Whilst we demand high standards of professionalism from our members, we recognise that occasionally a member of the Institute may breach this Code. If you feel that one of our members has breached the Code and wish to make a formal complaint, all complaints received are dealt with in accordance with the following procedure.
At the current time, the BIID is unable to offer a dispute resolution service. There are various methods of dispute resolution including mediation, arbitration and adjudication. If you wish to go down this route we may be able to recommend an external provider to you. Please contact the BIID office for details.
The BIID’s legal authority:
The BIID is a voluntary membership body, not a government regulator. As such we only have authority over our members in relation to their membership with us. We have no authority to issue fines, compel a designer to complete a project or prevent an interior designer from practicing.
The Complaints Procedure
1.1 All complaints should be submitted in writing to the Chief Operating Officer Katherine Elworthy via email@example.com. While complaints can be emailed we ask that the complaint itself is sent on a separate document (as a Word or PDF document).
1.2 As any complaint will be considered in light of whether the BIID member in question has breached the BIID Code of Conduct, we ask that the initial written complaint outlines what clauses of the Code may have been breached.
1.3 Once the Chief Operating Officer has received the complaint, she will inform the designer in question that a complaint has been received and that an Enquiry Panel will be convened in order to decide whether the designer has breached the Code of Conduct.
1.4 At this stage, only the Chief Operating Officer, complainant and designer will be aware of the complaint. It is not shared with any other staff members or Directors.
1.5 Please note: the Chief Operating Officer acts as the administrator of the complaint and is unable to make any comment as to whether or not the designer may have breached the Code of Conduct.
2.1 The next stage is for the Chief Operating Officer to organise an Enquiry Panel. This usually a half day meeting held in a central London venue. The parties invited are:
a) The Enquiry Panellists: 2 experienced Registered Interior Designers and 1 non-designer non-member;
b) The complainant: i.e. the individual or individuals who have made the complaint along with any witnesses they wish to bring;
c) The subject of the complaint: i.e. the member against whom the complaint has been made along with any witnesses they wish to bring;
d) The Chief Operating Officer – attending only in an administrative capacity;
e) The Institute may also wish to invite an independent adviser to attend.
2.2 The 3 Enquiry Panel members have been given authority by the Institute to determine whether or not a breach of the Code of Conduct has occurred.
2.3 Every effort will be made to find a date that is convenient for both the complainant and the subject of the complaint. However, if one party does not attend they can send written evidence in their place. If both parties do not attend they can both send written evidence to be considered by the Enquiry Panel.
2.4 Once the date of the Enquiry Panel has been confirmed, both the complainant and the subject of the complaint will be asked to submit all written evidence 21 days in advance of the Enquiry Panel session. This will ensure that the Enquiry Panel members are given a week to review all submitted written evidence. They can then revert back to the Chief Operating Officer to ask for any missing evidence. The Chief Operating Officer will then revert back to the complainant and/or the subject of the complaint and ask them to submit any missing evidence. This then needs to be submitted 7 days in advance of the Enquiry Panel session to ensure all parties have enough time to review it.
2.5 After the Enquiry Panel has heard from both parties they will convene to make their decision. The decision will be either that the subject of the complaint has breached the BIID Code of Conduct or not. Every effort will be made to inform both parties of the decision of the Enquiry Panel within 1 working day.
2.6 If the Enquiry Panel decide that a breach has occurred, they will recommend to the BIID Council of Directors one of the following options:
a) a formal reprimand
b) continuation of membership on condition that the member undertakes a prescribed amount of mentoring/studying for a set period of time
c) suspension of membership for set period of time, within which the member is expected to undertake a prescribed amount of mentoring/studying. Upon satisfactory completion of this mentoring/studying, membership will be reinstated.
d) being removed from membership permanently.
2.7 After being informed of the decision, the complainant or subject of the complaint may wish to appeal. They can only do so on grounds of new evidence or manifest injustice of the decision.
Publication of the decision
3.1 If the subject of the complaint is found not liable, details of the complaint will not be shared with anyone else at the Institute. However, a summary of the judgement, with all identifying details redacted, may be published for educational purposes.
3.2 If the subject of the complaint is found liable, a summary of the judgement may be published. In either case, any notes of the Enquiry Panel proceedings made by Enquiry Panel members or the Chief Operating Officer will be for BIID records only and will not be shared with either party.
Appealing a decision
4.1 In the case of an appeal, the BIID Council of Directors will nominate an appropriate external body to hear the appeal.
(BIID Complaints Procedure, v1.3, last updated: June 2018)
In the first in a new series on collaboration we examine why supplier relationships are so important.
BIID President, Lester Bennet, would like to wish all our members a happy 2021.
BIID has welcomed a range of new members and Industry Partners over the last three months.