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More Government legislation On Its Way

Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) – What is it?

ADR is a collective term given to a number of different processes for addressing and settling disputes and complaints outside of the courtroom.

The European Directive on Alternate Dispute Resolution is being implemented in the UK, through secondary legislation, in July 2015. The new rules are expected to set out that businesses should provide their customers with details of an appropriate ADR provider, who they can contact if their complaints haven’t been resolved by the business’ own complaints procedure. Alternatively, the business may be expected to explain to customers that it does not use an ADR provider.

Although this may seem like red-tape; ADR can be used to improve the reputation of the industry. Providing alternative means of recourse to consumers can only improve trust between customers and businesses. Moreover, ADR arguably brings positive benefits to businesses as well; in a recent European Business Test Panel Survey, it was found that 82% of surveyed businesses who had used ADR in the past would use it again and that 70% of respondents stated that they would prefer to use ADR as opposed to the courts. Respondents noted speed of resolution and the preservation of reputation as being key factors in ADR’s success*.

Certass members will be aware that we have provided an ADR service to our membership for several years. To continue practicing our ADR service from this point forward, we are required to register and be certified with the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), who have been appointed as the “competent authority”.

The process and cost of becoming an ADR provider has been released to Certass in the last few weeks. As you will know, Certass’ main commitment is to provide our members with a low cost solution and we are currently reviewing a number of options to deliver a low cost ADR solution to our membership. As you can imagine the timeframes are somewhat tight but we are determined to get the right solution to our members in time. This means that –in practice- Certass’ ADR solution will not be paid via separate subscription; but rather, Certass’ offering will be provided purely on a “fee per case” basis.

Lastly –and on a completely different topic- Certass has just added to its membership package a free legal advice portal with a telephone helpline option for legal advice; yet another reason why we believe that the Certass offering provides a comprehensive and valuable package for its members. For more information on this or any other part of Certass’ offering, please contact our team on 01292 292 099.

*European Business Test Panel Survey – Alternative Dispute Resolution. Available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/yourvoice/ebtp/consultations/2010/adr/report_en.pdf

For more information please visit Certass

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