Complaints support

All CIPHE Members commit that they will...

  • Perform professionally, competently and responsibly
  • Safeguard the environment and public health and safety
  • Comply with all relevant laws, regulations, standards and codes
  • Broaden, improve and maintain their skills, knowledge and personal qualities
  • Uphold the dignity, standing and reputation of the Institute and the plumbing mechanical engineering services industry
  • Abide by the Code of Professional Standards

All members of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering voluntarily commit to abide by the Code of Professional Standards. If a member of the CIPHE contravenes any of the six points of the Code, he or she can make themselves liable for a formal complaint to be made against them.

The majority of complaints normally arise due to a breakdown in communication. Therefore, if both parties talk, most issues can be rectified without undergoing a formal complaints procedure. Sadly, some issues cannot be rectified without outside intervention and that is where the CIPHE’s complaints procedure comes in.

The CIPHE offers a fair and independent platform, allowing each side to explain their standpoint, with the aim of amicably resolving any grievances. The CIPHE Head Office team is here to support both consumers and members through this process.

The complaints process

The complaints procedure gives a fair hearing to both sides, so it is vital both consumers and members understand the process. It may seem daunting, so here is it broken down:

1) Making a formal complaint

Once it is established that the plumbing or heating engineer is a member of the CIPHE, then a complaint form is sent to the consumer to complete. Once this is returned to Head Office, a copy is then sent to the member concerned for their comments.

It’s really important that both sides give as much information as possible on the complaint form and give any supplementary information as requested.

2) The CIPHE Investigation Panel

When all the relevant paperwork from both parties is returned, the complaint is then referred to the CIPHE’s Investigation Panel who will investigate the complaint.

The Investigation Panel is made up of technical experts. In some instances, the Professional Standards Administrator may contact the member in question to see if the complaint can be resolved without any further intervention from the CIPHE.

This is the most frequent point of resolution of complaints, as many are due to a breakdown in communication between the parties. However, for cases which have been assessed to meet the threshold for further investigation and that cannot be resolved at this point, a referral to the Disciplinary Committee can be made.

3) Professional Standards Inspector

On some occasions, the Investigation Panel may ask a Professional Standards Inspector to conduct a site visit and produce a written report on the work completed by the member. This report may help the Investigation Panel to reach a decision whether to refer the complaint on to the Disciplinary Committee.

4) Disciplinary Committee

The Disciplinary Committee is made up of high-skilled voluntary members with professional expertise from across the plumbing and heating industry, with administrative support provided by CIPHE Head Office Staff. The Disciplinary Committee will work with both parties to try and reach a resolution, but can ultimately impose sanctions on the member, all the way up to removal from membership.

Who does the CIPHE complaints procedure cover?

The CIPHE complaints procedure has the aim of resolution at its core, working on behalf of both its members and consumers. Unfortunately, the CIPHE can only accept complaints about its own members, as the Investigation Panel and Disciplinary Committees have no jurisdiction over non-members.

The CIPHE cannot investigate complaints against Industrial Associate Supporters of the CIPHE as they are not bound by the Code. In the case of complaints, the company or organisation’s internal complaints department should be contacted directly.

How to complain

If you would like to know more about the Institute’s complaints procedure, or have a complaint to make about a CIPHE member, please contact Maxine Rouse, the Professional Standards Administrator on 01708-463111 or email maxiner@ciphe.org.uk

Code of Professional Standards

All members of the CIPHE voluntarily commit to abide by the Code of Professional Standards, ensuring professionalism and good workmanship.

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