Conflict of Interest Complaints

The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) is committed to upholding the highest ethical values and to encourage professional and principled behavior by its volunteer leaders, authors, speakers, and staff. ACFAS has been proactive in ensuring that conflict of interests in governance, clinical papers, or education presentations are avoided, or at very least, fully disclosed. The College’s Conflict of Interest Policies and Disclosure Forms are available for inspection and are signed by all volunteer leaders. The COI forms are updated and reviewed at the start of every governance meeting. Decision-makers with conflicts must recuse themselves from discussion and voting. All authors and speakers are subject to other disclosure policies.

Allegations of conflict of interest are taken seriously by the College. If you believe a conflict of interest has biased a decision, presentation, or scientific paper, you are encouraged to file a complaint to the Board of Directors Conflict of Interest Committee. Your complaint will be reviewed and you will be informed in writing of the outcome of its review and decision.

Concerns of conflicts may also be expressed on education program evaluation forms, but they do not constitute a formal complaint. Please use the ACFAS Conflict of Interest Complaint Form.  

Return completed form and all requested information to: Executive Director, American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, 8725 West Higgins Road, Suite 555, Chicago, IL 60631, fax (800) 382-8270, or e-mail to ExecutiveDirector@acfas.org.

Conflict of Interest Disciplinary Steps:

  1. Complaints received from any source or form will be vetted by staff, including collaboration by one other attendee or speaker. If corroborated, the complaint will be sent to COI Committee for adjudication.
  2. For complaints occurring in CME programs, the COI Committee will handle each complaint on a case by case basis. Disciplinary steps are:
    • 1st Corroborated Complaint – The offender will receive the fact sheet explaining the necessity of avoiding conflicts at all times and a warning letter.
    • 2nd Corroborated Complaint – The offender will receive a second letter and the possible warning of future exclusion from ACFAS CME events.
    • 3rd Corroborated Complaint – The offender shall be excluded from ACFAS CME events. Reinstatement by the Committee is possible after two years. If an offense were to occur after reinstatement, the offender will be banned forever with no possibility of appeal or reinstatement.
    • All ACFAS committees and the Board will be notified of any disciplinary steps taken as outlined in Items 2 (a)-(c).
  3. For cases occurring within the College’s governance (board, committees, etc.), the same steps as Item 2 above would be followed, except in the event of a 3rd corroborated complaint, the volunteer leader would be excluded from ACFAS governance service forever with no possibility of appeal or reinstatement.
  4. ACFAS Conflict of Interest Disclosure policies and forms include notice of these disciplinary steps (effective January 1, 2013).

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