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Policy on Revoking Prizes and Awards
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Adopted February 2019

The APA board of officers reserves the right to revoke any APA prize or award at its sole discretion.

The board may choose to revoke an award should it become known that the recipient has been convicted of a criminal offence or confirmed to have engaged in unethical conduct, whereby the ongoing association with the recipient will negatively reflect on the APA. Confirmation of such conduct must come in the form of a formal governmental, judicial, or institutional finding, such as an investigation by a university’s ethics committee, or an admission by the individual.

The APA board may also choose to revoke any APA prize or award should it become known that the recipient has been confirmed to have engaged in conduct inconsistent with the terms of the prize and/or the APA is in receipt of information confirming that, had it been known at the time the prize was awarded, the recipient would have been ineligible for the prize. Confirmation of such conduct must come in the form of a formal governmental, judicial, or institutional finding, such as an investigation by a university’s ethics committee, or an admission by the individual.

Procedure for Revocation of Prizes and Awards

Any APA member who has reason to believe that an APA award should be revoked in accordance with the Policy on Revoking Prizes and Awards may request that the board consider revocation by contacting the APA executive director by email (executivedirector@apaonline.org). Documentation to support the request should be provided when possible.

Any APA staff member, board member, or committee member who receives such a request or has personal knowledge of conduct by a prize winner that could be grounds for revocation must report the request to the executive director, unless such disclosure would violate any laws.

Upon receiving a request to revoke an award, the executive director will review the request with the board chair, and the two will make a determination as to whether to formally consider revoking the award. If so, the executive director will place the request on the agenda of an upcoming APA board meeting. Normally, the request will be added to the next regularly scheduled quarterly meeting of the board of officers; the executive director may also call a special board meeting to consider the request if s/he deems it necessary. If, in the executive director’s sole judgment, the next regularly scheduled board meeting is too soon after receipt of the request to sufficiently prepare for board consideration, consideration of the request may be delayed to the following board meeting.

The executive director will provide the board with appropriate materials to consider the request. As the APA is not an investigative body, the executive director will not investigate the conduct, only collect reasonably available information (e.g., public records, press reports, personal accounts from the targets of the criminal or unethical conduct) related to the revocation request. The recipient of the prize will be informed of the revocation request and will be given the opportunity to submit a written response for consideration by the board. If the revocation request comes from someone other than the target of the conduct and the identity of the target is known to the executive director, the target will be informed of the revocation request and given the opportunity to submit a written response for consideration by the board. All requests for revocation of prizes will be discussed in executive session. Revoking a prize requires a two-thirds majority vote.

In cases of prizes awarded jointly with other organizations, if a revocation request is received, the executive director will consult with the leadership of the sponsoring organization(s) to determine an appropriate course of action.

Communication of a decision to revoke a prize will be handled on a case-by-case basis. At a minimum, the prize winner’s name will be removed from the APA website, the decision will be recorded in the minutes of the relevant board meeting(s), and documentation of the decision to revoke will be placed in the appropriate prize file in the APA headquarters.

A statement that APA prizes can be revoked in the sole discretion of the APA will appear on the APA website and be incorporated into the APA’s gift acceptance policy.

Note about criminal or unethical conduct by prize nominees: Nominations for prizes and deliberations by prize selection committees are normally confidential, so it may be rare that a person with knowledge of conduct by a prize nominee that would be grounds for revocation of a prize is aware that the nominee is being considered for a prize. However, in cases where this does occur, the person with knowledge of conduct that could be grounds for revocation should report this to the executive director as soon as possible, ideally before prize deliberations are completed. The executive director will then consult with the chair of the committee overseeing the prize and the chair of the board of officers to determine an appropriate course of action.

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