Appeals & Complaints

Appeals Process

What is an appeal?

An appeal is a formal request for reconsideration of an adverse decision made by the NCS4 Certification Commission or its representatives related to an individual’s achievement of a certification.

How do I submit an appeal?

An appeal may be submitted to the Appeals Board within 30 days of receiving the determination.  Using the Appeal Submission Form, appellants should send the appeals form, along with any supporting documentation to the NCS4 Certification Department.

How does the appeal review process work?

The appeal willbe considered at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Appeals Board or within 45 days, whichever comes first. The function of the Appeals Board in a given case is to review the decision being appealed based on the record that was before the Commission or its representative at the time of the determination.  The Appeals Board or its representative shall notify the NCS4 CertificationCommission and the appellant of the decision within 14 days from the Appeals Board determination.

How do I file a second-level appeal?

Individuals have 30 days from receipt of the Appeals Board determination to file a second written appeal with the NCS4 Certification Commission using the Appeal Submission Form.

How does the second-level appeal review process work?

The appeal will be considered at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the NCS4 Certification Commission.  The Commission only reviews whether the determination of the Appeals Board was inappropriate because of (a) material errors of fact or (b) failure of the Appeals Board to conform to the published criteria, policies, or procedures.  Only facts leading up to and including the time of the Appeals Board determination are to be considered during an appeal.  The appeal must not include a hearing or any similar trial-type proceeding.  The NCS4 Certification Commission’s determination is to be final.

The Certification Commission’s staff liaison is responsible for notifying the appellant of the decision within 14 days of the determination.

 

Program Disputes and Complaints

What is a dispute?

A dispute is an informal request for resolution of an issue related to the certification program.

How do I handle a program dispute?

Individuals with disputes regarding the assessments, personnel, certificants, or other elements of the certification program are encouraged to discuss these with the individuals involved to try to resolve the matter informally.  In some cases, however, informal resolution is not possible, and individuals may take further action by filing a formal complaint. 

What is a complaint?

A complaint is a formal request, other than an appeal, for resolution of an issue related to the certification program.

How do I submit a formal complaint?

A complaint must be submitted in writing using the Complaint Submission Form to the NCS4 Certification Department within 90 days of the incident’s occurrence.  The submission must include sufficient objective evidence to substantiate the claims and allow for a decision to be made and the appropriate action to be taken.  Dissatisfaction based on hearsay is not considered as a complaint.

How does the complaint review process work?

A complaint will be first reviewed by the certification director to determine if it can be addressed by staff or if it warrants the involvement of the NCS4 Certification Commission.  If a complaint is found to be addressable by staff, the certification director refers the complaint to a suitable staff member considering matters of confidentiality, conflict of interest, and impartiality.  The responsible staff member will take action to resolve the issue and communicate the resolution to the complainant within a period of no longer than 30 days.  Should the resolution not be deemed satisfactory by the complainant, he or she may request that the complaint be reviewed by the NCS4 Certification Commission.

If a complaint is found to warrant escalation, thecomplaint is to be reviewed by the NCS4 Certification Commission, and a decision shall be communicated to the complainant within a period of no longer than 30 days.  All decisions by the NCS4 Certification Commission are final.

 

Submit Appeals and Complaints to:

Email:  CertificationSupport@usm.edu

Mail:    ATTN: Certification Department

            118 College Drive, #5193

            Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Fax:     601-266-6125

Please download the Policies and Procedures Manual for additional information.