About the Grievance Process of
the Register of Professional Archaeologists
One of the major goals of the Register of Professional Archaeologists (RPA) is to set forth and enforce the organization’s Code of Conduct and the Standards of Research Performance. The Grievance Coordinator is the person responsible for investigating allegations of registrants violating the Code of Conduct (Code) or the Standards of Research Performance (Standards). In doing this, the Grievance Coordinator has two major responsibilities:
- maintenance of the Code and Standards, and
- protection of the rights of those Registered Professional Archaeologists (RPAs) accused of violating the Code or the Standards.
Any person, whether an RPA or not, can file a grievance. The person accused of a grievance must have been an RPA during the time they were accused.
If an RPA fails to pay their annual registration fee, then according to the organization’s by-laws, they have voluntarily terminated their registration.
So, it is important to know if a person was officially registered at the time of the alleged violation. RPA can take no action against non-registrants. The Grievance Coordinator can help determine this. The accused must also have violated some part of the Code or Standards. Many grievances are received about an RPA's alleged misconduct that does not fall within the Code or Standards. In such cases, the Grievance Coordinator cannot investigate the allegations.
When an allegation of violation is received by the RPA, the Grievance Coordinator examines the complaint following the Disciplinary Procedures of the Register of Professional Archaeologists. When sufficient information is available to indicate an RPA has violated the Code or Standards, a Grievance Committee is appointed to formally investigate the violation. The investigation may result in:
- no disciplinary action taken as the violation does not warrant it;
- the accused is given the right to accept admonishment or censure; or
- a formal complaint is prepared and filed with the Standards Board, made up of elected registrants of the RPA.
The Standards Board then hears the case and may impose a suspension of the accused’s registration for a period of time or may terminate the accused’s registration.
To initiate a Grievance, complete the Grievance Initiation Form and send it to the Grievance Coordinator.
How to File a Grievance
To file a grievance alleging an RPA has violated the Code of Conduct and the Standards of Research Performance, complete the following Grievance Complaint Initiation Form and submit it to the Grievance Coordinator.
Disciplinary Procedures of The Register of Professional Archaeologists
Grievance Coordinator’s Manual
The Day-to-Day Duties of the Grievance Coordinator - R. Berle Clay - Reprinted by permission from The SAA Archaeological Record, volume 6, number 2.