Report of the Professional Conduct Committee 30 September 2020

Author: IStructE

Date published

30 September 2020

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Report of the Professional Conduct Committee 30 September 2020

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Author
Date published
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Report
Author

IStructE

Date published

30 September 2020

Author

IStructE

The PCC reports on the outcomes of two separate disciplinary cases:

In accordance with Procedural Rule 2.25 (01/19/V3REG4) the following decisions of the Professional Conduct Committee (“the PCC”) are published without the Members name.

A complaint was made to the Institution arising out of the appointment of a member to provide structural engineering services for an extension to a property. Taking all matters into account the PCC found that the member designed a concrete beam that was outside the limits of standard design guidance which resulted in unresolved excessive deflection and ongoing serviceability issues.  The PCC found further that the member failed to properly address the reasonable concerns raised by the client in relation to the long-term performance and stability of the frame and instead the member continued to defend their design without any attempt to address and resolve the matter of the continued deflection and the consequences of that deflection, resulting in an unnecessarily prolonged and stressful situation for the client.

The PCC, taking into consideration its findings above, decided that the member failed to comply with Article 6 of the Code of Conduct.
 
The PCC directed the member to issue an appropriately worded Apology pursuant to Regulation 4.2.2.1(2) in respect of their actions and the consequences of those actions on the client.
 
The PCC directed the member to provide the following Undertaking pursuant to Regulation 4.2.2.1(4) in the following terms:
I, [member], will undertake to use my best endeavours to resolve in a reasonable timeframe, and at no further cost to [client], the matter of the concrete beam that is the cause of ongoing serviceability issues and to bring the matter to a reasonable and satisfactory conclusion for both parties.
 
The PCC issued a Reprimand to the member pursuant to Regulation 4.2.2.1(6) in the following terms:
The PCC gives notice to [member] that a Reprimand is the severest sanction which it may impose and also issues a warning to [member] that [member] has failed to comply with the Code of Conduct as above, and any complaint against [member] which comes before the PCC in the future, resulting from conduct similar to that which gave rise to this complaint, is likely to be dealt with more severely and referred to the Disciplinary Board for decision.

______________________________________________________

 

A complaint was made to the Institution arising out of the appointment of a member to provide structural engineering services for an extension of the basement of a property. Taking all matters into account the PCC found that the member failed to provide any terms of engagement or contract for the work they were to undertake; was not adequately qualified to undertake the basement project; and, failed to respond to the checking engineer’s requests made to them. The PCC found further that the member failed to deal properly or at all with associated Party Wall matters, and, failed to provide evidence of their Professional Indemnity Insurance cover upon their client’s request, instead providing a copy of their public liability insurance.

The PCC, taking into consideration its findings above, decided that the member failed to comply with Articles 1, 3, 5 and 6 of the Code of Conduct.

The PCC issued a Training Order to the member, pursuant to Regulation 4.2.2.1(3), in the following terms:
The PCC requires [member] to undertake specific training, within 12 months of the date of this decision, in the area of: 

  1. Understanding the Party Wall Act and appointment.

  2. Drafting terms of professional work;

  3. Effective and timely communications for engineers;

  4. Understanding the difference between types of insurance relevant to structural engineers.


The PCC directed the member to provide the following Undertaking pursuant to Regulation 4.2.2.1(4) in the following terms:
I, [member], will in accordance with Guidance Note 2.1.2, prior to accepting a commission to provide professional services, ensure that appropriate professional indemnity insurance is carried, and if appropriate professional indemnity insurance is not carried, I will inform my client accordingly.

The PCC issued a Warning to the member pursuant to Regulation 4.2.2.1(5) in the following terms:
The member’s professional conduct as a Graduate Member of the Institution Structural Engineer has resulted in a decision by the PCC that there has been a failure by [member] to comply with Articles 1, 3, 5 and 6 of the Code of Conduct and that any complaint against [member] which comes before the PCC in the future, resulting from conduct similar to that which gave rise to this complaint, is likely to be dealt with more severely. 

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