Dispute Resolution

Complaints to the Institution of Surveyors NSW can only consider whether a member has engaged in improper conduct.

'Improper conduct' includes:

  • A failure to observe one or more requirements of the code of ethics
  • A failure to maintain appropriate standards as determined in the matter in question by a complaints panel or appeals panel
  • Conviction for an indictable offence, or another offence that, in the opinion of a complaints or appeals panel, renders the person unfit to be a member of The Institution of Surveyors NSW Inc.
  • Conduct, whether an act or omission, that occurs outside the practice of surveying, that would justify a finding by a complaints or appeals panel that a person is unfit to remain a member of The Institution of Surveyors NSW Inc.
  • Professional misconduct or unsatisfactory professional conduct of a referent which the Institution of Surveyors NSW Inc. is required to investigate.

Complaints against members of The Institution of Surveyors NSW are handled in line with the guidelines set down from time to time by the Survey Practice and Legislative Sub-Committee.

Basis for complaints

If you are dissatisfied with the work or behaviour of a member of the Institution of Surveyors NSW Inc. there are a number of steps you can take to try and resolve your concerns.

The first is to raise your concerns direct with the person you have engaged. Do this verbally first and then in writing if you are still dissatisfied.

The Institution of Surveyors NSW Inc. is not able to deal with complaints about contractual or legal matters. The appropriate avenue for dealing with such matters is either via an alternative dispute mechanism such as a community justice centre, mediation or arbitration or through direct court action.

The Institution of Surveyors NSW Inc. disciplinary processes are confined to making sure that members maintain appropriate surveying standards and conduct themselves in accordance with the values and principles of the Code of Ethics. The disciplinary processes do not provide a process for conciliation or dispute resolution.

A complaint about Fees can be made to the Institution of Surveyors NSW, directed to the Professional Fees Sub-committee. The committee will investigate the case of disputed Fees, adjudicate, act as a tribunal, and seek to mediate a resolution for the parties involved, separate to any matter of standards or ethics. Obviously this requires a level of agreement and compromise from both parties involved.

Making a complaint

Anyone can lodge a complaint against a member of The Institution of Surveyors NSW Inc.. 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 relating to the allegations ('drip feeding' of relevant information will only result in delays)
  • Detail any prospective or ongoing tribunal or legal proceedings in relation to the matters raised
  • Include your full name and contact details

Complaints should be addressed to:

Chairman 
The Survey Practice and Legislative Sub-Committee 
The Institution of Surveyors NSW Inc.
PO Box 104 
DARLINGHURST NSW 2000

Please note: The Institution of Surveyors NSW Inc. is not able to deal with complaints against non-members.

Investigating a complaint

On receipt of your complaint the Institution of Surveyors NSW Inc. will establish whether adequate particulars have been provided to support your claims/allegations. Further particulars will be sought if the documentation lodged is not considered adequate.

In establishing that adequate particulars exist, the member concerned will be invited to comment on the allegations and to provide additional documentation that may not already have been supplied. The name of the complainant and all material submitted with the complaint will be passed on to the member concerned. Only when it is established that adequate particulars exist, and that there are grounds to do so, will the matter be referred to investigation.

From the date of notification of a complaint, members are given a minimum of 28 days to comment.

It is important to note that no further action will be taken if the information provided is inadequate or if the complaint is considered vexatious, frivolous, misconceived or lacking in substance. Irrespective of whether the complaint is investigated or not, the member concerned will be informed in writing that a complaint has been lodged.

Investigation by investigator

If the grounds for an investigation have been established, a member of the Surveying Practice and Legislative Sub-Committee will be delegated to investigate, for the purpose of establishing and clarifying the factual basis of an allegation.

An investigator may:

  • Obtain and consider information or expert advice from any relevant source
  • Convene conferences with the member, complainant and witnesses.

When the investigation is finished, the investigator prepares a written report to the Chair of the Surveying Practice and Legislative Sub-Committee.

The Chair decides whether or not a complaint proceeds any further, and discussion will be held with the Sub-Committee members. The matter may be referred to the Board of Directors of the Institution of Surveyors NSW Inc for any further action.

Outcome of a disciplinary action

A member who has been the subject of a disciplinary finding by the Sub-Committee may appeal the decision. Notification of the outcome of a complaint investigation will only be given to a complainant and the member concerned once the appeal process has concluded.

The Board of Directors of the Institution of Surveyors NSW Inc will determine any disciplinary action deemed necessary, such as rectification, counseling, education, suspension of membership or other appropriate action.

Both the complainant and the member will be advised of the decision(s), as appropriate.

A complainant has no right of appeal to The Institution of Surveyors NSW

How much does it cost to lodge a complaint?

There are no fees to lodge a complaint against a member, unless it is in a matter of a Fee dispute.

The Executive Officer of the Institution of Surveyors NSW Inc will advise the cost of lodging a Fees dispute complaint.

Neither a complainant nor witnesses may recover any sum from The Institution of Surveyors NSW Inc. in respect of expenses relating to a complaint. 

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