Instructions for Filing a Complaint
These instructions are intended to assist in filing a complaint with the SOMB against a listed/approved treatment provider, evaluator, or polygraph examiner when there is an alleged violation of the SOMB Adult or Juvenile Standards. Please refer to the most recent Adult or Juvenile Standards and Guidelines in order to appropriately fill out the complaint form.
- Person filing the complaint (i.e., complainant) Name, Address, and Phone Number. If filing anonymously, please list “Anonymous” in this section under name and do not include address, phone number, or other identifying information.
Providing information is helpful in enabling ongoing, timely contact with the complainant during the complaint process. Please know that if you submit an anonymous complaint, it will then not be possible to follow up with you about additional information needs. It's also essential to notify the SOMB if the complainant’s contact information changes during the complaint process if the complaint was not filed as anonymous. If a complainant does not have a permanent mailing address, you can use the address of a reliable friend or family member.
- Service Provider, Address, and Phone Number
The name, address, and phone number of the provider who allegedly violated the Standards. You must list an individual provider and the name of a program. If you have a complaint against more than one provider, please file a separate complaint about each provider. If the provider is not yet approved by the SOMB, the provider’s clinical supervisor can be listed in this section. Please note: The SOMB only handles complaints against individual providers, not programs. We are not a Court and do not have purview over Statutes. Complaints involving treatment programs as a whole, government agency policies (such as the Department of Corrections sex offender classification process), or legal issues unrelated to the Standards, are not under the authority of this Board and should be directed elsewhere.
- Nature of Complaint
Provide a detailed description of the complaint and what the provider did to allegedly violate the Standards. Please use the Complaint Form and attach an extra page if there is not enough room to provide a complete description of what occurred. Also, enclose any information and/or documentation that will support or prove the allegations.
- Standards Violation
Please cite one or more specific Standard(s) (the actual standard number from the 2021 Revised Adult or Juvenile Standards) with a brief explanation of how each Standard was violated.
Your suggestion(s) for a solution. Please keep in mind that there are many options available to the SOMB regarding resolving complaints.
The Complaint Process
When the SOMB is notified that a provider has allegedly violated the Standards by way of a complaint, the following process takes place:
- The complaint is forwarded to the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) if it involves allegations against a service provider who is a listed and approved treatment provider and/or evaluator. (DORA regulates licensure and registration of therapists in Colorado, but does not have purview over polygraph examiners.) DORA is not affiliated in any way with the SOMB and is a different governmental entity. However, it is helpful for the SOMB to receive complaints initially because DORA consults with the SOMB regarding all complaints against SOMB listed/approved treatment providers and evaluators as part of their deliberation process.
- The complaint is reviewed by SOMB staff to ensure all required information is included. If there is missing information, the complainant may be contacted for additional information. Please note that anonymous complaints will not allow for this contingency and the Application Review Committee will have to review the complaint as is, which can limit the ability to make a finding of a Standards violation.
- A letter is mailed to the complainant (unless filed anonymously) confirming that the complaint was received.
- The complaint in its entirety is reviewed by the Application Review Committee.
- The Application Review Committee determines if further action is warranted. If this is the case, the provider is contacted and asked to provide a written response to the allegations in the complaint within 20 working days. If no further action is warranted based on a Standards violation not being sufficiently alleged, the complainant is notified that no potential violations exist and the process ceases.
- The Application Review Committee reviews the provider’s response to the complaint and determines if an investigation is necessary. If this is the case, the complainant is notified that an investigation has begun. If no further action is warranted, both parties are notified of the results. Investigations are conducted by an independent investigator.
- After the investigation is completed, the Application Review Committee reviews the investigation results and all relevant information and makes a finding.
- Both parties are notified in writing of the finding (the person who filed the complaint and the provider who was complained against) and have the right to file an appeal of the ARC finding within 30 days. Please refer to Appendix A of the Adult Standards and Juvenile Standards for more information.