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Guidance on supporting evidence

A complaint of misconduct and its subsequent investigation may result in disciplinary action against a member. It is important to ensure that there is sufficient relevant information to allow the Investigation Committee to decide whether there is a prima facie case of misconduct.

Any complaint of misconduct made against a CIMA member should be accompanied by evidence to support it. We ask those who wish to make a complaint to provide as much detailed information and supporting documentation as they have available.

CIMA’s regulatory framework delivers its responsibility to uphold the public interest and in turn the complaints process is there to protect the public from misconduct on the part of CIMA members and registered students. The process is also independent so that both complainants and respondent are treated equally and fairly. To that end unsubstantiated or anonymous complaints cannot be pursued.

Evidence will vary from case to case but is likely to include copies of correspondence, printed copies of emails and any other documentation that is relevant to the complaint. For example in a complaint of false accounting the evidence might include communication exchanges, invoices, letters from the Inland Revenue, etc.

Obtaining detailed information at the outset also makes it more likely that the complaint can be dealt with promptly and efficiently through the process.

If you do not have evidence of misconduct, it may be that your complaint is about service or other consumer issues which may be resolved through the accountant’s complaints handling procedures or through alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

CIMA’s regulations do not specify a time limit within which a complaint must be made. However, the sooner a complaint is made the easier it may be for the matter to be investigated. Supporting evidence is still required and it may be more difficult to obtain evidence in support of a complaint or the recollection of witnesses relating to occurrences far in the past.