POLICIES

POLICIES



Complaints Policy of Centre for Resolution


Centre for Resolution views complaints as an opportunity to learn and improve for the future, as well as a chance to put things right for the person or organisation that has made the complaint.

Our policy is: 
  • To provide a fair complaints procedure which is clear and easy to use for anyone wishing to make a complaint.
  • To publicise the existence of our complaints procedure so that people know how to contact us to make a complaint.
  • To make sure all complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely way.
  • To make sure that complaints are, wherever possible, resolved and that relationships are repaired.
  • To gather information which helps us to improve what we do 
Definition of a Complaint

A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction about any aspect of Centre for Resolution.
 
Where Complaints Come From

Complaints may come from any person or organisation who has a legitimate interest in Centre for Resolution. 
A complaint can be received verbally, by phone or by email.

Confidentiality

All complaint information will be handled sensitively, telling only those who need to know and following any relevant data protection requirements.

Responsibility

Overall responsibility for this policy and its implementation lies with Ryan Compton.

Contact Details for Complaints

Email complaints may be sent to ryan@centreforresolution.co.uk.
Verbal complaints may be made by phone to 01905 21717 or in person to any of Centre for Resolution’s staff.

PROCEDURE

In many cases, a complaint is best resolved by the person responsible for the issue being complained about. If the complaint has been received by that person, they may be able to resolve it swiftly and should do so if possible and appropriate.

Whether or not the complaint has been resolved, the complaint information should be passed to Ryan Compton as soon as possible (no more than one week).

On receiving the complaint, Ryan Compton records it in the complaints log. If it has not already been resolved, they delegate an appropriate person to investigate it and to take appropriate action.

If the complaint relates to a specific person, they should be informed and given a fair opportunity to respond. 
Complaints should be acknowledged by the person handling the complaint within two weeks. The acknowledgement should say who is dealing with the complaint and when the person complaining can expect a reply. A copy of this complaints procedure should be attached.

Ideally complainants should receive a definitive reply within four weeks. If this is not possible because for example, an investigation has not been fully completed, a progress report should be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given.

The reply to the complainant should describe the action taken to investigate the complaint, the conclusions from the investigation, and any action taken as a result of the complaint.

Review

This policy is reviewed regularly and updated as required. 
Last reviewed: 18/04/2017
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Rules of Mediation


1. INTERPRETATION

In these rules the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(a) ‘’Mediator’’ means an employee of CfR’s Mediation team chosen by the parties to facilitate the Mediation. The mediator is someone who is neutral. The mediator cannot provide any legal or professional advice to the parties/representatives.

(b) ‘’Agreement to Mediate’’ means a legally binding contract to mediation, prepared by CfR for the parties, their representatives, the mediator and others in attendance of the mediation. The agreement would be executed before the mediation begins. The agreement includes details about the process of the mediation, confidentiality, liability and respect between parties, the mediator and CfR. The agreement to mediate requires compliance and agreement to these rules. 

(c) ‘’Party’’ means an individual or group who is a participant in a dispute. A party can be someone who is in the mediation or represented at the mediation.

(d) ‘’Representative’’ means the lawyer, counsel, attorney, advocate or other authorised representative of the party.

(e) ‘’Facilitative Mediation’’ is a process where the mediator offers no evaluation, opinion or judgment of either party. The mediator purely assists the mediation by facilitating the mediation between the parties. The mediator will always remain impartial.

(f) ‘’Settlement Agreement’’ is a document that is used in civil, commercial and workplace mediation, in which the parties and the representatives agree to and sign before the mediation has finished. This document sets out terms in which both parties have agreed to settle. The parties intend this document to be legally binding. 

(g) ‘’Open Statement of Financial Information’’ is a document used in family mediation when parties disclose their finances. This is a purely factual document to reflect the financial situation. 

(h) ‘’Memorandum of Understanding’’ is a document used in family mediation, which contains proposals agreed by the parties. Proposals can include arrangements for children and financial settlement. 

1.1 These rules are implemented to give an effective and efficient mediation.                       

2. AGREEMENT OF PARTIES

2(1) These rules and any amendments made to them are part of the Agreement to Mediate. 

2(2) These rules may change at any point with the written consent of the parties or their representatives.

3. PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY OF MEDIATION

3(1) The mediation is private and confidential.

