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GPA Code of Ethics: Inquiries and Complaint Procedures

Procedures for Reporting and Handling Violations of the GPA Code of Ethics

The GPA Code of Ethics serves as a guide for all members as they are engaged in the field of Grantsmanship. Members are expected to be familiar with and abide by all sections of the Code. If a member suspects or is aware of another member that has violated the Code, it is the member’s responsibility to report the violation to the CEO for investigation. The overall goal is for the questionable activity to cease and to eliminate unethical behaviors which damage both the profession and the association.

Inquiry Regarding the GPA Code of Ethics
  1. An Inquiry is an informal way to ask for and receive advice or counsel on a difficult situation. This can be an individual looking for advice on a personal situation, advice on something they know another member is involved in, a client calling in about a situation, or simply general advice. The entire process can take just a few days for an informal inquiry and up to 90 days for a more involved inquiry.
  1. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Calls/letters/e-mails will be sent to the CEO and marked CONFIDENTIAL:

    Grant Professionals Association
    CEO
    10881 Lowell Avenue, Suite 190
    Overland Park, KS 66210
    (913) 788-3000 Phone
    (913) 788-3398 Fax
    Email: ceo@grantprofessionals.org
     
  2. In the event that an individual’s concern rises to the level that he/she reasonably believes that notice to the CEO will be disregarded or otherwise not fairly considered or if the inquiry involves the CEO, the individual may then direct inquiries or report violations or suspected violations either to the President of the GPA Board of Directors or the Chair of the Ethics Committee.
  3. Individuals making an inquiry will first be referred to the list of Frequently Asked Questions posted on the GPA website to see if their question is addressed.   
  4. For inquiries needing clarification, or for those that are not addressed by the Frequently Asked Questions, the CEO will write a brief summary including a recommended response and send it to the Ethics Committee Chair for review and approval of the response.
  5. If the Ethics Committee Chair deems that the full Ethics Committee should discuss the inquiry and response, a conference call will be scheduled within ten (10) business days for the Ethics Committee to review the inquiry. This call will be held within ten (10) business days of the scheduling or within a reasonable and expedient amount of time. A response will be sent back to the CEO with the committee’s findings within two (2) business days of the meeting.
  6. The CEO will send a response to the inquirer based on the Ethics Committee discussion, along with appropriate forms for filing a complaint, if warranted.
  7. If the inquirer decides not to initiate the complaint process, the matter ends.  (If the matter involves legal or criminal justice activity, the CEO will recommend that the complainant contact other entities/authorities having jurisdiction over such matters.)

Lodging A Complaint Against A Member:
  1. A complaint is a formal grievance against a GPA member who is alleged to have violated one or more of the GPA code of ethics.
     
  2. Complaints must be filed within three years from date of offense; No time limit for 1) alleged criminal convictions or 2) false or misleading representations in connection with GPA membership or GPA credentials.
A written complaint is filed with all documentation (Will need to submit in writing with identifying information and any back-up information to substantiate claim.)
  1. If an individual wishes to file a complaint, the CEO will send out the Violations Reporting Form to be completed by the complainant and returned to the CEO. In the event that an individual’s concern rises to the level that he/she reasonably believes that notice to the CEO will be disregarded or otherwise not fairly considered or if the complaint involves the CEO, the individual may then report violations or suspected violations either to the President of the GPA Board of Directors or the Chair of the Ethics Committee.
  2. Once returned, the file number will be attached to the complaint – Confidential reporting - (Allows us to keep track of who is filing complaints [repeat complaints], who complaints are being filed against and also a means to contact the person(s) involved if more information is needed. This way also protects all parties involved).
  3. The CEO notifies the alleged offender (respondent) by Certified/Return Receipt Mail (must be signed for) of the complaint and the section(s) of the GPA Code of Ethics which has been violated. A form for the respondent to respond to the complaint will be included along with a list of possible sanctions. The respondent will have 30 calendar days from receipt of notification in which to respond. If he/she fails to do so within this timeframe, the complaint will be reviewed based upon information and documents from the complainant.
  4. After the 30 days, or upon receipt of the response packet, the CEO will send the entire packet to the Ethics Committee Chair. (At this point, both the complainant and respondent will be identified).
  5. A conference call will be scheduled within 10 business days for the Ethics Committee to review the information and determine the appropriate course of action. This call will be held within 5 business days of the scheduling or within a reasonable and expedient amount of time, not to exceed 30 days for the total review process.
  6. If the respondent is unaware that the activity/behavior he/she has engaged in is actually a violation of the GPA Code of Ethics and agrees to discontinue such action, the issue may be resolved without a hearing or further proceedings.
  1. An in-person review may be requested by the complainant or respondent.
  1. If an in-person review is requested, it is the responsibility of the party who asked for the in-person meeting to bear all costs to bring the parties together.
  2. Only GPA members may request an in-person review.
  3. The Ethics Committee chair will set the guidelines for the meeting which must be followed by all parties. Any violation of these guidelines will result in further actions up to and including the dismissal of the complaint.
  4. Recording of the reviews are not permitted.
  1. Upon completion of the proceedings, the Ethics Committee will decide to either dismiss the case or recommend further action to the Board. The respondent will be notified of the decision. Possible sanctions (depending on the severity of the offense), may include, but are not limited to:
  • Private reprimand in writing that conduct violates the GPA Code of Ethics
  • Consequences within the organization while maintaining membership (e.g., cannot hold office – chapter/state or national, cannot serve on any committee(s) for 1 year); Chapter President, Board of Directors notified
  • Temporary revocation of membership (1-5 years, depending on circumstances); not allowed to participate in Chapter or National activities during revocation; Chapter President, Board of Directors notified
  • Permanent revocation of membership - member’s name may be listed in GPA members only communications as a formally revoked member *
  • Referral to GPCI

* Notification statement: “(       ), a member of the (      ) Chapter, has been permanently expelled from GPA  by action of the GPA Ethics Committee, as authorized by the GPA Board of Directors, for violation of the Code of Ethics; a letter of revocation has been sent to the member; and, notification of this action has been given to the GPA Board of Directors.”

If the respondent has been convicted in a civil or criminal court or sanctioned by a government agency, laws prevail over the Code of Ethics – Court sanctions will be accepted by GPA; no need for any further action within GPA.

In some cases, the complainant is also notified of the disposition of a case. When this is the case, the complainant will receive a letter from the CEO within 30 days of the decision of the committee outlining the disposition.

5. Appeal process
  1. Respondent must complete the Appeal Section of the Violations Reporting Form and return it to the CEO within 30 calendar days.   
  2. Respondent and GPA Board of Directors may consult with legal or other counsel at any time during the appeal process.
  3. The appeal will be handled by the Board of Directors and their decision will be final.