Disclaimer

The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by Access Mediation Services Limited and while we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this website.

Through this website you are able to link to other websites which are not under the control of Access Mediation Services Limited. We have no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.

Every effort is made to keep the website up and running smoothly. However, Access Mediation Services Limited takes no responsibility for, and will not be liable for, the website being temporarily unavailable due to technical issues beyond our control.

FAMILY & RELATIONSHIP MEDIATION TERMS, CONDITIONS AND RULES

Interpretation 

  1. In these terms, conditions and rules, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
  • ‘’Family Mediation’’ is usually when partners who are going through divorce or separation, require an agreement to be made in relation to child arrangements, finances & assets.
  • ‘’Relationship Mediation’’ is when partners attend mediation to find resolution to issues they feel are affecting the relationship, with the aim of improving the relationship.
  • ‘’Mediator’’ means an employee, contractor or agent of AMS’ Mediation team chosen by the parties to facilitate the Mediation.
  • ‘’Agreement to Mediate’’ means a legally binding contract to mediation, prepared by AMS for the parties, their representatives, the mediator and others in attendance of the mediation.
  • ‘’Party’’ means an individual or group who is a party in a dispute.
  • ‘’Open Statement of Financial Information’’ is a document used in family mediation when parties disclose their finances. This is a purely factual document to reflect the financial situation (not applicable to relationship mediation).
  • ‘’Memorandum of Understanding’’ is a document used in mediation, which contains proposals agreed by the parties.
  • ‘’Online Mediation’’ refers to the use of the internet, audio or video calling within mediation.
  • ‘’Access Mediation Services or AMS’’ refer to Access Mediation Services Limited.
  1. These terms, conditions and rules are implemented to give an effective and efficient mediation.

Training and Professional Membership

  1. All of Access Mediation Services Limited’s mediators are trained family mediators and are registered with The College of Mediators and the Family Mediation Council.
  2. All of our mediators abide by the Family Mediation Council’s/College of Mediators’ Code of Practice and Guidance.

Mediation Procedure

  1. All parties and their representatives attend mediation with a willingness to engage in the process to try and reach a mutual agreement. This will take place under the facilitation of the mediator.
  2. The mediation service/mediator is only obliged to produce 3 dates per mediation session or mediation information assessment meeting. It is the responsibility of those attending mediation to ensure they make themselves available for these appointments. Failure to do so may result in your case being closed, as it would be seen as a decline to mediate.
  3. The parties recognise that the mediator may meet parties separately (shuttle mediation) for the benefit of the mediation. 
  4. Mediators nor any of AMS’ staff, contractors and agents cannot be called upon as a witness or to give evidence on behalf of any party if entering into legal proceedings.
  5. If any persons named in point 4 above, is summoned to the court the client who is responsible for the application will pay the mediator’s hourly rate per party, for the mediator to respond, oppose the application, attend the hearing, prepare, any travelling expenses and also any time the mediator is waiting at the court for example. This list is not exhaustive.
  6. Anything that is admissible in a court of law prior to the mediation that then gets spoken of during the mediation, is still admissible in a court of law after the mediation has taken place.

Facilitative Mediation

  1. Access Mediation Services will utilise facilitative mediation throughout the mediation process in an attempt to facilitate settlement between parties. During the process the mediator will remain impartial and non-judgmental and will also explore concerns, interests, issues and needs in an effort for both parties to reach settlement.
  2. Mediation is carried out without prejudice.
  3. The mediator will not advise any parties, including legal or professional advice. The parties will have to obtain legal or professional advice themselves, from an independent counsel or representative.
  4. The mediator does not express opinion or take sides.
  5. The mediator will remain completely impartial throughout the whole process including settlement. They will not offer a resolution of offer to either party, act as an advocate or represent neither party.
  6. The mediation techniques used will be that of facilitative mediation. This will happen until a settlement has been reached or if the mediation has been terminated.

Evaluative Mediation

  1. Access Mediation Services does not offer Evaluative Mediation. The mediators supplied by Access Mediation Services will not advise or evaluate.

Online Mediation (refers to both telephone and video mediation)

  1. It is essential that the parties in mediation have no one else present other than the mediator. Breach of this may result in the termination of the mediation with the full cost to be recovered by the responsible party.
  2. It is at the mediator’s discretion whether online mediation will take place when parties are in the same venue.
  3. We may suspend the mediation if there is any remote interruption and will restart the online session once satisfied that any interruption has been resolved and that it remains appropriate to continue following such interruption.
  4. You agree not to video or audio record any online session.
  5. You agree to there being no live or deferred video or audio relay of the online mediation to third parties.
  6. If you create any video or audio recording of the online mediation, inadvertently or otherwise, you undertake to destroy any such recording as soon as you become aware of its existence.
  7. You assign all intellectual property rights in the online video mediation sessions to Access Mediation Services Limited.
  8. The mediator/Access Mediation Services is not responsible for the loss of connection, on part of the mediator, in either an audio or video call, however we will rearrange the session free of charge at the earliest opportunity.
  9. If your signal drops and we can’t maintain connection, in either an audio or video call, we will reschedule at the earliest convenience for all parties. The cost of the session is not refundable.
  10. In the event that the connection drops in a video call, we will try an alternative method.
  11. The agreement to mediate needs to be signed and returned via email prior to the mediation session. If not returned before the start of the session, parties still agree with the terms set out in the agreement to mediate/the terms and conditions.
  12. We hold no responsibility for a party who has downloaded the application in which mediation will take place, nor are we liable for any errors, difficulties or the maintenance of the application.
  13. By engaging in online mediation, you consent to your contact details such as phone number and email being shared with all of the parties of the mediation. If you do not wish for these details to be shared you must make the mediator aware so you can provide them with alternative contact details.

