Procedure for Complaints

As at the 30th of July 2018

Should a member be found in contravention of the standards expected or to have knowingly breached the ‘Code of Conduct’, they will be encouraged, and in some cases, obliged to make changes.  Regardless of how a problem has arisen, our goal is to try and help members to reach an acceptable resolution.

We will consider complaints about poor service or incorrect advice, for example:

  • how a matter was handled
  • how fees were applied
  • how the client was treated
  • the way in which any complaint arose.

What we cannot do is adjudicate a claim or complaint that, in effect requires us to act like a Court of Law. For example, if a complaint relates to poor performance, we will assist the member in identifying and rectifying the problem which will effectively eradicate future problems. 

We cannot and will not investigate an anonymous complaint, unless the complaint will bring, or is likely to bring, the reputation of the Institute or other members into disrepute.

If a client or another member has an issue to settle with you or they formalise a complaint, they must engage with the Secretariat who will act as a mediator.

Members are encouraged to forward on any complaints from clients to the Secretariat. In such circumstances we believe it is always helpful to discuss the matter directly with the member or your client first - however should the members fail to agree, each member or their clients should seek assistance from the Institute who will assist them in coming to a fair resolution.  In these matters, you should enclose the complaint letter, submit a position statement, marking both documents 'Complaint' and deliver them to the Secretariat.

Should one member have an issue about another, these matters will be referred to the Secretariat. However, should the complaint be against a Corporate Member, it will be referred to the Executive Office.


Client Complaints Procedure

When a consumer complaint is received, the Secretariat needs to be informed immediately. Receipt of the complaint must be acknowledged and a complaint form delivered to the complainant within 21 days of receipt.

The TETLI Member will provide the complainant with the complaints form and ask that they complete and return it along with any relevant documents which in their view will assist the parties to better understand the complaint.

Once the form has been received, the complaint must be acknowledged and matters considered reasonably and fully then the adjudication to be returned to the complainant within 60 days.

If the offer made or the adjudication delivered, does not meet the anticipated expectation of the complainant, explanation must be offered that they have a right to appeal the decision, to the Institute Secretariat within 21 days.

If the complainant fails to return the form within 28 days, the complainant must be informed that you will be closing the file within 7 days unless a form has been returned. If the form is still not returned, the file can be closed.

If the form is returned later and after the file was closed, the claim may be reopened if elected. Should the file be refused to be reopened, the reasons why must be stated and the complainant must be offered the right to appeal this decision to the Institute Secretariat.

Any appeals will follow TETLI reasonable procedure.

Should it be determined that a retrospect extension should be offered to the complainant, the Secretariat’s decision must be accepted.

When re-considering, all matters must be taken into consideration and only then a finding should be made. Once that finding has been made it must be delivered to the complainant within 60 days of receipt of the complaint form.

Should the ruling fail to meet their expectation, they must be offered the right to appeal to the Secretariat and provided with the TETLI letter instructing them to make a submission within 28 days.


Consumer Complaint Regarding an Individual Member Under the Employ of a Corporate Member

The Institute will acknowledge to the Individual Member, receipt of the complaint.

TETLI will send the complainant a form to complete asking that they send it back to the Corporate Member marked for the attention of the person acknowledged as being the person handling complaint matters.

When the form and associated documents are received, the matter is to be determined in 60 days, including interviewing personnel, taking advice, considering documents, and fully respond to the compliant with a determination and the reason why it is believed to be fair and reasonable.

In all cases it must be explained to the complainant that they have the right to appeal the decision to the Secretariat within 28 days.


Secretariat Complaint Against TETLI Member

If expulsion is not available to the Secretariat, the TETLI Member will respond to the complaint within 14 days and the following procedure will apply.

Note: - The Secretariat is under no obligation to disclose the source of the complaint

Should the Institute adopt and raise a complaint against a Member of the Institute it will notify the Member and/or its Corporate Member employer and a disciplinary committee will be formed.

The committee will consist of three people, one being from the office of the Secretariat, a TETLI Member and their employer. If an adjudicating party fails to attend, a casting vote will be awarded to the Institute representative. The committee will dictate procedure, and the TETLI Member will present themselves to the committees and answer the complaint to the satisfaction of the committee.

Should the Member believe the committee’s decision is unfair, the Member can appeal to the Secretariat within 28 days.


TETLI Member Complaints Against TETLI Members

The Secretariat will call upon both members to attend a meeting at their earliest convenience. The meeting will in any event be within 4 weeks and each party is required to attend. If the complainant party fails to attend the complaint will be dismissed and should the complained of party be absent without reasonable excuse the complaint will be upheld.