Complaints – Professional Conduct

Complaints - Professional Conduct

 

Engineers Australia has a detailed and regulated process for handling complaints against members and office bearers in accordance with Division 4 of the General Regulations 2013.

Download a copy of the General Regulations 2013

A complaint to Engineers Australia can only be considered if it relates to a member or office bearer who is alleged to have engaged in unacceptable conduct, has breached the Engineers Australia Code of Ethics, or the Office Bearer Code of Conduct.

'Unacceptable conduct' may include, but is not limited to:

  • 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 by the Professional Conduct Committee;
  • conviction for an indictable offence or another offence that, in the opinion of the Professional Conduct Committee, renders the person unfit to be a member of Engineers Australia or be registered on the NPER, NETR or NEAR; or
  • conduct, whether an act or omission, that occurs outside the practice of engineering, that would justify a finding by the Professional Conduct Committee that a person is unfit to remain a member of Engineers Australia, an office bearer or to be registered.

Complaints against members of Engineers Australia are handled in accordance with Division 4 of the General Regulations 2013 (regulations 2.26-2.35).

Basis for complaints

If you are dissatisfied with the conduct of a member of Engineers Australia there are a number of steps you can take to try and resolve your concerns.

The first step is to raise your concerns directly with the relevant person.  We encourage you to keep a record of the date of the communication and the outcome.  If the matter cannot be resolved, we recommend that you telephone Engineers Australia to confirm that the person is a member. Please note that under our By-laws, the General Regulations and our Privacy Policy we can only disclose certain information namely:  a confirmation of membership, the category, grade and title of the member, whether or not the person is a member of a College, and whether they hold a chartered title.

If the person is not a member, then Engineers Australia has no authority to commence an investigation or take any action regarding the person’s professional conduct.

Engineers Australia is also not able to offer legal advice in relation to contractual or common law disputes or criminal matters and the complaints process will not result in financial restitution or compensation.  The appropriate avenue for dealing with such matters is either via an alternative dispute mechanism such as mediation or arbitration, through direct court action or through an ombudsman.  Criminal matters are the responsibility of the police, or other relevant government agency.

Engineers Australia's complaints process is 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 and the Office Bearer Code of Conduct.

Making a complaint

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 relevant to the allegations;
  • detail any prospective or ongoing tribunal or legal proceedings in relation to the matters raised; and
  • include the complainant’s full name and contact details (email is preferred).

Complaints should be addressed to:

Chief Executive Officer
Professional Conduct
Engineers Australia
11 National Circuit
BARTON ACT 2600

Investigating a complaint

On receipt of your complaint Engineers Australia will establish whether adequate information has been provided to support the allegations made. Further particulars will be sought if the documentation lodged is not considered adequate.

Please note: in order for the matter to progress, we must provide the respondent with a copy of the complaint.  If you wish the matter to remain confidential, the complaint cannot proceed.

Once the respondent is given a copy of the complaint, they will be given 28 days in which to provide a response.

If a complaint is considered vexatious, frivolous, misconceived or lacking in substance, the Chief Executive Officer may make a recommendation to the Professional Conduct Committee that the complaint be dismissed without any further investigation.

Professional Conduct Committee

Unless a matter has been dismissed in accordance with a recommendation by the Chief Executive Officer, the matter will proceed for determination by a Professional Conduct Committee (PCC).  The Chair of the PCC will consider whether the matter needs to progress to a hearing or a decision can be made on the documents in existence.  Depending on the complexity of the technical aspects of the complaint or where a site visit is required, an independent expert report may be required by the PCC.

Outcome of a complaint

Where a matter has progressed to the Professional Conduct Committee and a decision made, the written reasons for the decision will be provided to the complainant and the respondent.  If the decision is to uphold the complaint and if sanctions are imposed, the respondent has a right to appeal the decision.

A complainant has no right of appeal to Engineers Australia.

 
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