Where to complain about a professional and others

Introduction

Many professions and skilled groups have professional bodies to represent their interests. Most of these organisations maintain professional standards either through the provision of training or the accreditation of new professionals. Some have mechanisms for investigating complaints where their members do not adhere to the required professional standards. Some have statutory responsibility for investigating such complaints.

If you have a complaint about a member of one of the following professions it is worthwhile to contact the relevant representative organisation which may be able to help you.

Solicitors

The Law Society is the statutory regulatory body for solicitors. It makes regulations on among other things, standards and conduct. It administers a compensation fund for losses suffered by clients through defaulting solicitors. It has appointed an Independent Adjudicator.

The Independent Adjudicator of the Law Society’s role is to ensure that complaints about the conduct of a solicitor are dealt with fairly and impartially by the Law Society. The Adjudicator cannot investigate at first hand a complaint about a solicitor.

Complaints about solicitors provided by the Legal Aid Board should be made as per the Legal Aid Board's complaints procedure.

Barristers

The Bar Council controls and regulates the professional conduct of barristers.

Teachers

The Teaching Council maintains a register of teachers and regulates the teaching profession and the professional conduct of teachers. It does not become involved in day-to-day contractual or disciplinary matters or complaints which can be dealt with more appropriately at local level. The Council’s role is limited to issues of serious professional misconduct or cases where a teacher is the subject of a criminal conviction. Such issues may lead to withdrawal of registration on a temporary or permanent basis. The Teaching Council provides information about making a complaint about a registered teacher.

Accountants

All the following organisations are professional bodies which set standards for their members.

Institute of Chartered Accountants has a complaints mechanism which deals with complaints against its members.

Institute of Certified Public Accountants has a code of ethics for its profession.

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants has a complaints mechanism which deals with complaints against its members.

Counsellors and therapists

The Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy sets standards and criteria for the practice of counselling and psychotherapy. It has a Code of Ethics and Practice. You can take a complaint about a counsellor who is a member of this association.

Medical professionals

There are statutory regulatory bodies for the medical professions. In general, they promote high standards of professional conduct, maintain a register of qualified personnel and investigate allegations of professional misconduct or fitness to practice. You can find more information about regulatory bodies for medical professionals on our website.

Private security personnel

The Private Security Authority (PSA), established under the Private Security Services Act 2004, is the statutory body with responsibility for regulating and licensing the Irish private security industry. It has been introducing licensing on a phased basis to the various sectors of the security industry. Information on the sectors for which licences are required and on the requirements for identity badges (pdf) is available on the PSA website.

Bookmakers

A dispute with a bookmaker at a horse racecourse or greyhound track is handled by Horse Racing Ireland or the Irish Greyhound Board respectively. If you have a dispute with a bookmaker elsewhere, you may be able to refer the dispute to the Independant Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS) in the UK provided the bookmaker is registered with IBAS. Under the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956, Section 36, a gaming or wagering contract is not enforceable and you cannot pursue a dispute through the courts.

Page edited: 22 January 2015