3(2) Every party/representative agrees that all proposals, offers and promises, whether written or oral, representations, actions and statements (including but not limited to admissions) made during the mediation by any of the parties, their experts, employers, representatives and agents. All observations, statements and comments made or relayed by the mediator and any documents, all notes and reports made or exchanged during the mediation are for the purpose of discussion/negotiation and are without prejudice.  

3(3) Anything that is admissible in a court of law prior to the mediation that then gets spoken of during the mediation is still admissible in a court of law after the mediation has taken place. 

3(4) none of the parties will invite CfR’s mediators to appear as a witness in any legal proceedings. 

3(5) None of the parties will summon any of CfR’s staff, anybody observing the mediation or the mediator. 

3(6) Any notes made by the mediator are private and confidential. These notes will be destroyed at the end of the final day of the mediation and will never be available to take part in any form of legal proceedings. Nor will they be available to anybody else at the mediation or anyone outside of the mediation. If the mediator feels for some reason that it is appropriate to keep this information in a secure place, the mediator reserves the right to do so.

Civil, Commercial and Workplace Mediation

3(7) A person who is not a party or representative can only attend the mediation with the consent of the mediator and all the parties. Every such person will sign schedule one before the mediation starts. 

3(8) All items stated in 3(2) will not be disclosed to any third party or used as evidence in any legal proceedings at any time. All correspondence before and during the mediation will be destroyed the day after the final mediation has taken place unless requested not to do so by one of the parties at which point the documents will be stored for an extra 14 days. In the event that any documents are requested for 14 days they will be destroyed on the 15th day. If the mediator feels for some reason that it is appropriate to keep this information in a secure place, the mediator reserves the right to do so.

Family Mediation

3(9) All documents except agreement to mediate, open statement of financial information, memorandum of understanding and any court forms e.g. C100 Form, will be destroyed the next working day after the final mediation. 

3(10) Agreement to mediate, open statement of financial information, memorandum of understanding and any court forms e.g. C100 form may be stored for up to 7 years from the date of the final mediation. 

3(11) The process of family mediation is completely confidential meaning no information will be shared outside of the mediation unless both parties have agreed to prior. The only exceptions to this are if the mediator feels there is a safeguarding issue, evidence of criminal activity or if mediation carries on into legal proceedings the courts can use the open statement of financial information document.

4. BASIC PRINCIPLES 

4(1) All parties and their representatives will attend the mediation with full authority to settle meaning that participants have the ability to make informed decisions. 

4(2) All parties and their representatives come to mediation with a willingness to engage in the process to try and reach a mutual agreement. This will take place under the facilitation of the mediator.

4(3) All parties and their representatives will make available to the mediator all paperwork that may help the mediation.

4(4) The parties recognise that the mediator may meet parties/representatives privately (Caucus) for the benefit of the mediation. All parties and representatives can request to go into a private caucus with the mediator at any time during the mediation. 

4(5) All parties and their representatives accept that there will be no electronic recording or any verbatim stenographic record taken of the mediation. Parties and their representatives can make notes but are not allowed to show anyone who hasn’t signed the Agreement to Mediate, without the consent of the other party. The notes are not admissible in any court, arbitration or other proceedings.

5. MEDIATION PROCEDURE 

Facilitative Mediation

5(1) CfR will utlise facilitative mediation throughout the mediation process in an attempt to facilitate settlement between the parties. During the process the mediator will remain impartial and non-judgmental and will also explore concerns, interests, issues and needs in an effort for both parties to reach settlement. 

5(2) The mediator will not advise any parties, this includes legal or professional advice or opinion. The parties will have to themselves obtain legal or professional advice from an independent counsel or representative.

5(3) The mediator will remain completely impartial throughout the whole process including settlement. They will not offer a resolution of offer to either party. 

5(4) The mediation techniques used will be that of facilitative mediation. This will happen until a settlement has been reached or if the mediation has been terminated.

Evaluative Mediation

5(5) CfR does not offer Evaluative Mediation. The mediators supplied by CfR will not advise or evaluate.

