Complaints Procedure - What to do if you have a Concern/Complaint demands the highest professional standards from its mediators, who are governed by the Code of Practice of the Family Mediation Council. If at any time you have a concern about what is happening during the mediation process, or feel that the behaviour of a mediator has fallen below this high standard, we want to hear from you.

This procedure is not intended to cover serious misconduct, fraud, discriminatory or other improper behaviour that might properly be investigated by an appropriate external authority. Any proceedings undertaken in accordance with this concerns/complaints policy do not intend to prejudice the rights of either party to seek other forms of redress.

Wherever possible, we prefer to resolve any concerns informally through dialogue, and we are confident that in the vast majority of cases, this can be done by working on the problem constructively together with you to reach the most appropriate solution.

From time to time a situation may arise where you feel that a more formal approach is required. The following stages outline the procedure for such circumstances.

Stage 1 aims to resolve the concern through informal contact with, either over the telephone, or at an informal meeting between you and the mediator. If you are still dissatisfied following this informal approach, can provide you with a hardcopy of this text (if you do not already have one), together with details of the Code of Practice of the Family Mediation Council.

Stage 2 is the first formal stage at which written complaints are considered by You, as the complainant, should address your written complaint to, and mark it “Client Concerns/Complaints”. Your complaint should state which article of the Code of Practice you allege has been breached, and include the nature/extent of the breach, details of when the breach occurred, and what remedy you are seeking. We will acknowledge your complaint in writing as soon as possible (normally this will be within 5 working days).

Normally we would expect to respond in full within 10 working days, but if this is not possible we will write to you to explain the reason for the delay and let you know when we hope to be able to provide a full response.

As part of our consideration of your complaint, we may invite you to a meeting to discuss the complaint and fill in any details required. You are entitled to ask someone to accompany you; the mediator may also be accompanied by a suitable person (usually his/her Professional Practice Consultant).

Once all of the relevant facts have been established we will send you a written response to your complaint. This will give a full description of the decisions taken, and the reasons for taking them. If any further action is needed, we will indicate what we are proposing to do. We may invite you to a meeting to discuss the outcome as part of our commitment to building and maintaining good relations with clients.

Stage 3 involves the closure of the complaint by When we feel that we have done all we can reasonably to resolve the complaint, we will, at our discretion, close it.

Very occasionally we may feel that we need to close a complaint where, regretfully, the complainant is still dissatisfied. Should you wish to take matters further, you are entitled to contact the Family Mediation Council Standards Board, who may agree to review the complaint and how it has been handled. Should you wish to take this step, you should contact the Family Mediation Council Standards Board directly for further details on how to proceed.