Complaints

Learn about our member and officer bearer complaints process.

Engineers Australia takes complaints about the professional conduct of our members and office bearers very seriously.

Our General Regulations set out the criteria for complaints we can investigate along with details of the investigation process.

Engineers Australia can only assist you in investigating the types of matters explained below. We can’t assist with legal issues or police and criminal matters.

 

What we can investigate

Engineers Australia can only investigate complaints against members or office bearers who have been alleged to have:

Unacceptable conduct may include but isn’t limited to the following:

  • a failure to observe one or more requirements of Engineers Australia's Royal Charter and By-laws or Code of Ethics
  • a failure to maintain appropriate engineering standards as determined by the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC)
  • conviction for an indictable offence or another offence that, in the opinion of the PCC, renders the person unfit to be a member of Engineers Australia or be registered on the NER
  • conduct, whether an act or omission, that occurs outside the practice of engineering, that would justify a finding that a person is unfit to remain a member of Engineers Australia, an office bearer or to be registered.

What we can't do

Engineers Australia cannot: 

  • investigate a complaint about an engineer who is not a current member
  • demand a member to do something in response to a complaint. For example, undertake modifications, remediation, pay compensation or other legal remedies
  • settle contractual disputes or similar grievances
  • provide legal advice or influence a matter before a court or tribunal
  • become involved in current legal proceedings. 

If your complaint is about the cost of fees, contact fair trading or the government consumer protection agency in your state. 

Complaints process

If you’re dissatisfied with the conduct of an Engineers Australia member, follow the steps below to resolve your issue.

  1. First, raise your concerns directly with the member and give them an opportunity to explain or propose a solution    
     
  2. Be sure to keep detailed records of any communication you have with the member including the date and any agreed outcome.    
     
  3. If the matter can’t be resolved between you, contact us to confirm that the person is still an Engineers Australia member.    

    If they aren’t a member, we can’t assist you. There are other agencies that may be able to assist.     
     
  4. If they are a member and the conduct you’re complaining about meets the criteria for what we can investigate, go ahead and complete the complaint form. Answer all questions on the form, provide a detailed explanation of the matter with supporting evidence, all relevant documentation and details of any prospective or ongoing legal proceedings.    
     
  5. Once we’ve received your complaint we’ll contact the member and provide a copy of your complaint and supporting evidence. We’ll then request their written response. 
     
  6. If the complaint can’t be resolved it will be passed to the PCC for further consideration and investigation. You may be contacted to provide further information.    
     
  7. We’ll advise you in writing when the PCC has investigated the complaint and provided a decision. The written reasons for the decision will be given to you and to the member.

Privacy and confidentiality

Complaints will be managed confidentially and in a way that is respectful to both you and the member. 

We will take reasonable steps to protect personal information from loss, unauthorised access, disclosure without consent or any other misuse during the complaint handling process.

Lodge a complaint

Complaints timeframe

The timeframe to resolve a complaint varies. This is because each complaint and the circumstances surrounding it differ.

Factors which affect the time it takes to resolve a matter include:

  • waiting on a response from a complainant or respondent
  • seeking additional information
  • ongoing court proceedings which must first be finalised
  • the complexity of the issue
  • number of parties involved.

The PCC meets every second month to hear complaints. We make every effort to have all material available in time for these hearings however, if some information is not available the matter is deferred to the next meeting.

We understand that dispute resolution can be a difficult time for all parties and we work to resolve complaints as quickly as we can.

Outcome

Dismissed

If the PCC finds that the member didn’t engage in unacceptable conduct or hasn’t breached the Code of Ethics or the Office Bearer Code of Conduct, the complaint will be dismissed.

If you have made a complaint against a member which was dismissed by the PCC, you cannot appeal the decision. Additionally, if a complaint has been dismissed by the PCC and you try to lodge a new complaint which is substantially the same, it may not be accepted.

Upheld

If the PCC finds that the member did engage in unacceptable conduct or has breached the Code of Ethics or the Office Bearer Code of Conduct, they’ll recommend disciplinary measures. The disciplinary measures are outlined in the General Regulations and may include a written warning or reprimand, changes to NER status, removal of credentials, suspension or cancellation of membership.

A member who’s had a complaint made against them is entitled to have the decision reviewed.

Note that the complaints process can’t provide any form of compensation or restitution to the person who’s complained.

Other complaints

If your complaint is about membership, migration skills assessment, credentials or any other Engineers Australia service, please complete the online form on our contact us page or call our customer engagement team.

Our complaints process

Click on the images to enlarge.

Graphic showing complaints per calendar year. 70 in 2021, 65 in 2022 and 78 in 2023.
Graph showing total complaints by classification 2021-2023
Graph showing complaints by outcome status 2021-2023
Graph showing sanctions applied 2021-2023
Graphic illustrating steps of the complaints process