What... is mediation?
Mediation is a confidential process for people who have been involved in a dispute. They can meet, discuss issues and reach a solution with the help of a neutral mediator. It is a voluntary process; both parties must be willing to participate for it to work.
The mediation process is flexible and depends on each situation. Normally, the mediator meets each side separately and asks them to explain how they see the situation, how they would like it to change and how they feel it could be settled. This is then followed by a joint meeting involving both sides. It can take place in person or online.
Where... does mediation fit in with the HCPC’s role as a regulator?
Our role is to maintain high standards in the professions we regulate and to protect the public. As part of this, we want to provide a range of ways to settle disputes.
Mediation is a way of settling cases which promotes understanding between professionals and service users who have been in disagreement. This alternative approach avoids a contested hearing, whilst still ensuring the public is adequately protected.
When... can fitness to practise cases be referred to mediation?
Criteria have been set to ensure that only suitable cases are referred to the mediation process.
A case can be referred to mediation at the following stages of the fitness to practise process:
a) When a no case to answer decision is made by the Investigating Committee Panel where there is a realistic prospect of the facts being proved, but not the grounds or impairment.
b) When a case to answer decision has been made but there is a reasonable chance that mediation may resolve the concerns. The Committee can include a timeframe for attempting mediation and direct that the case be referred back should mediation be unsuccessful.
Why... can mediation be beneficial?
Mediation can have a number of benefits, including:
- In instances where there is no case to answer, it can provide a way of dealing with issues that were not considered serious enough to form part of the allegation, but still need to be settled.
- In instances where there is a case to answer, it can provide an alternative way to settle a case.
- It can help the professional understand why a concern was raised, what led to it and whether there are things that can be done to prevent fitness to practise investigations in the future.
- It can help both sides understand the situation from another point of view.
- It can help everyone involved in a disagreement reach a solution together.
- It can make both sides feel more involved in the decision-making process. This can mean that both sides are satisfied with the outcome.
Who... is the mediator?
We provide independent and experienced mediators who are trained and qualified. These individuals are not employed by HCPC.
The mediator listens to both sides and helps to manage the discussion. They do not take sides, give advice or make decisions - their role is to help all those involved reach an agreement which is acceptable to all.
A word from Council
“I am so pleased that the HCPC is providing mediation as one way of resolving cases. It fits well with our responsibility to both maintain standards and safeguard the health and wellbeing of service users. I have worked as a mediator in the past, so I know from experience how helpful mediation can be for all those involved.”
Jo Mussen, HCPC Council Member
For more information about the mediation process visit www.hcpc-uk.org/complaints/mediation