Independent Complaint Handling is a service where a dispute, appeal or other issue is escalated to a professional dispute resolution service. In our independent complaint handling service, Mediation Institute (Mi) provides the necessary independence to get to the bottom of the problem. That empowers your organisation to put in place a resolution or a plan for a resolution.
It is easy for a provider to close ranks and believe that ignoring a complaint or appeal is the best approach. After all what power does an individual have against an organisation? That is short-sighted and can result in escalation of a complaint that could be resolved to authorities who take a more punishing approach.
On the other hand some providers take a “the customer is always right” approach and hold out a staff member or contractor as a scapegoat. Treating all issues as people problems ignore the vulnerabilities of the system that will result in your supposed people problems occurring over and over as staff try their best without the policies and procedures they need to guide them.
There is a better way and that is to evaluate each complaint, on it’s merits and in a way that is proportionate to the issues being raised against the legal, ethical and regulatory obligations that your organisation has towards it’s customers and team members.
Independent Complaint Handling
Independent Complaint Handling is a staged approach that uses risk assessment strategies to work out how to respond to a complaint that is escalated to our service.
The first step is to take the initial information from the complainant.
Triage means to evaluate the complaint against a priority matrix depending on the severity of the complaint and the most appropriate response. For example a complaint about serious misconduct may be escalated to investigation or to senior leadership to consider whether police should be involved.
A complaint about an assessment task, activity or outcome may be resolved through negotiation, mediation or an academic review.
A complaint about a person or people may be appropriate for mediation.
Unless pre-approval is in place the next step once the recommended action is identified is to provide an overview of the complaint and the recommended action. If authorisation is in place we will move forward with the complaint handling process. If your organisation decides not to proceed with the recommended resolution approach we will provde that information to the complainant and their alternatives depending on the regulator that relates to the situation.
If a resolution approach is recommended and approved we will proceed to allocate a dispute resolution professional or academic depending on the needs of the case.