The complaints committee will forward the complaints letter to the person the complaint concerns. This person is referred to as the 'accused' in the complaints procedure. The accused is provided the opportunity to respond to the complaint in writing at the time the complaints letter is forwarded to him. In general, this response has to be submitted within two weeks.
The complaints committee invites the complainant and the accused to attend a hearing. During this non-public hearing, both the complainant and the accused are provided the opportunity to explain their positions. The complaints committee may also ask them questions. Both complainant and accused may bring counsel, such as a confidential advisor or a colleague, to the hearing.
In preparation for the hearing, the complaints committee's secretary compiles a file. This file at the least contains the complaints letter and the accused's response thereto. The complainant, the accused and the complaints committee members all receive this file prior to the hearing.
If necessary, the complaints committee will gather additional documentation. Should this be the case, both the complainant and the accused will be informed thereof.
The complaints committee draws up an advice based on its findings. This advice contains the report of the hearing. The complaints committee advises on whether the complaint was founded or not. The complaints committee may also advise the Executive Board to take certain measures or make certain decisions.
The Executive Board subsequently comes to a decision on dealing with the complaint, basing itself on the complaints committee's advice. The Executive Board may deviate from the objection committee's advice in its decision, but is in that case to state its reasons for doing so.