Termination of the Mediation

  1. The mediation will be terminated:
  • by agreement between the parties; or
  • if an agreement is reached between the parties; or
  • if the Mediator decides at any time during the mediation, that the mediation should be terminated. The parties will agree not to challenge the decision from the mediator nor will the parties ask for a reason, nor will the mediator give the parties a reason as to the termination of the mediation; or
  • if no mutual agreement has been reached in the time allocated for the mediation and it is not possible to extend the mediation. However, the mediator and the parties can agree to re-schedule the mediation to a more convenient time; or
  • either of the parties don’t wish to continue with the mediation.

Charges and cancellation

  1. For the full list of our mediation fees please visit our fees page.
  2. Once a client engages our service they understand that they will not communicate with the mediator or any of Access Mediation Services’ staff about issues relating to mediation other than if they are wanting to confirm, cancel or decline an appointment.

If clients engage in this activity the mediator will:

  • Provide this to the other party verbatim to respond
  • Not respond to the correspondence
  • Charge their hourly rate per party in reading and responding to this correspondence.
  1. We accept payment online, via the telephone, and in person (where appropriate). 
  2. All payments are required a week before the scheduled session date. This applies regardless of who is paying for the session. 
  3. In the event that parties need to cancel a session a minimum of 72 hours’ notice must be given, and the session will be re-scheduled at no extra cost.
  4. If a party has given less than 72 hours’ notice but more than 24 hours, to cancel their appointment, we will retain 50% of the total fee paid. If the fee hasn’t yet been paid, this would then be owed.
  5. If a party has cancelled less than 24 hours before their session, has cancelled on the day or has no showed to their session without notice, the full session cost is still chargeable.
  6. In the instance where a party is paying the full/partial cost for the other parties session and the party doesn’t attend, this party would then owe AMS the full cost of the session, and the party who paid originally would be refunded.
  7. Please provide notice to cancel or re-schedule your MIAM/MIM between the working hours of 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. If you provide notice on a weekend, in the public holidays (including bank holidays) or after 5pm you may still incur a cancellation fee.
  8. (Only applicable to family mediation) If you do not proceed into mediation and a MIAM Certificate is required by the court, a charge of £50.00 is payable per form.
  9. If you have been given a discount and we find out during the mediation process that you are not eligible for this discount you will reimburse the mediator by immediate bank transfer or by debit or credit card the discounts you have received and a penalty fee of £120.00 for misuse of service.

Mediation Information Assessment Meetings (MIAM) & Mediation Information Meetings (MIM)

  1. MIAM/MIMs are usually scheduled for 45-60 minutes.

Mediation Sessions 

  1. Mediation sessions are usually scheduled for 60-90 minutes, depending on the type and complexity of mediation. The timing will be agreed in advance.
  2. Your mediator will always do their best to ensure they are at the mediation in good time. It is the responsibility of those attending mediation to be on time. If partys are late this will reduce the amount of time you have in your session.
  3. (Only applicable to family mediation) In financial cases, where one or both parties are unprepared for their mediation session (i.e. incomplete documentation/AIM pack/Financial budget sheets) and this prevents the mediation from taking place the party/parties will be charged for the session and the session will be cancelled. It is the duty of the parties to inform the mediator 7 days prior to mediation if they don’t have the sufficient documentation ready for the mediation. At this point the mediator will cancel your appointment, free of charge, and re-schedule at a later date.
  4. When providing your disclosure form and supporting evidence to the mediator, please do not send your documents via the post as we are unable to guarantee the safety of these documents in transit. If these documents are sent to us in this way and our team then need to photocopy or scan them there will be an administration fee. 
  5. Before the mediator starts to write up the relevant paperwork (Memorandum of Understanding, Open Statement of Financial Information or Parenting Plan), the full cost must be paid within two weeks of your final mediation session.
  6. The allotted time for each document: Memorandum of Understanding & Open Statement of Financial Information 2 hours each, and Parenting Plan 1 hour.  
  7. If the mediator has reached the allotted time for your paperwork and requires further payment, payment must be received before they complete your paperwork at the mediator’s hourly rate per party.
  8. Paperwork will not be released until both parties have made full payment.
  9. Parties, unless given extra time, will have 5 days to review the documents mentioned in point 5 above and session summaries, from the date the document was released via email.
  10. It is at the discretion of AMS and AMS’ Mediators in certain circumstances to allow parties extra time in reviewing such documents mentioned in point 8 above.
  11. Where there are extenuating circumstances and the mediator has permitted the agreed extra time, no changes will be made to any documents after the agreed permitted end date.

Refunds:

  1. If you are due a refund from the service, we must be able to make contact with you within 2-3 months after the date of the last session in order for us to process the refund. If contact is not established in this time frame, then the refund will no longer be owed.

Late Payment:

  1. Where payment is overdue, Access Mediation Services will notify you by an Outstanding Payment Letter.
  2. If payment is still not received by the specified time on the Outstanding Payment Letter, Access Mediation Services will send a Final Request Letter.
  3. If you do not make payment Access Mediation Services reserves the right to instruct a debt collecting agency to collect payment. The cost for the debt collecting agency will be the responsibility of the client.

