What is a Formal Complaint?

A formal complaint pertains to chronic and routine non-compliance with ACGME Institutional, Program, and/or Recognition Requirements.

Sponsoring Institutions and their programs that are accredited by the ACGME are expected to comply with the ACGME’s applicable Institutional, Program, and/or Recognition Requirements. The ACGME and its Review Committees address only matters regarding non-compliance with ACGME accreditation requirements. Formal complaints should, therefore, allege violations of ACGME requirements. Complaints may affect the accreditation and/or Recognition status(es) of the Sponsoring Institution and/or program.

Through its formal complaint process, the ACGME will investigate potential non-compliance with accreditation and/or Recognition requirements that relate to program quality. The ACGME does not adjudicate disputes between individual persons and Sponsoring Institutions or residency or fellowship programs regarding matters of admission, appointment, contract, credit, discrimination, promotion, or dismissal of faculty members, residents, or fellows.

Please see the FAQs about reporting an issue here.

How to Submit a Formal Complaint

Before a complaint is submitted, the complainant should utilize all of the resources available in the Sponsoring Institution and program, unless there is a valid reason for not doing so.

Anyone having evidence of non-compliance with accreditation or Recognition requirements by a Sponsoring Institution or program may submit a complaint to the ACGME Office of Complaints. Such complaints must be submitted in writing and bear the name and address of the complainant(s). Allegations of non-compliance that occurred prior to the current and preceding residency year should not be submitted.

Be sure to include the following:

  • a brief summary of the allegations of non-compliance with ACGME requirements (please review the ACGME Institutional Requirements and the Program Requirements for the applicable specialty, and the Recognition Requirements if relevant, on the ACGME website)
  • the name, street address, city, and state of the residency or fellowship program
  • complainant’s contact information
  • complainant’s signature

To submit a formal complaint, send your signed letter by e-mail to complaints@acgme.org.