Addressing Concerns

When to File a Code of Excellence Complaint

If you are unhappy with some aspect of a portable sanitation provider’s business or service, there are steps you can take to address these concerns.

  • DETERMINE IF THE COMPANY IS A PSAI MEMBER: The Portable Sanitation Association International (PSAI) is a non-profit trade association. Many of the companies which operate and supply the portable sanitation industry choose to become a member of the PSAI voluntarily and, in so doing, agree to abide by the PSAI’s Code of Excellence (COE). The PSAI Code of Excellence promotes methods of operating that go above and beyond those imposed by the laws or regulations which apply all companies, whether or not they choose to become PSAI members. Member companies will often have a “Proud Member of the PSAI” logo on their websites or other materials. Please contact the PSAI to verify whether the company about which you are concerned is a member.

  • TALK TO A COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE FIRST: Many difficulties between portable sanitation companies and their clients result from misunderstanding, miscommunication or lack of adequate communication. If you have not done so already, we encourage you to relay your concerns to the operating manager of the portable sanitation company involved and/or to contact the company owner regarding the problems you are having. Feel free to mention the parts of the Code of Excellence where you feel the company has not met the standard. 
  • FILE A COMPLAINT: If you are still not satisfied and believe you have a grievance with a PSAI member, you may want to consider filing a Code of Excellence-related complaint. Please note: the PSAI can only accept complaints related to PSAI member Companies. Because we are a voluntary association, some companies choose not to join us. In those cases, the PSAI is unable to be helpful. If you want to pursue concerns with a nonmember company, please contact either the local government agency that licenses the business or the Better Business Bureau.

How to File a Complaint

Initiating the Complaint: Please complete the PSAI Code of Excellence Complaint Form. Make sure you complete all the information requested on this form including your name and contact information. You must cite one or more of the Six Parts of the Code of Excellence (COE) and your concern regarding how the Code may have been violated. Please Note:

  • The 180-day timeline will continue to run if a request is not properly filed.
  • The PSAI cannot take any action on anonymous complaints. Any anonymous complaints received will be discarded.
  • Hearing Panels decide whether the expressly cited COE Part(s) in complaints were violated – not whether any specific customer contract or service agreements were violated.

Code of Excellence: Review the PSAI Code of Excellence to assist you in determining what COE part(s) you believe have been violated.

Narrative Description: The PSAI strictly adheres to due process rights for both the complainant and the respondent. Due process requires, among other things, that the respondent knows who is filing the complaint against them and that they are provided with full and complete knowledge of the allegations made. Therefore, you will also need to attach to the Complaint Form a narrative description of the circumstances that lead you to believe the Code of Excellence may have been violated and any other documentation which supports your complaint.

Meet the 180-day Filing Deadline: Requests must be filed within 180 days of the time that the alleged offense and facts relating to it could have been known by the complainant in the exercise of reasonable diligence or within 180 days after the conclusion of the transaction or event, whichever is later.

Remit: Forward the completed Complaint Form and supporting documentation to:

Portable Sanitation Association International
1000 Westgate Dr, Ste 252
Saint Paul, MN 55114

or email it to

If you have questions please contact the PSAI Executive Director at +1-952-854-8300 or email us at

Hearing Process Flow

Download the Complaint Process Flow

1. Once a formal written complaint is received, the PSAI will forward a copy of the written complaint to the respondent and appoint three members from the PSAI Standards and Guidance Committee to serve as the Grievance Review Panel (GRP), which will review the written complaint. The GRP is like a grand jury in that the GRP will evaluate the complaint only to determine whether the complaint presented, taken as true on its face, warrants a hearing. The GRP will only be reviewing the written complaint and will not require the respondent to submit any response until such time as the GRP determines the complaint should be forwarded to a hearing. For further information about the GRP considerations, please see Consideration of a Complaint by a Grievance Review Panel.

2. Dismissal or Hearing: If the GRP determines that the allegations in the complaint, if taken as true, do not demonstrate a possible violation of the Code of Excellence, or there is some other reason the complaint should not move forward (e.g. not timely filed), the complaint will be dismissed. The complainant may appeal the dismissal by filing an Appeal of Grievance Review Panel Dismissal of Code of Excellence Complaint within 20 days from the transmittal of the dismissal notice.

