Code of Conduct

Members of the NZIQS are governed by the rules of conduct set out in a Code of Conduct, and by the Institute’s Constitution and Rules, and By-laws:

 

NZIQS Code of Conduct 

NZIQS Complaints and Disciplinary Procedure

NZIQS Constitution and Rules

NZIQS By laws

 

NZIQS Code of Conduct test

All members are encouraged to take the NZIQS Code of Conduct test to ensure they understand and can apply the principles, values and behaviour expected from them.

Passing the Code of Conduct test is a requirement for those members who aspire for MNZIQS membership before an interview is arranged.

NZIQS Code of Conduct test instructions

Our Standards

The NZIQS Code of Conduct states the principles, values and behaviour expected of all members of NZIQS and sets out principles of:

  • Professional Conduct
  • Competence and Client Care
  • Objectivity and Independence
  • Confidential Information and
  • Professional Courtesy

Members who do not follow the code may be disciplined according to the Complaints and Disciplinary Procedure. Unprofessional conduct not specifically covered by the Code of Conduct may likewise result in discipline of a member, depending on the particular circumstances.

Concerns about a QS

We are committed to ensuring members meet the highest standards of professionalism expected of quantity surveyors. If you have serious concerns about the competence, conduct or behaviour of one of our members, we may commence a formal investigation and disciplinary process.

This process is objective and fair and looks at whether the quantity surveyor has breached their professional or ethical obligations. These obligations are set out in the NZIQS Code of Conduct.

Membership of NZIQS is voluntary and not all quantity surveyors practising in New Zealand are members of NZIQS. You can check if the quantity surveyor you have concerns about is a member by searching for them in the Member Directory

Our Jurisdiction

We investigate breaches of the Code of Conduct, Rules and the By-Laws.

We can help you resolve concerns about:

  • the quality of a quantity surveyor's work
  • the quantity surveyor’s conduct and behaviour

We cannot help you resolve:

  • commercial or contractual disputes
  • fee disputes where there is no ethical breach
  • employment disputes
  • concerns about a firm or organisation – we can only look at individuals
  • concerns about a person who is not a member of NZIQS

We cannot help you achieve compensation or reparation. You should seek independent legal advice about your civil remedies.

How to raise a concern

If you’ve got a concern about a quantity surveyor, we advise that you let them know and try to resolve it directly with them first by:

  • writing to the quantity surveyor, being clear about your concerns and asking for a response. Tell the quantity surveyor what outcome you want
  • requesting a meeting with the quantity surveyor to talk through your concerns. You could take a support person with you, and you could request that an independent person facilitate the meeting
  • raising your concerns with the quantity surveyor’s manager

If you have not been able to resolve your concerns directly with the quantity surveyor, aren’t satisfied with their response or it is a serious matter that should be brought to our attention, you can lodge a formal complaint with NZIQS

You’ll need to provide us with your perspective on what happened, what rules of the Code of Conduct you believe the member has breached and all relevant information such as: documentation (contracts and reports), correspondence (email and text messages) or statements from other people involved.

Submit your complaint using the NZIQS Complaints Form

We will send a copy of the Complaint Form to the quantity surveyor and ask for their response. We may need to get information from other people involved too.

Complaints Process

A complaint is initially evaluated by the NZIQS Council to determine if there is jurisdiction to investigate.

The NZIQS Council may refer the complaint to a Professional Conduct Committee for investigation and referral to a Disciplinary Board if they believe the member has breached the Code of Conduct.

The Disciplinary Board will consider the complaint and make a decision on whether there are grounds for disciplining the quantity surveyor and, if so, what the penalties should be.

The member may appeal this decision and/or penalties to the Appeal Board on certain grounds.

A summary of these stages of the complaints process is below. You can read more detailed information about this in the NZIQS Complaints and Disciplinary Procedure.

Initial Evaluation

We provide the information we have gathered to the NZIQS Council, who makes a decision on how the complaint should proceed. The NZIQS Council may:

  • refer the complaint to a Professional Conduct Committee for investigation
  • refer the complaint to the New Zealand Police or to another regulatory authority or professional body to which the member belongs
  • put the complaint on hold so that it can be addressed through an alternative disciplinary, dispute resolution or court process, or
  • decide to take no further action on the complaint. 

