Our Mission: To address issues and concerns relevant to organic inspectors, to provide quality inspector training, and
to promote consistency and integrity in the organic certification process.

Complaint Procedures

Ethics Committee Policy
Inspector Misconduct Complaint Form [pdf]
Inspector Misconduct Complaint Form [MS Word document]

The following policies have been developed by IOIA in order to investigate allegations of inspector misconduct. It is recommended that the person/group making the complaint (plaintiff) have tried all possible avenues to work the specific problem out with the inspector prior to making this complaint. A complaint must involve an alleged violation of the IOIA Code of Ethics or Code of Conduct in order for IOIA to investigate.

  1. IOIA will respond only to written complaints. It is required that the plaintiff file an IOIA Inspector Misconduct Complaint Form, available upon request from IOIA. The written complaint should include documentation of evidence. Hearsay will not be considered as valid evidence. The plaintiff shall pay a fee of US$50 to cover initial expenses incurred by the Ethics Committee.

  2. Upon receipt of the written complaint, the IOIA Executive Director will acknowledge receipt with return letter to plaintiff, outlining IOIA procedures and time line.

  3. IOIA Executive Director will also send notification to inspector member of complaint and alleged violations. It is the intent of IOIA that the plaintiff and inspector member named in the complaint should have access to all information concerning the complaint.

  4. The IOIA Ethics Committee is responsible for reviewing and evaluating the complaint, following IOIA Ethics Committee policies.

  5. Following Executive Committee approval, actions taken by the Ethics Committee and/or the Executive Director are:
    A. No punitive action is warranted if the complaint is found to be invalid or inconclusive.
    B. Member receives a letter of reprimand from IOIA.
    C. Member receives a letter of reprimand and is placed on membership probation for one year.
    D. Other punitive or corrective actions as determined by the Ethics Committee.
    E. If member is accredited, the Executive Committee recommends to the Accreditation Review Panel (ARP) to put member on accreditation probation for one year.
    F. If member is accredited, the Ethics Committee recommends to the Accreditation Review Panel to revoke IOIA accreditation.
    G. IOIA membership is revoked.

  6. If the member is accredited, the Accreditation Review Panel will be informed as to any action taken or recommendations made by the Executive Committee. The ARP is solely responsible for action concerning accreditation status. The ARP may request documentation of the complaint and evaluation by Executive Committee.

  7. If the plaintiff or inspector member is not satisfied with the action taken, an appeal may be made to the full IOIA 3 members of the Board of Directors within 30 days after notification. Once the investigation, determination and appeal processes have concluded, the same incident will not be re-investigated.

  8. When an inspector's IOIA membership or IOIA accreditation status is revoked, the Organic Certifier's Council (OCC) or appropriate certification body will be notified.

  9. Investigation of complaint, documentation and determination should take no longer than 6 months.

  10. It is the intent of IOIA to be fair and objective to all parties involved in a complaint.

  11. In order to conduct a credible investigation, IOIA may need to interview the member in question, other inspectors, the plaintiff, certification agencies, and/or inspected parties. It is the intent of IOIA that the investigation take place with as little public discussion as possible, however recognizing that complete confidentiality may not be possible. 7/10/03