ISA members are expected to behave in accordance with all ISA policies, including the Code of Ethics, the Code of Standard Leadership Practices, the Conflict of Interest Policy, the Harassment Policy and more. All members commit to upholding the principles and behaviors by joining and retaining membership in ISA. When possible, members should try to address issues themselves before filing a complaint.
This procedure outlines how complaints received by ISA about a member, whether initiated by a leader, employee, member, or other third party will be handled. Violations may result in sanctions. However, actions taken under this procedure do not constitute enforcement of the law, although referral to appropriate federal, state or local government agencies will be done in appropriate situations.
Complaints essentially of a commercial nature (such as claims alleging defamation by or unfair business practices), or primarily requesting judicial-type relief, may not be considered under these Procedures unless they also involve potential violations of ISA policies.
Procedural Rules and Guidelines
  • Persons bringing complaints are not entitled to any relief or damages within this process.
  • Complaints made with knowledge of their falsity, in whole or in part, are strictly prohibited. Making knowingly-false complaints shall be treated as an ethics violation.
  • Direct or indirect retaliation of any kind by ISA or its officers, directors, employees, or members against the individual who initiated the complaint, or anyone involved in the investigation, is strictly prohibited.
  • All members, ISA employees, or other individuals engaged in investigations on behalf of ISA with respect to a complaint will be held harmless for any liability arising from such activities to the extent permitted by law, provided such individuals acted in good faith and did not breach fiduciary duty owed to ISA.
  • Legal Counsel, which is ISA’s attorney, will be consulted as needed.
  • Only the ISA Executive Board has the authority to sanction a member.
  • Only the Council of Society Delegates has the authority to expel a member.
Filing Complaints
  1. Complaints must be submitted in writing to the ISA President at or mailed to ISA Headquarters, and should be accompanied with as much evidence as is reasonable under the circumstances to enable the President (or Past President) to determine whether the complaint merits further action.
    1. Complaints against the President may be submitted to the ISA Executive Director at, who will review with the Past President.
    2. Complaints cannot be submitted anonymously.
    3. Complaints must be made within one year of the occurrence of the alleged violation.
  2. Confirmation of receipt will be sent to the person who presented the complaint within two weeks.
  3. Upon receipt, the President (or Past President) will review the complaint and conclude next steps.
    1. If the complaint has insufficient information, is trivial, or is vexatious and does not constitute further review, it will be dismissed without prejudice and written notice of such will be sent only to the person who submitted the complaint and not to the member against whom the complaint was filed. The complainant may appeal the decision to the Executive Board.
    2. If the complaint is potentially actionable, the President (or Past President) will pass the matter to the Conduct Review Committee to investigate.
Conduct Review Committee
The Conduct Review Committee will consist of five members, appointed by the President (or Past President), none of whom should have a conflict or prejudice to those involved with the complaint. Once appointed, the members of the committee select a chair from within. The Chair is responsible for ensuring that these Procedures are implemented and followed consistently and objectively. The Chair is also the liaison to the President (or Past President).
Conduct Review Process
The following outlines the process under which the committee will operate. The committee will make every attempt to resolve a complaint within 90 days. All investigations and deliberations will be conducted objectively and without prejudgment of any kind.
  1. The committee will send separate, written notices to the member whose conduct has been called into question and the individual who submitted the complaint advising that an investigation is being initiated.
    1. Multiple complaints may be consolidated, at the discretion of the committee, into a single complaint.
    2. The member in question will be informed who submitted the complaint and be provided a copy of what was submitted.
    3. Even if the member under review voluntarily resigns from Society leadership, the review will continue.
  2. The committee will investigate the specific facts or circumstances to whatever extent is necessary to clarify, expand or corroborate the information provided.
    1. While investigating the complaint, the committee may contact the individual submitting the complaint, the member who is the subject of the charge, ISA staff, legal counsel, outside experts, and members who may have knowledge of the facts and circumstances surrounding the complaint, provided such individuals agree to maintain the complete confidentiality of the investigation.
    2. The member under investigation may provide documentation and a list of people for the committee to contact. The committee is only obliged to contact two people on any provided list.
    3. Final reports from any previous complaints regarding the member will be shared with the committee investigating a new complaint.
    4. Whenever possible, as concluded by the committee, the member under review will be allowed to see the evidence presented.
    5. The committee will consider the preponderance of the evidence as it relates to the complaint, not merely the volume of evidence available.
    6. If the member chooses to retain legal counsel, it is done so at his or her own expense.
    7. Other than as required under law, no information about the investigation will be released to anyone other than the committee, President, and ISA Executive Office staff without written consent from the person being investigated. 
  3. From this investigation, the committee will determine, by majority vote, whether there has been a violation of ISA policy and discuss disciplinary recommendations.
    1. If the conduct does not warrant action, the recommendation may be to dismiss the claim without prejudice.
    2. If the grounds for disciplinary action are one or more material, demonstrable violations of any policy, the sanction recommendation must reasonably relate to the nature and severity of the violation, focusing on reformation and deterrence of the same or similar conduct by others.
    3. Sanction options include:
      1. Written statement from the member with assurance that the conduct in question has been terminated and will not recur;
      2. Written reprimand to or censure of the member (combined with any desired probationary period);
      3. Suspension of membership in ISA (combined with any desired probationary period);
      4. Permanent expulsion from ISA.
  4. The committee will prepare a written report explaining the alleged aggrieved conduct and the reasons such conduct does or does not constitute grounds for disciplinary action.
    1. The report will include recommendations on a course of action.
    2. A copy of the report will be sent to the member, who will have 30 days to contest the report, which must be done in writing.
    3. The committee may choose to alter their report and/or include the member response as an addendum to the report.
  5. The report is final upon issue to the President (or Past President).
    1. The member and the individual who submitted the complaint will be notified that the investigation has concluded.
    2. The issue cannot be submitted again for the same occurrence of the issue.
    3. The ISA Executive Office will maintain the only copy of the final report.
    4. If sanctions are recommended, the President (or Past President) may request Executive Board approval to release a written summary of the determination and the sanction, along with the member's name, to members.
    5. If the sanction imposed is expulsion from ISA, the recommendation will go forward through the Executive Board to the Council of Society Delegates.