Complaints Policy

Complaints Handling Policy and Procedures

Caring for our clients

AFMS is committed to providing a high quality family mediation service to all our clients. We welcome comments, compliments and concerns being raised with us in writing in order to learn and improve our practice. Code of Practice and Guidance Mediations are conducted in accordance with the Family Mediation Council (FMC) Code of Practice https://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk and the updated Code of Practice can be found here.

What you should do if something goes wrong?

If on any occasion we fall below the standard you expect, please address your concern in writing to the mediator who had conduct of your case who will try and resolve the concern promptly and courteously. If you wish to provide your concerns verbally you can also do so. Please see timescales (below). The mediator may discuss the concern with their Professional Practice Consultant (PPC) where required.

Who may make a complaint?

Complaints including claims of breach of the Family Mediation Council’s (FMC) Code of Practice or Standards Framework about a matter occurring within the last 3 months may be made by prospective, current or former mediation clients (including persons attending mediation information and assessment meetings or other initial consultations); or by others who have been invited to either participate in a mediation process), for example another professional who attends a mediation, or by other FMC Registered Mediators, including Professional Practice Consultants (PPCs).

Complaints that appear to be vexatious or of a purely personal nature do not have to be investigated by mediators. For the avoidance of doubt, it is common for a mediator to contact a potential mediation participant after seeing the other potential mediation participant. Complaints about a mediator making contact with a potential participant do not therefore need to be investigated by mediators and will not be accepted by the FMSB. Please note comments or posts on social media will not constitute an official complaint for these purposes. We ask when you sign the Agreement to mediate that you do not comment or post concerns on social media in the first instance.

Please note that neither mediators nor the FMSB will be able to disclose any information to you that is confidential between the mediator and the mediation participant(s). It is therefore normal that you will only receive a limited amount of information in response to your complaint, even in circumstances where your complaint is considered by the FMSB. Details of AFMS’ privacy policy and how we process your personal data can be found on our website https://allisonmediation.co.uk/privacy-policy/

Timescales

Complaint timescale: 3 months from the date of the last mediation session
Complaints that relate to the way a mediation was conducted as a whole, the date the 3 months runs from is the last mediation session.

Acknowledgement: 10 working days of receipt

Once we have recorded your feedback in writing we will acknowledge your complaint and the mediator will respond to you by e-mail, letter or phone call within 10 days working days of receipt.

Response: 30 days of receipt

All complaints which fall within the scope of this policy will be investigated and responded to normally within 30 days of receipt.

Additional Time: There may be occasions where further time may be required and this will be notified to you in writing.

Other Participant: It may be appropriate for us to notify the other participant that a complaint has been made.

Managing your complaint

Where appropriate the mediator may offer a meeting or further mediation session to resolve outstanding issues. Please be aware complaints about the content of mediation discussions cannot be investigated.

Our policy allows for mediation of the complaint where both the complainant and mediator wish this to proceed. The mediator’s PPC may offer the mediator support in attempting to resolve the matter by discussion or requesting further information or file notes and correspondence to review your case with the mediator however the PPC will not investigate your complaint.

Other methods of redress may include an apology, a discount on a future session, a reminder of how mediation works or an assurance for the future.

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of AFMS’ internal complaints process you may refer your complaint to the Family Mediation Standards Board (FMSB) if you have exhausted CP Mediation’s own complaints process in the last 3 months.

The FMSB will consider complaints that concern breaches of the FMC’s professional standards. Information held by the mediator may be shared with the FMSB. The procedure for complaining to the FMSB is available using the following link: https://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/complaints-about-mediators/

Complaints that appear to be vexatious or of a purely personal nature

Complaints can be considered vexatious when: –

  • the purpose appears to be to intimidate, disturb, disrupt and/or unduly or unfairly pressurise the mediator or the FMSB;
  • they are persistent/repetitive, and repeating the same or substantially similar complaints which have already been investigated;
  • they are clearly unfounded and unsupported by evidence;
  • they are irrelevant and relate to matters other than mediation;
  • abusive or offensive language is used.

Complaints can be considered of a purely personal nature if they are discriminatory or focus on the personal attributes or circumstances of a mediator rather than their actions as a mediator

Do you have any questions?

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