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Compliments, suggestions and complaints

Resolution Institute policy

We welcome compliments, suggestions and complaints.

We believe that each of these forms of feedback enables us to improve and extend the services we offer. It also enables Members to engage in continuous improvement in their delivery of high quality, professional DR, education and advice.

We commit:

  • to listen carefully, to ask questions respectfully and to respond appropriately in a timely manner
  • to keep appropriate records
  • in the case of complaints:
    • to address them even handedly and to follow the principles of natural justice
    • to maintain confidentiality about the people concerned, the content of the complaint and the process used to resolve it, unless required by law to do otherwise
  • to keep those involved informed of the progress of the complaint
  • to apply a clear internal procedure so that all complaints are addressed in a fair, consistent and timely manner
  • to reflect on and learn from feedback and, as a result, to initiate appropriate steps to lead to improved delivery of DR services.

What you can expect

If you have a compliment, suggestion or complaint, we want to hear about it.

Please give us your compliments, suggestions or complaints by telephone, in person or in writing in an email or a letter. If you talk to us first about it, sometimes we will ask for more information in writing.

We will respond to you courteously and as promptly as is reasonable depending on how complicated the matter is that you have raised.

If you give us a compliment, we will make sure that we pass it to the relevant person(s). We will also think about how we can continue doing whatever it is that you have complimented us on, and how we can learn from it to improve other areas of our services.

If you give us a suggestion, we will ask you about the reasons for the suggestion and pass it to the relevant person(s). As well, we will consider the benefits of your suggestion and whether it is possible and appropriate for us to implement it. We will provide you with feedback about whatever we decide.

If you make a complaint about a service, we will request the details and pass the complaint to the relevant person(s). After referring to any relevant emails or other documents, we will provide a response which could include an explanation, an apology and/or an action to improve the situation or fix it.

If you make a complaint about a Member (who may be a mediator, an adjudicator, an arbitrator, a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner, other DR practitioner or a person with an interest in DR), we will take notes to pass to a Complaints Officer. The Officer will contact you to obtain more details, and as soon as possible, will suggest one or more ideas about appropriately managing your complaint. After consulting with you, the Officer will decide on the next steps which are workable and which, as far as possible, are satisfactory to you. Next steps may include:

  • taking the complaint no further,
  • providing you with information relevant to the complaint
  • referring you to another avenue for making the complaint,
  • informing the Member about the complaint and inviting a response,
  • following one or other DR processes to resolve the complaint, or
  • referring it to be addressed according to our Constitution and By-Laws dealing with Concerns, Complaints and Investigations into the conduct of Members
  • taking other steps appropriate to the circumstances

If an DR process is agreed on, the Officer will communicate with all who are involved and assist in establishing, facilitating and, later, concluding the process.

If the complaint is to be addressed under the Constitution and By-Laws of Resolution Institute, the Board will consider it and may decide to have it resolved informally by DR, refer it to an Investigation Committee or dismiss it.

We will advise you, the Member and any others involved about confidentiality.

We will maintain regular contact with you and with the Member to keep you each informed of progress, to provide any reasonable assistance and, as far as possible, to make sure that you are satisfied with the steps that we have taken. We will apply a clear internal procedure so that all complaints are addressed in a fair, consistent and timely manner. In the interests of being thorough the timeline for addressing complaints can sometimes be longer than initially expected.

Timeframes vary from between 6 weeks and 12 weeks from the time that the complaint is received for according to the complexity of the issues.

Some explanations that may help

Complaints Officer: this may be a member of the Board, the Chief Executive Officer or other suitably experienced and qualified Officer whom the Board has appointed to address complaints.

DR: describes processes where an independent person(s) (DR practitioner(s)) assists people in dispute to sort out the issues between them.

Date policy adopted: 19 October 2015