New Zealand Institute of Safety Management Incorporated ("NZISM") manages a process for resolving concerns and complaints involving NZISM members and complaints relating to the operation of NZISM. All employees, contractors, and members of NZISM agree to be bound by the NZISM complaints process. NZISM works to ensure that our process is consistent, fair, and open for anyone to raise a concern or complaint. We aim to have a process which assists with improving our industry, by giving confidence and trust in our members.
NZISM encourage WorkSafe NZ guidelines in promoting the use of qualified and experienced, health and safety practitioners and professionals. Terms defined in the Rules of the NZISM have the same meaning when used in this document.
Using the NZISM complaints process
While this document outlines NZISM’s process to deal with complaints, we will always encourage a complainant to attempt to resolve the situation directly as this may be the quickest and easiest way to resolve the concern or issue.
Complaints NZISM CAN deal with:
- What an NZISM member, or company associated with a member, did when they carried out health and safety work.
- The quality of the NZISM member’s work or their conduct or behaviour.
- A breach, perceived breach, or a potential breach of the NZISM Code of Ethics.
- What an NZISM member, or company associated with a member, did when they were not carrying out health and safety work if this behaviour could be considered misconduct. In this instance, please call us to discuss before you make a complaint.
- What NZISM, as the organisation, did, or did not do, while carrying out NZISM related matters, including the Chief Executive Officer and the Senior Leadership Team.
Complaints NZISM CANNOT deal with:
- Complaints about a non-NZISM member. Where this person is listed on the register of the Health and Safety Association of New Zealand Incorporated, complaints can be made directly to that member organisation.
- Commercial or contractual matters related to an NZISM member including fees or payment.
- Employment matters of an NZISM member.
While the NZISM member relationship is not regarded as employer/employee, NZISM is committed to the industry and its members to ensure a fair process is adhered to for any complaints procedure. NZISM is also committed to ensuring that the organisation is working in the best interests of its members and of the industry.
- Provision of information – NZISM will make available relevant information from the complainant to the NZISM member.
- Opportunity to comment – NZISM/the NZISM member will be given an opportunity to comment on that information, and an opportunity to provide any other information that might be relevant. This includes being given sufficient time to consider the information provided and to prepare a response. NZISM/the NZISM member should be given an opportunity to comment on the outcome of any investigation before any decision is made.
- Promptness – Any action should be taken as soon as practicable after the event.
- Representation/Support – The NZISM member should be told in advance that they can be represented or supported (e.g., by a union delegate, lawyer, whanau or friend) when being asked to comment on the complainant’s information and process.
- Open mind – NZISM must listen to the complainant's/member’s comments with an open mind and consider all relevant information. This means that, before NZISM makes a decision, NZISM must carefully consider what everyone has to say.
- Relevant considerations – NZISM must take into account all relevant matters and must not take into account matters that are not relevant.
- Even-handed treatment – NZISM should generally treat similar situations in the same way, unless there is a good reason for treating them differently.
- Access to decision-maker – the complainant/member should be given an opportunity to address the person or people who make the decision. The decision-maker may get someone else to undertake part of the process (eg. appoint someone else to undertake a fact-finding investigation) but must personally consider what the NZISM member has to say. The decision-maker should also personally advise the member of NZISM’s decision.
- Alternatives – NZISM should consider all alternatives before deciding on what action should be taken.
NZISM has a Code of Ethics that represents the expectations of our members. It is expected that members are familiar with this document. It is also noted that NZISM have a Disciplinary Process, in line with our rules. Members are requested to familiarise themselves with both processes.
If you have a concern, or an issue, with NZISM or an NZISM member we encourage you to try and resolve it directly with them by:
- writing to NZISM or the member, being very clear about the concerns and requesting a response;
- requesting a meeting with NZISM or the member to talk through the concerns; and
- raising your concern with the member’s employer, if that is possible.
If you are unable to resolve the concern, or issue, with this approach, you are then able to raise the complaint formally with NZISM.
The length of time to process and resolve a complaint depends on:
- The nature and complexity of a complaint.
- Whether external parties or organisations are involved.
- The time each party takes to respond to NZISM request for information.
- The actions already taken to resolve it.
Some complaints may take only a matter of weeks to resolve, others can take several months. NZISM will attempt to resolve a complaint as soon as is practicable.
Step 1: Raising of the complaint
- For clarity of understanding, NZISM request that all complaints be reported in writing. The online Complaints Form can be found at the bottom of this webpage.
- We request that the complainant provide all relevant information to us from the beginning of the process. This includes any emails, notes from phone calls, reports, or statements.
- NZISM will acknowledge receipt of the complaint by email.
- If the complaint is not within the scope of NZISM's mandate, we will explain the reasons and if possible, refer the complainant to another organisation.
- All particulars of complaints received will be kept in a central record. This allows NZISM to analyse the nature and frequency of complaints to act, as necessary.
- All complaints received will be forwarded to the Risk & Assurance Manager. They will, along with members of the Senior Leadership Team, as necessary, work through the complaints process. Where the complaint relates to a member of the Senior Leadership Team, that member will be excluded.
Step Two: Raising the information with the NZISM member
- If related to a member, once NZISM has received the complaint and assessed it as being within our scope, the Risk and Assurance Manager, or their delegate, will write to the NZISM member with all relevant information, requesting a response.
- If related to NZISM, the SLT will gather relevant information from relevant internal sources, including but not limited to policies, procedures, other members, employees or contractors to NZISM.
