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Complaints policy

Our mediators are members of the Family Mediators Association (the FMA). The FMA is itself a part of the Family Mediation Council (the FMC).

There are two main stages to our complaints procedure. The first is an Internal Informal Resolution where we try to resolve any complaint informally. The second is where the matter is passed to the Family Mediation Standards Board (FMSB), which is a committee of the FMC and deals with complaints.

Please note that, in attending the MIAM and any mediation sessions, you consent to the release of your file to the FMSB in the event that you make a complaint.

There is a time limit of 3 months from your last mediation session or MIAM meeting (should you not go on to mediate) for any concern or complaint to be raised.

The FMC/ FMSB guidelines state that we do not have to investigate complaints that appear to be of a vexatious or purely personal nature.

Stage one – Internal Informal Resolution

A complaint can in the first instance be made verbally or in writing. The complaint will be dealt with in the first instance by the mediator. If the complaint is in writing, please email

On receipt of a complaint, we will respond by acknowledging the complaint within 10 working days, or as soon as is reasonably practicable, together with an explanation as to when you will next be contacted.

The mediator will have 30 working days from the date of the complaint to attempt to resolve the complaint informally. This response would usually be made by telephone to see if the matter can be resolved informally. A note of the conversation will be retained on your file.

Further time may be required to respond to your complaint and, if so, we will notify you of this in writing.

If you and the mediator agree, it may be possible to resolve the complaint by mediation.

Stage two - Referral to FMSB

If a complaint is not resolved internally the matter may be referred to the FMSB.

The FMSB will wish to know whether: 

​​a) the mediator’s complaints process (being stage one referred to above) has been exhausted within the last three months or the mediator is not responding to the complaint; and

b) that the complaint alleges breach of the FMC professional standards 

The FMSB will only consider complaints that meet the following criteria:

a) the mediator complained about is an FMC Registered mediator; and
b)  the person making the complaint is:

     i) a client, a former client, or a prospective client of the FMC Registered Mediator;

     ii) an FMC registered mediator; or

     iii) a qualifying third party that the FMSB determines has standing in accordance with its policy on third party complaints.

A complaint may also be initiated by the FMSB in accordance with its policy on initiating complaints.

Further details of the FMSB’s Complaints Procedure, including how a complaint can be made, are available on the FMC’s website – here.

Complaints by qualifying third parties

The following qualify as third parties who can make a complaint against a mediator:

a) a prospective client who has been directly affected by a mediator’s professional behaviour;

b) 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.

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.

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