Ombudsman Service Policy

The Ombudsman Service Policy is listed in alphabetical order.  This does not represent a priority of order.

Each Complainant, Respondent, and Third Party is required to read through the full details of the Ombudsman Service Policy and Procedure.

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The Purpose of the Ombudsman Service is to provide each consumer with an independent authority to address grievances, disputes, and/or complaints* in line with current consumer policy.  The Ombudsman Service resolves grievances impartially and fairly.
referred to as grievances throughout the Ombudsman Service

The Ombudsman Service Policy and Procedure serves all coaching and mentoring industry consumers.

As defined in the IRCM CIC’s industry definitions, the IRCM CIC recognises that consumers are clients, students, members of Professional Bodies and Support Groups, coaches, mentors, or owners/members of staff of organisations within the coaching and mentoring industry.  Where the consumer part of the industry, is training to be a coach/mentor, or is a coach, or mentor, or owner/member of staff of an organisation, this brings an additional level of the review into the conduct of the consumer.

The extent of the Ombudsman Service jurisdiction is in the power to make decisions that are binding on the:

  • Professional Bodies,
  • Support Groups,
  • Formal Education Bodies,
  • Private Commercial Training Organisations,
  • Coaches, and/or Mentors
  • industry-related Commercial Organisations
  • in their jurisdiction unless the dispute/challenge is successfully challenged through the courts.
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Non-industry related Commercial Organisations are under the Ombudsman jurisdiction of their own industry.  However, where the product and/or service is coaching or mentoring related unless the dispute/challenge is successfully challenged through the courts, may be raised with the Coaching and Mentoring industry Ombudsman Service.

The industry Codes of Conduct incorporate industry standards, industry ethics, and minimum requirements for core competencies.

A code of ethics sets out the values and conduct that underpin the obligation of each organisation and individual within the coaching and mentoring industry.

This starts with the IRCM CIC and goes through each different type of organisation, coach and mentor within this industry.

To assist consumers (also known as buyers or end-users) who are buying the products and services provided by each organisation and individual within the coaching and mentoring industry, the IRCM CIC has created a number of industry recognised codes of conduct that includes a consumers’ guideline.

click here to access the industries Codes of Conduct.

As defined in the IRCM CIC’s industry definitions, the IRCM CIC recognises that consumers are clients, students, members of Professional Bodies and Support Groups, coaches, mentors, or owners/members of staff of organisations within the coaching and mentoring industry.  Where the consumer part of the industry, is training to be a coach/mentor, or is a coach, or mentor, or owner/member of staff of an organisation, this brings an additional level of the review into the conduct of the consumer.

The Ombudsman Service is free of charge to Consumers.

However, where costs are incurred, it is understood and agreed by all parties that the costs will be incorporated into the Outcome and allocated as appropriate.

Costs include by are not exclusive to legal advice required to progress the grievance, hiring a face-to-face venue, all related travel costs, and face-to-face meeting expenses.

Each procedure will provide further details on how costs will be applied.

The Ombudsman Service does not accept any responsibility for costs or expenses related to or incurred through any grievance, dispute, or complaint (referred to as a grievance throughout the Ombudsman Service Policy and Procedures).

As defined under ‘Clarity of purpose’, the grievance can be raised by any Consumer who has received a service or product provided by:

  • an individual calling themselves or representing themselves as a Coach or Mentor,
  • an individual providing a Coaching or Mentoring service or product,
  • a Formal Education Body or Private Commercial Training Organisation or Coach/Mentor, providing Coach and/or Mentor Courses/Training/Workshops,
  • a Support Group providing support to Coaches and Mentors,
  • a Professional Body representing Coaching or Mentoring, or
  • any other industry-related Commercial Organisation providing a coaching or mentoring service or product.

It is recommended that grievances against non-industry related Commercial Organisations are first reported to the Ombudsman in their own industry jurisdiction.  However, where the product and/or service is coaching or mentoring related unless the dispute/challenge is successfully challenged through the courts, the grievance may be raised with the Coaching and Mentoring industry Ombudsman Service.

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Defining a Request for Facilitation and Discussion or a Formal Complaint.

