Guidelines for Selecting an Ad-hoc Investigation Committee

Used in conjunction with the ACTFL Code of Conduct



1. Formation of Ad-Hoc Committee:

  • The President or President-Elect should appoint the Ad-Hoc Committee to investigate the alleged violation of the code of conduct.
  • The committee should be composed of 3-4 members who have no direct involvement in the incident being investigated.
  • Members should possess relevant expertise and experience in handling sensitive matters and conducting unbiased investigations.

2. Confidentiality Agreement:

  • All members of the Ad-Hoc Committee must sign a strict investigation confidentiality agreement.
  • This agreement ensures that all information, discussions, and findings related to the investigation remain confidential and are not disclosed to anyone outside the committee or those directly involved in the investigation.

3. Investigations Appeals Process:

  • The Board should establish a clear and transparent appeals process for individuals involved in the investigation if they disagree with the findings or outcome.
  • The appeals process should be handled by an independent party or a separate committee to maintain objectivity and fairness.
  • Specific guidelines and timeframes for submitting appeals should be clearly communicated to all parties.

4. Investigation Timeline:

  • The Ad-Hoc Committee must conduct a thorough investigation and conclude within 30 days from the initiation of the investigation.
  • If the investigation requires more time due to complexity or other unforeseen circumstances, the Board should be notified with a valid reason for the extension.

5. Impartiality and Conflict of Interest:

  • Members of the Ad-Hoc Committee must disclose any potential conflicts of interest related to the parties involved or the issue at hand before accepting their roles.
  • The Board should carefully assess these disclosures to ensure the utmost impartiality in the investigation process.

6. Investigative Procedures:

  • The Ad-Hoc Committee should establish a well-defined plan outlining the scope and methodology of the investigation.
  • The committee must conduct interviews, gather evidence, and evaluate information objectively to arrive at fair and unbiased conclusions.
  • Weekly progress updates should be provided to the Board to ensure transparency and maintain oversight.

7. Confidential Reporting Mechanism:

  • Establish a confidential reporting mechanism for individuals to report any information or evidence related to the violation, ensuring anonymity and protection from retaliation.

8. Final Report and Recommendations:

  • Upon completion of the investigation, the Ad-Hoc Committee should submit a comprehensive final report to the Board.
  • The report should include a detailed summary of the investigation, findings, and recommendations for appropriate actions or sanctions, if necessary.

9. Implementation of Recommendations:

  • The Board should promptly review the final report and take necessary actions based on the committee's recommendations.
  • If sanctions or disciplinary measures are warranted, the Board should apply them consistently and in accordance with the organization's policies.

10. Communicating Outcomes:

  • The Board should communicate the investigation's outcome to relevant parties in a confidential and sensitive manner.
  • Respect the privacy of all individuals involved, ensuring that no sensitive information is disclosed publicly.


  1. Review the Code of Conduct: Ensure that the claimant and the accused party are familiar with the Board's Code of Conduct. This document will serve as the foundation for the investigation and appeals process.
  2. Filing the Violation Claim: The claimant should submit a written complaint or violation claim to the appropriate authority or designated officer within the organization. The complaint should include a detailed account of the alleged violation, any relevant evidence, and the names of any witnesses, if applicable.
  3. Preliminary Assessment: The designated authority or officer will conduct a preliminary assessment to determine whether the claim has merit and falls within the scope of the Board's Code of Conduct. If the claim is deemed frivolous or not related to the Code of Conduct, the process may end here, and the claimant will be notified of the decision.
  4. Initiate the Investigation: If the claim is found to be valid, an investigation will be initiated. An impartial investigator or investigative team will be assigned to gather evidence, interview relevant parties, and review any relevant documentation.
  5. Notice to the Accused: The accused party will be notified of the investigation, informed of the specific allegations against them, and provided with an opportunity to respond to the claim.
  6. Fact-Finding and Interviews: The investigator will conduct interviews with the claimant, the accused party, and any relevant witnesses or individuals with information pertaining to the alleged violation. All parties involved will be encouraged to cooperate fully with the investigation.
  7. Evidence Collection: The investigator will collect any relevant evidence, such as documents, emails, text messages, video recordings, or any other materials that can help establish the facts of the case.
  8. Assessment of Findings: Once the investigation is complete, the investigator will compile the findings and objectively evaluate the evidence to determine whether a violation of the Board's Code of Conduct has occurred.
  9. Decision and Sanctions: Based on the investigation's findings, the designated authority or committee responsible for handling the appeal will make a decision. If a violation is confirmed, appropriate sanctions or corrective actions will be determined and applied according to the severity of the violation and in line with the organization's policies.
  10. Notice of Decision: Both the claimant and the accused party will be notified in writing of the decision, sanctions (if any), and the reasons behind the outcome. The notice will also outline any available options for appeal.
  11. Appeals Process: If either party is dissatisfied with the decision, they may have the right to appeal. The appeals process will be clearly outlined in the organization's policies and may involve submitting a formal written appeal to a higher authority or an independent review panel.
  12. Appeals Review: The appeal will be reviewed by an impartial body or individual not involved in the initial investigation. This entity will assess the grounds of the appeal, review the evidence, and decide whether the original decision was fair and appropriate.
  13. Final Decision: After reviewing the appeal, the designated appeals authority will make a final decision. This decision is typically binding and concludes the internal process for resolving the violation claim.
  14. Closing of the Case: Once the appeals process is complete, the case will be considered closed, and all parties involved will be informed of the final decision. The organization will take any necessary actions based on the outcome of the appeal.