For Whānau » Raising a Concern

NZSTA Professional Complaints / Concerns

The New Zealand Speech-language Therapists’ Association (NZSTA) can only consider complaints concerning a current association member.

 Several options are available if you have a concern or complaint about the care or service you received from a speech-language therapist.

  1. Talk to the speech-language therapist involved. Often complaints can be resolved by letting the speech-language therapist know your concerns. Some organisations (such as Te Whatu Ora districts or ACC) have dedicated complaints processes and staff to help with this.
  2. Use the Health and Disability Advocacy service. This free, independent service can help you communicate your concern or complaint to your speech-language therapist. Advocates are available all over the country and will work with you to address your concerns.
  3. Make a complaint to the Health and Disability Commissioner.
  4. Talk to us at the New Zealand Speech-language Therapists’ Association (NZSTA), the self-regulatory body for speech-language therapists, about your complaint.

We can help you decide the best way to resolve the problem and check if we’re the right agency to complain to.  We can also talk through any questions about our complaint procedures.

If you wish to raise a concern or lay a formal complaint with NZSTA, it is best to do this in writing.   A form is available below to help you provide us with all the information we need: 

Online complaint form or download complaint form

Please get in touch with us if you need any assistance.

Things you need to know

  • You need to give us your name. We are unable to act on anonymous complaints.
  • We will reply to you via email or letter when we receive your complaint, usually within five working days.
  • In the interests of natural justice, we will let the speech-language therapist know that a complaint has been made against them and give them a copy.
  • We may not take any action if the Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC) is investigating your complaint.

Resolution by the New Zealand Speech-language Therapists’ Association

The NZSTA considers three types of complaints: professional conduct, clinical competence, and fitness to practice:

Professional Conduct: Where professional conduct is the concern, the NZSTA follows the NZSTA Principle and Rules of Ethics, which guides standards of behaviour expected of speech-language therapists in New Zealand.

Competence: Where clinical competence is the concern, speech-language therapists will be assessed against the Competency Based Occupational Standards (CBOS) requirements for entry-level clinical competency and relevant NZSTA policies and procedures.

Fitness for Practice: The NZSTA will rely on employer-based assessments wherever possible where fitness for practice is the concern. The NZSTA will work with the member to ensure appropriate medical assessments are completed and have the relevant support/supervision processes in place.

  • The speech-language therapist will be asked for their side of the story, and you will be given the opportunity to share more information.
  • The NZSTA complaints committee may investigate the complaint using a formal process. This process has several possible outcomes.

May include but are not limited to: 

  1. No further action
  2. Board imposed supervision
  3. Conditions on the scope of practice
  4. Retraining (details based on specific case) 
  5. Training
  6. Suspension or expulsion from the NZSTA

Other concerns and complaints

If you feel the NZSTA has breached your privacy, you can complain to the NZSTA privacy officer.

Information about the process is available here. You can view the personal information held by the NZSTA about you under your personal profile.  You can edit some of this information or request changes if you feel it is incorrect.

You may also complain to the Privacy Commissioner.

The NZSTA is unable to receive concerns or complaints relating to the use of the title ‘speech-language therapist’ as this title is not legally protected.

Registration with the NZSTA is voluntary. Most workplaces require registration as a speech-language therapist with the NZSTA.  For more registration information.

If you are unhappy about a decision that the NZSTA has made, the actions of an NZSTA staff member, or an NZSTA process, you can make a formal complaint.

Please contact us for information on how to do this

Complaints Process