  1. The grievance is considered to be a breach of one or more clauses from one of the industry recognised Codes of Conduct: standards, ethics, or core competencies.
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  2. It is recommended that the Complainant has first approached the Respondent and sought to resolve the issue through Facilitation and Discussion.
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  3. The Complainant must be named in the grievance.
    The Ombudsman Service recognises that consumers may be individuals/organisations within the coaching and mentoring industry: coaches, mentors, organisations, or owners/members of staff of organisations.  This recognition brings an additional level of review in the conduct of the individual/organisation within the coaching and mentoring industry.
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  4. The Respondent must be named in the grievance.
    Although the Complainant may wish to raise a grievance against an organisation, it is important that the Complainant registers a name within the Organisation as the Respondent.
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  5. Where there is a Third Party involved, they must be named in the grievance.
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  6. Where the Complainant is a coach, mentor, or owner/member of staff of an organisation; the Complainant may or may not be listed on the IRCM CIC Directory.
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  7. The Respondent may or may not be listed on the IRCM CIC Directory.
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  8. The matter is in relation to a coaching or mentoring service; or a coaching or mentoring product.
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  9. The matter is not already in progress as a resolution and discussion request or a formal complaint with the Respondent or with another organisation.
    Where the matter is in progress, a grievance may only be raised on completion of the process with the Respondent or other organisation.
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  10. Where the matter has not been resolved through a resolution and discussion request or a formal complaint with the Respondent, it may be raised.  Full details of the resolution and discussion request or formal complaint must be submitted at the time of registering the grievance.
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  11. The matter is not currently the subject of court proceedings.
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  12. The matter has not been ruled upon by court proceedings.
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  13. The grievance must be presented in detail in writing and where applicable all additional documentation should be submitted.
    Where the documentation is not submitted, the reason must be provided.
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  14. The grievance (request for facilitation and discussion or formal complaint) must be signed electronically by the Complainant.
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  15. In line with points 2, 9 and 10, the grievance must also include details of the initial approach made by the Complainant and the results of the initial approach.
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  16. The alleged grievance is to be reported no later than 12 months (1 calendar year) after the event that triggered the grievance.
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  17. All grievances must be reported formally through the Ombudsman Service ‘Request for Facilitation and Discussion’ or where the Complainant can show that facilitation has not worked, ‘Raising a Formal Complaint’ form.
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  18. All Complainants must have read the full details of this Policy and Procedure before submitting the relevant form.
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It is important to understand that:

  • a single grievance investigation may be incorporated into multiple grievances about the same topic or Respondent.
    Therefore, your grievance may not be held within the time frames defined throughout the Procedure.Where the Ombudsman Service identifies that there are multiple grievances the Head of Ombudsman Service will notify you that your grievance is being incorporated into a single grievance with others; and will notify you of the timeframe.
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  • As per point 3 above, the Ombudsman Service recognises that Complainants may be coaches, mentors, or owners/members of staff of organisations within the coaching and mentoring industry.Although this recognition brings an additional level of review into the conduct of the Complainant, this additional level of review does not detract from the details of the grievance; but serves to enhance the standards by which this industry is upheld.
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  • Where there have been previous complaints received against the Respondent for the same, similar or another clause(s), the Outcome and details of the grievance, dispute, or complaint will be incorporated into the review.
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  • A commercial organisation may be an organisation that supports the coaching and mentoring industry but is not within the coaching and mentoring industry, and therefore the Ombudsman Service does not represent the Commercial Organisations.  Where the consumer wishes to raise a grievance against one of the non-industry Commercial Organisations, we request that the complaint is first raised through the relevant industry Ombudsman; after which if necessary, a grievance can be registered with the Coaching and Mentoring Ombudsman Service providing the full details of the initial grievance.

Investigation understanding

To allow the Ombudsman Service to collate and understand the full details of each grievance, the Head of the Ombudsman Service, or one or more members of the Ombudsman Service Panels may email the Complainant, Respondent, or Third Party for further documentation, explanation, or information.
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Outline of Information

The Outline of Information report provides all parties in a grievance with the relevant details selected from the information submitted in the Ombudsman Service Forms or in additional documentation or by email.

This Outline of Information provides all parties with:

    • the Type of Complaint,
    • the names of the Complainant and Respondent,
      Where applicable the name of the Organisation will be included.

      • the relationship between Complainant and Respondent,
    • the name(s) of any Third Party
      • the relationship between the Complainant or Respondent and the Third Party,
    • Coaching and Mentoring Code of Industry Standards and Ethics clause(s),
    • Coaching and Mentoring Industry Core Competencies clauses,
    • whether the grievance has been raised with another organisation and if this grievance has been raised with another organisation the details of the outcome,
    • all other relevant information, and
    • as well as all the information collated to date.

This Outline of Information should be used by each party to understand the grievance, and respond to the information and detail within the specified period of time.
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Notice of Resolution

On completion of the Ombudsman Service investigation and review into a Request for Facilitation and Discussion, the Outline of Information will be incorporated into a Notice of Resolution.  Where a resolution is agreed during a Formal Complaint, the Notice of Resolution will be utilised to progress the Formal Complaint.

This Notice of Resolution provides all parties with:

    • the same information as the Outline of Information
    • facilitation options,
    • resolution options,
    • findings,
    • where possible all parties agreed resolution(s),
    • where there is not an agreed resolution(s), the Ombudsman Service outcome(s) of the grievance as defined in point 1 (Outcome Introduction) from Step 3: Outcomes and Sanctions,
    • the Ombudsman Service resolution
    • and if required any sanctions.

