Janette Wood Mediation will follow the following procedure in the event of a complaint. This procedure is in line with the requirements of The Family Mediation Council (FMC), the Family Mediation Standards Board (FMSB) and the Family Mediators Association (FMA).
- Our procedure allows a client, a former client or a qualifying third party (explained below) to make a qualifying complaint (which is one that relates to breaches of the FMC’s Codes of Practice or Standards Framework) that occurred within the last three months. For avoidance of doubt, complaints that relate to the way a mediation was conducted as a whole, the date the three months runs from is the last mediation session. Complaints that appear to be vexatious or of a purely personal nature do not have to be investigated (see below).
- Our procedure provides a timeframe within which all complaints will be acknowledged. This is no more than 10 working days of receipt.
- Our procedure provides that all complaints will be investigated and responded to within no more than 30 working days of receipt. On occasions further time may be required, in which case notification will be provided in writing.
- Our procedure allows for mediation of the complaint where both you and us wish this to proceed.
- If our response is not accepted, you can ask the FMSB to consider the complaint if certain criteria are met. The FMSB can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 0844 556 7215.
By arranging a MIAM or signing The Agreement to Mediate (either for Online or actual Face to Face Mediation) with Janette Wood Mediation you agree that information held by the mediator can be shared with the FMSB or with any complaints handler in the event that a formal complaint is made to the FMSB, to which that information pertains.
The FMA, FMC and FSMB provide that Qualifying Complainants Includes a Client, a Former Client or a Qualifying Third Party as explained below.
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.
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
This policy was last updated on 18.03.22