Depending on the Scheme, there are three options for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). These are Adjudication, Arbitration and Conciliation.
Adjudication is a process by which an adjudicator, who is usually legally qualified, weighs up the documents and evidence provided by the customer and the company in order to reach a decision. The adjudicator will take into account the law relevant to the subject matter of the dispute at hand. The adjudicator’s decision is binding upon both parties* if the customer chooses to accept it. If the customer chooses not to accept the decision, it will have no binding effect on either party.
Arbitration is a legal process carried out in line with the Arbitration Act 1996 by which a third party arbitrator determines the outcome of a dispute. The arbitrator has wide discretion to determine the way in which the case will run. The arbitrator’s award is binding on both parties upon its publication, and it can be enforced directly in the courts in the event that either party does not comply with it.
Conciliation is an informal process for settling disputes through direct negotiations. A conciliator contacts the parties directly, usually by telephone, to attempt to encourage a negotiated settlement between them. The conciliator allows the parties to reach their own resolution to a dispute, although the conciliator has the power to recommend a particular solution in the event that the parties are unable to reach one themselves. Any settlement reached through conciliation will become binding as a contractual agreement once both parties sign a copy of it.