Appeals Policy & Procedures
Sanctioned individuals may appeal adverse decisions by following CCO’s established policies and procedures concerning appeals.
Notification of Rights of Appeal
In cases involving sanctions by the Program Integrity Team (PIT), within 10 days of the PIT meeting at which the action was taken, CCO Program Integrity Staff will send a letter to the participant, reflecting the action taken and advising them of any applicable rights of appeal.
In cases involving sanctions by the Ethics & Discipline Committee, CCO Program Integrity Staff will send a letter to the candidate or certificant, reflecting the action taken and advising them of any applicable rights of appeal, within 30 days of the decision being made.
The responsible bodies for initial decisions and appeals of particular program participants are set forth in CCO’s Decisions/Appeals Process.
View a chart of CCO’s Decisions/Appeals Process (updated 5/23).
Deadlines for Appeals
Sanctioned persons shall have 30 days from the date of notification in which to request an appeal of the adverse decision. In such an event, CCO’s Program Integrity Staff shall notify the appropriate Appeals Panel that an appeal has been filed.
Information Included in the Appeal
Any appeal of an adverse decision must be made in writing and must be either emailed or mailed by traceable courier or certified mail, return receipt requested, as instructed in the notification letter.
The appellant shall state the specific grounds why the appeal should be considered.
The appellant may not present, include, or rely on facts that were not presented in the proceedings; provided, however, that the Appeals Panel may, in exceptional cases, and in its discretion, grant waivers of this requirement and consider additional facts.
Notice of Appeal Hearing
In the event that the appellant timely and properly appeals the adverse decision, the appropriate appellate body serves as an Appeals Panel and will notify the appellant of the date and location of the appeal hearing.
The foregoing notification shall be provided at least 14 calendar days prior to the appeal hearing.
Procedures for Appeal Hearings
The appeal hearing must be scheduled as soon as possible after receipt of the appellant’s notification of appeal.
The appeal will be heard and conducted at an CCO office, or another location designated by CCO, or by telephone or video conference, as necessary or appropriate. The appellant may elect to attend the appeal hearing by telephone or video conference.
The appellant must pay for his or her expenses incurred in connection with the appeal.
The appellant has the right to bring an attorney to the hearing, but in no event may counsel present argument or provide testimony in lieu of, or on behalf of, the appellant.
The hearing shall be closed to third parties. Neither factual witnesses nor expert witnesses will be permitted to participate in the appeal hearing.
The Appeals Panel shall consider the available evidence presented and which formed the basis of the decision being appealed, and such other evidence as it may, in its discretion, deem appropriate.
Without limitation, an individual’s failure to pursue an appeal or to participate in the appeal hearing may be considered by the Appeals Panel in reaching a determination.
A record of the hearing appeal proceeding will be kept by Program Integrity Staff.
Standard of Review on Appeal
The Appeals Panel may only overrule or modify underlying adverse determinations in the event of the following:
- The policies at issue were incorrectly applied;
- The findings of fact were clearly erroneous, arbitrary or capricious; and/or disproportionate to the facts surrounding the violation;
- The disciplinary sanctions imposed were grossly disproportionate to the facts surrounding the violation.
The decision of the appropriate Appeals Panel shall be final and not subject to further appeal.
Notification of Disposition on Appeal
Within 30 days from the appeal hearing, Program Integrity Staff shall notify the appellant in writing of the decision by the Appeals Panel.
Program Integrity Staff may report the name(s) of the sanctioned certificant and the violation(s) of the Code of Ethics. Such information may be posted on the CCO website, and in any other appropriate locations as reasonably determined by CCO, consistent with CCO’s Information Release Policy.
Upon request, and in accordance with CCO’s Information Release Policy, Program Integrity Staff may provide such report to any interested person or public agency deemed necessary to protect the public.
Click here for CCO’s Information Release Policy.
Close of Appeal
Once a final decision has been made concerning an appeal, the matter shall be closed and the relevant files shall be retained for a reasonable period of time by CCO Program Integrity Staff.
Members of the Appeals Panel, and others in contact with materials related to the investigation, will destroy or return all information received during the investigation to CCO Program Integrity Staff.