A complaint may be dismissed if:

  • there is there is no applicable ground of discipline. The most common grounds are that a quantity surveyor has acted negligently, acted incompetently, or breached the Code of Conduct
  • the complaint is frivolous or vexatious or not made in good faith
  • the alleged conduct is trivial or insufficiently serious to warrant further investigation
  • a complaint of the same or similar subject-matter has already been received and dealt with
  • the complaint is substantially or primarily about fees or a commercial or legal dispute
  • the complaint is more appropriately addressed through an alternative disciplinary, dispute resolution or court process
  • the complainant or the person alleged to be aggrieved does not wish action to be taken or continued; and/or 
  • investigation is no longer practicable or desirable given the elapse of time. 

If the NZIQS Council dismisses your complaint, we will tell you why.

Professional Conduct Committee

The Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) is made up of two quantity surveyor senior members and one layperson.

The PCC will consider all available information, and may gather more information. The PCC does not hold a formal hearing but is subject to the requirements of natural justice.

The PCC may also: appoint a legal advisor, appoint an investigator to collect information or appoint a special advisor to advise the Committee on technical issues.

With the agreement of the complainant and the member, the PCC may refer the complaint to be addressed through an alternative dispute resolution process, for example, conciliation, mediation or arbitration.

The PCC will decide whether to:

  • refer the complaint to a Disciplinary Board
  • recommend conditions the member must comply with or requirements for professional development, or
  • dismiss the complaint

We will let you know the PCC's decision and why they made that decision.

Disciplinary Board

The Disciplinary Board is made up of two quantity surveyor senior members and one lawyer acting as chairperson.

The Disciplinary Board will hold a hearing and conduct its procedures as it sees fit, subject to the requirements of natural justice. A member may participate in the Disciplinary Board hearing personally and/or by a legal representative. 

The Disciplinary Board will consider the complaint and make a decision on whether there are grounds for disciplining the quantity surveyor and, if so, what the penalties should be

A member may be disciplined if:

  • the member has contravened the Rules, including the Code of Conduct
  • the member has performed quantity surveying services in a negligent or incompetent manner
  • the member has conducted him or herself (whether by act or omission) in a manner that is likely to bring discredit to NZIQS and/or the quantity surveying profession
  • the member has been convicted of a criminal offence that reflects on his or her fitness to be a member of NZIQS
  • the member has failed to comply with any conditions imposed by NZIQS or the Disciplinary Board or the Appeal Board

Penalties may include:

  • censuring the member
  • issuing a written warning to the member
  • ordering the member to pay a fine to NZIQS
  • imposing conditions that the member must comply with or requirements for professional development
  • suspending the member from NZIQS
  • expelling the member from NZIQS; and/or
  • ordering the member to pay costs 

We will tell you the outcome of the Disciplinary Board's decision and why they made this decision.

Complainants are unable to appeal decisions of the Disciplinary Board. If you are dissatisfied with the way NZIQS has handled a complaint please contact the NZIQS Executive Director.

Members Appealing a Decision

A member may appeal against the decision of or penalty imposed by the Disciplinary Board on certain grounds (see Complaints and Disciplinary Procedure). Your appeal must be lodged with us within 20 working days from the time you are notified of the decision. We’ll then form an Appeal Board consisting of two senior members and one lawyer acting as chairperson to consider the appeal. 

The Appeal Board hearing is conducted on the basis of the evidence presented to the Disciplinary Board. New evidence may only be presented where there are good reasons for doing so.

The Appeal Board:

  • will decide whether to confirm or vary the decision of the Disciplinary Board
  • may impose any penalty that the Disciplinary Board could have imposed, and/or
  • may order the member to pay costs

The decision of the Appeal Board is final and takes immediate effect.

We will let the member and complainant know the decision of the Appeal Board and why they made this decision.

Confidentiality

Our process for resolving concerns and complaints is private and confidential. However, the NZIQS Council may decide to make the name of the member and/or the decisions of the Disciplinary Board and Appeal Board public.