Frequently asked questions

How do I make a complaint against an engineer who isn’t an IPENZ member or on an IPENZ register?

You should first talk to the engineer directly about your concerns. If your concerns are not resolved, who you contact will depend on the nature of your concerns. If your concerns are about the contract or fees, you may like to talk to a lawyer. If your concerns are about the safety of a building, you may like to talk to your local council. If you have any doubts about who you should direct your concerns to, you can talk to us and we’ll try to help.

What happens if the engineer is no longer an IPENZ member or on an IPENZ register?

If the engineer you are concerned about was a Chartered Professional Engineer at the time of the relevant conduct, but isn’t at the time of the complaint, we can still consider your complaint about them.

 

If the engineer you are concerned about was a member of IPENZ or on another IPENZ competency register at the time of the relevant conduct, but isn’t at the time of the complaint, then we do not have jurisdiction to consider your concerns about them through our complaints process. However, a member cannot resign to avoid a complaint.

What kind of information or evidence do I need to provide to raise a concern?

You need to provide us with your perspective on what happened, and all relevant evidence. This could include reports, email conversations you have had with the engineer, or statements from other people involved. It is better to give us everything you have at the beginning of the process.

How long does the process take?

That depends. Matters that are resolved using our early resolution process may be resolved quite quickly, in one or two months. More complex matters of a technical nature, and matters that proceed down a more formal route, may take longer. A full disciplinary process could take up to a year and sometimes longer.

Are there costs associated with a formal complaints process?

No. The process will not cost you. However, if you decide to engage a lawyer or obtain your own advisor reports, you will need to cover this cost.

Can I attend hearings or other parts of the decision-making process?

Concerns are usually resolved on the papers. If the matter is considered in the formal complaints process and goes to a disciplinary hearing, then you can attend the hearing. If you attend the hearing, you should be prepared to answer questions from the Disciplinary Committee and the other party, if they are present.

Can I get any support to help me go through this process?

Our process is objective and impartial. We are not 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 are also happy for you to have a third party support you throughout the process.

Is there a conflict between IPENZ being engineers’ professional body and also hearing complaints against them?

A robust complaints process is an important part of any self-regulating profession. It’s critical for maintaining public trust and confidence in the engineering profession. Our complaints process is objective and impartial. When resolving concerns we are not on the side of either the engineer or the person who raised the concern. We take our responsibilities to be transparent and fair very seriously.

Can I talk publicly about the process while it’s underway?

To run an efficient and fair process, we ask that the parties respect the confidentiality of our process.

Will the decision be made public?

That depends. In most cases, a decision of the Disciplinary Committee will be anonymised and placed on the IPENZ website for educational purposes. In some cases, the Disciplinary Committees may order that a decision be made public and the engineer named.

Is there a time limit for bringing a complaint against an engineer?

No. However, if there is a significant period of time between when the events happened and when the concerns are raised, it does make it harder for us to fully and fairly investigate them.