• File A Complaint

    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 Regulation
    9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 400
    Richmond, Virginia 23233-1463

    Phone: (804) 367-8504
    FAX: (866) 282-3932
    Email: ComplaintAnalysis@dpor.virginia.gov 

  • DPOR Complaint and Disciplinary Process

    Complaint Analysis & Resolution | Investigations | Adjudication | Alternative Dispute Resolution | Consent Order | Final Order  

    Complaint Analysis & Resolution

    The Complaint Analysis & Resolution section is responsible for the receipt, processing, and analysis of all reports against licensees subject to DPOR's boards. After review, this section may close the file, investigate the allegation, obtain compliance or resolve the matter by a consent order, or refer the case to Alternative Dispute Resolution or Investigations for further action.


    The Investigations section is responsible for obtaining evidence regarding reports against licensees and determining whether that evidence indicates a probable violation of Board regulations or laws. Investigators prepare a Report of Findings, which outlines the facts in support of probable violation(s) of Board regulations or laws.

    Investigators also 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 files referred from Complaint Analysis & Resolution or Investigations indicating a probable violation of Board regulations or laws. This section conducts Informal Fact-Finding (IFF) Conferences, the due process administrative proceedings used to gather information Boards must use in determining any disciplinary action. At the IFF Conference, the complainant and respondent (licensee) are given the opportunity to present information before a presiding officer/Board member. After the IFF Conference, the presiding officer makes a recommendation as to what sanctions, if any, the Board should impose for any violations of law or regulations. 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.

    Alternative Dispute Resolution

    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.

    Consent Order

    Following an investigation in which the evidence supports a probable violation, DPOR may offer a licensee the opportunity to enter into a voluntary consent order with the Board. Consent orders may impose sanctions such as remedial education or monetary penalties, and the licensee waives the right to an IFF Conference and any appeals under the Administrative Process Act. The Board must agree to accept the terms of any consent order at a regularly scheduled public meeting. If the Board ratifies the consent order, the file is closed without disciplinary action beyond the terms agreed to by the licensee. Consent orders are subject to public disclosure.

    Final Order

    After the Investigations and Adjudication steps--and absent any Alternative Dispute Resolution or Consent Order--the investigative file is forwarded to the Board for action at a regularly scheduled public meeting. The case file is reviewed by the full Board at its next regularly scheduled meeting, where the Board votes on whether a violation occurred and, if so, what sanctions (if any) to impose. Final Orders do not require the agreement of the complainant or respondent.


    Time for Filing | What Happens When You File | Complaint Form & Instructions  

    Time For Filing A Complaint

    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.

    What Happens When You File

    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.

    Complaint Form and Instructions

    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.

    Complaint Form and Instructions (PDF)   (If you receive the "Please Wait..." message, please check out our 'Pro-Tips' below to correct the pdf viewer error.)

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    Closed Disciplinary Files

    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 Prevention 

    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.

    • Employees have taxes withheld from their paychecks and have legal protections such as the minimum wage law, unemployment benefits, and workers’ compensation insurance. 
    • Independent contractors are generally responsible for paying all of their own taxes and benefits, and are often not eligible for these and other legal protections. 

    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.