We investigate members of the profession and registered firms when we believe we may need to take disciplinary action to protect the public or to uphold standards.
We are more likely to start an investigation if the assurance referral or complaint is about:
An investigation involves seeking evidence from relevant witnesses, preparing statements, seeking relevant documentary evidence and, if the investigation is based on a complaint, asking the relevant professional or firm to provide a response to the complaint.
If we do not believe that there is sufficiently strong evidence to support allegations, we will not start an investigation.
The purpose of our regulatory procedures is not to punish members, firms or to provide compensation, but to act in the public interest. As part of our decision about whether it is necessary to begin an investigation, we balance the public interest and the interests of the to be investigated member of the profession or registered firm.
We operate a complaints process that is open and transparent. If we decide not to start an investigation, we will write to the complainant to inform them of this decision and our reasons.
Sometimes we might refer the complainant to the registered firm’s complaints handling procedure or the alternative dispute resolution provider referred to in that procedure, which all registered firms are required to have. This is because complaints about service failures or unsatisfactory work can sometimes be considered under these processes even though they do not meet our threshold for an investigation.
If an investigation has revealed a serious matter supported by evidence, we will consider taking disciplinary action.