Data protection and confidentiality 

  1. The process of mediation is completely confidential meaning no information will be shared outside of the mediation unless both parties have agreed to prior. The only exceptions to this are if the mediator feels there is a safeguarding issue, evidence of criminal activity or if mediation carries on into legal proceedings the courts can use the open statement of financial information document.
  2. Parties accept that there will be no electronic recording or verbatim stenographic record taken of the mediation, with the exception that the mediator may use any suitable method to record the session including, but not limited to, note taking, audio recording etc.
  3. All documents except the agreement to mediate, open statement of financial information, memorandum of understanding, MIAM/MIM forms and any MIAM Certificates e.g. C100 Form, will be destroyed up to 4 months after the last mediation session. If the mediator feels for some reason that they need to store any of the above documents for longer than 4 months they reserved the right to do so. 
  4. All exceptions stated above in point 1, may be stored for up to 6 years from the date of the final mediation.
  5. Session summaries may be kept on file for up to 4 months after the last mediation session. If for some reason mediation doesn’t complete and the parties decide to return after the 4-month period parts of the process may have to be repeated.
  6. Our quality assurance standards require that we monitor our mediation files. You agree that all of CfR’s team and associates can see your case, but access is strictly controlled and on a similarly confidential basis.
  7. Parties understand that it is necessary to share certain contact details including email addresses and phone numbers between the parties in the following instances:
    • Signing of the agreement to mediate
    • Exchanging correspondence
    • Online Mediation
  1. If any of the parties publish any of the content in relation to the sessions in the public domain for example a recording of the session, we have the right to remove such content.

Exclusion of Liability 

  1. Access Mediation Services Ltd nor any of their staff, agents or mediators are responsible or liable to any party or representative for any act or omission arising due to the mediation conducted by the mediator.
  2. These terms and conditions are without prejudice. By agreeing to these terms and conditions you also acknowledge and agree in the case that there is any liability found on part of the mediator that any claims raised against the mediator or Access Mediation Services Ltd are limited to the sum of £1,000,000.
  3. It is your responsibility to provide us with the correct contact details for yourself and for those that you wish to mediate with. If for some reason our correspondence reaches the wrong address or doesn’t go to the correct person, the mediator, Access Mediation Services or any of its staff are not liable for this error.
  4. Access Mediation Services will contact those you want to invite to mediation twice. If we have no response or they don’t want to engage, this brings the mediation process to a close.
  5. It is the client’s responsibility to check their email inbox and junk folder to ensure they receive correspondence from Access Mediation Services.
  6. (Only applicable to family mediation) The mediator nor Access Mediation Services or its staff are responsible for checking the accuracy of any information or documentation provided by the parties. In the event that documents provided are not accurate, parties are responsible for these inaccuracies and in some circumstances may be open to prosecution.

Concerns and complaints

  1. Our practice is governed by the College of Mediators and our mediations are conducted in accordance with the Family Mediation Council’s Code of Practice (copy available on request).
  2. Any concern you may have as to our practice should be raised with us in the first instance. Our complaints process must be exhausted before you can contact the College of Mediators in writing. A copy of their complaint’s procedure can be obtained from us. 

Agreement of parties

  1. These terms and conditions and any amendments made to them are part of the Agreement to Mediate.
  2. These terms and conditions may change at any point with the written consent of the parties or their representatives.

Legal effect and status of mediation 

  1. Any agreement made is not legally binding unless taken to a solicitor to be made legally binding.
  2. These terms and conditions and the agreement to mediate are governed by the laws of England and wales and the courts of England and wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction to decide any matters arising out of or in connection with this agreement and the mediation.

CIVIL, WORKPLACE AND DISABILITY MEDIATION TERMS, CONDITIONS AND RULES

Interpretation 

  1. In these rules, terms and conditions, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
  • ‘’Mediator’’ means an employee of Access Mediation Services’s Mediation team chosen by the parties to facilitate the Mediation. The mediator is someone who is neutral. The mediator cannot provide any legal or professional advice to the parties/representatives.
  • ‘’Agreement to Mediate’’ means a legally binding contract to mediation, prepared by AMS for the parties, their representatives, the mediator and others in attendance of the mediation. The agreement would be executed before the mediation begins. The agreement includes details about the process of the mediation, confidentiality, liability and respect between parties, the mediator and AMS. The agreement to mediate requires compliance and agreement to these rules. 
  • ‘’Party’’ means an individual or group who is a participant in a dispute. A party can be someone who is in the mediation or represented at the mediation.
  • ‘’Representative’’ means the lawyer, counsel, attorney, advocate or other authorised representative of the party.
  • ‘’Facilitative Mediation’’ is a process where the mediator offers no evaluation, opinion or judgment of either party. The mediator purely assists the mediation by facilitating the mediation between the parties. The mediator will always remain impartial.
  • ‘’Memorandum of Understanding’’ is a document that is used in civil, commercial and workplace mediation, in which the parties and the representatives agree to and sign at the end of the mediation process. This document sets out terms in which both parties have agreed to settle. The parties intend this document to be legally binding. 
  • ‘’Online Mediation’’ refers to the use of the internet, audio or video calling within mediation.
  • ‘’Access Mediation Services or AMS’’ refers to Access Mediation Services Limited.
  1. These terms, conditions and rules are implemented to give an effective and efficient mediation.                       

Training and Professional Membership

  1. All of Access Mediation Services Limited’s mediators are trained, and are also registered and approved with The College of Mediators.
  2. All of our mediators abide by the College of Mediators’ Code of Practice and Guidance.

