will cause the immediate dismissal of the appeal.
Decisions made by the House of Delegates, in the case of membership, and the Board of Examiners, in the case of certification, are final.