3. If the GRP determines the facts given appear to indicate a possible violation of the Code of Excellence, the GRP will refer the complaint to the Board of Directors for a hearing before an Excellence Hearing Panel. Questions regarding whether the complaint was timely filed or other administrative issues may be considered at a Pre-Hearing Meeting. This session will be held at the discretion of the Hearing Panel Chair (see Consideration of Admin at a Pre-Hearing Meeting for more information). A respondent may request a Pre-Hearing Meeting by submitting the Request for a Pre-Hearing Meeting Form.

4. Excellence Hearing: If the GRP refers the complaint for a hearing, the PSAI Board President will appoint an impartial, unbiased, and experienced panel of five members. The panel will include three members of the PSAI Board and two non-PSAI members with expertise in the industry and/or in the topic of the grievance to serve as the Excellence Hearing Panel (EHP) charged with hearing the complaint. The PSAI ensures that the due process rights of all parties are protected in the hearing process. For example, complainant(s) and respondents may be represented by legal or peer industry counsel (or both), call witnesses, examine and cross-examine parties and witnesses, present evidence, and challenge the qualifications of the panel members selected to hear the case. For further details about the Excellence Hearing procedures please see the Procedure for a COE Hearing.

5. If the complaint goes to a hearing, the EHP will determine whether a violation occurred. If a violation has occurred, the EHP will also recommend corrective action and/or association sanctions. Both the complainant and the respondent have the right to appeal the decision of the EHP by filing the Request to Appeal Form within 20 days after the EHP’s final decision has been transmitted. For further details about the EHP’s procedures, please see the Outline of Procedure for Code of Excellence Appeals.

a. Complainant: The complainant may appeal based only on alleged procedural deficiencies or other lack of procedural due process that may have deprived him/her of the opportunity for a full and fair hearing.

b. Respondent: The respondent may appeal based upon (1) misapplication or misinterpretation of Part(s) of the Code of Excellence; (2) procedural deficiency or any lack of procedural due process that may have deprived him/her of the opportunity for a full and fair hearing; (3) the corrective action/association sanction recommended by the Hearing Panel.

6. Ratification: If no appeal is filed within 20 days of the transmission of the final decision to the parties, the recommendation of the Hearing Panel will be automatically forwarded to the PSAI Board of Directors. The Board will adopt the Hearing Panel’s recommendation and issue its order accordingly, unless the Board is (1) concerned with a possible procedural deficiency; or (2) concerned with the appropriateness of the recommendation of sanction; or (3) concludes that the findings of fact do not support a violation of the Code of Excellence. Should the Board have concerns with the Hearing Panel’s findings or recommendations, the Board will remand the matter back to the Hearing Panel with direction for further activity.

What the PSAI Can and Cannot Do for a Complainant

CAN: The PSAI can determine whether the Code of Excellence has been violated and sanction member companies for violating the Code of Excellence. Hearing Panels will decide whether the parts of the Code expressly cited in complaints were violated. If a PSAI Member Company is found in violation of the Code of Excellence, the Hearing Panel will recommend disciplinary sanctions to the Board of Directors that are commensurate with the offense.

CANNOT: The PSAI cannot determine whether the law or government regulations related to operating or supplying a portable sanitation company have been broken, cannot require PSAI member companies to pay money to parties filing complaints, cannot award “punitive damages” for violations of the Code of Excellence, and cannot suspend or revoke a professional’s license to conduct business.

Questions: Please contact the Portable Sanitation Association International at 952-854-8300 or email us at

Download PDF Forms and Information

Complaint Process Flow
Complaint Form
Consideration of a Complaint by a Grievance Review Panel
Grievance Review Panel Appeal Flow
Appeal of Grievance Review Panel Dismissal of Complaint Form
Consideration of Administrative Issues at a Pre-Hearing Meeting
Request for a Pre-Hearing Meeting Form
Procedure for a Code of Excellence Hearing
Request for Appeal of Excellence Hearing Panel Decision
Notice of Appeal Hearing
Procedure for a Code of Excellence Appeal Hearing