Frequently asked questions
What if I think concerns raised about me are unfair or without grounds?
People usually don’t raise concerns lightly. Even if you think their concerns are unfair or without grounds, you should try to understand that person’s perspective and provide an objective and clear response.
Do I need to get legal advice?
This is up to you. You are not required to have a lawyer, but you have the right to engage one. If you engage a lawyer, you need to cover this cost.
What support can IPENZ give me as I go through this process?
We need to run an objective process. We can’t be on the side of either the engineer or the person raising the concerns. We will provide you with as much information upfront as we can about the process and what you can expect. We encourage engineers going through the process to seek support and guidance from their mentors and colleagues that they trust. If you do not have access to that support, let us know and we will connect you with a senior member for support and guidance.
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.
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, the Investigating Committee decide complaints on the papers, and members and complainants do not have the right to attend the meeting.
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. If you attend, you should be prepared to answer questions from the Disciplinary Committee and the other party, if they are present.
What if I resign my membership, will the complaint still proceed?
The Chief Executive can refuse to accept your resignation if you are, or it is reasonably known that you will soon be, the subject of a complaint to IPENZ. What this means is that you cannot resign to avoid a complaint, and any complaint in process at the time of your resignation will proceed.
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. IPENZ 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.
Can I appeal a decision?
If you are a Chartered Professional Engineer, you can appeal a decision on a complaint to the Chartered Professional Engineers Council. You have 28 days from the time you are notified of the decision to lodge the appeal.
If you are a member of IPENZ, you can only appeal the decisions of the Disciplinary Committee. Any appeal must be lodged with IPENZ within 28 days from the time you are notified of the decision. IPENZ will form an Appeal Panel to consider the appeal.
If you have any concerns about a decision, contact us in the first instance and we will try and work through those with you.
Will my name be made public?
The process for resolving concerns and complaints is private and confidential. If a Disciplinary Committee finds that you have breached your professional or ethical obligations, it may decide to make your name public.
View our naming policy
Will the decision be made public?
Even if your name is suppressed, we may publish decisions in an anonymised format on our website for the education of other engineers. You will only be named in that decision if a Disciplinary Committee orders that you be named.