In some circumstances, action on a Notice of Alleged Violation (Notice) is deferred pending the outcome of a third party’s investigation or disciplinary process. A third party is any party except the BACB, the Notifier, or the subject of the Notice that may oversee an investigation of the matter and issue an independent decision.
Third parties include (but are not limited to):
- State licensing board or agencies
- Child or adult protective services
- Insurance companies
- Local law enforcement
- Civil courts
The BACB may find it necessary to hold a Notice for one or more of the following reasons:
- The BACB Code requirements are sometimes dependent on third-party laws and rules (e.g., mandatory reporting requirements, confidentiality requirements).
- The system charged with enforcing a law or regulation should be the first party to determine if it was broken. Thus, the BACB process should not interfere with this system’s activity.
- To await the final findings of facts in the matter being decided by an investigatory body.
- The BACB is not an investigative body. Certain third parties have substantial investigatory resources, which could lead to findings of fact that would not have otherwise been presented if the BACB had acted prematurely in a matter.
There are some circumstances when the BACB may proceed with the disciplinary process even if there is an ongoing third-party investigation. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- If there is immenent and irrefutable risk of physical harm to a client; and
- If in the sole discretion of the BACB, evidence would undoubtedly be jeopardized if the BACB failed to intervene.
It is the Notifier’s responsibility to periodically contact the third-party entity to receive updates on the progress of the investigation, and to communicate those updates to the BACB. Please note that applicants for BACB certification and current certificants must report third-party actions (including Notices, investigations and outcomes as they arise) in accordance with 10.02 of the Code. Additional information about 10.02 reporting is available in the November 2016 and April 2017 BACB Newsletters.