Before a Notice of Hearing outlining allegations of misconduct against an industry member is issued and formal hearing processes commence, an industry member will likely be given an opportunity to consider participating in the consent agreement process. In such a case, the case presenter for the executive director will have conducted an intensive review of the investigation file and will have come to the conclusion that there is conduct deserving of sanction on the part of the industry member.
The case presenter will contact the industry member by telephone, discuss hearing processes, the case, disclosure of the investigation file, the facts leading to the belief that there is conduct deserving of sanction, and the appropriate level of sanction and costs. The proposed sanction will be based on RECA case precedents and other case law authorities. The consent agreement process is a voluntary and consensual process through which the industry member and the executive director agree to conclude a disciplinary matter in a certain manner.
If the industry member is interested in the process, the case presenter will draft a consent agreement for the industry member’s review and consideration. It will include a statement of facts, conclusion of breach, sanction and costs. If there is agreement, the industry member and the executive director will sign the consent agreement and the industry member will swear an affidavit of execution.
Hearing Panels have ultimate sanctioning authority. As such, the signed consent agreement requires ratification by a Hearing Panel to complete the consent agreement process. The consent agreement and written submissions are provided to a Hearing Panel for its decision on whether to ratify (approve) or reject the consent agreement.
Once approved, the consent agreement is a Hearing Panel Order and is enforceable. The industry member is served with a copy of the decision. If the Hearing Panel rejects the consent agreement, the panel may indicate that, if certain changes were made, the Hearing Panel would be prepared to ratify the consent agreement. If the recommended changes are not acceptable to the executive director and/or the industry member, the statutory hearing process will commence and the matter will be referred to a different disciplinary hearing with different Hearing Panel members.
Below is a list of and links to ratified Consent Agreements (Hearing Panel decisions) from the past two years.