Step Three: Reviewing all presented information
- Once the complainant and/or the NZISM member has provided information the Risk & Assurance Manager, along with the Senior Leadership Team will review all the information presented.
- If required, the complaints panel may contact the complainant and NZISM member further to clarify key issues or request further information and documentation.
Step Four: Options to remedy the situation
The Risk and Assurance Manager, along with the Senior Leadership Team, will then consider all options to remedy the situation. This may include, but is not limited to the following:
- No Action
The Senior Leadership Team may, after consideration of the information, decide that there is no required further action from the complaint.
- Dispute resolution process
Mediation may be suggested when the complaint does not involve issues of wider public interest and can be resolved between the complainant and the member and/or NZISM providing all parties agree to it.
Mediation is a process where, with the assistance of an independent mediator, parties identify the issues, develop options, and consider alternatives to reach an agreement. Mediation will be at the cost of the complainant and/or NZISM and/or the NZISM member.
If no agreement is reached at mediation, NZISM will consider the best way to proceed.
- Formal investigation which may result in a disciplinary action
The Senior Leadership Team, after consideration of the information, may decide that a formal investigation is required. Where possible, NZISM will apply a restorative process in order to ensure all parties needs are identified and that those needs are met by the relevant parties. Although disciplinary action may be necessary in limited cases, restoration will always be sought if possible.
Step Five: Notification of Recommended Actions
The complainant and/or the NZISM member will be informed of the Senior Leadership Team findings and recommended actions following the complaint.
Right to appeal
The complainant and/or NZISM member has the right of appeal if they are not content with the resolution decided upon by the Senior Leadership Team. This appeal must be made in writing to the Risk & Assurance Manager within 30 days of the decision being notified. The appeal will be presented to the Board for their review. The Boards' decision on appeal is final.
Legal complaints rights
Any complaint made to NZISM about an NZISM member does not remove a complainant’s right to report health and safety concerns to the Government’s Regulator, nor does it remove any right to legal/civil action provided under New Zealand legislation.
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The NZISM Senior Leadership Team is responsible for administering the disciplinary process following a substantiated complaint/s concerning an NZISM member/s. We run an independent, fair, and open disciplinary process.
The Disciplinary Procedure is written in conjunction with Clause 4.8 of the NZISM Rules. Members are required to be familiar with this Rule and are bound by the procedure and any outcome or decision of the disciplinary process.
Disciplinary action is not issued lightly by the Senior Leadership Team, nor will it to be used in an overpowering, disproportionate manner. The range of disciplinary action is restricted to controls within the NZISM organisation and at maximum to the removal of an NZISM members membership. NZISM will always seek to apply restorative processes wherever possible.
Grounds for Disciplinary Action
Where the Senior Leadership Team is reasonably of the opinion, after a substantiated complaint/s, or other such appropriate investigation, that a Member of the Institute has done one, or more of the following, they will begin disciplinary action:
a) the member has refused or neglected to comply with a provision of the NZISM Rules;
b) the member has persistently and wilfully acted in a manner prejudicial to the interests of NZISM or another member's participation in NZISM; or
c) the member has done anything which, in the opinion of the Senior Leadership Team in its absolute discretion, is or may be detrimental to the reputation of NZISM.
Notification of Decision to begin Disciplinary Action
Where the Senior Leadership Team decides upon Disciplinary Action, the National Office shall as soon as practicable provide notice of such, in writing to the Member (or its representative), the following information:
a) Set out the decision of the Senior Leadership Team to begin disciplinary action and the grounds on which it is based.
b) State that the NZISM Member (and/or its representative) may address the Senior Leadership Team at a meeting to be held not earlier than 14 days and not later than 21 days after service of the notice.
c) State the date, place, and time of that meeting.
d) Inform the Member that the Member (or their representative) may do either or both of the following:
- Attend and speak at that meeting
- Submit to the Senior Leadership Team at or prior to the date of that meeting written representations relating to the resolution.
Meeting with the Senior Leadership Team
At the meeting of the Senior Leadership Team, the Team shall:
a) Allow the NZISM Member to bring a support person
b) Give the NZISM Member (or its representative) an opportunity to make oral representations
c) Give due consideration to any written representations submitted to the Senior Leadership Team by the Member (or its representative) at or prior to the meeting.
Following this, the Senior Leadership Team shall, then determine the outcome of the action.
Outcomes of Disciplinary Action
The Senior Leadership Team may, because of the disciplinary process:
a) Provide the member with a letter outlining the area of misconduct and the required actions of the member in the future including but not limited to:
i) requiring the member to provide a verbal or written apology;
ii) requiring the member to participate in counselling or training;
iii) requiring the member to refund fees to a complainant.
b) Remove that member's entitlement to vote at any General Meeting
c) Expel the member from NZISM
d) Suspend the member from membership of NZISM and/or attendance/participation at NZISM events for a specified period
e) Impose any other non-financial sanction it deems appropriate
f) Notify the registrar of the Health and Safety Association of New Zealand in the case of suspension or expulsion.
For the avoidance of doubt, the member will be bound by such disciplinary actions as are determined by the Senior Management Team will apply. Where the Senior Leadership Team decides upon disciplinary action, the National Office shall as soon as practicable provide notice of such, in writing to the member (or its representative).
Right to appeal
The NZISM member has the right of appeal if they are not content with the outcome of the Disciplinary Action decided upon by the Senior Leadership Team. This appeal must be made in writing to the Risk & Assurance Manager within 30 days of the decision being notified. The appeal will be presented to the Board for their review. The Board's decision on appeal is final.