GRIEVANCE POLICY

Palo Alto University (d/b/a Division of Continuing & Professional Studies; CONCEPT) is fully committed to conducting all activities in strict conformance with the American Psychological Association’s Sponsor Approval System and Ethical Principles of Psychologists, the Canadian Psychological Associations Ethic Principals, the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) Ethics Principles, and the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) requirements for Approved Continuing Education (ACE) providers; social work ethics, conduct, and values under applicable jurisdictional laws; and its mission.

Palo Alto University will comply with all legal and ethical responsibilities to be non-discriminatory in promotional activities, program content and in the treatment of program participants. The monitoring and assessment of compliance with these standards will be the responsibility of the Vice President for Continuing & Professional Studies in consultation the CE Social Work consultant and the members of the Continuing & Professional Studies Advisory Board. It is the responsibility of the Vice President for Continuing & Professional Studies in consultation with the CE Social Work Consultant to monitor and assess compliance of Palo Alto University’s Continuing Education (CE) Program with Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) requirements for Approved Continuing Education (ACE) providers; social work ethics, conduct, and values under applicable jurisdictional laws; and its mission.

While Palo Alto University goes to great lengths to assure fair treatment for all participants and attempts to anticipate problems, there will be occasional issues that come to our attention that require intervention and/or action. This procedural description serves as a guideline for handling such grievances.

When a grievance arises pertaining to a Palo Alto University Continuing Education program or process, the complainant is expected to notify the Office for Continuing & Professional Studies, either by phone or in writing, as soon as possible so that the nature of the concern may be addressed in a timely fashion. When the grievance involves a social worker, the Vice President for Continuing & Professional Studies and the CE Social Work Consultant will review complaints. The written response will document the complaint/grievance and the involvement of the Social Work CE Consultant in the discussion and resolution of the issue.

If immediate resolution is not possible, the Vice President for Continuing & Professional Studies, and if applicable the CE Social Work Consultant, together will bring the complaint to the Continuing & Professional Studies Advisory Board within one month. All possible care will be taken to uphold the confidentiality of the complainant. The Advisory Board will formulate a response to the complaint and recommend action if necessary, which will be conveyed directly to the complainant. For example, a grievance concerning a speaker will be conveyed to that speaker and also to those planning future educational programs. A grievance concerning a workshop offering, content, facilities, or costs may be resolved by modifications to future offerings, and/or by providing an alternative training opportunity, should that be possible.

Confidential records of all grievances, the process of resolving the grievance, and the outcome will be kept in locked files of the Vice President for Continuing & Professional Studies. All applicable written complaints/grievances and the CE Program’s written response to the complaints/grievances are also reported to the ASWB within Palo Alto University’s ACE approval renewal application.

Please contact the Vice President for Continuing & Professional Studies to submit a complaint or if you have additional questions.

The Vice President for Continuing & Professional Studies is Patricia A. Zapf, PhD (pzapf@paloaltou.edu).