This report will include one or more expected completion dates.

Where applicable, an appendix showing the following from point 1 (Outcome Introduction) from Step 3: Outcomes and Sanctions will be included: Grievances Resolved, Grievances Partially Resolved, Grievances Not Upheld, Grievances Rejected, Grievances with No Ruling, and Insufficient Evidence Submitted.

This Notice of Resolution will be issued to all parties in line with the Facilitation and Discussion Procedure.
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Outcome of Formal Complaint

On completion of the Ombudsman Service investigation and review into a Formal Complaint, the Outline of Information will be incorporated into an Outcome of Formal Complaint report.  Where a resolution is agreed during a Formal Complaint, the Notice of Resolution will be utilised to progress the Formal Complaint and as such this report will not be issued.

This Outcome of Formal Complaint report provides all parties with:

    • the same information as the Outline of Information
    • expected Outcome from the Complainant
    • facilitation options,
    • resolution options,
    • findings,
    • the Ombudsman Service outcome(s) of the grievance as defined in point 1 (Outcome Introduction) from Step 3: Outcomes and Sanctions,
    • the Ombudsman Service resolution and outcomes determined/awarded,
    • and if required a link into the Outcome of Formal Complaint Sanctions report.

This report will include one or more expected completion dates.

Where applicable, an appendix showing the following from point 1 (Outcome Introduction) from Step 3: Outcomes and Sanctions will be included: Grievances Resolved, Grievances Partially Resolved, Grievances Not Upheld, Grievances Rejected, Grievances with No Ruling, and Insufficient Evidence Submitted.

This Outcome of Formal Complaint report will be issued to all parties no later in line with the Facilitation and Discussion Procedure.
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Outcome of Formal Complaint Sanctions

Where sanctions have been awarded, the Outcomes of Formal Complaint Sanctions report supports the Outcome of Formal Complaint document with a final section detailing the Sanctions.

This report will include one or more expected completion dates.

This Outcomes of Formal Complaint Sanctions report will be issued to all parties no later in line with the Facilitation and Discussion Procedure.

If sanctions are awarded under the Facilitation and Discussion procedure, this report format will be used and renamed ‘Outcomes of Facilitation and Discussion Sanctions’ report.
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Outline of Appeals Information

An appeal may be made in writing within 30 calendar days of notification of the original decision.

The Outline of Appeals Information report provides all parties in a grievance with a copy of the Notice of Resolution or Outcome of Formal Complaint report and, if applicable, Outcome of Formal Complaint Sanctions report; and all detail submitted in the Ombudsman Service Forms or in additional documentation or by email.

This Outline of Appeals Information provides all parties with:

    • as originally determined
      • the Type of Complaint
      • the names of the Complainant and Respondent,
        Where applicable the name of the Organisation will be included.

        • the relationship between Complainant and Respondent,
      • the name(s) of any Third Party
        • the relationship between the Complainant or Respondent and the Third Party,
      • Coaching and Mentoring Code of Industry Standards and Ethics clause(s),
      • Coaching and Mentoring Industry Core Competencies clauses,
      • whether the grievance has been raised with another organisation and if this grievance has been raised with another organisation the details of the outcome,
      • facilitation options,
      • resolution options,
      • findings,
      • the Ombudsman Service outcome(s) of the grievance as defined in point 1 (Outcome Introduction) from Step 3: Outcomes and Sanctions,
      • all other relevant information.
    • reason for the appeal
    • additional information submitted as part of the appeal.

This Outline of Appeals Information should be used by each party to understand the appeal, and respond to the information and detail within the specified period of time.
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Outcome of Appeal

On completion of the Ombudsman Service Appeals Panel investigation and review, the Outcome of Appeals report provides all parties with relevant information supporting the Appeal Decision.

This Outcome of Appeals report provides all parties with:

    • the same information as the Notice of Resolution or Outcome of Formal Complaint report.
    • detailing at summary level the appeal outline,
    • the relevant documentation/information submitted,
    • findings relating to the appeal information and documentation,
    • the Ombudsman Service Appeals outcome(s) of the grievance as defined in point 1 (Outcome Introduction) from Step 3: Outcomes and Sanctions,
    • all other relevant information,
    • the Ombudsman Service Appeals resolution and outcomes determined/awarded,
      • the determinations may confirm the details of the original Notice of Resolution or Outcomes of Formal Complaint report, or
      • may document a different result.
    • and if required a link into the Outcome of Appeals Sanctions report.

