PSI’s Board of Professional Conduct is responsible for investigating these complaints. Some members of the Board are psychologists and others are non-psychologists.
The office will send you a Formal Complaint Form and a copy of the procedures for investigating complaints (i.e. paragraph 36 of the Articles of Association). The rules for good practice (i.e. Code of Professional Ethics), which psychologists must follow, will also be sent to you as it may help you.
You must complete and sign the Formal Complaint Form (Form D2). PSI only investigates complaints that are made in writing and signed. You are asked to give the name of the psychologist(s) you wish to complain about and a short description of your complaint. You are asked, if you can, to say which rules from the Code of Ethics you think the psychologist(s) has (have) broken.
Both you and the psychologist(s) will receive a letter with the names of the two members (called the Investigatory Pair). The psychologist will also receive a copy of your complaint.
This contact may be in writing or by phone or both and the aim is to gather additional information that may help clarify the nature of the complaint. These members will then identify what part(s) of the Code of Professional Ethics that are relevant to the complaint.
You will be invited to submit any other information you think is relevant and the psychologist(s) will asked to give a written response to the complaint under the parts of the Code.
This opinion will be reported to the Board of Professional Conduct. It is important to know that the Board meets every month between September and June but that this process can take a lot of time.
It there is a case to answer the Board will decide what possible solutions are appropriate or if the complaint should be considered at a formal Panel Hearing.
The Board of Professional Conduct takes responsibility for the Formal Panel Hearing. The panel is made up of members of the Board. The chair of the panel is always a non-psychologist.
If the psychologist(s) is found guilty of professional misconduct the panel can recommend to PSI that the psychologist, for example:
of serious professional misconduct the decision of the Board of Professional Conduct is published in the Irish Psychologist, the newsletter of PSI.
PSI may also, if appropriate, inform bodies such as Health Boards in order to protect the public interest.
The procedures used to investigate a complaint will always be those contained in the most recent edition of the Articles, regardless of the date of the events that give rise to the complaint. Normally, the current rules of good practice (Code of Professional Ethics) will also be used.
In order to be fair to all parties, complaints are accepted for investigation on the basis that the person who submits the complaint will give consent to the use of any relevant information, including confidential information that may arise during the investigation of the complaint.
PSI makes every effort to ensure that, for its part, as few people as possible know about the subject of the complaint or the identity of those involved. The information is only given to the Chair of the Board of Professional Conduct, the two members of the Board who make the initial investigation and the members of the Panel. They will treat the information received with the utmost confidentiality.
What is The Psychological Society of Ireland?
PSI is the learned and professional body for the profession in Ireland, with the primary object of advancing psychology as a pure and applied science in Ireland and elsewhere. The Society has grown significantly since its inception and now has over 2000 members.
PSI is a hub for members who work in a diverse range of employment settings and specialisations. As well as receiving regular updates of PSI developments, publications, seminars, workshops etc., members can join any of PSI numerous divisions and special interest groups (membership based on qualification) to foster further interest in different areas of psychology.