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Disciplinary regulations

Approved by the Board of Trustees on 2 April 2012.

  1. These regulations have been made in accordance with Bye-law 33.  Unless a contrary intention appears, ‘member’ means a member of any category; and ‘improper conduct’ has the meaning given  to it in Bye-law 32. Except where inconsistent with  the context, words implying the singular shall include the plural, and vice versa;  and references to one gender shall include references to each other gender.
  2. The Board of Trustees shall appoint two bodies to investigate and adjudicate on allegations of improper conduct on the part of any member or members. One body shall be known as the Investigating Panel and the other as the Disciplinary Board.
  3. The members of the two bodies (who may not be current members of the Board of Trustees) shall hold office for such period as the Board of Trustees shall determine and may be reappointed.
  4. Subject to the Bye-laws and these regulations, each of the bodies shall have power to regulate its own practice and procedure.
  5. The Board of Trustees shall appoint a Chairman of the Investigating Panel and a Chairman of the Disciplinary Board. If the Chairman of either body shall be unable to carry out his functions under these regulations, the  Board may appoint a member of the appropriate body to act as chairman until the Chairman  is again available and able to carry out these functions.
  6. The Investigating Panel shall consist of nine members of the IET including the Chairman. The Chairman of the Investigating Panel may at any time appoint any three or more members of the Panel (who may, but need not, include the Chairman) to deal with any particular complaint or allegation on behalf of the Panel.
  7. If any allegation of improper conduct on the part of a member shall be received from any source, the allegation shall, in the first instance, be referred to the Investigating Panel.  The Investigating Panel may also consider the circumstances of any case where, without an allegation being made, the Investigating Panel has reason to believe that a member may have been guilty of improper conduct.
  8. If the allegation does not appear to the Investigating Panel to disclose any prima facie case of improper conduct, the Investigating Panel may dismiss the case without informing the member concerned and without hearing the person making the allegation.
  9. In all other cases, the Investigating Panel shall send the member written particulars of the allegation and an invitation to send written  observations to the Investigating Panel. At the same time the member shall be informed that he is not obliged to make any observations to the Investigating Panel but that if he does not (or if the Panel does not consider that any explanations made are satisfactory), the matter may be referred to the Disciplinary Board.
  10. On receiving a member’s observations, the Investigating Panel may dismiss the case if satisfied that the allegation is unfounded.  It may also dismiss the case if it considers that the alleged improper conduct is of such a trivial nature that no action is required. In all other cases, the Investigating Panel shall, after such further investigation as may be necessary, refer the allegation of improper conduct to the Disciplinary Board.
  11. As soon as reasonably practicable after it has referred an allegation to the Disciplinary Board, the Investigating Panel shall inform the member in writing that it has done so, and of the date on which the Disciplinary Board will meet to deal with the allegation (subject to any observations of the member with regard to the date).  The member will also be informed about the procedures that the Disciplinary Board will adopt concerning the hearing of the allegation and the manner in which he may be represented at the hearing.
  12. The Disciplinary Board shall consist of 15 members, including the Chairman, none of whom shall for the time being be members of the Investigating Panel.
  13. Any allegation referred to the Disciplinary Board shall be dealt with by five or more members of the Board (which may, but need not, include the Chairman) who shall be nominated for the purpose by the Chairman. The Disciplinary Board may appoint a practising barrister or solicitor to sit with it for the purpose of advising it as to the manner in which it should exercise its functions.
  14. The Investigating Panel shall place before the Disciplinary Board such information concerning the allegation as is available to it and may either employ solicitors or counsel for that purpose or may nominate one of its members to conduct the case. The accused member shall be given a full and fair opportunity of being heard and of calling witnesses and cross-examining any other witness testifying before the Board.  The accused member shall be allowed to conduct his own case, or to be represented by solicitors or Counsel or any other person.
  15. Any notice  given under these regulations shall be deemed to be properly served if sent by recorded post to the last known address of the member concerned. If no reply shall be received  within 28 days after the time when such letter might be expected to have been delivered and a reply received in the ordinary course of post, the Investigating Panel or the Disciplinary Board may proceed in the absence of a reply. For the purposes of this regulation, where the member is based outside the UK, and air mail can conveniently be used, delivery by air mail shall be deemed to be delivery by first class post. However, if the member shall, either before or after the allegation has been disposed of, satisfy the relevant body that any notice was not in fact delivered or was delivered later than might have been expected in the ordinary course of post and that, in consequence,  he was unaware, or unaware until too late, of the proceedings, the relevant body shall at the member’s request re-open the proceedings even if  they have been concluded.
  16. The Chief Executive & Secretary shall send the member a written statement of the Disciplinary Board’s decision (with the reasons for any finding of improper conduct) as soon as reasonably practicable after the decision has been made.
  17. If the Disciplinary Board decides that a member is guilty of improper conduct, it shall decide the penalty to be applied in accordance with Bye-law 33, and, unless it decides that there is a reason not do so, it shall arrange for  the facts and the decision to be published.  The Disciplinary Board may, and at the request of the accused member shall, similarly publish the fact that any complaint has been dismissed.
  18. If a member is found guilty of improper conduct, he shall have the right of appeal to a committee consisting of three independent persons nominated for the purpose by the President for the time being.  Written notice of such appeal, stating the grounds on which it is made, shall be given to the Chief Executive & Secretary within 28 days from the date on which the decision was sent to the member.  The President shall have power to extend the time within which notice of appeal may be given.
  19. As soon as reasonably practicable after a notice of appeal has been received by the Chief Executive & Secretary, the member will be informed of the date on which the Appeal Committee will meet to deal with the appeal (subject to any observations of the member with regard to the date).  The member will also be informed about the procedures to be adopted by the Appeal Committee concerning the hearing of the appeal and the manner in which he may be represented at the hearing.
  20. The Appeal Committee may consider all the evidence available to the Disciplinary Board and any new evidence, and may call witnesses.  It shall have full powers (a) to reject an appeal against a finding of improper conduct, and to confirm the original penalty or to reduce it, or (b) to uphold an appeal and reverse a finding of improper conduct. 
  21. The decision of the Appeal Committee shall be final and conclusive.  Written notice of the decision shall be sent to the member by the Chief Executive & Secretary as soon as reasonably practicable after the decision has been made.  At the request of the member,  the decision may be published.
  22. If a member found guilty of improper conduct is as a consequence removed from the register of Chartered Engineers, Incorporated Engineers, Engineering Technicians and ICT Technicians, he may appeal to the Board of the Engineering Council (UK) in accordance with Bye-law 50 of that body.  Such an appeal shall only lie on grounds of procedural irregularity or unfairness, and not on the substance of the case.