9.3 Procedure for Complaint Evaluation and Appeals


The ABO strives to protect the integrity of its Board Certification by providing a fair certification process, from submitting an application to awarding of Diplomate status and participation in maintenance of certification. The Executive Director is responsible for investigating any complaint or accusation made. The accused must be notified of the charge at least 30 days before action is taken to allow enough time to provide a defense.


  1. Following a complaint, the ABO must notify the accused of the complaint in writing. The accused then has 30 days to build a written defense to present to the committee. Lack of a response from the accused will be taken as an admittance of guilt, which should be made clear to the accused.
  2. If a written defense is submitted, the ABO will review it and discuss the possibility that a violation against the ABO and Board Certification was made. If the ABO determines there is probable cause, a hearing date for the accused is set no less than 30 days from this decision.
  3. The accused may have legal representation and will have these 90 days to prepare for a formal hearing.
  4. The ABO designates a Director to act as an investigator. This person will contact all parties who may have information on the case and will attempt to learn as much about the complaint as possible, including finding viable witnesses and evidence.
  5. At the formal hearing, each side is allowed to have witnesses. Opening and closing arguments are also allowed. A recording of the hearing will be made to allow the ABO to review the proceedings at a later time.
  6. Following the hearing, the ABO will privately discuss evidence supplied by each side. A vote is taken to determine if a violation was made. A majority vote is needed. If it is determined that a violation did take place, another vote is taken to determine disciplinary action. Again, a majority vote is needed.
  7. If the ABO determines a violation has been made and chooses to take action, the accused may make a formal written appeal within 30 days.
  8. If new information or evidence is presented in this appeal, the Board may reconsider the action. An investigation must take place to determine if the information is valid. If it is, a rehearing date will be set.