Stage 3: Resolution
Once we have gathered and reviewed all the necessary information, we will try to bring your complaint to a resolution.
Resolution by mediation
Mediation is the process whereby both parties reach an agreement on how a case may be settled. Our investigator will review your complaint and if there is scope to propose a mediated settlement they will work with you and the department to achieve this on behalf of the Adjudicator.
Resolution by recommendation
Where mediation is inappropriate, the investigated case will be presented to the Adjudicator. The Adjudicator will review the case in detail. She will write to you and to the department outlining her views and any recommendations.
We call these letters 'recommendation letters' because they set out what, if anything, the Adjudicator 'recommends' the department should do to put things right. If the Adjudicator believes that the organisation has already dealt with the complaint adequately, she will say so.
However we resolve the complaint, it must be consistent with the organisation's own instructions and Codes of Practice. This could include asking the organisation to apologise and to meet any additional costs that you have incurred as a direct result of their mistakes or delays - things like postage, telephone calls or the cost of professional advice. Or we might ask the organisation to make a small payment to recognise any worry and distress that you have suffered.
To date, the departments we investigate have accepted all of the Adjudicator's recommendations.
How likely is it that the Adjudicator will uphold my complaint?
The Adjudicator considers every complaint on its own merits, so it is not possible to predict an outcome beforehand. However, it is possible to describe some situations where the Adjudicator may not uphold a complaint:
- Where you have already received an adequate remedy from the organisation for their shortcomings.
- Where it seems the organisation has applied its rules and procedures correctly. The Adjudicator cannot ask the organisation to modify its rules and procedures, no matter how sympathetic she is to your situation.
- Where there is insufficient evidence to enable the Adjudicator to reach a safe conclusion on disputed areas.
Stage 1: When we receive your complaint
Stage 2: Investigation
Stage 3: Resolution