The Safety Codes Council has the authority to investigate complaints about accredited organizations, safety codes officers, permit issuers, and Master Electricians. This procedure applies to the conduct, performance, or competency of an organization or individual having authority, powers, or duties under the Safety Codes Act.
Please note that our complaints investigations deal only with people or organizations that have authority, powers, or duties under the Safety Codes Act and its regulations. The Council does not have authority over contractors or tradespeople.
In situations requiring immediate attention, the Council complaint process may not be the best avenue for the concern. If you are aware of an unsafe situation, contact your local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), which is usually your municipality. To confirm the AHJ in your area, see our Where to get a permit tool.
The complaints investigation process only applies to the following individuals and organizations:
- Accredited municipalities
- Accredited agencies
- Accredited corporations
- Accredited Regional Services Commissions
- Safety codes officers
- Permit issuers
- Master Electricians
Complaints Investigations Process
1. Review procedure
If you believe that you have grounds for a complaint against an individual or organization described above, you can begin the investigation process by reviewing our Complaints Policy and Complaints Procedure documents. Contact us at 1.888.413.0099 if you have questions.
2. Submit the complaint form
Download the complaint form, fill it out, and attach supporting documentation as necessary.
An independent and unbiased Complaints Investigator will review the complaint to ensure that it falls within the scope of authority for the Council.
The Investigator will contact the complainant with any follow up questions. In addition, the respondent will be provided the opportunity to present any relevant information.
The Investigator will interview and take written statements from the complainant and respondent(s).
The Investigator will share his or her findings with the Administrator of Certification or the Administrator of Accreditation.
The Investigator will notify all parties of the results of the investigation.
Frequently Asked Questions
I discovered an unsafe situation. What do I do?
In situations requiring immediate attention the Council complaint process may not be the best avenue for the concern. In most cases the authority having jurisdiction is a municipality. If you are not sure who to direct your complaint to, please contact us at 780.413.0099 to be directed to appropriate resources.
What does the Council do with the information collected from the investigation?
The recording and analyzing of the types of complaints and the outcomes may be reviewed by the Council to provide information for improvements on efficiency and service delivery. All information collected is in compliance with FOIP. The Council may share information collected through the complaint process with Alberta Municipal Affairs.
Is the complaint confidential?
The Council cannot guarantee that the information you provide, or information that is obtained through other parties during the course of the investigation, will remain confidential. Respondents to the complaint are provided with information obtained during the investigation.
A contractor or tradesperson did poor quality work, and the inspecting SCO didn’t tell me. Do I have grounds for a complaint?
No. When an SCO performs an inspection, his or her job is to determine whether the work being inspected meets the intent of the applicable code. The codes are there to provide an acceptable level of safety only, not quality. The safety codes officials are not responsible for quality control of construction or installation outside of the safety codes aspects defined in the applicable codes.
The SCO who inspected my property didn’t inspect some part of it, such as the roof or sprinkler system.
Safety codes officers are not on site the entire time construction is underway. While they do inspect, they may not inspect every aspect every time. Some specific installations, such as sprinkler systems, are the responsibility of professionals such as engineers and qualified or certified installers.
Who or what sets the standards for inspections and permits?
The standards are set by the Safety Codes Council. The Council has adopted a model Quality Management Plan (QMP) which every accredited organization must meet or exceed. The QMP states the requirements surrounding permits, plans reviews, site inspections, and inspection requirements. Requirements vary according to type of organization (municipality or corporation) and which discipline the work in question falls under.
Results of a complaints investigation
If there are no concerns found as a result of the investigation, the investigation will be closed.
The other possible outcomes of a complaint investigation may include: a letter, a meeting to discuss the issues, corrective action requests, disciplinary letters, mandatory training, or suspension or cancellation of a Certificate of Competency or the Orders of Accreditation.
An appeal to the Safety Codes Council is a separate process that applies to formally issued notices, orders, and refusals. If you have received an order from a safety codes officer, a refusal of a permit or design registration, or a suspension or cancellation of certification or accreditation, you may appeal this to the Council. For more information, click here.