1. Procedures For Complaints
1.1 Complaints may be made against a member by:
(a) The Institute
(b) Another Member
(c) A Third Party
1.2 Any complaint made against a member must be made in writing under confidential cover addressed to the Secretary of the Institute at its registered office. Complainants shall set out the circumstances forming the basis of the complaint including the relationship, if any, between the complainant and the member concerned.
1.3 The Secretary shall at his/her discretion consult with the complainant or other parties, in particular, officers and members of the Institute, including the member concerned to determine whether a prima facie case has been made. Should the Secretary conclude that there is a prima facie case, he/she shall then formally notify in writing the member concerned.
Should the Secretary conclude that a prima facie case has not been made, he/she shall so advise the complainant and at the Secretary's discretion, the member concerned in writing. The complainant may challenge the decision of the Secretary in writing to the chair of the nominations and professional conduct committee. This 'preliminary appeal' process should consist solely of the consideration of the information already submitted to the Secretary, the Secretary's own advise and written representations from the complainant and the Member concerned. The chairs' decision shall be final and binding and there shall be no obligation to give written reasons for the decision.
Should the Secretary decide in the first instance, or the chair on preliminary appeal consider, a prima facie case has been made, the Secretary shall then notify in writing the member concerned of the nature of the complaint and the Secretary shall request the concerned member(s) written response within 28 days of the date of sending out the notification. Upon receipt of the response or at the end of the period, whichever is earlier, the Secretary shall refer the complaint and the response of the member, if any, to the chair of the nominations and professional conduct committee. The chair shall then instruct the Secretary to convene, as soon as reasonably practicable, a disciplinary panel.
2. Disciplinary Panel
2.1 The power of making disciplinary decisions is vested in a disciplinary panel.
2.2 Disciplinary panels shall be drawn from members of the Council.
A disciplinary panel shall consist of not more than four and not less than three members including the chair of the panel, each of whom shall have a primary vote. A panel may co-opt additional specialist advisers, should it so decide, who shall not have a vote. There shall also be a Secretary for each panel who shall normally be the Secretary of the Institute.
3. Disciplinary Panel Hearing
3.1 Within 14 days of receiving a response, or after the lapse of 28 days from sending notification to the member concerned, whichever is the lesser, the Secretary shall fix a date and place, for the complainant to be heard by the disciplinary panel, giving at least 28 days notice to the member and complainant concerned or such other period as may be determined (unless otherwise agreed between the parties).
3.2 At least 14 days before the disciplinary hearing, the panel must present in writing to the member concerned any documentation supporting the complaint. The member and complainant shall have proper opportunity at this attendance to bring witnesses and introduce at the hearing any relevant evidence considered fit. A full member of the Institute as supporter and adviser, but not as a representative may accompany either or both parties.
3.3 The hearing may, with the agreement of all parties, take place in the absence of one of the parties if, in the opinion of the disciplinary panel, it is not feasible to otherwise hold a full hearing.
3.4 The disciplinary panel, after considering all submissions, may make recommendations in relation to the requesting of further information from additional persons and may adjourn the panel for a reasonable period (not exceeding 60 days) until such further information is available. The panel reserves the right to contact additional persons by telephone, letter or otherwise in further investigation of the matter.
3.5 The disciplinary panel, after full consideration, shall determine their decision. If the panel decides the case has not been substantiated, the complaint will be dismissed. The Secretary shall inform the complainant in writing within thirty days of its' decision.
3.6 Decisions of the disciplinary panel shall be by simple majority.
3.7 The decision of the disciplinary panel shall be made having regard to all the facts of the matter. The evidence submitted, and the behaviour and conduct of the member, shall be analysed having regard to "The Institutes' Code of Rules", Code of Conduct and supporting guides to good practice.
3.8 Should the disciplinary panel consider that there is a valid case against the member they shall have the following powers:-
(a) Warn, Admonish or Reprimand the Member.
(b) Call for a written undertaking from the member as to future conduct and performance. Provide for guidance from a senior colleague, and specific training, and/or arrange for regular reporting.
(c) Direct that a statement recording the complaint be entered on the personal record of the Respondent for a defined period of time.
(d) Review the members' eligibility for Institute office.
(e) Re-designate the member's membership grading of the Institute.
(f) Withdraw the benefits of membership of the Institute and the use of the designatory letters for a defined time.
(g) Call for the resignation of the member.
(h) Expel the member from the Institute.
(i) Make recommendations to the President of the Institute regarding publication of the decision.
4. The Appeal System
4.1 It is open for a member against whom a complaint has been upheld in full or in part to appeal the decision of the disciplinary panel in writing to the Secretary of the Institute at the registered office of the Institute within 28 days of the date of notification of the disciplinary decision. The notice must set out the full grounds on which issue is taken with the disciplinary decision. The action decided upon will, at the discretion of the disciplinary panel, be suspended until after the appeal is heard.
4.2 The Secretary shall notify the chair of the nominations and professional conduct committee of such appeal and request a hearing date, giving at least 28 days notice to the member and all other parties concerned, or such other period as may be agreed between all the parties.
4.3 The appeals panel may overturn vary or uphold the disciplinary decision.
4.4 The member concerned shall be informed in writing within 14 days of the decision of the appeals panel.
5. Appeals Panel
No member who was previously involved in the disciplinary panel may serve on the appeals panel in relation to the same matter.
6. Publication of Decisions
Decisions of the disciplinary panel (subject to paragraph 4.1) and of the appeals panel shall be notified to the member against whom the complaint has been made within fourteen days. The extent of publication shall be at the discretion of the President of the Institute, based on a recommendation from the disciplinary or appeals panel. Individuals in cases which have been dismissed shall not be identified, however details of such cases may never the less be published. Members who have been the subject of disciplinary proceedings may request the President, at his/her discretion, to publish decisions on their behalf.
Before a member is re-admitted following expulsion, the matter shall be referred to the nominations and professional conduct committee for consideration.