ACCA and its members are required to comply with new alternative dispute resolution regulations by 9 July. Are you ready?
The Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015 were laid before Parliament in March. Changes will affect consumers, providers of goods and services, and providers of ADR services (such as ACCA).
The purpose of the Regulations is to ensure that alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is available for all contractual disputes arising out of complaints by consumers, and ACCA has produced technical factsheet 192 providing guidance to practitioners.
While ACCA already provides ADR, by way of its Conciliation Service, the factsheet explains the impact of the recent legislation on ACCA’s policies and procedures, and how ACCA delivers conciliation. It also highlights a number of resources available to members in order to assist them with compliance.
As a result of the new Regulations, once a firm’s internal complaints procedure has been exhausted, it is required to communicate certain matters to a client, including that ACCA is competent to deal with the complaint, and whether the practice would be prepared to submit to ACCA’s conciliation process should ACCA consider that the complaint is suitable for conciliation. Although a member of ACCA would be required to cooperate in the investigation of a complaint, a member is not obliged to submit to the conciliation process.
ACCA and its members are required to be compliant by 9 July 2015. Technical factsheet 192 is available to help your firm prepare, and there is also a guidance note to assist members in implementing internal complaints-handling procedures.