Mediation Procedure 

  1. All parties and their representatives attend mediation with a willingness to engage in the process to try and reach a mutual agreement. This will take place under the facilitation of the mediator.
  2. All parties and their representatives will attend the mediation with full authority to settle meaning that parties have the ability to make informed decisions. 
  3. The parties recognise that the mediator may meet parties/representatives separately (Caucus/shuttle mediation) for the benefit of the mediation. All parties and representatives can request to go into a caucus with the mediator at any time during the mediation.
  4. Mediators nor any of Access Mediation Services’ staff can be called upon as a witness or to give evidence on behalf of any participant when entering into legal proceedings.
  5. If a mediator or staff member is summoned to the court the client who is responsible for the court application will pay the mediator’s hourly rate per party, for the mediator to respond, oppose the application, attend the hearing, prepare, any travelling expenses and also any time the mediator is waiting at the court for example. This list is not exhaustive. 
  6. Anything that is admissible in a court of law prior to the mediation that then gets spoken of during the mediation is still admissible in a court of law after the mediation has taken place. 
  7. When a mediator is writing up your agreement and they have reached the allotted time for that document, there will be an hourly fee per person applied. This fee would need to be paid before the mediator will complete your agreement.
  8. When an agreement has been written up i.e. Memorandum of Understanding, Statement of Outcome or a Summary, the parties who have attended the mediation will have one opportunity to review the write up and notify us of any factual amendments. 
  9. Parties, unless given extra time, will have 5 days to review the documents mentioned in point 8 above, from the date the document was released via email.
  10. It is at the discretion of AMS and AMS’ Mediators in certain circumstances to allow parties extra time in reviewing such documents mentioned in point 8 above. 
  11. Where there are extenuating circumstances and the mediator has permitted the agreed extra time, no changes will be made to any documents after the agreed permitted end date.

Facilitative Mediation

  1. Access Mediation Services will utilise facilitative mediation throughout the mediation process in an attempt to facilitate settlement between parties. During the process the mediator will remain impartial and non-judgmental and will also explore concerns, interests, issues and needs in an effort for all parties to reach settlement.
  2. Mediation is legally privileged and is carried out without prejudice.
  3. The mediator will not advise any parties, this includes legal or professional advice or opinion. The parties will have to themselves obtain legal or professional advice from an independent counsel or representative.
  4. The mediator does not express opinion or take sides.
  5. The mediator will remain completely impartial throughout the whole process including settlement. They will not offer a resolution of offer to either party, act as an advocate or represent neither party.
  6. The mediation techniques used will be that of facilitative mediation. This will happen until a settlement has been reached or if the mediation has been terminated.

Evaluative Mediation

  1. Access Mediation Services does not offer Evaluative Mediation. The mediators supplied by Access Mediation Services will not advise or evaluate.

Online Mediation (refers to both telephone and video mediation)

  1. It is essential that parties in mediation have no one else present other than the mediator (unless agreed otherwise with the mediator). Breach of this may result in the termination of the mediation with the full cost to be recovered by the responsible participant.
  2. We may suspend the mediation if there is any remote interruption and will restart the online session once satisfied that any interruption has been resolved and that it remains appropriate to continue following such interruption.
  3. You agree not to video or audio record any online session.
  4. You agree to there being no live or deferred video or audio relay of the online mediation to those not present in the mediation.
  5. If you create any video or audio recording of the online mediation, inadvertently or otherwise, you undertake to destroy any such recording as soon as you become aware of its existence.
  6. You assign all intellectual property rights in the online video mediation sessions to Access Mediation Services Limited.
  7. The mediator/Access Mediation Services is not responsible for the loss of connection, on part of the mediator, in either an audio or video call, however we will rearrange the session free of charge at the earliest opportunity.
  8. If your signal drops and we can’t maintain connection, in either an audio or video call, we will reschedule at no extra cost at the earliest opportunity (subject to availability). The cost is not refundable.
  9. In the event that the connection drops in a video call, we will try an alternative method.
  10. The agreement to mediate needs to be signed and returned via email prior to the mediation session. If not returned before the start of the session, parties still agree with the terms set out in the agreement to mediate/the terms and conditions.
  11. We hold no responsibility for a participant downloading the application in which mediation will take place, nor are we liable for any errors, difficulties or the maintenance of the application.
  12. By engaging in online mediation, you consent to your contact details such as phone number and email being shared with all of the parties of the mediation. If you do not wish for these details to be shared you must make the mediator aware so you can provide them with alternative contact details.

Termination of the Mediation

  1. The mediation will be terminated:
    • by agreement between the parties; or
    • if an agreement is reached between the parties; or
    • if the Mediator decides at any time during the mediation, that the mediation should be terminated. The parties will agree not to challenge the decision from the mediator nor will the parties ask for a reason, nor will the mediator give the parties a reason as to the termination of the mediation; or
    • if no mutual agreement has been reached in the time allocated for the mediation and it is not possible to extend the mediation. However, the mediator and the parties can agree to re-schedule the mediation to a more convenient time; or
    • either of the parties don’t wish to continue with the mediation.

Charges and cancellation

  1. For the full list of our mediation fees please visit our fees page.
  2. Once a client engages our service they understand that they will not communicate with the mediator or any of Access Mediation Services’ staff about issues relating to mediation other than if they are wanting to confirm, cancel or decline an appointment.

