All members of CIAT have to adhere to its professional Code of Conduct. In the unlikely event that any member fails to reach the required standard of professional practice, the Institute has a procedure to deal with these occurrences.
The Institute cannot make a determination in relation to allegations of professional negligence against a member, only allegations of breaches of the Institute’s Code of Conduct.
It is also important to remember that the member is not responsible for the workmanship of the contractor or sub-contractors, unless this is expressly covered within the terms of appointment.
If you wish to make a complaint to the Institute regarding any member’s professional conduct, you are required to complete a Complaint Form, which can be downloaded here. It must identify the relevant clauses contained in the Code of Conduct which you, as the complainant, consider to have been breached by the member. This should be accompanied with ten copies of each item of full, relevant evidence in support of the complaint, which is then sent to the member who is entitled to a right of reply. The evidence provided should include the terms of agreement where applicable.
Generally, the Code of Conduct used will be the one in force at the time of the alleged breach. However, for instances where the project spans more than one Code and the complaint relates to the project, the Code of Conduct in force at the time of the original appointment will apply.
The Conduct Committee is then convened to investigate any alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct. The Conduct Committee has the power to determine, in the first instance, if there is a case to answer and/or whether further information is required. This takes place at a preliminary Hearing.
If it is found that there is a case to answer in relation to each alleged breach then the issue is taken to a formal Hearing. The Conduct Committee has the power to reprimand, suspend or expel the member.
N.B - When completing the Complaint Form, please ensure that the correct Code of Conduct is referred to in all of the submitted documentation. Also, you should endeavour to ensure the information is submitted in a logical format. You are reminded that if you are providing supporting documentation in relation to your complaint, you are required to submit ten copies of all items of supporting documentation.
The procedures outlined above are intended to address your professional’s behaviour and to ensure that our Members conduct themselves in a professional manner. The Code of Conduct makes certain requirements of every member of CIAT and it in turn has powers to expel, suspend or reprimand the member for any breaches found.
However, it is important to understand that this is not a legal proceeding, and whilst this may affect the professional’s status, CIAT does not have the power to award costs or force the member to rectify any wrongdoings.
If you are seeking financial redress or mediation you should pursue other avenues for a solution, either in addition to, or instead of, a complaint against the member.
If you are seeking redress to specific work where you feel that the member has made mistakes leading to defective works, you could consider litigation. You will likely need to seek legal advice to pursue a claim against the professional.
It is a mandatory requirement that all members of CIAT who offer/provide services to clients must obtain and maintain Professional Indemnity Insurance. This is an insurance against professional negligence. The details of the member’s insurance are personal between the member and his insurer and CIAT will not get involved in any claims. You should seek legal opinion and will need to address your claim directly with the member.
You may consider using the Dispute Resolution Scheme. This is run independently by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR). The Scheme allows for a Mediator to come to a compromise between the parties. If this is not possible, an Arbitrator is appointed to make a legal determination upon the outcome and award costs as appropriate. It should be noted that both parties have to agree to this course of action.
For further information please see: cedr.com/solve/dispute-resolution-services/. Both of these processes are independent of the Institute. There are other forms of dispute resolution, or alternatively litigation, that the complainant may consider.
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