DPT Program: Public Comment or Complaint

Purpose of the Policy:

In a continuing attempt to respond to the needs of the students and the community, the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program at AdventHealth Univeristy (AHU) welcomes comments from these stakeholders and makes a commitment to respond to these comments in appropriate times and ways. This policy identifies the means by which public comments are welcomed as well as establishes a timeframe for administrative responses to these communications.

Policy Statement:

The DPT Program at AHU engages in continuous and systematic evaluation and improvement. The Program and University welcome your comments, suggestions, ideas and constructive criticism as part of that process. The Academic Appeal, Discipline Procedure, and Grievance Procedure policies of the University and Program provide a voice for current and prospective students, employees, and other affiliated persons.

However, individuals in the community who do not have a formal affiliation with the University or Program are also welcome to provide comments according to the following policy.

  1. This process is only for comments or concerns that cannot be addressed by existing grievance/due process procedures described in the University’s publications (e.g., Catalog, Student Handbook, Faculty Handbook, Employee Handbook, DPT Program Handbook, DPT Clinical Education Handbook, etc.), or University website (www.ahu.edu).

  2. Comments must be provided in writing and signed by the author. Anonymous submissions or written comments provided on behalf of an anonymous source will not be acknowledged.

  3. Comments should be submitted to:

    Chair, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program
    AdventHealth University
    671 Winyah Drive
    Orlando, FL 32803

  4. If the communication requires a response, the Chair, or designee, shall respond within ten (10) working days to further discuss and resolve the issue. If satisfactory resolution is not or cannot be reached, or if the comment or complaint is in regard to the Chair, appeal may be made along the chain of command to the Provost and then to the President. Appeals must be made to the next level within ten (10) days after receipt of a decision at the current level. The decision of the President will be final and not subject to further appeal. Neither the Provost nor the President will become involved until all attempts to resolve the issue with the Chair have been exhausted, unless the comment is directly related to the performance of the Chair.

  5. Records of all correspondence will be confidentially maintained within the Department of Physical Therapy for five (5) years. These records are not open to the public.

  6. The Program prohibits retaliation against anyone for reporting discrimination or harassment, assisting in making a report, cooperating in an investigation or proceeding or otherwise exercising his or her rights or responsibilities under this policy and applicable federal, state, and local laws. Retaliation prohibited by this policy consists of materially adverse action, such as disparaging comments, uncivil behavior, or other negative treatment of an employee, student, or other member of the Program community because a report has been made pursuant to this policy or because an individual otherwise cooperated with the Program’s investigation.
  7. Should the complainant pursue all avenues of resolution within the University as outline above, the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) has a mechanism to consider formal complaints about physical therapist education programs that allege a program is not in compliance with one or more of CAPTE's Standards or has violated any of CAPTE's expectations related to academic integrity. CAPTE will consider two types of complaints: those that involve situations subject to institutional due process policies and procedures and those that involve situations not subject to due process procedures.

    If the complainant is involved with an institution/program grievance subject to due process and procedure, CAPTE requires that the process be completed prior to initiating CAPTE's formal complaint process, unless the complaint includes an allegation that the institution/program process has not been handled in a timely manner as defined in the institution/program policy, in which case CAPTE will consider the complaint prior to completion of the grievance process. Evidence of completion of the institutional process or of the untimely handling of such must be included in the complaint materials.

    If the complaint is related to situations that fall outside of due process policies and procedures, the complaint may be filed at any time by the complainant.

    However, CAPTE will not consider complaints that fall outside its jurisdiction/authority as expressed in the Standards and Required Elements for Accreditation of Physical Therapist Education Programs (http://www.capteonline.org/AccreditationHandbook/) nor outside of CAPTE’s expectations related to the academic integrity. When appropriate, complainants will be referred to other organizations to pursue their concern(s).

    In order for CAPTE to consider a formal complaint, several conditions must be met:

    • The complaint must be specifically linked to the relevant Standard or to the integrity statements.
    • The complainant must have exhausted all remedies available through the institution, if appropriate.
    • The complaint must be submitted in writing, using the format prescribed by CAPTE, and must be signed by the complainant.
    • The event(s) being complained about must have occurred at least in part within three (3) years of the date the complaint is filed.

    In reviewing and acting on a complaint, CAPTE cannot and does not function as an arbiter between the complainant and the institution. Should CAPTE find that a complaint has merit and that the program is out of compliance with the Standards or the integrity statement(s), CAPTE can only require the program to come into compliance with the Standards. CAPTE cannot force a program into any specific resolution of the situation that resulted in the complaint.

    To obtain the materials necessary for submitting a complaint, contact the APTA Accreditation Department at 703-706-3245 or at accreditation@apta.org.

    CAPTE acts on formal complaints twice a year, in April/May and October/November. The timelines involved in the complaint process are such that complaints received between January 1 and June 30 may be considered at the October/November meeting and complaints received between July 1 and December 31 may be considered at the April/May meeting.