Goal and Purpose
The goal in having a Grievance Procedure is to provide a mechanism through which the public and the community of doulas may be protected if there is alleged misconduct on the part of a NAPS certified doula or NAPS member. The purpose of the Grievance Procedure is to provide a vehicle in which a complaint may be brought, a fair and complete investigation undertaken and appropriate action taken.
Any grievance or complaint must be brought to one of the Co-Directors who will then immediately form a Grievance Committee of two additional board members. The concerns may be submitted by anyone, including but not limited to the client, the partner or family, a nurse, the client’s care provider, another doula; or it may be originated by the Grievance Committee. If at all possible, the board members chosen to be on the Committee will not have a vested personal or business interest in the doula in question. The first decision the Committee will make is whether the issue is a grievance or complaint. In both scenarios, the Grievance Form will provide documentation of the decision and be kept in the member’s file.
If the objection is determined not to fall into any of the four grievance categories, then it is a complaint. The doula will be notified by one of the Co-Directors that a complaint has been issued, and given the opportunity to present his or her side of the circumstances via a documented conversation or in writing. In the event of one doula receiving three complaints, the procedure will change to that of a grievance.
There are four types of grievances:
A. Concern with the direct care and well-being of the parents, baby or family member
B. Failure to adhere to the NAPS Code of Ethics
C. Failure to work within the NAPS Standards of Practice
D. Third complaint
If the issue is found to be a grievance, the person for whom the grievance is against will be informed that a grievance has been issued and asked to meet with the Committee. If the doula is a certified through NAPS, he or she will be temporarily removed from the referral line until a resolution is found. If the doula fails to attend the meeting, his or her NAPS membership may be revoked. If the doula the grievance is against is a current NAPS Board member, the board position will be temporarily suspended until a resolution is found. If the doula the grievance is against has submitted a letter of intent to join the NAPS Board of Directors, the intention will be suspended until the resolution is complete.
At the grievance meeting with the Committee and doula in question, the Committee will use the Grievance Form to document the topics covered. The Committee will have an additional meeting to review the information and come to a Committee Agreed Action. This could include a determination that the doula no longer has certification or membership with NAPS. All involved parties will be notified of the Committee Agreed Action within a week of the grievance meeting.
If a grievance cannot be resolved due to a lack of impartiality, then the NAPS Board of Directors will hire a mediator from outside the doula community to resolve the issue.
A grievance does not preclude the option of joining the NAPS Board of Directors, but may result in a trail period of three months upon joining the board.
If any party is dissatisfied with the decision of the Grievance Committee, they may appeal the decision to the entire Board of Directors.
All parties involved in the Grievance Procedure, including the complainant, the NAPS doula in question, members of the Grievance Committee and Board of Directors and any third parties must agree to keep confidential for all time any and all verbal or written communications regarding the mediation, negotiations, conclusions and/or sanctions of the grievance or complaint filed with NAPS.