If clients engage in this activity the mediator will:

  • Provide this to the other party verbatim to respond
  • Not respond to the correspondence
  • Charge their hourly rate per party in reading and responding to this correspondence.
  1. We accept payment online, via the telephone, and in person (where appropriate). 
  2. In the event that parties need to cancel a session a minimum of 72 hours’ notice must be given, and the session will be re-scheduled at no extra cost.
  3. If a participant has given less than 72 hours’ notice but more than 24 hours, to cancel their appointment, we will retain 50% of the total fee paid. If the fee hasn’t yet been paid, this would then be owed.
  4. If a participant has cancelled less than 24 hours before their session, has cancelled on the day or has no showed to their session without notice, the full session cost is still chargeable.
  5. Please provide notice to cancel or re-schedule your appointment between the working hours of 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. If you provide notice on a weekend, in the public holidays (including bank holidays) or after 5pm, you may still incur a cancellation fee.
  6. In the event that any party does not attend their scheduled mediation, and this prevents mediation from taking place, no refund will be made if payment has already been received by Access Mediation Services. In the event that payment hasn’t been made, the full cost would still be chargeable.
  7. Unless stated in writing and agreed by the parties and AMS, each party will equally share the liability of the mediation cost. Each party will have to bear in mind their own legal costs (i.e. solicitors/advisors/advocate) and expenses for preparing and attending the mediation before mediation begins. The parties agree that in the case of court or tribunal, the mediation fees and each parties’ legal costs will both be treated as costs in relation to litigation/arbitration where the court has the power to assess the costs, even if the mediation did not result in a settlement agreement.
  8. Your mediator will always do their best to ensure they are at the mediation in good time. It is the responsibility of those attending mediation to be on time. If parties are late this will reduce the amount of time you have in your session.
  9. If mediation is not completed and needs to be carried on to the following day, clients will be required to pay for overnight accommodation. If this is not suitable the mediator will reschedule your mediation to be continued on another day.
  10. Parties agree to each jointly pay to AMS:
  • the full cost of the mediation which is to be paid 7 days before the date of the mediation. The full cost includes the mediator’s travel to the venue where mediation is taking place, the mediator’s preparation (up to 3 hours) and the mediation (up to 6 working hours); and
  • if non-local travel (airfare or trainfare, if appropriate by business class) and expenses (venue cost, accommodation, food and where appropriate interpreter) is paid for by the mediator, the parties will reimburse the mediator of these costs upon presentation of the receipts by immediate transfer; and
  • if the travel time is more than 1 hour the hourly/daily rate will apply. Payment should be cleared before the mediation commences; and
  • the total mileage (as determined by Google Maps) will be charged at a rate of 45p per mile; and
  • if the mediation goes over the allocated time the mediator will charge their overtime hourly rate. If the mediation carries over to an extra date that was not allocated at the beginning the mediator’s day rate will apply. This should be paid by immediate transfer on receipt of an invoice.

Late Payment:

  1. Where payment is overdue, Access Mediation Services will notify you by an Outstanding Payment Letter.
  2. If payment is still not received by the specified time on the Outstanding Payment Letter, Access Mediation Services will send a Final Request Letter.
  3. If you do not make payment, Access Mediation Services reserves the right to instruct a debt collecting agency to collect payment. The cost for the debt collecting agency will be the responsibility of the client.

Data protection and confidentiality 

  1. The process of mediation is completely confidential meaning no information will be shared outside of the mediation unless both parties have agreed to prior. The only exceptions to this are if the mediator feels there is a safeguarding issue, evidence of criminal activity.
  2. A person who is not a party or representative can only attend the mediation with the consent of the mediator and all the parties. Every such person will sign schedule one before the mediation starts.
  3. Parties accept that there will be no electronic recording or verbatim stenographic record taken of the mediation, with the exception that the mediator may use any suitable method to record the session including, but not limited to, note taking, audio recording etc. If any of the parties publish any of the content in relation to the sessions in the public domain for example a recording of the session, we have the right to remove such content.
  4. Any notes made by the mediator are private and confidential. These notes will never be available to take part in any form of legal proceedings, nor will they be available to anybody else at the mediation or anyone outside of the mediation. If the mediator feels for some reason that it is appropriate to keep this information in a secure place, the mediator reserves the right to do so.
  5. Parties and their representatives can make notes but are not allowed to show anyone who hasn’t signed the Agreement to Mediate, without the consent of the other party. The notes are not admissible in any court, arbitration or other proceedings.
  6. All documents except the agreement to mediate, memorandum of understanding and MIM forms will be destroyed up to 4 months after the last mediation session.
  7. All exceptions stated above in point 6, may be stored for up to 6 years from the date of the final mediation.
  8. Our quality assurance standards require that we monitor our mediation files. You agree that all of AMS’ team and associates can see your case, but access is strictly controlled and on a similarly confidential basis.
  9. Parties understand that it is necessary to share certain contact details including email addresses and phone numbers between parties in the following instances:
    • Signing of the agreement to mediate
    • Exchanging correspondence
    • Online Mediation

Exclusion of Liability 

  1. Access Mediation Services Ltd nor any of their staff, agents or mediators are responsible or liable to any party or representative for any act or omission arising due to the mediation conducted by the mediator.
  2. These terms and conditions are without prejudice. By agreeing to these terms and conditions you also acknowledge and agree in the case that there is any liability found on part of the mediator that any claims raised against the mediator or Access Mediation Services Ltd are limited to the sum of £1,000,000.
  3. It is your responsibility to provide us with the correct contact details for yourself and for those that you wish to mediate with. If for some reason our correspondence reaches the wrong address or doesn’t go to the correct person, the mediator, Access Mediation Services or any of it’s staff are not liable for this error.
  4. Access Mediation Services will contact those you want to invite to mediation twice. If we have no response or they don’t want to engage, this brings the mediation process to a close.
  5. The mediator nor Access Mediation Services or it’s staff are responsible for checking the accuracy of any information or documentation provided by parties. In the event that documents provided are not accurate, parties are responsible for these inaccuracies and in some circumstances may be open to prosecution.
  6. It is the client’s responsibility to check their email inbox and junk folder to ensure they receive correspondence from Access Mediation Services.

