How we mediate complaints

Mediation

After assessing your complaint and if we can accept it, where the law provides for us to do so, we recommend mediation as the first and best option for resolving the matter.

Mediation is an increasingly popular way of resolving disputes.

The aim of mediation is to give both sides the opportunity to develop a shared understanding of the complaint and work towards reaching a solution.

It has many benefits and is quicker than investigation and adjudication and can save time and effort for all involved

Voluntary

Mediation is voluntary. This means that both the Complainant and the Provider have to agree to take part. Either the Complainant or the Provider can end it at any time.

Also, any solution reached in mediation requires both the Complainant and the Provider to agree.

The Mediator

Mediation is a carefully managed process where a mediator appointed by the Ombudsman will ensure that the process is fair. Our mediators are trained and accredited and experienced in the process of resolving disputes. The mediator's role is to help both the Complainant and the Provider to reach an agreed resolution of your differences.

The mediator is independent and does not act for, or side with, either the Complainant or the Provider.

The mediator will not propose or impose the solution or tell either the Complainant or the Provider to accept or reject an offer. Instead, he or she will facilitate the efforts of both parties to find a solution that is acceptable to both parties.

Confidentiality

Mediation is an informal and confidential process, conducted in private. Anything said during mediation and any document prepared for the mediation, cannot be used in any later investigation of your complaint, or in any legal action before a court.

The agreement

If the Complainant and the Provider agree a settlement during mediation, what has been agreed will be written down. Once it has been signed by both parties, that agreement becomes legally binding on both the Complainant and the Provider.

This concludes the dispute, ending the complaints process.

If agreement is not reached

If either the Complainant or the Provider are not willing to take part in mediation, or if the mediation is not successful in reaching a solution, then the complaint will go to investigation and adjudication where a decision is made by a different third party.
The mediator will have no role in the investigation or adjudication of any complaint that they were involved in mediating.

Attending a mediation

If a Complainant wishes they can bring a friend, relative, or representative (paid or otherwise).

If either the Complainant or the Provider engage legal or other professional assistance at the mediation, it should be noted that any legal or other costs incurred are their responsibility.

Currently all mediations take place in our office in Lincoln House, Lincoln Place, Dublin 2.

Both the Complainant and the Provider must attend in person at the scheduled mediation in our offices in Dublin.

The mediator will schedule a date for mediation which is suitable to both parties.

This date will be a weekday and the mediation will take place between 9am and 5pm. The start time will depend on where either party is travelling from.

We will schedule the mediation a week or two in advance, to provide everyone with adequate notice.

Mediation timescales

It is not possible to say how long any mediation might last. It will depend on factors including the approach and willingness of you and the provider at the mediation. We recommend that you set aside a full working day for the mediation. However, it often takes just a few of hours

Costs

We provide the mediator and venue free of charge, but we do not pay any costs or expenses incurred by either party in relation to the mediation process. This means we do not pay any travel expenses for getting to and from the venue, any legal costs, or any other associated costs.

What happens next?

If both parties agree to attempt mediation, we assign the complaint to one of our mediators. They will make the arrangements to suit everyone concerned.