The Regulatory Programs and Compliance section reviews consumer reports against licensees to determine whether DPOR is authorized to process the complaint. DPOR only processes complaints against individuals or businesses that are subject to the laws or regulations of its regulatory boards.
DPOR and its regulatory boards CANNOT require any individual or business to refund money, correct deficiencies, or provide other personal remedies. In some cases, private legal action may be your only recourse to resolve a matter. DPOR cannot provide legal advice.
Regulatory Programs and Compliance Section Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 400Richmond, Virginia 23233-1463
Phone: (804) 367-8504FAX: (866) 282-3932Email: ComplaintAnalysis@dpor.virginia.gov
Complaint Analysis & Resolution | Alternative Dispute Resolution | Investigations | Adjudication + Post-Adjudication | Consent Order | Final Order
The Complaint Analysis & Resolution section is responsible for the receipt, processing, and analysis of all complaints against licensees subject to DPOR's boards. After review, this section may close the file, obtain compliance, try to resolve the matter by negotiating a consent order, or refer the case to Alternative Dispute Resolution or Investigations for further action.
In some instances, DPOR may offer Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to resolve a report against a licensee. A form of mediation, ADR is free, voluntary, confidential, and non-adversarial, with the objective of reaching a mutually acceptable agreement between the consumer and the licensee. Parties that resolve disputes through ADR avoid months of a formal investigation and possible civil litigation. If the dispute cannot be resolved through the ADR process, the file will be assigned to Investigations and follow the traditional disciplinary process. Learn more about ADR here.
The Investigations section is responsible for obtaining evidence regarding complaints against licensees and determining whether that evidence indicates a probable violation of Board regulations or laws. Investigators prepare a Report of Findings (ROF), which outlines the facts in support of probable violation(s) of Board regulations or laws.
Investigators also help enforce the criminal laws under DPOR's jurisdiction, including practicing without a required license and filing a false or fraudulent application for licensure or registration. This section conducts other special investigations involving potential public harm and provides assistance and support to law enforcement and government agencies.
The Adjudication section reviews disciplinary cases referred from CAR or INV and the Post-Adjudication section processes application files. Both sections conduct Informal Fact-Finding (IFF) Conferences, the due process administrative proceedings used to gather information “on the record” for Boards to make decisions about applications for licensure or disciplinary action.
At the IFF Conference, the applicant or licensee is given the opportunity to present information before a presiding officer—a trained staff person, Board member or former Board member—and a court reporter transcribes the proceedings.
After the IFF Conference, the presiding officer makes a recommendation on whether to issue a license (for application cases) or what sanctions, if any, the Board should impose for any violations of law or regulations (for disciplinary cases). The IFF recommendation and entire case file is then reviewed by the full Board at its next regularly scheduled meeting, where the Board votes on whether to accept, amend, or reject the IFF recommendation.
Prima Facie disciplinary cases are those in which the respondent waives the right to an IFF. These cases are presented to the Board with the investigative Report of Findings (ROF) and recommended sanctions, without the need for the administrative proceeding.
If an investigation supports a probable violation, DPOR may offer a licensee the opportunity to enter into a voluntary Consent Order with the Board. Consent Orders negotiate terms that may include monetary penalties, remedial education, or probation. The licensee waives the right to an IFF Conference and any appeals under the Administrative Process Act. The Board must ratify the terms of any Consent Order at a regularly scheduled public meeting. Cases resolved with Consent Orders are closed without disciplinary action beyond the terms agreed to by the licensee, and the files are subject to public disclosure.
Final Orders are entered in licensing and disciplinary cases, and do not require the agreement of the applicant or licensee. They are subject to public disclosure and may be appealed to court under the Administrative Process Act.
Time for Filing | What Happens When You File | Complaint Form & Instructions
Any report against a regulant for allegedly violating board statutes or regulations, in order to be investigated, must be made in writing and received by the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) within three years of the act, omission, or occurrence giving rise to the alleged violation.
In cases where a regulant has materially and willfully misrepresented any information required by statute or regulations to be disclosed to a complainant, and the information so misrepresented is material to the establishment of the alleged violation, the filing may be made at any time within two years after discovery of the misrepresentation.
The report will be reviewed to determine whether a violation of board laws or regulations may have occurred. If the evidence suggests a probable violation of a law or board regulation, the Regulatory Programs and Compliance Section will attempt to resolve the issue informally or investigate further. You may be asked to provide additional information.
If an investigation supports probable cause that a violation occurred, the appropriate regulatory board may take disciplinary action to require remedial education, impose a fine, suspend or revoke the license, or fail to renew a license. If an investigation indicates the individual or business is not properly licensed, DPOR may take criminal action. You may be asked to appear at a disciplinary proceeding or in court to provide testimony for the case.
If the investigation does not show probable cause that a violation occurred, the case will be closed.
NOTE: DPOR cannot guarantee anonymity. By law, all complaints received by DPOR are subject to public disclosure once a case is closed. Therefore, if you wish to file anonymously, please do not include any personal information on the reporting form or submit any supplemental documents that reveal your identity. While DPOR may accept anonymous reports against licensees, it will not proceed if the report lacks sufficient information to suggest a regulatory or criminal violation.
In some instances, the Department may offer Alternative Dispute Resolution regarding reports against licensees. A regulatory board CANNOT require any individual or business to refund money, correct deficiencies, or provide other personal remedies. In some cases, a legal action may be your only recourse to resolve a matter. The Department cannot provide legal advice.
DPOR considers all complaints important. The processing of your complaint form will be conducted in as timely a manner as possible. Many complaints, however, present an immediate threat to public safety and will be given priority. Thank you for your patience during the complaint process.
Disciplinary actions associated with closed cases (orders entered since April 1, 2002) are available online using License Lookup.
Copies of closed disciplinary files are available for public review and disclosure. Closed files involving allegations of criminal activity are also subject to disclosure, except when the release is likely to jeopardize an ongoing investigation or the safety of an individual, cause a suspect to flee or evade detection, or result in the destruction of evidence.
State law exempts information about open cases from mandatory public disclosure. Members of the public may review official records and obtain copies after a regulatory investigation is closed. [Code of Virginia § 54.1-108]
Requests for closed files should be sent to the Information Management Section:
Whenever feasible, DPOR provides closed files in electronic format at no charge. Otherwise, reasonable charges may be assessed by DPOR for research and photocopying ($0.25 per page for documents exceeding 40 pages).
Worker misclassification occurs when an employer improperly classifies a worker as an independent contractor instead of as an employee. Some employers in Virginia are concerned about the unfair competitive advantage gained by those who misclassify workers to avoid paying taxes and benefits (lowering their costs by up to 40 percent).For worker classification purposes, “contractor” refers to someone working under an employment contract or agreement, NOT only construction-related activities.
Employee misclassification undermines those businesses that follow the law by allowing unscrupulous employers to undercut bids because they avoid payroll costs. Virginia is committed to leveling the playing field for employers that play by the rules.
Although DPOR does not enforce wage, unemployment benefit, or workers' compensation laws, we work in concert with other state agencies (DOLI, VEC, VWC) to protect the public's health, safety and welfare, while promoting our Commonwealth's strong business climate.
please contact us in writing or via telephone and we will work with you to make the information available.