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Conflict of Interest waiver

From time to time as a mediator, you may be in a position to make a decision about whether to proceed with mediation or FDR when there is a potential conflict of interest.

If there was a genuine conflict of interest you would be required by ethical standards to withdraw from the proposed mediation and hopefully help the client to find another provider.

If you are not sure if there is a genuine conflict of interest have a look at these resources.

Basically, if a prior relationship or some personal benefit that may flow to the mediator is likely to bias the process either for or against one of the participants then you have a conflict of interest.

As part of your Mediation Institute Membership, you can always give us a call for a quick 2nd opinion if you’re facing an ethical dilemma.

Believe me, it is much less work for us to have a chat than it is to investigate a complaint about professional conduct so we are happy to be a sounding board.

What do you do if there is something that raises a red flag but you genuinely believe that you will be able to facilitate the dispute resolution process without bias?

Waiver of a potential conflict of Interest form

You MUST disclose to the potential clients as soon as you become aware of the potential conflict of interest.

If you AND the clients believe that the potential conflict of interest is not going to be an issue you can proceed however you should document that agreement to proceed with a potential conflict of interest waiver form.

There isn’t a standard form provided by any authority however we have an example of the one used by Interact Support in the Mediation Institute Members course area.

Example Document for FDR – Click here to go to the file. 

You will have to log in to the member’s course to access the file https://mi.study247.online/courses/9/ 

https://mi.study247.online/courses/9/files/folder/Templates%20and%20Sample%20Documents/Conflict%20of%20Interest?

Other examples wanted

Would you like to contribute to our file resources?

You can. Just log in and go to the files area.

Navigate to Templates and Sample Documents => Conflict of Interest and then click on Upload (top right of the screen) you should be able to upload your example document to share with your fellow members.

If you are better at mediation than you are at technology just email your sample document through to us and we’ll upload it for you.

 

 

 

Complaint Handling Service

Complaint Handling Service

Mediation Institute Independent Complaint Handling Service

Mediation Institute provides complaint handling for our Members. Members include NMAS Accredited Mediators, Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners, Family Group Conference Facilitators and Registered Training Providers (RTO’s).

Find out more about our system

Our approach is to ensure that complaint handling is efficient, effective, fair and proportionate to the issues concerned. Privacy and confidentiality is a very important aspect of appropriate complaint handling.

 

Mi Debt Negotiation and Recovery Services

Mediation Institute offers an ethical and resolution focused debt negotiation and recovery service tailored to the needs of consultants, contractors, experts and other knowledge workers.  Find out more.

Mediation Institute provides a cost effective and targeted approach to resolving complaints and conflict that need to be escalated to an independent service.

We offer an efficient and effective service to ensure that complaints are managed with the goal of resolving them as soon as possible in the least expensive way depending on the specifics of the issues concerned. This is to minimise the risk of harm to all should the complaint prove to be unfounded.

Unresolved disputes or conflict that is allowed to continue over a long period of time can escalate into a grievance, major legal or health issues or even violence.

 

It is critical that complainants are treated fairly and without bias. All complaints are considered as to their merit. 

The cost of complaint handling process is in proportion to the seriousness of the issue, the level of intervention required and the potential of harm to people and businesses.

The right approach to the complaint handling situation will get the complaint handled appropriately. The wrong approach will probably just make things worse. 

Mediation Institute makes sure that our approach is fair and proportionate to the complaint.

Complaints should be treated differently to other business information.

All members and claimants are encouraged to respect the privacy and confidentiality of dispute resolution processes.

Information to do with complaints doesn’t belong in general Human Resources or other files.

Complainants should not be discussed in a way that identifies them in general conversation.

Any failure to clarify and comply with privacy obligations can be very expensive down the track if escalation to a tribunal or court occurs due to inappropriate treatment of a complaint within your internal systems.

Making a Complaint

About a Dispute Resolution Professional

To make a complaint about a dispute resolution professional please call our office on 1300 781 533 or send an email to us.

