Complaints and Compliance
We aim to provide a mediation service fully satisfactory to all of our clients.
We aim to respond promptly and courteously to any complaint, formal or informal. We
value the views of clients and will endeavour to use these in a constructive manner and to
help us to improve our service.
Any concern you may have as to our practice or the service provided should be referred to
Michael in the first instance. Ideally this should be in writing, by post or email, with a clear
description of your concerns and of any suggestions or ideas you may have as to how the
problem could be resolved. If Michael is unable to resolve this with you directly or
otherwise, any complaint you have should be dealt with as follows.
When can a complaint be made and by whom?
A client, a former client or a qualifying third party (see below) may make a complaint that relates to breaches of the Family Mediation Council’s (FMC) Codes of Practice or Standards Framework that occurred within the last three months.
You may complain to the Family Mediation Standards Board (FMSB) if you have exhausted our complaints process in the last three months or if you have made a complaint to us and we have not responded to your complaint .
What type of complaints will be considered?
The FMSB will consider complaints that concern breaches of the FMC’s professional standards. The professional standards are set out in the FMC’s Code of Practice, the FMC’s Code of Practice for Professional Practice Consultants and the FMC’s Manual of Professional Standards and Self-Regulatory Framework.
What type of complaints will not be considered?
Complaints that appear to be vexatious or of a purely personal nature do not have to be investigated by us and will not be considered by the FMSB.
A complaint will be acknowledged within 10 working days of receipt and will be investigated and responded to within 30 working days of receipt. On occasions further time may be required, in which case the complainant will be notified in writing.
Where both the complainant and mediator wish to do so the complaint may be dealt with by mediation.
You will allow information held by us to be shared with the FMSB in the event that a formal complaint is made to the FMSB, to which that information pertains.
Qualifying third parties
The following qualify as third parties who can make a complaint against a mediator:
• A prospective client who has been directly affected by a mediator’s professional behaviour;
• A person who has been invited to participate in a mediation process, for example another professional who attends a mediation.
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. Likewise, mediators may sign court forms to say one person has attended a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) without notifying a potential second mediation participant or inviting them to attend MIAM themselves. Complaints about a mediator not 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 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 as a third party, you will only receive a limited amount of information in response to your complaint, even in circumstances where it is considered by the FMSB. Complaints that appear to be vexatious or of a purely personal nature do not have to be investigated by mediators.
Further information on how to make a complaint to the FMSB can be found at: https://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/complaints-about-mediators/