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The primary goal of the Complaint Resolution Process is to educate and prevent reoccurrence of situations that call into question the integrity of members individually and the appraisal profession as a whole–and when necessary, to take disciplinary action. AIC’s formal complaint/dispute resolution process is open, transparent and accessible to consumers and clients. AIC’s Complaint Resolution Process does not arbitrate value. The process is focused solely on adherence to the ethics, appraisal, appraisal review and consulting standards and comments set out in Canadian Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (CUSPAP).

THE PROCESS

Consumers or clients who call into question the conduct or work product of an AIC-Designated Member can access AIC’s formal Complaint Resolution Process. We suggest the following steps be taken:

STEP 1 Consumer should contact the Director, Professional Practice, to discuss the concerns and assess possible options. Sometimes issues can be resolved through a thorough discussion without submitting a formal complaint. Simply call 1-866-726-5996 (toll free) or 613-234-6533 ext. 229 or send an email to directorprofessionalpractice@aicanada.ca.
   
STEP 2 After discussing your concerns with the Director, Professional Practice, a formal complaint can be submitted in writing by completing the Complaint Form included in the Consumer’s Guide to AIC Professional Practice. Your submission should include a summary of the complaint in a chronological manner using the following guidelines:
  • Tell us what happened. Start at the beginning and describe the events as they occurred.
  • Tell what was said and who said it. Tell us who was present during these conversations, acts or events.
  • To the extent possible, include the following details:
    • When was the Appraiser(s) engaged?
    • Who is the contact person at the engaging firm (if applicable)?

Include as much documentary evidence as possible such as:

  • A copy of the Appraisal Report
  • Copies of any correspondence between you and the Appraiser.
  • Copies of any documents that you feel may be pertinent to the complaint.
  • The Signed Consent Form if you wish to be notified of the final outcome of your complaint (refer to the Guide for the Form and the Terms and Conditions).

A complainant will receive an acknowledgement of the complaint by mail and the file will be referred to the AIC’s Counsellor, Professional Practice.

STEP 3 Within 30 days of the Director, Professional Practice receiving the complaint, the AIC member identified in the complaint will be notified. The nature of the complaint will be explained and the member will be given the opportunity to respond to the concerns raised in the complaint and be requested to provide a copy of the appraisal report and associated workfile (if applicable).

STEP 4 The Counsellor, Professional Practice will complete a comprehensive review the complaint submission to confirm compliance with AIC’s ethics and/or appraisal standards of professional practice (as they relate to the complaint).

STEP 5 The Counsellor, Professional Practice will determine if there is a basis to the complaint. In the event that the Counsellor concludes that the appraiser did not breach the Standards, the consumer will be advised in writing that the complaint is being dismissed. If it is concluded that the Appraiser has breached Standards, the Counsellor may:

  • direct the Member to peer review
  • recommend mediation between the Complainant and the Member
  • impose Practice Sanctions on consent
  • direct abeyance
  • refer the complaint to the Investigating Sub-Committee for further review
  • refer the complaint to the Professional Practice Advocate for a hearing before the Adjudicating Panel

STEP 6 Through the Counsellor, Professional Practice, the complaint may be referred to three Committees (Investigating Sub-Committee,  Adjudicating Sub-Committee,  Appeal Sub-Committee) or the Professional Practice Advocate:

POSSIBLE SANCTIONS What are Practice Sanctions and Conduct Sanctions? Practice and Conduct Sanctions address different types of breaches of the AIC’s Standards of Professional Practice. Practice Sanctions address breaches of Appraisal Standards or Administrative Regulations. Conduct Sanctions address breaches that are more serious in nature such Appraisal Standards, Ethics Standards, non-cooperation with an investigation, and/or repeat breaches. The table below outlines Practice and Conduct Sanctions and gives examples of breaches that would result in Sanction:

Practice Sanctions
Breach Sanction Time Limits
Administrative Examples:

  1. Invalid Insurance – not properly registered in co-signor registry; not properly registered in fee/non fee category
  2. Technical Appraisal related Errors
  3. Ethical Violation of Rules 4.2.6, 4.2.7, 4.2.9 and 4.2.10 and associated Comments

i. Fine

ii. Education,

iii. Peer Review,

iv. Reprimand,

v. Provide advice,

vi. Direct Member to take action,

viii. Recommend mediation

i. 30 days to pay fines

ii.  6 months to complete peer review and education

Conduct Sanctions
Breach Sanction Time Limits
  1. Gross Incompetence
  2. Multiple complaints
  3. Serious violations
  4. Ethical violation
  5. Non-Cooperation
  6. Improper submission of a Complaint

Any Sanction referred to in Practice Sanctions, and in addition, any one or more of the following:

i.  Censure

ii.  Suspension

iii.  Expulsion

i.  Immediate imposition

Publication

Publication takes the form of a case summary of the complaint investigation and the decision, and is published on the AIC Member website for a period of twelve (12) months. In exceptional circumstances, where the public interest is at stake, the case summary will be published in a local newspaper. Practice Sanctions will not be published. A case summary wherein all reference to the member is removed will be put on the AIC Member website as an educational tool. Conduct Sanctions will be published on the AIC Member website and the member will be named in the case summary.

