BPEQ is responsible for protecting the public by ensuring professional engineering services are provided by RPEQs in a professional and competent way, maintaining public confidence in the standard of services provided by RPEQs and upholding the standards of practice of RPEQs, both technically and ethically.
BPEQ has a regulatory function which encompasses two separate legal avenues for investigating and penalising individuals whose conduct falls below the expected standards or who breach the Professional Engineers Act 2002 (PE Act).
WHAT BPEQ CAN AND CANNOT DO
The complaints process provides a mechanism to lodge a complaint with BPEQ about any conduct by a RPEQ which may give rise to a ground for disciplining that RPEQ. Information provided with a complaint may also lead to prosecution of offences against the PE Act by unregistered persons.
BPEQ has the power to investigate the conduct of a RPEQ the subject of a complaint. Where appropriate, investigation may lead to a disciplinary sanction (caution, reprimand), a disciplinary proceeding, prosecution or deregistration.
BPEQ must have sufficient information to consider whether to investigate and ultimately, whether grounds exist for disciplining the RPEQ. A common ground for disciplining RPEQs is unsatisfactory professional conduct which includes:
- conduct that is of a lesser standard than that which might reasonably be expected of a RPEQ by the public or the RPEQ’s professional peers
- conduct that demonstrates incompetence or a lack of adequate knowledge, skill, judgement, or care in the practice of engineering
- misconduct in a professional respect
- fraudulent or dishonest behaviour in the practice of engineering
- other improper or unethical conduct.
To make a complaint about a RPEQ’s conduct you must be aggrieved by the conduct of a RPEQ in carrying out professional engineering services.
If you would like to inform BPEQ about the conduct of an unregistered person which may give rise to an offence against the PE Act, then you may send relevant information to BPEQ.
Offences include a person:
- claiming to be or allowing themselves to be held out as a RPEQ
- using the title ‘RPEQ’ when not registered
- carrying out professional engineering services when not registered or not under the direct supervision of a RPEQ.
Complaints about RPEQs or unregistered persons should be made by using Form 6 – Complaint (Complaint Form).
If you would like more information about the types of conduct that BPEQ may investigate visit www.bpeq.qld.gov.au/resources/case-notes/.
- resolve contractual disputes or other similar grievance
- require the person the subject of a complaint to do anything (e.g. undertake rectification, remediation, pay compensation or other legal remedy)
- assess safety risks and ordinarily will not visit a subject site and/or assess the safety standards of an engineering service that is the subject of a complaint
- provide legal advice or influence a matter before a court or tribunal
- investigate a complaint that falls outside its statutory jurisdiction. That jurisdiction excludes the investigation of conduct involved in the provision of services that are not professional engineering services (unless that conduct involves a contravention of the PE Act). For what constitutes a professional engineering service, please refer to Practice Note Professional Engineering Services and Prescriptive Standards (4.3(2A)).
GENERAL COMPLAINT PROCESS
HOW TO COMPLETE THE COMPLAINT FORM
Details provided in Complaint Form
As part of the Complaint Form you will be required to provide details about yourself, the person you are complaining about, details about what happened and provide supporting evidence.
Details you provide will be used to:
- keep you advised of the progress of the complaint
- contact you directly should we require further information
- ensure all correspondence is delivered to the correct person
- identify persons the subject of the complaint
- decide whether to investigate.
You must complete the declaration on the form by affixing your formal signature and date to confirm the information you have provided is correct and also confirm that you understand that the information in the Complaint Form may be made available to other parties.
Please refer to the full terms of the Privacy Statement on the Complaint Form.
If you want your personal details withheld from the person complained of, please notify BPEQ of same while making your complaint. BPEQ can remove your personal details (name, contact details, address, etc.) from the copy of the complaint provided to the respondent person, but BPEQ cannot de-identify the complaint nor can it guarantee anonymity. Most complainants are identifiable by reason of the nature and content of the complaint and supporting documents. That should be kept in mind if anonymity is important to you.
Submitting the Complaint Form
The completed Complaint Form and supporting documentation should be lodged with BPEQ at:
Board of Professional Engineers of Queensland
GPO Box 5216
BRISBANE Qld 4000
BPEQ will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three (3) business days and your documentation may be provided to the respondent person so that he or she may make a submission upon the complaint, should he or she wish to do so.