The Disciplinary Procedure may be invoked as a result of the Complaints Procedure or as a result of a breach of the CNHC Code of Conduct, Ethics and Performance or the Professional Practice Handbook. Our Disciplinary Procedure applies to full practising Members of BANT who are professionally bound to comply with the CNHC Code of Conduct, Ethics and Performance and the Professional Practice Handbook.

Introduction

The British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) Disciplinary Procedure may be invoked as a result of the BANT Complaints Procedure or as a result of a breach of the CNHC Code of Conduct, Ethics and Performance and the BANT Professional Practice Handbook.

BANT’s Disciplinary Procedure applies to full practising Members of BANT who are professionally bound to comply with the CNHC Code of Conduct, Ethics and Performance and the BANT Professional Practice Handbook.

BANT accepts no liability for the costs of the practitioner in any case.

If the BANT practitioner is known personally to any of the PPC members, then the PPC member must declare this prior to the proceedings.

Reasons for a disciplinary policy

  • Provide clearly established guidelines for the Disciplinary Procedure within BANT.
  • Help protect the BANT practitioner against wrongful or unfair
  • dismissal from BANT.
  • Protect the health and safety of members of the public by providing mechanisms to ensure that BANT practitioners are competent and fit to practise.

The process

  1. The PPC will establish whether there is a requirement to invoke the Disciplinary Procedure.
  2. If there is a requirement the PPC will communicate this decision in writing to BANT Council, the BANT practitioner concerned and the original complainant at the end of the Complaint Procedure. The CNHC will also be notified if the BANT practitioner involved is a CNHC registrant.
  3. The misdemeanour/breach will be discussed by the PPC via email or at a regularly planned PPC meeting. This requires a minimum of five PPC members to be involved.
  4. If additional information is required from the BANT practitioner, then the PPC will request this to be sent within 16 days of receipt of the request.
  5. The PPC will assess the nature of the misdemeanour/breach and discuss the appropriate course of action to be taken. The PPC will also notify the BANT practitioner in writing as soon as possible after a conclusion has been reached. Types of actions to be taken include:
    • No action – Full records of the complaint will be kept by the PPC Chair for a period of 2 years noting that nothing further occurred as well as the reasons for no further action.
    • Informal warning – This is not as serious as a formal warning but still needs to be documented. Remedial action such as CPD, Supervision is likely to be required. An Informal Warning will be noted on the members file for a period of between six – 24 months depending on the breaches and will be taken into account should a further complaint of the same nature be received. If after this period of time no further complaints have been received it will be removed.
    • Formal warning – This is more serious than an informal warning and will result in remedial action being required as determined by the PPC. The formal warning will be noted on the members file for a period of between 24 – 36 months and will be taken into account should a further complaint of the same nature be received. If after this period of time no further complaints have been received it will be removed.
    • Membership suspension – This is more serious than a Formal Warning. The PPC may feel that the nature and severity of the breach is such that the member poses a risk to the public or himself or herself and the resultant remedial action needs to be undertaken before the practitioner continues in practice. The practitioner’s membership will be suspended until they have demonstrated that they are fit to practice. Should a member continue to practice during a suspension period, their membership will be fully rescinded. Any membership suspended will be noted on the members file for 5 years.
    • Membership rescinded – If the breaches identified are of such a serious nature they result in the practitioners membership being rescinded, after 5 years have elapsed the member may reapply for membership.
  6. The PPC will reach its decision based on the facts of the case, as far as can reasonably established, but it may be necessary to consider whether there have been any prior incidents or warnings.
  7. The PPC will decide whether there is a need to involve BANT Council, e.g. in the situation where membership is to be rescinded or in an appeal.
  8. The PPC should remember always to act consistently. There will be unique elements to any case, but in cases with predominantly similar issues, any actions or penalty should be consistent.
  9. In making any decision the PPC will satisfy itself that:
    • All procedures have been properly and fully followed
    • The disciplinary penalty is appropriate to the misdemeanour
    • PPC and BANT Council would be confident in defending this should the BANT practitioner or complainant take the matter further.
  10. Appeals Process – The appeals process is not an opportunity for the BANT practitioner to present new evidence, but for the PPC and BANT Council to consider whether the original process was fair and reasonable in all the circumstances.
    • The appeal will be set out in writing, and the document will provide clear details of what is being appealed – the findings, the disciplinary penalty, or both.
    • If the PPC and BANT Council are satisfied that the original process was fair and reasonable then the appeal can be dismissed; if there is a reasonable argument that the investigation should have covered more, consideration should be given to upholding the appeal. Further investigation will then be arranged and may involve an independent panel.
    • The decision from the appeal should be reached as soon as possible and the BANT practitioner will be notified in writing of the outcome. If the appeal is upheld, the original complainant must also be notified.
  11. Membership reassessment. After a period of two years the PPC will consider whether a BANT practitioner can reapply for membership.
    • The original complaint will be reviewed by the PPC and an assessment of whether the misdemeanour/breach has been addressed will be made.
    • Both BANT Council and the original complainant must be informed that the former practitioner has reapplied for membership.
    • All communications must be documented in writing and the final decision must also be sent in writing to the applicant and the original complainant.