Concerns and complaints

  1. Our practice is governed by the College of Mediators and our mediations are conducted in accordance with their Code of Practice (copy available on request).
  2. Any concern you may have as to our practice should be raised with us in the first instance. Our complaints process must be exhausted before you can contact the College of Mediators in writing. A copy of their complaint’s procedure can be obtained from us. 

Agreement of parties

  1. These terms, conditions and rules and any amendments made to them are part of the Agreement to Mediate.
  2. These terms, conditions and rules may change at any point with the written consent of the parties or their representatives.
  3. Every party/representative agrees that all proposals, offers and promises, whether written or oral, representations, actions and statements (including but not limited to admissions) made during the mediation by any of the parties, their experts, employers, representatives and agents. All observations, statements and comments made or relayed by the mediator and any documents, all notes and reports made or exchanged during the mediation are for the purpose of discussion/negotiation and are without prejudice.  

Legal effect and status of mediation

  1. Any agreement or settlement made is not legally binding unless taken to a solicitor to be made legally binding.
  2. These terms and conditions and the agreement to mediate are governed by the laws of England and wales and the courts of England and wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction to decide any matters arising out of or in connection with this agreement and the mediation.

A Guide for Parties who are preparing for Mediation

It is important that you read this guide, so you can get the most from your mediation session.

Before you attend mediation

You should try and prepare for your mediation. You need to decide on the best way of explaining your situation. It may be beneficial to make a list of the points you wish to bring to mediation so you have clear points in which you wish to discuss. Maybe include what you feel may be beneficial in moving the dispute forward, for example a solution that you feel would work going forward.

You will receive an Agreement to Mediate which you will need to read and sign before the session.

Documents and Evidence

You may want to bring documents and evidence that you feel would help you in your mediation. You do not need to show these to the mediator but they may be useful as a point of reference for yourself.

Mental preparation

You will need to prepare for the mediation as you will need to negotiate and this may be more difficult if emotions are running high.

It may be easier to think of the mediation as a discussion and not an argument. The mediator is there to ensure all parties are safe.

Consider the following (your own and other party’s perspective):

  • The importance of the on-going relationship with the other party
  • If this case went to court, what the outcome would be and how much would it cost
  • How long can I wait for the issue to be resolved.

Shuttle Mediation

If you and the mediator have agreed that shuttle mediation is appropriate, please read this section. 

On the day of your mediation you and the other party will be in separate rooms and the mediator will then go from room to room until the mediation has finished. If requested, you will both leave at separate times.

Key Notes:

  1. You have to be willing to engage and discuss issues and possible remedies in order for mediation to work.
  2. Try to put emotions aside and be realistic.
  3. When attending mediation you need to have the authority to settle.
  4. If you have any concerns or are worried about attending mediation please contact your mediator, as they will be more than happy to assist you.

Video Call & Telephone Mediation Preparation Guide

It is really important that you read this guide in advance of your mediation session to ensure you don’t have any technical issues. There are some things you will need to do before your session. 

Before you attend mediation 

(Please read this section for both telephone and video call.)

  1. Check your microphone and camera are working. 
  2. Make sure you are sitting close enough to your microphone. 
  3. Have a pair of headphones available just in case you are struggling to hear the mediator.
  4. Please ensure you have full signal on your phone or broadband/WIFI.
  5. Ensure you are in a suitable location to accept the telephone/video call. 
  6. Ensure where you will be taking the telephone/video call is quiet and free of distraction and that there will be no one else present in the room, unless previously agreed with the mediator. Please also ask other people who may be around that you are not disturbed during this time. 
  7. Ensure that there will be no children present in the room and that they are unable to overhear you.
  8. If someone is present in the room who is unauthorised to do so while the call/video is taking place, the mediator can suspend the mediation. 
  9. Ensure you have a drink (non-alcoholic) readily available for during your mediation.
  10. Ensure that you have all documents you feel you need for the mediation in case you need to refer to them.

(Please read this section if your mediation is taking place via video call.)

  1. It’s helpful to close any unnecessary browser windows or programs to enable your computer to run smoother.
  2. Check that you have the correct lighting so that the mediator can see your face. 
  3. Check what will be visible in the camera’s field of view prior to attending – ensure that your head and shoulders are in full view with the camera at a good height. 
  4. Use a device with as large a screen as possible. Mobiles can be difficult to use.
  5. You will need to download Zoom. 

Downloading Zoom for video call

For PC or Laptop

  1. Open your computer’s internet browser and navigate to the Zoom website at Zoom.us.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click “Download” in the web page’s footer.
  3. On the Download Center page, click “Download” under the “Zoom Client for Meetings” section.
  4. A pop up will appear asking whether you want to download Zoom. Please select allow.
  5. The Zoom app will then begin downloading. You should then click on the .exe file to begin the installation process.

For iOS, Android & Tablets 

  1. In the App store or Google Play Store, please search and download the Zoom Cloud Meetings App. Please only download the App with this name as Zoom has lots of Apps that are not applicable.

On the day of your meeting 

(Please read this section for video call.)

