How to complain
Concordian is a member of the Civil Mediation Council (CMC), the organisation that sets the standards for mediators. The CMC has adopted the EU Model Code of Conduct for Mediators and Concordian abides by the same Model Code as follows.
1. COMPETENCE AND APPOINTMENT OF MEDIATORS
Mediators shall be competent and knowledgeable in the process of mediation. Relevant factors shall include proper training and continuous updating of their education and practice in mediation skills, having regard to any relevant standards or accreditation schemes.
The mediator will confer with the parties regarding suitable dates on which the mediation may take place. The mediator shall satisfy them as to his or her background and competence to conduct the mediation before accepting the appointment and, upon request, disclose information concerning his or her background and experience to the parties.
1.3 Advertising / promotion of the mediator’s services.
Mediators may promote their practice in a professional, truthful and dignified way.
2. INDEPENDENCE AND IMPARTIALITY
2.1 Independence and neutrality
The mediator must not act, or, having started to do so, continue to act, before having disclosed any circumstances that may, or may be seen to, affect his or her independence or conflict of interests. The duty to disclose is a continuing obligation throughout the process.
Such circumstances shall include: any personal or business relationship with one of the parties, any financial or other interest, direct or indirect, in the outcome of the mediation, or the mediator, or a member of his or her firm, having acted in any capacity other than mediator for one of the parties.
In such cases the mediator may only accept or continue the mediation provided that he or she is certain of being able to carry out the mediation with full independence and neutrality in order to guarantee full impartiality and that the parties explicitly consent.
The mediator shall at all times act, and endeavour to be seen to act, with impartiality towards the parties and be committed to serve all parties equally with respect to the process of mediation.
3. THE MEDIATION AGREEMENT, PROCESS, SETTLEMENT AND FEES
The mediator shall satisfy him or herself that the parties to the mediation understand the characteristics of the mediation process and the role of the mediator and the parties in it.
The mediator shall in particular ensure that prior to commencement of the mediation the parties have understood and expressly agreed the terms and conditions of the Mediation Agreement including in particular any applicable provisions relating to obligations of confidentiality on the mediator and on the parties.
The mediation agreement shall, upon request of the parties, be drawn up in writing.
The mediator shall conduct the proceedings in an appropriate manner, taking into account the circumstances of the case, including possible power imbalances and the rule of law, any wishes the parties may express and the need for a prompt settlement of the dispute. The parties shall be free to agree with the mediator, by reference to a set of rules or otherwise, on the manner in which the mediation is to be conducted.
The mediator, if he deems it useful, may hear the parties separately.
3.2 Fairness of the process
The mediator shall ensure that all parties have adequate opportunity to be involved in the process.
The mediator shall inform the parties and may terminate the mediation, if:
- a settlement is being reached that to the mediator appears unenforceable or illegal, having regard to the circumstances of the case and the competence of the mediator for making such an assessment, or
- the mediator considers that continuing the mediation is unlikely to result in a settlement.
3.3 The end of the process
The mediator shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that any understanding is reached by all parties through knowing and informed consent, and that all parties understand the terms of the agreement.
The parties may withdraw from the mediation at any time without giving any justification.
The mediator may, upon request of the parties and within the limits of his or her competence, inform the parties as to how they may formalise the agreement and as to the possibilities for making the agreement enforceable.
Where not already provided, the mediator must always supply the parties with complete information on the mode of remuneration which he intends to apply. He shall not accept a mediation before the principles of his remuneration have been accepted by all parties concerned.
The mediator shall keep confidential all information arising out of or in connection with the mediation, including the fact that the mediation is to take place or has taken place, unless compelled by law or public policy grounds.
Any information disclosed in confidence to mediators by one of the parties shall not be disclosed to the other parties without permission or unless compelled by law.
COMPLAINTS POLICY AND PROCEDURE
The purpose of the procedure is to provide an informal route to discuss your concerns and a formal route through which you can bring a complaint to the attention of Concordian. Who and what we can and can't take complaints on.
We take all complaints seriously.
We also ask that everyone involved respects the principles of fairness, honesty, integrity and respect. We are unable to continue to deal with complaints where it becomes clear that there has been bullying, harassment, or malicious or abusive behaviour towards the mediator.
· We will make sure the earliest possible resolution is sought to any concern or complaint and that it provides a fair and appropriate outcome for you and our member, whether by formal or informal methods.
· We will respond to you with respect, objectivity, honesty and integrity.
· We will treat you and any member with respect and fairness, and with due regard to the confidentiality of sensitive or legal information.
· We will consider each complaint without reference to race, religion, belief, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age.
· We will ensure what we do, and the decisions we make, are transparent and reasoned and we will promptly inform you, and the member involved, of the progress we make.
· We will make sure you, and any member, have the chance to put forward any concerns fully and that you, and they, are listened to.
· We will do all we can to minimise the stress of the process and will offer personal support to you and our member throughout.
· We will reflect upon, and try to learn from, each complaint so we can continue to promote and encourage high standards of practice by our members. Purpose The procedure aims to: · Be accessible, clear and straightforward.
· Encourage a cooperative and conciliatory resolution of any concern or complaint, as soon as can be achieved.
· Be efficient and within published timescales wherever possible.
· Ensure full, fair and balanced consideration of complaints.
· Respect your confidentiality and the duty of our members to respect and protect that confidentiality.
· Provide an effective and appropriate response, and an outcome that is within the limits what we are able to do.
· Protect, improve and promote the high standards of practice.
· Identify areas of weakness, in order to support our mediator’s development and improvement.
Contact your mediator and raise your concern with them so they have the opportunity to deal with it directly. If that does not resolve things, you should make a formal written complaint to the following address and give him sufficient time to respond (up to eight weeks):
152-160 City Road, London EC1V 2NX
If you are not happy with the response, you can ask for an independent person (Independent Person) to conclusively determine the outcome of the complaint. The Independent Person can be someone agreed between you and the other parties to the mediation (if appropriate) and the mediator. If there is no agreement on the identity of the Independent Person then the matter will be referred to the CMC, who will appoint that person. The costs for the referral or paying the fees of the Independent Person shall be borne equally by the parties to the complaint.
The file your mediator will hold about your mediation is confidential, therefore your mediator will need to contact the other person involved in the mediation to ask for their permission for the Independent Person to see any details from it. If the other person agrees, we can then deal with your complaint following our usual complaints procedure.