Policy: Certification Council Grievance
Purpose: The purpose of this policy is to provide a clear mechanism for review and appeal when an individual questions a decision of the Lamaze International Certification Council.
Procedure for examination challenges: This procedure applies to questions regarding a test question on the Lamaze Certification Examination, test procedure, and test scores.
1. Should a candidate question his/her score on the examination, he/she may submit a written request for his/her exam to be hand-scored. Such a request must be made within 90 days of the date on which the score report was sent to the individual. The written request for hand scoring must be accompanied by a copy of the original score report and all appropriate fees. The exam will be hand-scored and results will be sent to the individual within 30 days of the original date of the request. Hand-scoring is not available for candidates who took the examination in the computer-based testing format.
2. Candidates may comment about the test itself by completing the comment form at the end of every examination. Alternatively, a candidate may submit a comment in writing to the Certification Council Chair no later than fourteen (14) days after taking the examination.
3. Comments regarding the examination will be reviewed by the Certification Council and testing company personnel. Whether remedial action is necessary will be determined by the Certification Council based upon the nature and severity of the situation. The decision of the Certification Council is final. The Certification Council Chair will respond to the individual submitting the comment within thirty (30) days of receipt.
A. The potential changes resulting from a challenge to a test question are generally limited to amending or eliminating the question.
B. Regarding test administration complaints, the Certification Council will consider remedial action generally only if a negative effect upon group scores is found. The potential recourse available to affected candidates is limited to a waiver or reduction of fees for a re-take of the examination.
C. In the event of an examination irregularity on the part of a candidate, the Certification Council may withhold an examination score pending resolution of the matter. It may cancel an examination score if there is adequate reason to question its validity because of misconduct or other circumstances. Misconduct may also be grounds for further action in accordance with the Disciplinary Action policy.
4. For security reasons, examination materials (scored answer sheets, test books, computer applications, etc.) are not open to public inspection or review by a candidate.
5. A passing score is required for certification in all instances. Failure to pass the examination may not be appealed.
Procedure for other grievances: The following procedure is established for handling grievances which may occur related to certification (other than examination challenges):
1. To initiate the review process, an individual must submit a written notice describing the situation to the Certification Council Chair within sixty (60) days of the date on which the decision of the Lamaze International Certification Council is sent to the individual.
2. The Chair of the Certification Council will review the written notice of a grievance and respond to the individual submitting the grievance within thirty (30) days of receipt of the written notice.
3. In the event that the individual wishes to appeal the decision of the Chair of the Certification Council, she must submit the reason for the appeal in writing within ten (10) days of notification regarding the decision to the Chair.
4. The Chair will refer all such complaints raised in a timely manner to an Ad Hoc Review Committee. Upon referral to the Ad Hoc Review Committee, the grieving individual will be notified in writing and will have thirty (30) days to submit a written statement or other material for review by the Committee.
5. The Ad Hoc Review Committee will be composed of three (3) individuals; an LCCE member of the Certification Council who will serve as Chair, the public member of the Certification Council, and one LCCE educator at-large chosen from a list submitted by the grieving individual. The grieving individual shall be notified of the name of the proposed Chair of the Ad Hoc Review Committee and shall have seven (7) days from such notice to strike such person from serving as Chair if such person competes in the same geographic area with the grieving individual. If the grieving individual exercises this right to strike, the Chair of the Certification Council shall appoint another LCCE member of the Certification Council to serve as Chair of the Ad Hoc Review Committee who does not compete in the same geographic area as the grieving individual.
6. The Ad Hoc Review Committee shall review all written statements or other information submitted by the grieving individual.
7. When notified of the referral of the grievance to the Ad Hoc Review Committee, the grieving individual shall also be given notice of the right within seven (7) days to request an informal evidentiary hearing before the Chair of the Ad Hoc Review Committee (or at the option of the Chair by an LCCE educator appointed by such Chair), at which the grieving individual shall have the right to counsel. Such notices shall also include the name of the LCCE educator who will conduct a hearing if one is requested by the grieving LCCE educator. If the grieving LCCE educator exercises the option to request such a hearing, and the LCCE educator designated to conduct the hearing competes in the same geographic area as does the grieving individual, the grieving individual may within such seven (7) day period strike such LCCE educator, in which event the Chair of the Ad Hoc Review Committee shall appoint an LCCE educator who does not compete in the geographic area of the grieving individual, but who resides as close as is reasonably feasible to such area. The LCCE educator so chosen shall within six (6) weeks conduct the hearing and submit a written report to the Ad Hoc Review Committee for its review.
8. The Ad Hoc Review Committee shall issue its opinion either as: (1) that reasonable evidence exists to support the contention of the individual submitting the grievance or, (2) that reasonable evidence does not exist to support a grievance.
9. In the event the Ad Hoc Review Committee determines that reasonable evidence does not exist to support the grievance, this decision shall be final.
10. In the event that the Ad Hoc Review Committee finds that reasonable evidence does exist to support a grievance, this finding and all evidence shall be submitted to the Governing Body of the Certification Council who shall then consider all the background, and make a final decision. The Ad Hoc Review Committee will recommend an appropriate response to the grievance.
11. Any determination of the Governing Body of the Certification Council shall be final. A final decision on the issue raised by the individual submitting the complaint shall be made within ninety (90) days from the date on which the grievance review process is initiated, and communicated to the grieving individual.
Approved: March, 1993
Revisions Approved: May, 1996; April 2012