About making a complaint

Do I have to make a formal complaint or are there other ways of resolving my issue?

There may be simpler and quicker ways to resolve the problem. We recommend that you try to resolve the matter with the engineer directly first and have suggested a number of first steps. If you have tried these and are still dissatisfied, you can call our Complaints Service to discuss the matter.

If I decide to make a formal complaint about an engineer, what do I have to do?

You can make a formal complaint by completing and submitting an online complaint form or writing directly to the Chief Executive. Your complaint must contain your full name, your contact details and an outline of the matter in question.

Once we’ve received your complaint, the engineer will be informed and the complaints process will begin.

How do I access the online complaint form?

To make a complaint about about a Chartered Professional Engineer fill in the online complaint form.

I have made a formal complaint. What happens next?

A Complaints Research Officer (CRO) will carry out a preliminary Investigation. The CRO will contact the engineer to advise them you have made a complaint and ask them to provide a response. The CRO then makes a recommendation to an Adjudicator who decides whether to progress the complaint to an investigating Committee. See the Complaints Process flowchart for each stage of the formal complaints process.

Who is the Adjudicator? Who sits on the Investigating and Disciplinary Committees?

The Adjudicator and all three members of the appointed Investigating Committee are experienced engineers.

The Disciplinary Committee determines the final outcome of the complaint. It is made up of a Chair, two engineers, a layperson and a representative of Consumer New Zealand. Registration Authority staff members cannot be Adjudicators or sit on either of the committees.

What are the potential outcomes of making a complaint?

If the complaint progresses through to a disciplinary hearing and is upheld, all outcomes will be related to the engineer and can include one or more of the following:

  • The removal or suspension of the engineer’s registration
  • A fine (not exceeding $5,000)
  • Payment of costs and expenses incidental to the investigation
  • Publication of the orders, which may name the engineer.

What if I don’t agree with the decision made by the Disciplinary Committee?

You have the right to appeal any decision of the Registration Authority, including the decision made by the Disciplinary Committee. When you are sent a decision you will be advised on how to make an appeal should you wish to do so.

Will the complaints process help me get compensation?

The Registration Authority has no power to make an engineer pay compensation to the complainant even if the complaint is upheld. If you would like to pursue compensation from an engineer you will need to seek independent legal advice.

Is there a cost associated with making a complaint?

There is no cost to initiate a complaint, but you might incur costs later on in the process, if travelling to a hearing or seeking legal advice.

How will I be kept informed of the progress of the complaint and how long will it all take?

Our Complaints Service will inform both parties of any decision made as soon as possible. If you want to find out how the complaint is progressing, get in touch with our Complaints Service

Should I wait for the outcome of the complaints procedure before taking legal action?

If you think you have reason to make a civil claim against the engineer or the firm they work for, you should not wait until the disciplinary process has reached a conclusion. You should seek your own legal advice straightaway.

Get in touch

Email the Complaints Service or call +64 4 495 1644.