  1. Please use the Zoom meeting details to log into the video call from your appointment confirmation email. The easiest way to join the meeting is to use the link (if using a PC, Laptop, or Tablet) or the one tap mobile (if using iOS or Android).
  2. When the Zoom app opens it will ask you to join meeting or sign in. You can just join meeting.
  3. If Zoom prompts you for your name, please enter it.
  4. If Zoom prompts you please select call using internet audio.
  5. Ensure when you join the meeting that the video is selected to on which is at the bottom of your screen.

(Please read this section for telephone call.)  

  1. The mediator will call one participant first via their mobile phone. 
  2. Once the call has been answered, the mediator will then call the second participant. There may be a few minutes where the line goes quiet, while the mediator links the two calls (This does not apply to shuttle mediation.)

During your mediation session

(Please read this section for both telephone and video call.)

  1. The mediator will explain the Ground Rules at the start of the mediation session in relation to how they will manage the discussion.
  2. Both participants can notify the mediator if you need to take a break at any point during the mediation. The mediator will then pause the session.
  3. Do not make any recording of the session including but not limited to notes, video or recording. 
  4. Have some items that can occupy you readily available in the event that the mediator decides to talk to you and the other participant separately. Ensure that you are still connected to the phone/laptop/tablet.

(Please read this section if your mediation is taking place via video call.)

  1. You may find that you are on mute when you first join the meeting. Look at the bottom left of your screen and you will see a microphone symbol. If it says “unmute”, just click on it. If on a smartphone, you may see a headphone symbol or “join audio” at the bottom left instead. If so, click this and select “call via device audio” before clicking “unmute”.
  2. If you want to ask a question you can press a “hand” button to attract the mediator’s attention. Try to avoid interrupting people when they are speaking as this can often make the audio confusing for everyone else. Also, try to avoid background noise like typing on the keyboard, rustling papers etc. – assume that you WILL be heard by everyone! If the need arises – use your mute button.
  3. If you or someone else is disconnected, the mediator will pause the session to allow them to reconnect. If the session is unable to proceed due to technical issues the mediator can continue the mediation via audio call or can reschedule the session for another date. Please notify the mediator if you are experiencing any technical issues.

Shuttle Mediation

(Only read this section if you have agreed with the mediator that shuttle mediation is appropriate.)

Telephone – The mediator will call one party first, where they will explain the mediation ground rules and how the session is going to proceed. The mediator will then hang up and ring the other party to explain the same. From here the mediator will go back and forth between both parties until the end of the session.

Video Call – When you join the video call you won’t be able to see the other party. The mediator will speak to each of you individually to explain the mediation ground rules and how the session is going to proceed. The mediator will then go to and from each party exploring the agenda items until the end of the session. 

Our Privacy Statement explains:

  • What information we collect and how we collect it
  • Why and how we use your information
  • How long we keep your information
  • How we may share your information
  • Your rights on the information we hold about you
  • Security-How we keep your information safe
  • Changes to this Privacy Policy
  • How to Contact Us

The Data Controller is Access Mediation Services Ltd

Information We Collect

In order to provide our services and for the other purposes set out in Use of Information below, we collect and process Personal Data from the users.

We may collect the following information:

  • Personal information (for example, your name, email address, mailing address, phone numbers, date of birth, bank account/debit card details)
  • Sensitive Personal Data (for example disability, sexuality, ethnicity, religious beliefs, criminal convictions)
  • Attendance information (such as attended, number of absences and absence reasons)
  • Safeguarding incidents

From time to time and as permitted by applicable law(s), we may collect Personal Data about you and update any existing Personal Data that we currently hold from other third-party sources.

We collect your information from:

  • Self Referral Forms on our websites or via the telephone
  • Referrals from organisations e.g. Cafcass, Family Solicitors
  • We may also collect information from telephone conversations, emails, written and verbal communications and from records of any sessions

How we use your information

Your Personal Data may be used in the following ways:

  • To provide our services to you
  • To respond to your requests and inquiries
  • To improve our services
  • To request your participation in surveys, or other initiatives which help us to gather information used to develop and enhance our services
  • To comply with applicable law(s) (for example, to comply with a search warrant or court order) or to carry out professional ethics/conduct investigations
  • To enable us to provide, to maintain our own accounts and records and to support and manage our employees

Consent and lawful Processing of data

Our legitimate interests, which include processing such Personal Data for the purposes of

  • Providing and enhancing the provision of our services
  • Administration and programme delivery
  • For dealing with medical needs-any information you provide we must have had explicit consent to use
  • All other cases: that it is necessary for our legitimate interests

How long will we keep your information?

Persons referred to the service but unable to contact – Deleted within 4 months.
Persons referred to the service but declined support – Deleted within 4 months.
Persons referred to the service accepting support but do not attend their first appointment – Deleted up to 4 months after their appointment date.

Persons engaging with the service –

Mediation:

  1. Session Summary’s and MIAM Certificates
  2. Agreement to mediate, open statement of financial information, memorandum of understanding, MIAM/IAM/MIM/MIAS forms
  3. Personal Information held – i.e contact details, address

Training Services:

  1. All information held

 

 

Deleted up to 4 months after the last mediation session.

Deleted 6 years after the final mediation session.

 

Deleted 6 years after the last contact.

 

Deleted 6 years after service is delivered.

Family members of persons referred to the service – Deleted 6 years after the last contact.

 

Sharing and Disclosure to Third Parties

We may disclose your Personal Data to third parties from time-to-time under the following circumstances:

You request or authorise the disclosure of your personal details to a third party.