Costs

In the case of a Practice Sanction, recovery costs will be ordered. In the case of a Conduct Sanction, costs of the investigation, administration and adjudication of the complaint will be also ordered. If there is a subsequent newspaper publication, the member will be ordered to pay this cost as well. The Member and the Professional Practice Advocate may make submissions regarding costs at the conclusion of a Hearing. Costs are due within thirty (30) days of the date of the decision.

Abeyance

Abeyance occurs when the complaint file is deferred or suspended. A complaint file may be deferred or suspended if there is pending litigation in respect of the member. The member must formally request abeyance and undertake to submit two recent appraisal reports for peer review at his/her own expense. The resignation or retirement of a member will not result in an abeyance of the complaint file. In these cases, the administration of the complaint file will continue to a final decision in case the member later reinstates. Where a member has retired, the compliance of a Practice Sanction and any order to pay costs shall be deferred until and if the member reinstates.

TIMING

Depending on the nature of the complaint and the seriousness of the allegations, the investigative process may take several months or longer if the matter proceeds to an internal disciplinary hearing.

PRIVACY

All information provided during the course of the investigation will be kept strictly confidential, within the limits of the AIC Regulations. Notwithstanding and in accordance with AIC Regulations, the complainant’s name will be disclosed, where necessary, to conduct a formal disciplinary hearing into the complaint.

STATUS UPDATE REQUESTS

In order to protect the integrity of the investigation, no information on the progress of an investigation will be provided.

WHAT AIC CANNOT DO

It is important to note that the complaint resolution process does not provide a mechanism for financial compensation or reimbursement of fees, nor compel an appraiser to redo their report or arbitrate the final opinion of value. AIC cannot act as a court of law, order the refund of monies, award damages, enforce contractual agreements or give legal advice or arbitrate the final opinion value.

 

PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE CASE STUDIES

Case Summary 37 Fall 2012-01

Case Summary 38 Spring 2013-01

   

Case Summary 39 Spring 2013-02

Case Summary 40 Spring 2013-03

   

Case Summary 41 Spring 2013-04

Case Summary 42 Spring-2015-01

   

Case Summary 43 Spring 2015-02

Case Summary 44 Spring 2016-01

   

 Case Summary 45 Spring 2016-02

 

RELATED INFORMATION and RESOURCES

For a guide on what to expect during a residential appraisal, view “A Consumer’s Guide to Understanding the Residential Appraisal Process” pdficon_small
 
For complete details on the Institute’s professional practice complaint resolution process, view AIC’s Consumer Guide: Professional Practice Investigations pdficon_small
 

For a step-by-step guide to AIC’s professional practice complaint process, view Consumer Guide To Professional Practice.

 
To submit a complaint, download this form  contained in the Consumer Guide to Professional Practice and send it to directorprofessionalpractice@aicanada.ca
 
To review the expectations and standards of our profession, click to review the current Canadian Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (CUSPAP) pdficon_small  and the AIC Regulations.
 
The Nature of Compaints pdficon_small by Robert Patchett, LL.B., CD Canadian Appraiser, Volume 50, Book 2 (2006) p. 46
 
The Professional Practice Process pdficon_small by Dave Gabruch, AACI, P.App Canadian Appraiser, Volume 50, Book 3 (2006) p. 30
 
Open and Transparent Self-Regulationpen pdficon_small by John Shevchuck, C.Arb Canadian Appraiser, Volume 52, Book 1 (2008) p. 34
Be Aware of These RED FLAGS pdficon_small by George Maurice, AACI, P.App Canadian Appraiser, Volume 51, Book 1 (2007) p. 31
 
Appraisers – a key element in real estate fraud prevention pdficon_small by George Maurice, AACI, P.App Canadian Appraiser, Volume 51, Book 3 (2007) p. 30
 
Marketing your services with professional guidelines pdficon_small by Rolf Halvorsen, AACI, P.App Canadian Appraiser, Volume 52, Book 1 (2008) p. 30
 
Client Failed to Use an Appraiser Westra Law Office pdficon_smalldraft_appraisal_reports(v51bk4p28)
 
Chang v. Registrar, Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002, 2010 ONSC 3162 (CanLII) May 2010
 
Reporting Economic Crime On-Line (RECOL)
 
Draft appraisal reports should be handled with care pdficon_small by Deana Halladay, CRA Canadian Appraiser, Volume 51, Book 4 (2007) p. 28
 
Partially completed appraisal reports pdficon_small by Deana Halladay, CRA Canadian Appraiser, Volume 51, Book 2 (2007) p. 32
 
Conflict of Obligations pdficon_small by Robert Patchett, LL.B., CD Canadian Appraiser, Volume 51, Book 4 (2007) p. 32
 
Who is my Client? pdficon_small by David Hildebrand, AACI, P.App Canadian Appraiser, Volume 49, Book 1 (2005) p. 36
 
Rules of Engagement pdficon_small by Darrell Thorvaldson, AACI, P.App Canadian Appraiser, Volume 52, Book 1 (2008) p. 32

 


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