What types of complaints are appropriate to file with DPL?
Grounds for a complaint may include, but are not limited to, any of the following allegations:
- Failure to adhere to standards of practice;
- Fraudulent procurement of a license;
- Misuse of client funds or records;
- Practice while impaired by alcohol or drugs;
- Sexual misconduct; and
- Unlicensed practice.
If you are unsure whether an individual or business’s actions fall into one of these categories or rises to the level of misconduct, you may call our Office of Investigations at (617) 727-7406 and request to speak with an investigator who handles that particular profession to discuss the specific nature of your complaint.
How do I file a complaint?
If you have a complaint against a licensee, please download our Application for Complaint form. Please follow the instructions on the form and fill it out completely before mailing or faxing it back to our Office of Investigations. Please note that all complaints must be signed. If you wish to file a complaint electronically, please visit the Commonwealth’s new ePLACE Portal and follow the instructions for creating an account.
What are the benefits of filing a complaint?
Filing a complaint with DPL can be beneficial for a number of reasons. Most importantly, filing a complaint may lead to a fair hearing of your grievances and the resolution of the matter in a satisfactory manner. However, your complaint may also benefit other consumers, by helping us to identify opportunities to strengthen public health protections, develop new safety measures, and improve the general well-being of local communities.
Who can file a complaint?
Anyone may file a complaint with DPL. However, please be advised that DPL can only pursue complaints against an individual licensed by one of our 28 boards of registration or the Office of Private Occupational School Education. Not all complaints may be actionable or lead to discipline.
When should I file a complaint?
You may file a complaint with DPL at any time. However, we recommend that you file the complaint as soon as possible after the event at issue.
What happens when I file a complaint?
Upon the receipt of a complaint, an investigator from DPL’s Office of Investigations will process and review the allegations in the complaint to determine whether or not the complaint is a matter within DPL’s purview. As the complaint moves through the investigative process, you may be contacted by an investigator or other agency staff, in an effort to clarify or obtain additional information related to your complaint. Once the investigative process is complete, the complaint will be referred to the relevant board of registration that licenses the profession practiced by the individual or business that is the subject of your complaint.
Following the board’s review of your complaint and the investigators findings, your complaint may either be referred to our Prosecutions Unit for adjudicatory proceedings, or dismissed. If your complaint is dismissed, someone from the relevant board of registration will contact you to let you know the outcome of their review.
If your complaint is referred to our Prosecutions Unit, a prosecutor will contact you to inform you that they are in receipt of the complaint, and will also provide you with an update as to the outcome of your complaint when the matter has been resolved.
How do I know if an individual is licensed? What if they are unlicensed?
To determine whether an individual or business is properly licensed consumers should visit the “Check a Professional License” search function. Please note that to check a license for a profession that has been transferred the Commonwealth’s new ePLACE system, you will need to visit the ePLACE Portal to check a license.
When conducting a license search, please be aware that the disciplinary information that is provided is limited to disciplinary actions which resulted from complaints received since June 30, 1993. Disciplinary actions taken prior to that date will not appear. Actions still pending before a board of registration will also not be included in the available information.
Discipline reported indicates the final disposition of closed cases, but may not reflect the current status of a license. For example, a licensee may have received a short-term suspension in 1993, but may have been reinstated later that year and be currently licensed in good standing. Similarly, an individual may have had their license revoked or suspended prior to 1993 and still be unable to practice, though the record shown will report no disciplinary actions within the past five years.
Please refer to the "status" listed on the licensee record to determine whether there are any current restrictions on the licensee's ability to practice. Licensees are fully authorized to practice their profession unless their license has been formally placed on hold, suspended, revoked or voluntarily surrendered. Licensees on probation may have had their license placed under certain restrictions which may limit their practice. The disciplinary actions listed represent a summary of the final action taken in cases filed against a licensee. Also, the actions reported may not reflect any court action which stayed or modified the board's decision.