The information is disclosed as permitted by applicable law(s) and/or in order to comply with applicable law(s) (for example, to comply with a search warrant, court order or safeguarding).

The information is provided to service providers who perform functions on our behalf

  • Hosting providers for the secure storage and transmission of your data
  • Legal and compliance consultants, such as external counsel, external auditors
  • Technology providers who assist in the development and management of our web properties

Parents and Children

If the person about whom we are holding information is below 14 then we will need to seek consent from the parent or legal guardian if consent is required. Once the person reaches 14, we will seek consent from them.

Subject Access/User Rights

As a user, you are subject to the following rights:

  • The right to be informed of the use of your Personal Data
  • The right to access and/or to require the correction or erasure of your Personal Data
  • The right to block and/or object to the processing of your Personal Data
  • The right to not be subject to any decision based solely on automated processing of your Personal Data
  • In limited circumstances, you may have the right to receive Personal Data in a format, which may be transmitted to another entity.

If you have a complaint in relation to the processing of your data carried out under this Privacy Policy, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner Office.

You may seek to exercise any of these rights by updating your information (where possible) by sending a written request to Access Mediation Services Limited, 73 Barbourne Road, Worcester, WR1 1SB or by email info@accessmediationservices.co.uk.

Information security

We are working to protect your personal information that we hold, its confidentially, integrity and availability.

  • We review our information collection, storage and processing practices, including physical security measures, to guard against unauthorized access to systems.
  • We restrict access to personal information to Staff and Volunteers subject to strict contractual confidentiality obligations and may be disciplined or terminated if they fail to meet these obligations.
  • We have a Security Information Policy in place, which defines the measures we take to protect your personal information. We use a combination of technology and procedures to ensure that our paper and computer systems are protected, monitored and are recoverable.
  • We only use third party service providers where we are satisfied that they provide adequate security for your personal data.

Compliance and cooperation with regulatory authorities

We regularly review our compliance with our Privacy Policy. If we receive formal written complaints, we will contact the person who made the complaint to follow up. We will work with the ICO to resolve any complaints regarding the transfer of personal data that we cannot resolve with our users directly. 

Changes

Our Privacy Policy may change from time to time. We will not reduce your rights under this Privacy Policy without your explicit consent.

How to Contact Us

Website: www.accessmediationservices.co.uk

Email: info@accessmediationservices.co.uk

Phone: 01905 330055

Complaints Policy

Access Mediation Services views complaints as an opportunity to learn and improve for the future, as well as a chance to put things right for the person or organisation that has made the complaint.

Our policy is:

  • To provide a fair complaints procedure which is clear and easy to use for anyone wishing to make a complaint.
  • To publicise the existence of our complaints procedure so that people know how to contact us to make a complaint.
  • To make sure all complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely way.
  • To make sure that complaints are, wherever possible, resolved and that relationships are repaired.
  • To gather information which helps us to improve what we do

Definition of a Complaint

A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction about any of the services provided by Access Mediation Services.

Where Complaints Come From

A complaint can come from a client of Access Mediation Services. A complaint can be received verbally, by phone or by email. 

Confidentiality

All complaint information will be handled sensitively, telling only those who need to know and following any relevant data protection requirements.

Responsibility

Overall responsibility for this policy and its implementation lies with Ryan Compton.

Contact Details for Complaints

Email – info@accessmediationservices.co.uk

Telephone – 01905 330055

PROCEDURE

In many cases, a complaint is best resolved by the person responsible for the issue being complained about. If the complaint has been received by that person, they may be able to resolve it swiftly and should do so if possible and appropriate.

How to submit your complaint

 

Stage 1 : Informal Discussion

The client is to email info@accessmediationservices.co.uk to inform us of the complaint within 7 days of the event.

The service will arrange for you to speak with the relevant person about your concerns within 2 weeks (subject to availability).

 

Stage 2 : Formal Complaint

Client is to notify Access Mediation Services via email if they are unsatisfied with the outcome of the informal discussion within 7 days of the service’s response.

Access Mediation Services will send the client the complaints form to complete. This must be provided back to Access Mediation Services within 7 days from the date it was provided.

Access Mediation Services will then provide a reconsideration response within 2 weeks.

 

Stage 3 : Appeal

If client is unsatisfied with the formal complaint response, they have the right to appeal.

Grounds of appeal must be submitted by the client within 7 working days from the date the reconsideration response was provided.

Response of the investigation will be provided within 2 weeks to the client. One of the following will be the outcome of the investigation:

  • The appeal to be dismissed
  • Settlement
  • Complaint to be upheld.

If the complaint is upheld an apology will be issued and recommendations will be made to ensure the issue doesn’t arise in the future.

 

Stage 4 :

If the client is unsatisfied with the appeal decision, the client is to submit their concerns that they feel were not addressed at the appeal stage. This is to be provided in writing within 7 days of the complaint response.

This will then be passed on to the external complaints handler, with the authorisation of the client.

A response will then be provided from the external complaints handler within 4 weeks to Access Mediation Services.

Access Mediation Services will provide a response to the client within 2 weeks from the date the response was received from the external complaints handler.

 

If a resolution has not been achieved following the four steps above being completed, a client can then raise their concerns with the College of Mediators (Applicable only to Mediation).

The College of Mediators is an independent regulatory membership body for all types of mediation including family, civil, disability, workplace and community just to name a few. The College of Mediators is one of 6 national family mediation organisations in the UK.

 

Review

This policy is reviewed regularly and updated as required.

Last reviewed: 15/09/2021

Do you have any questions about our services?