The Syndic is a geologist named by the Administrative Council charged to investigate any complaint received by the Order to the effect that a geologist has violated the Professional Code, the Geologists Act or one of its regulations.
The syndic of the Ordre des géologues ensures that Geologists comply with the provisions of the Professional Code, the Geologists Act, the Code of Ethics of Geologists and other regulations. The syndic sees to it that Geologists do not perform any acts that are derogatory to the honour and dignity of the profession. The syndic's mission is to protect the public.
Any person who believes that a Geologist has violated an Act or regulation relating to the profession may ask the syndic of the Order to lodge a complaint against the Geologist. The syndic follows up on the request and conducts the necessary inquiries. The syndic's role and powers are defined in the Professional Code, the statute that governs all professional orders in Quebec.
The syndic receives the complaints against a Geologist or against a person who was a Geologist when the alleged acts took place. These acts may have been committed by the Geologist, by a person under his supervision or by a collaborator in the practice of his profession.
Investigation by the Syndic
The purpose of the inquiry is to gather all the relevant information in order to reach an informed decision concerning the allegations. The person who has requested an inquiry must fully cooperate with the syndic and provide the necessary information to support his claims. During the investigation, the syndic may ask this person for additional information and have a meeting. The syndic will also contact the Geologist to obtain his version of the facts and his explanations. Both parties may be interviewed several times.
The syndic informs the person who requested an inquiry about its status at regular intervals, but is prohibited from disclosing any details. All of the information gathered remains confidential and is not accessible to any of the parties.
During the inquiry, the syndic may suggest conciliation to each party if this approach can help resolve the matter.
Conciliation is one way to resolve a conflict between a Geologist and a client who has requested an inquiry. The approach may be of benefit to both parties. The expectations of the person who requested the inquiry can be better met since he has a stake in resolving the situation that gave rise to the complaint. For the Geologist, a successful conciliation normally means that the complaint will not be brought before the Disciplinary Council.
If no agreement is reached, if either of the parties withdraws from the conciliation process or the syndic decides to terminate it, the complaint process follows the normal course. The file is thereby given to another syndic not involve in the conciliation process.
Conciliation of fees
The Syndic also acts as conciliator in cases where a client has a dispute about the amount of a bill for services claimed by a member of the Order. The Syndic may also act as mediator in some cases to resolve conflicts involving members and other parties.
The syndic offers a conciliation service for professional fees. The office of the syndic receives complaints about Geologist fees and attempts to bring the two parties together through conciliation.
The application for conciliation respecting a member's fees must be filed in writing with the syndic and include the invoices and any other relevant voucher. In the case of an estate, the application is made by the liquidators.
The syndic informs the Geologist involved upon receiving the application for conciliation.
If an agreement is reached at the end of the conciliation process, this agreement is recorded in writing.
If no agreement is reached at the end of the conciliation process, a report is submitted to the person who requested the conciliation. The report must mention arbitration as a possible.
The Syndic of the Ordre des géologues is :
Me Neville-Warren Cloutier, géo.