Under the Professional Code, a Disciplinary council must be established within each professional order.
The Disciplinary council is seized of all complaints lodged against chartered professional accountants or former chartered professional accountants, who were members of the Order at the time of the alleged offences, by the syndic or any other person acting as a complainant, for violating the Professional Code, the Chartered Professional Accountants Act, the applicable code of ethics, or regulations thereunder.
The Disciplinary council is unique among the Order’s committees in three respects:
- In respect to sovereignty, since the decisions rendered by the council are executory and do not require Board approval;
- In respect to composition, since the Chair of the council is a lawyer appointed by the Quebec government;
- In respect to its procedures, since the council follows the rules set out in the Professional Code.
The Disciplinary council is an administrative tribunal.
Cases are heard by a three-member panel that includes a chair or an acting chair, who is an attorney appointed by the Quebec government, and two members of the Order.
The parties and witnesses have the right to be accompanied by a lawyer or any other person of their choice.
It is important to note that the Disciplinary council cannot order current or former chartered professional accountants, who were members of the Order at the time of the alleged offences, to compensate those who may have suffered damages.
To request damages arising from a CPA’s professional misconduct, the complainant must submit a claim to the CPA, the former CPA or to the insurer providing professional liability coverage to the CPA, or institute proceedings before the civil courts.