Our complaints procedure complies with the Family Mediation Council (FMC) requirements.
We aim to respond promptly and courteously to any complaint, formal or informal. We value the views of clients and will endeavour always to use these views in a constructive and responsive manner.
All clients will be informed of the Complaints Policy and that full information is available on the OFM website, at ofm.org.uk/complaints-policy.
A complaint may be made by a prospective client, a mediation client or participant to mediation where the last mediation session occurred within the last 3 months.
Any client dissatisfaction should first be addressed to the mediator, who will try to resolve the client’s concern, having discussed the matter with their Professional Practice Consultant (PPC) where needed.
If the client remains dissatisfied, the client will be asked to put their concern in writing for a more formal consideration of the complaint:
- A written complaint will be acknowledged within 5 working days
- A response to the client will be given within 14 days of receipt of the complaint.
- If additional time is required, the complainant will be notified of the reason for this in writing
The other participant in the mediation will be notified that a complaint has been made.
The mediator’s Professional Practice Consultant (PPC) may support the mediator in attempting to resolve the matter by discussion or the provision of additional information. In doing so, the PPC may review the case with the mediator and read the mediator’s case notes and correspondence. However, they will not investigate the complaint.
Other methods of redress may include an apology, a reimbursement of fees or a discount on a future session, a relevant explanation of how mediation works or an assurance for the future.
Alternative methods of resolving the complaint may be considered, such as mediation, in situations where both the complainant and mediator would like this to proceed.
If a complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome then, following the Family Mediation Council (FMC) complaints procedure, they will be invited to contact the Family Mediation Standards Board (FMSB) within 3 months of exhausting this complaints process.
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 here: familymediationcouncil.org.uk/ complaints-about-mediators/ . It gives details of the complaints the FMSB will consider; timescales; the form to be used in submitting a complaint and a telephone number to contact if a complainant struggles to use the form.