We will need the name of the dispute resolution professional to review our member list in order to determine if they are a member of Mediation Institute. If they are not a member we will direct you to their member association if they are an accredited practitioner or possible avenues for complaint about non-accredited people claiming to be a dispute resolution professional.

About a Training Provider

To make a complaint about a Registered Training Organisation or other education provider please call our office on 1300 781 533 or send an email to us.

We will need the name of the training organisation to review our member list to determine if they are a member. If they are not a member we will provide you with information about how you can make a complaint about a training provider who has not dealt with your complaint internally.

Complaint Progress

The first step in any complaint is always to make the individual or organisation involved aware of your concerns if it is safe for you to do so.

We can accept anonymous enquiries but for your complaint to progress you must provide your name and contact details. Enquiries can not proceed to a complaint without this information.

Information that you supply in order to initiate a complaint may be required to be provided to the individual or organisation that the complaint is being made about. This will be discussed with complainants at each step in the complaint escalation process.

Mi Complaint Management Service Guide

This 19 page document contains information about Mediation Institute’s Complaint Management System.

Mediation Institute Ethical Standards for Members

This 5 page document contains information about the Mediation Institute Code of Ethics and Conduct for Dispute Resolution Practitioner Members.

Mi Membership Application Form - Training Provider Member

This 2 page document contains the membership application form for RTO Members.

Membership Application for Dispute Resolution Professionals

This link will take you to our Dispute Resolution Professionals membership options

RTO Specific Information

Excellence in Complaint Management Guide for RTO's

This 18 page document contains information about best practice standards for RTO’s to assist in evaluating and benchmarking your Complaint Management System.

Self-Audit for RTO's

This 4 page document contains a self-audit of your RTO’s Complaint Management System.

Form: Application for Independent Review. RTO Student.

This 4 page document is a form used by students to initiate an independent review of a decision made by their Registered Training Organisation.

Mediation Institute complaint handling service deals with any complaints, appeals or grievances related to a member of our independent complaint handling services.

This includes dispute resolution professionals such as NMAS Accredited Mediators, Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners, Family Group Conference Facilitators and others.

We can also provide one off mediation services for organisations and will accept complaints about accredited and non-accredited dispute resolution practitioners or training organisations who you are unable to find a complaint handling service for.

No. Mediation Institute is not a Government Funded Service.

Our Complaint Handling Service is designed to prevent issues from escalating inappropriately to government tribunals. This allows them to be resolved quicker, more collaboratively and without the cost and sleepless nights that come with formal court or tribunal processes.

Dispute Resolution Professionals

Our Independent Complaint Handling Service  is offered as a part of our dispute resolution practitioner members accreditation and provides independent dispute resolution professionals with an independent third party organisation to work with them and with complainants in an effort to resolve conflicts over services or any other aspect of their mediation practice.

If a complaint about a Mediator or Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner is substantiated and the practitioner has behaved in a way that is illegal or unethical there may be further consequences such as NMAS de-accreditation, a report to the Australian Attorney Generals Department and a report to the appropriate authorities.

Training Providers

Our Independent Complaint Handling Service is offered to Registered Training Providers (RTO’s) as part of the standards for RTO’s and provides independent dispute resolution services for complaints within their organisations from students, staff, contractors and other situations where internal processes have not been able to resolve the issue.

If a complaint about a Training Provider is substantiated and the provider has behaved in an illegal or unethical way there may be further consequences such as de-registration or a report to the appropriate authorities.

 

Acceptance and preliminary review of complaints is free for members and complainants.

Should additional services be required to resolve the dispute a Complaint Manager will be allocated and their fees are due and payable. Generally fees for these services are payable by the Mediator or RTO in order to prevent any perception that cost is being used as a barrier to prevent complaints about your services.

The cost will depend on the services provided.

As a guide the base hourly rate for online or phone services is $275 with travel and/or venue costs payable if required.

Dispute resolution is provided by the most efficient method agreed to by all parties.

There is no cost to lodge a complaint about a Mediation Institute Member.

If you have a concern about a dispute resolution practitioner or registered training provider that you believe may be a member contact us to discuss your concerns.

