When a complaint has been made about you

The complaints process

If you receive notice that a complaint has been made about you, it will contain the allegations and the documentary evidence. It is important to respond to us in writing to the nature of the complaint within the required timeframe. If you are unsure of the exact nature of the Complaint or the allegations made, you may contact the investigating Professional Conduct Officer (PCO) for further information.

The PCO will ask you and the complaint questions to understand of issue involved. If any of the issues raised are subject to court proceedings or any other higher authority, the investigation will be placed on hold until those proceedings have concluded.

You are obliged to provide an adequate response to the complaint in writing. Your written response will be forwarded to the complainant. If your response included details you don’t wish to share with the complainant, please advice the PCO that it’s confidential.

Breaches of the CPA Australia Constitution

If there is no evidence of a breach of the Constitution, the By-Laws, the Code of Professional Conduct or any of the applicable regulations, the complaint will be closed. We’ll notify you and the complainant of the outcome.

If there is evidence of breach which is can be remedied or is minor, you may be issued a Caution or Reprimand, which is not published. However, the finding may be used in any subsequent proceedings against you.

Common breaches that the Disciplinary Tribunal will hear include:

  • dishonourable practice in any profession or undertaking, or conduct which is derogatory to, or not in the best interests of the Company or its Members
  • failing to observe a proper standard of professional care, skill or competence
  • ceasing to hold the necessary qualifications to be a member of CPA Australia or to be a member of any other professional body recognised by the Company; 
  • becoming insolvent, either personal bankruptcy or entered into a Part 9 or 10 agreement or any other actions that constitute an act of insolvency
  • being the subject of an adverse finding about your conduct, competence or recognition by any court, professional body, statutory or other regulatory authority in any jurisdiction and that this finding has not been overturned on appeal
  • pleading guilty to or found guilty of (with or without conviction) any offence (criminal or otherwise, but excluding traffic infringements) before any Court in any jurisdiction (which, in the case of a finding or conviction has not been overturned on appeal) which in the reasonable opinion of the Board is likely to materially adversely reflect upon or affect the standing or reputation of the Company; 
  • being found to have acted dishonestly in any civil proceedings before any Court in any jurisdiction and such finding has not been overturned on appeal
  • failing to comply with any reasonable and lawful direction of the Board or its delegate which relates to a matter concerning the good order and administration of the Company including a failure to comply with a Determination including relating to costs; or
  • Being a Member was Closely Associated with a Practice Entity which has become Insolvent: 
    • at the time the Practice Entity became Insolvent; or 
    • at any time during the 2 years prior to the Practice Entity becoming Insolvent