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Steps for Handling Complaints Against Mediators

Step 1

The complaint handler will make initial contact with the complainant within 2 working days.

Step 2

The complaint handler will conduct an initial assessment which will involve discussing with the complainant the concerns and the desired outcome. The complaint handler will listen to the complainant and, if it is appropriate, resolve the matter at this initial point of contact.

Step 3

lf appropriate, the complaint handler may facilitate the complainant to discuss the issues with the mediator directly if this has not already been tried. This meeting may be facilitated by the complaint handler to ensure both parties communicate openly in a problem solving environment.

If steps 2 and 3 are unsuccessful, the following process will be undertaken.

Step 4

In the case of a verbal complaint being made, the complainant will be asked to put the complaint in writing, but is not required to do so. The organisation will offer assistance to the complainant to put a complaint in writing.

Step 5

The complaint handler will ask the complainant's permission to take notes.

Step 6

The complaint handler will ask the complaintant's permission to inform the mediator of the details of the complaint, including the complaintant's name. If the complaintant does not agree to the mediator being given the details of the complaint, the complaint handler will inform the complaintant that this may limit the effectiveness of the complaints handling process.

Step 7

The complaint handler will conduct an initial assessment which will involve:

a. discussion with the mediator, informing him her of the complaint and listening to the response,

b. assessment of the willingness of all parties to cooperate with the complaint handling process,

c. assessment of the nature of the complaint and d. selection of a dispute resolution process to suit the circumstances.

Step 8

Following the initial assessment, the complaint handler will provide information to the complainant and the mediator about the process to be adopted, within seven days after initial contact if practical.

The complaint handler will inform both the complainant and the mediator of the expected timeframe of the complaint handling process and will keep them informed of any changes to the expected timeframe.

Step 9

A dispute resolution process may include:

  • discussion between the complainant and the mediator,
  • negotiation between the parties,
  • mediation of the complaint, if both parties agree, and/or
  • other third party assisted dispute resolution.

lf the complaint cannot be resolved through any of the  above methods, an investigation of the complaint by the complaint handler may be appropriate. Any investigation will result in a recommendation.

Step 10

Subsequent to the conclusion of the dispute resolution process:

  • feedback will be given to fhe complainant and the mediator about the outcome of the process and
  • ADRA (or other central body) will be informed of the complaint and the outcome.