Complaints Against Members
Complaints to Engineers Australia can only consider whether a member has engaged in improper conduct as defined in the Disciplinary Regulations.
'Improper conduct' includes:
- A failure to observe one or more requirements of Engineers Australia's By-laws or Code of Ethics
- A failure to maintain appropriate engineering standards as determined in the matter in question by a complaints panel or appeals panel
- Conviction for an indictable offence, or another offence that, in the opinion of a complaints or appeals panel, renders the person unfit to be a member of Engineers Australia or be registered
- Conduct, whether an act or omission, that occurs outside the practice of engineering, that would justify a finding by a complaints or appeals panel that a person is unfit to remain a member of Engineers Australia, a bound non-member or to be registered
- Professional misconduct or unsatisfactory professional conduct of a referent which Engineers Australia is required to investigate.
Complaints against members of Engineers Australia are handled in line with the Disciplinary Regulations.
Basis for complaints
If you are dissatisfied with the work or behaviour of a member of Engineers Australia there are a number of steps you can take to try and resolve your concerns.
The first is to raise your concerns direct with the person you have engaged. Do this verbally first and then in writing if you are still dissatisfied.
Engineers Australia is not able to deal with complaints about contractual or legal matters or about fees or obtaining financial restitution or compensation. The appropriate avenue for dealing with such matters is either via an alternative dispute mechanism such as a community justice centre, mediation or arbitration or through direct court action.
Engineers Australia's disciplinary processes are confined to making sure that members maintain appropriate engineering standards and conduct themselves in accordance with the values and principles of the Code of Ethics. The disciplinary processes do not provide a process for conciliation or dispute resolution.
Anyone can lodge a complaint against a member of Engineers Australia. All complaints must:
- Be in writing
- Clearly explain the circumstances that gave rise to the complaint
- Provide evidence to support the allegations
- Include all documentation relating to the allegations ('drip feeding' of relevant information will only result in delays)
- Detail any prospective or ongoing tribunal or legal proceedings in relation to the matters raised
- Include your full name and contact details.
Complaints should be addressed to:
11 National Circuit
BARTON ACT 2600
Please note: Engineers Australia is not able to deal with complaints against non-members.
On receipt of your complaint Engineers Australia will establish whether adequate particulars have been provided to support your claims/allegations. Further particulars will be sought if the documentation lodged is not considered adequate.
In establishing that adequate particulars exist, the member concerned will be invited to comment on the allegations and to provide additional documentation that may not already have been supplied. The name of the complainant and all material submitted with the complaint will be passed on to the member concerned. Only when it is established that adequate particulars exist, and that there are grounds to do so, will the matter be referred to investigation.
From the date of notification of a complaint, members are given a minimum of 28 days to comment.
It is important to note that no further action will be taken if the information provided is inadequate or if the complaint is considered vexatious, frivolous, misconceived or lacking in substance. Irrespective of whether the complaint is investigated or not, the member concerned will be informed in writing that a complaint has been lodged.
Investigation by investigator
If the grounds for an investigation have been established, an investigator will be appointed for the purpose of establishing and clarifying the factual basis of an allegation.
An investigator may:
- Obtain and consider information or expert advice from any relevant source
- Convene conferences with the member, complainant and witnesses.
When the investigation is finished, the investigator prepares a written report to the Complaints Commissioner.
The Complaints Commissioner decides whether or not a complaint proceeds to a Complaints Panel to determine the findings and any sanctions.
Both the complainant and the member will be advised of the Complaints Commissioner's and Complaints Panel's decisions, as appropriate.
A member who has been the subject of a disciplinary finding by a complaints panel may appeal the decision. Notification of the outcome of a complaint investigation will only be given to a complainant and the member concerned once the appeal process has concluded.
A complainant has no right of appeal to Engineers Australia.
Publication of findings
The complaints panel will decide if and how any sanctions it imposes may be published by Engineers Australia. Publication will normally be in the magazine Engineers Australia.