Mi Independent Complaint Handling Service for RTOs

Mi Independent Complaint Handling Service for RTOs

Independent Complaint Handling for RTO’s

Mediation Institute is a Recognised Mediator Accreditation Body (RMAB) who offers an Independent Complaint Handling Service for Dispute Resolution Professionals. 

We also provide independent dispute resolution services for Registered Training Organisations (RTO’s) throughout Australia. 

The service is designed to effectively handle with the goal of reaching a satisfactory resolution without the need for complainants to escalate their complaint onto regulators.

Under the risk based auditing system for RTOs, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has a student-centred audit approach. Student and other stakeholder complaints are more likely to bring your RTO into disrepute and trigger an audit.

Correctly managed complaints are a source of continuous improvement, new product and service innovation and student satisfaction. Our service is designed to be flexible, low cost and appropriate to the needs of complainants, organisations and other stakeholders.

Mediation Institute offers our Independent Complaint Handling Service for Registered Training Organisations to assist them in handling complaints about any aspect of your business and to comply with Standard 6 of the Standards for RTOs 2015.

What is risk based Regulation?

ASQA applies a risk based approach to regulation which includes a risk based approach when responding to complaints about providers. Their risk based regulation is outlined in the Regulatory Risk Framework Document which you can download from the ASQA website. 

When can Mi provide assistance?

The Mi Independent Complaint Handling Service for RTOs provides support for complaints about any aspect of an RTO’s operations.

For example:

  • Learners – learners who have any concerns about their training and assessment.
  • Community – members of the public who have concerns about the actions of an RTO
  • Internal – staff, contractors and partners can have their concerns addressed promptly and impartially.

 

A core standard underpinning this service is proportionality.  The time and resources devoted to complaints handling should be proportionate to the circumstances.

 

What We Offer

What is the context for this service?

The Mi Independent Complaint Handling Service for RTOs is provided in
the context of the Standards for RTOs 2015. Specifically Standard
Six (6) Fair Complaint Handling which requires that complaints and appeals
are recorded, acknowledged and dealt with fairly, efficiently and
effectively.  Clauses 6.1 – 6.6 Manage complaints and appeals – https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/about-standards-rtos-2015/standard-six/clauses-6.1-6.6

Mediation Institute provides an appeals process and independent complaint handling for
circumstances when the internal services do not resolve the issue.

The Users Guide to the Standards for RTOs 2015 – https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards has the standards explained in six chapters that reflect the student journey rather than in the order that the standards are written.

  • Chapter 1 – Marketing and Recruiting
  • Chapter 2 – Enrolment
  • Chapter 3 – Support and progression
  • Chapter 4 – Training and assessment
  • Chapter 5 – Completion
  • Chapter 6 – Regulatory compliance and governance practice
Complaint Handling

 

What does the student centered audit approach look like? 

This information has been provided by ASQA in an email to stakeholders 

  • ASQA takes a proactive, risk-based approach with audits triggered by ASQA’s risk intelligence. Audits are organised around the five key phases of the student experience. Current or former students are given a voice in the audit process. ASQA looks for evidence of the provider’s practice as well as their systems and processes. ASQA uses input from trainers, assessors and third parties to inform audits and verify RTO practices. Auditors consider information from a range of sources. Audits are customised and risk-based. Audit reporting is streamlined.
  •  
  • Providers are accountable for identifying and correcting non-compliant practices, particularly those which have negatively affected students.The past does not predict the future when there is a major change in regulation of an industry. Make sure that you do not trigger alarms in ASQA and deal with any complaints appropriately.
  •  

What is the role of the Mi Independent Complaints Handling Service?

The purpose of the service is to provide RTOs with an efficient and effective method to deal with unresolved complaints and appeals.

Our role is to ensure that the principals of natural justice and procedural fairness are adhered to in the complaint and appeals process.

This is achieved through an independent review of the complaint should internal RTO complaint handling processes fail to resolve the issue underpinning the complaint or appeal. 

Find out more about Mediation Institute's Complaint Handling Service

For a low cost annual membership fee your RTO can become a member of our Independent Complaint Handling Service.
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