Termination of the Mediation

5(6) The mediation will be terminated:

(a) by agreement between the parties; or

(b) if a settlement is reached between the parties; or

(c) if the Mediator decides at any time during the mediation, that the mediation should be terminated. The parties will agree not to challenge the decision from the mediator nor will the parties ask for a reason, nor will the mediator give the parties a reason as to the termination of the mediation; or

(d) if no mutual agreement/settlement has been reached in the time allocated for the mediation and it is not possible to extend the mediation. However, the mediator and the parties can agree to re-schedule the mediation to a more convenient time; or

(e) either of the parties don’t wish to continue with the mediation

6. SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT AND FORMALITIES

6(1) Any agreement or settlement made is not legally binding unless taken a solicitor to be made legally binding.

6(2) In Civil, Commercial and Workplace Mediation the Mediator will not draft or sign the Settlement Agreement.

7. EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY

7(1) CfR nor any of their staff, agents or mediators are responsible or liable to any party or representative for any act or omission arising due to the mediation conducted by the mediator. 

7(2) These rules are without prejudice. By agreeing to the rules set out by CfR you also acknowledge and agree in the case that there is any liability found on part of the mediator that any claims raised against the mediator or CfR are limited to the sum of £1,000,000.

8. FEES AND COSTS OF MEDIATION

8(1) The fees and expenses of the mediator (the mediation fees) will be the responsibility of the parties in compliance with CfR’s Terms and Conditions current at the date of this agreement (Including any arrangement for additional hours if the mediation goes over the designated time).

8(2) If settlement is reached prior to the mediation commencing due to Centre for Resolution's correspondence, then an hourly rate of £50.00 will apply. 

8(3) If any of CfR’s mediators, staff, agents or representatives are requested to attend as a witness or make such an application, the party will fully compensate the Mediator, employee or staff member in terms of any costs they have incurred in opposing or replying to the application. This will include reimbursement for the mediator’s time spent replying or opposing the application the overtime fee set by CfR will be applied. This includes but is not limited to waiting, travelling, attending court or any other tribunal and preparing. 

8(4) Unless stated in writing and agreed by the parties and CfR, each party will equally share the liability of the mediation cost. Each party will have to bare in mind their own legal costs and expenses for preparing and attending the mediation before mediation begins. The parties agree that in the case of court or tribunal the mediation fees and each parties legal costs will both be treated as costs in relation to litigation/arbitration where the court has the power to assess the costs, even if the mediation did not result in a settlement agreement. 

Civil, Commercial and Workplace Mediation: 

8(5) Parties agree to each jointly pay to CfR:
                               
(a) the full cost of the mediation is paid before the date of the mediation. The full cost includes the mediators travel to the venue where mediation is taking place, the mediators preparation (up to 3 hours) and the mediation of up to 6 working hours; and

(b) if non-local travel and expenses (venue cost, overnight stay and food) is paid for by the mediator, the parties will reimburse the mediator of these costs upon presentation of the receipts by immediate transfer; and

(c) if the travel time is more than 1 hour the hourly/daily rate will apply. Payment should be cleared before the mediation commences; and

(d) the total mileage (as determined by Google Maps) will be charged at a rate of 45p per mile; and                    

(e) if the mediation goes over the allocated time the mediator will charge their overtime hourly rate (the overtime hourly rate is the hourly rate doubled). If the mediation carries over to an extra date that was not allocated at the beginning the mediator’s 
day rate will apply. This should be paid by immediate transfer on receipt of an invoice; and

(f) the costs of venue, interpreter, mediator’s airfare and additional costs will be the responsibilities of the parties to each jointly pay, if appropriate by business class and suitable accommodation.

8(6) For the full costs of civil, commercial and workplace mediation please visit www.centreforresolution.com/mediation-fees

Family Mediation

8(7) For the full costs of family mediation please visit 

8(8) Expenses won’t be chargeable if you are within our catchment area.  

9. CANCELLATION

Civil, Commercial and Workplace Mediation

9(1) Once the parties have received paperwork and the mediation for some reason does not take place, not by fault of the mediator, preparation time at a rate of £50 per hour (a maximum of 3 hours would apply) and any expenses incurred would be chargeable. 
                             
Family Mediation

9(2) If a party/parties are unable to attend a mediation session at least 48 hours notice would be required. The mediator will do their best to re-schedule the mediation session as soon as possible. A £50 no show fee will apply if less than 48 hours notice of non-attendance has been given.

10. LEGAL EFFECT AND STATUS OF THE MEDIATION

10(1) The Agreement to mediate and these rules are governed by the laws of England and wales and the courts of England and wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction to decide any matters arising out of or in connection with this agreement and the mediation.

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