Facilitation and mediation allow you to keep control over the resolution of your dispute. You don’t have to reach any binding decisions unless you choose to. In both cases, an independent and neutral third party (the facilitator or mediator) helps the parties to a dispute to identify and solve problems and come to an agreed outcome of their own making.
ICRA is entirely independent of Fire and Emergency, and our facilitators and mediators are all highly experienced and independent professionals. Our specialist case managers manage the process. A specific case manager will be assigned to your case to ensure you have one point of contact throughout the process. You can be confident that your facilitation or mediation will always be handled respectfully and professionally.
If you are not satisfied with the results of the facilitation or mediation, you can ask ICRA to refer your dispute to adjudication.
If you’re not sure which process will suit your needs, please contact our case management team, who will be more than happy to help.
Facilitation or mediation?
Facilitation is a process designed to make group problem and conflict solving easier or more likely to occur by improving members’ ability to deal directly with each other and work together effectively.
Mediation is a process in which the mediator serves as an intermediary between parties to help find a resolution that is acceptable to them. If you’re not sure which process will suit your needs, please contact our case management team, who will be more than happy to help.
For further information, select from one of the options below.
Facilitation may be best suited where the nature of your dispute is not clear or specific or involves a lot of people or groups of people. A group may seek facilitation because the members recognise that they need assistance to manage a difficult discussion or solve a complex problem.
The facilitator guides people in conflict through a process that will allow you to identify the issues in dispute and work towards a common resolution.
What does facilitation involve?
If you select facilitation as your process, the facilitator will speak with each party to discuss the most suitable process for your case.
Your process may involve (among other things) any or all of:
- Phone conversations or emails with the facilitator
- An exchange of information about the dispute
- Virtual or in-person meetings with the entire group or smaller groups
- Taking external expert advice
- Consulting with stakeholders
- Investigating allegations and reporting
- Mediating disputes between members of a group or groups
- Drafting Settlement Agreements
- Trialling processes and procedures
- Reflective analysis and review
The facilitator will not provide an opinion and will not convey preferences for any solutions the group considers.
What are the outcomes of facilitation?
If a resolution is reached, your facilitator may help you prepare a Settlement Agreement, recording what has been agreed. The agreement might be binding (which means you and the other parties must comply with it) or non-binding, depending on the issue and the outcome. Possible non-binding outcomes might include an agreed process or procedure being trialled and then the parties returning to facilitation to adjust the process or procedure as needed.
The outcomes of facilitation are determined by the group. However, if a party is dissatisfied with the facilitation process or its outcome, they can ask ICRA to refer the dispute to adjudication.
Mediation is a consensual, confidential and relatively informal process of managed negotiation. It is flexible and allows parties to come to their own resolution on a dispute, but it has a timetable and procedural structure that direct negotiation lacks.
The parties to a dispute use the services of a skilled and independent person (the mediator) to assist them to define the issues in dispute, to develop and explore settlement options, assess the implications of settlement options, and negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement of the dispute that meets their interests and needs. You can negotiate flexible and creative solutions that do not have to conform to strict legal rights or general community standards.
What does mediation involve?
At the start of the mediation, the mediator will speak with each party to discuss the issues and what process will be most suitable for your case.
Your process may involve:
- Phone conversations or emails with the mediator
- An exchange of information about the dispute
- Virtual or in-person meetings with the mediator – as a group or in separate sessions
The mediator’s role is generally to assist the parties to negotiate a settlement of their dispute without giving advice, expressing opinions or making decisions for them. Mediation aims to enable and empower the parties to negotiate and resolve their dispute rather than having a decision imposed on them by a court or an adjudicator.
What are the outcomes of mediation?
If the parties resolve some or all of the matters in dispute at mediation, the mediator will help you record the terms of your agreement in a Settlement Agreement. Unless you agree otherwise, the Settlement Agreement will be binding, which means you and the other parties must comply with it.
The outcomes of mediation are determined by the parties. However, if a party is dissatisfied with the mediation process or the parties fail to reach agreement on all matters in dispute, they can ask ICRA to refer the disputed matters to adjudication.
About the Fire and Emergency dispute resolution Scheme
Learn more about the Scheme
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Cultural Support Guidelines