Engineers & Complaints

Take a look at our FAQs to learn what happens when a complaint has been made against an IPENZ Member.

How will I know that a complaint has been made against me?

We’ll let you know if we’ve received a complaint, and the nature of the complaint, before any investigation begins.

Can I be assured my complaint will be handled fairly?

We manage all complaints by following a well-defined complaints process. Every complaint goes through the same process and is treated impartially and fairly.

How does the complaints process work?

You can see how the process works in the complaints process flowchart. You can read a more formal description of the process in the Chartered Professional Engineers of New Zealand Rules (No 2) 2002. You can also request a printed copy of these details.

Can I attend the meeting when the Investigating Committee considers the complaint?

If the Investigating Committee believes it would help their process to meet you and ask you questions before it makes its decision, it may invite you to the meeting. Generally though, ​engineers and complainants do not have the right to attend an Investigating Committee meeting.

What ​should I do if I know someone personally who is investigating the complaint?

Let us know as soon as possible to avoid a conflict of interest.

Do I need to attend the ​Disciplinary Committee hearing?

Both parties have the right to attend the Disciplinary Committee hearing. They’re normally open to the public and will only be held in private in exceptional circumstances.

Do I have to answer questions from the Disciplinary Committee?

If you attend, you should be prepared to answer questions from the Investigating Committee, Disciplinary Committee and the other party, if they are present.

Do you investigate all complaints made against engineers?

Yes, all formal complaints within our jurisdiction are investigated.

Will the complaint be limited to my professional work?

Chartered Professional Engineers must uphold the ​Code of Ethical Conduct. There will be grounds for a complaint if there is evidence of a significant and serious departure from the standards of behaviour expected of a​ Chartered Professional Engineer when completing engineering activities. You can read more about these standards in ​part three of the Chartered Professional Engineers ​of New Zealand Rules (No 2) 2002

Is there an alternative way to deal with complaints?

Yes. A dispute resolution process may be recommended by either the Adjudicator or the Investigating Committee. If the dispute resolution process is unsuccessful then the complaint may be progressed.

How long will the complaints process take and how much time will I need to deal it?

The process can take anything from three months to a year – sometimes longer – depending on the complexity of the case. You might need to set aside significant time to provide all the information requested by the Investigating Committee. A prompt delivery of information can help the process move along more quickly.

Are there costs associated with having a complaint made against me?

There could be. We suggest you consult with your employer and insurer on this matter. ​The Registration Authority is not able to reimburse you or your company for costs incurred, even if the complaint is dismissed. A Disciplinary Committee may order an engineer to pay a contribution towards costs and expenses incidental to the investigation if the complaint is upheld.

What could be the effects on me professionally?

Complaints that are dismissed are unlikely to have an effect on your professional reputation due to the confidential nature of the disciplinary process. However, if a complaint is upheld, the Disciplinary Committee can decide to impose one or more of the penalties specified in section 22 of the Chartered Professional Engineers of New Zealand Act 2002

Get in touch

Email our Complaints Service with any further questions or call +64 4 474 8986.