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Appeal Policy & Procedure

The Commission on Board Certification (“COC”) will receive and hear appeals of adverse certification decisions from ANCC certified individuals (“certificants”) and applicants for ANCC certification (“applicants”) and non-certificants.

A. Appealable issue

1. An adverse certification decision of ANCC’s COC may be appealed on the grounds that:

a. ANCC did not properly apply specified certification eligibility criteria,

b. the decision was based on a factual error that affected the outcome, or

c. that the Complaint Review Committee (CRC) failed to apply or follow published criteria, policies or procedures.

2. Adverse certification decisions include:

a. denial of eligibility for initial certification,

b. denial of recertification,

c. suspension of certification or

d. revocation of certification.

B. No appeal permitted

Individuals cannot appeal:

(1) the passing score or actions taken in setting a passing score;

(2) actions taken against an individual’s certification status as a result of a lack of valid registered nurse license or valid legal authorization to practice, unless proof of current, unencumbered licensure is submitted with the appeal;

(3) establishment of eligibility (initial or renewal) criteria;

(4) the examination or other measurement tool or individual test items; and

(5) test content validity.

Appeal Procedure

1. Initiating the Appeal

An individual wishing to appeal an adverse decision (Appellant) of ANCC’s COC will submit a complete Notice of Appeal to the staff identified in the not eligible letter or the CRC notice of action letter, within twenty (20) business days following the electronic mail sent date (refer to section 5 below to request an exception to the receipt of electronic communications).   

A complete Notice of Appeal will include:

a.    The grounds for appeal;

b. Any clarifying information to be considered. Only facts and conditions up to and including the time of the initial adverse decision as represented by facts that were available to ANCC or the CRC when making the adverse decision at issue are considered during an appeal. Information outside of this scope may not be considered by the Appeals Committee; and

c. The email address where Appellant can receive electronic document delivery communication regarding the appeal (refer to section 5 if requesting an exception to use of electronic document delivery).


2. Certification Pending Appeal

An individual who appeals a decision to suspend certification, revoke certification or deny recertification will retain the certification held at the time the appeal was filed.

3. The Appeals Committee

a. The COC Chair shall appoint three disinterested COC members to the Appeals Committee, which will meet monthly as needed to consider appeals. Members of the Appeals Committee may be replaced at the discretion of the COC Chairperson.

b. The Appeals Committee will review and consider a properly filed appeal during its next most convenient regularly scheduled monthly meeting. The Appeals Committee will be given adequate time to review Appellant’s submission before considering the appeal.

4. Review of Appeal

The appeal will not include a hearing or any similar trial-type proceeding. The Appeals Committee will only review the appeal on the grounds for appeal identified by Appellant in the Notice of Appeal. At any time after receiving the Notice of Appeal and before deciding the appeal, the Appeals Committee may, in its discretion, request that Appellant or ANCC Staff provide additional information or request information regarding any aspect of the appeal.

The only submissions that will be considered are those submitted with the Notice of Appeal or in response to a request by the Appeals Committee in deciding the appeal. The Appeals Committee may also consider ANCC’s records of review. Written appellate submissions and reply submissions may be made by authorized representatives of the Appellant; including legal counsel; although, legal counsel is not required for an individual to participate in the appeal process. Reply submissions must be made according to whatever schedule is reasonably established by the Appeals Committee.

The Appeals Committee will conduct and complete the appeal within ninety (90) business days after receipt of the Notice of Appeal. The Appeals Committee, in its discretion, may extend the time for completing the appeal. The Appeals Committee may consult legal counsel.

When reviewing appeal material and making its determinations, the Appeals Committee will either affirm or overrule the decision from which Appellant appeals. If reviewing an appeal of a CRC decision, the Appeals Committee in its discretion may a) affirm the CRC decision, b) overrule the CRC decision, or c) remand the matter back to the CRC. 

The written decision of the Appeals Committee, including a statement of the reasons for its decision, is reported to Appellant and the COC. The decision of the Appeals Committee is final and binding upon Appellant, the COC, and all other persons.

5. Communication

Written communications to the Appeals Committee will be limited to the electronic document delivery identified in the not eligible letter or CRC notice of action letter. ANCC sends official documents to the appellant in an electronic manner that confirms receipt (DocuSign or equivalent). Exceptions to the use of electronic document delivery are considered on a case by case basis by ANCC. Requests for exceptions to the use of electronic document delivery must be directed to the staff identified in the adverse decision letter or CRC notice of action letter.

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