Where applicable, an appendix showing the following from point 1 (Outcome Introduction) from Step 3: Outcomes and Sanctions will be included: Appeal(s) Resolved, Appeal(s) Partially Resolved, Appeal(s) Not Upheld, Appeal(s)Rejected, Appeal(s) with No Ruling, and Insufficient Evidence Submitted.
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Outcome of Appeals Sanctions

Where sanctions have been awarded, the Outcome of Appeal Sanctions Document supports the Outcome of Appeal document with a final section detailing the Sanctions and follows the Outcome of Formal Complaint Sanctions document format and information.

A schedule is defined as a plan for carrying out a process or procedure.  Therefore, to allow the Ombudsman Service to schedule each grievance or appeal in the order in which they are registered, the Ombudsman Service uses a Facilitation and Complaints Schedule.

This Facilitation and Complaints Schedule is confidential to the Ombudsman Service and where required, the IRCM CIC Board of Directors.

When a grievance is registered, it is added to the Facilitation and Complaints Schedule and an expected timeframe will be provided to the Complainant, Respondent(s), and where applicable, Third Party(s).

A Panel is simply a group of people selected from within the coaching and/or mentoring industry and from outside (consumers).
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Facilitation and Discussion Panel

This Panel comprises the Head of Ombudsman Service and additional Panel members from the following Departments – Accreditation, Industry Direction, Directories, and/or Steering Committee.

The Panel must always be comprised of an odd number and including the Head of Ombudsman Service, must be a minimum of three members.

Where there is a conflict of interest the Head of Ombudsman Service will follow the Request for Facilitation and Discussion Procedure.

Each member of the appointed Panel (Head of Ombudsman Service and Panel members) will make the time available to review, discuss, and participate in each point of the Request for Facilitation and Discussion Procedure:

    • make time available to review and document their findings.
    • participate in all online Ombudsman Services discussions/meetings.
    • attend the Round the Table Discussion and ask relevant questions.

After the Round of Table Discussion, the Head of Ombudsman Service and Panel members will come to an agreement on the facilitation options, preferred resolutions, outcomes, and if required, sanctions.
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Formal Complaint

This Panel comprises the Head of Ombudsman Service and additional Panel members from the following Departments – Accreditation, Industry Direction, Directories, and/or Steering Committee.

The Panel must always be comprised of an odd number and including the Head of Ombudsman Service, must be a minimum of five members.

Where there is a conflict of interest the Head of Ombudsman Service will follow the Formal Complaint Procedure.

Each member of the appointed Panel (Head of Ombudsman Service and Panel members) will make the time available to review, discuss, and participate in each point of the Formal Complaint Procedure:

    • make time available to review and document their findings.
    • participate in all online Ombudsman Services discussions/meetings.
    • attend the Hearing and ask relevant questions.

After the Hearing, the Head of Ombudsman Service and Panel members will come to an agreement on the facilitation options, preferred resolutions, outcomes, and if required, sanctions.
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Appeal

The Head of Ombudsman Service will appoint a member of the Board who was not initially involved in the previous process to lead as Head of Appeals.

This Panel comprises the Head of Appeals and additional Panel members from the following Departments – Accreditation, Industry Direction, Directories, and/or Steering Committee – who were not part of the original Panel.

The Panel must always be comprised of an odd number and including the Head of Appeals, must be a minimum of three members.

Where there is a conflict of interest the Head of Appeals will follow the Appeals Procedure.

Each member of the appointed Panel (Head of Appeals and Panel members) will make the time available to review, discuss, and participate in each point of the Appeals Procedure:

    • make time available to review and document their findings.
    • participate in all online Ombudsman Services discussions/meetings.
    • attend the Appeal and ask relevant questions.

After the Appeal, the Head of Appeals and Panel members will come to an agreement on the validity of the appeal, facilitation options, preferred resolutions, outcomes, and if required, sanctions.

Register of Facilitation and Discussion requests, Formal Complaints; and Outcomes, Actions, Recommendations, and Sanctions

The Ombudsman Service Register is a summary of all grievances registered with the Coaching and Mentoring Ombudsman Service and includes all outcomes, actions, recommendations, and sanctions; it exists for two main reasons:

  • The first is to provide each consumer with an independent authority to address grievances, disputes, and/or complaints* in line with current consumer policy.
    referred to as grievances throughout the Ombudsman Service
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  • The second is to identify systemic failings.
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    Systemic failings are identified through the use of the International Regulator of Coaching and Mentoring CIC’s remit to, through the International Regulator of Coaching and Mentoring CIC’s Steering Committees, work with all organisations and individuals in the industry to clarify definitions, standards, ethics, competencies, etc. to the benefit of the consumer.
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    Where the Ombudsman Service identifies an injustice, it works with all relevant parties/bodies to put this right with an emphasis on fairness and transparency.
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This register is available on the IRCM CIC’s website under the Ombudsman Service webpages and provides high-level summary details of each facilitation and discussion request, formal complaint, outcomes, actions, recommendations, and where applicable, sanctions.

Please note: as found under the Ombudsman Service, “Defining a Request for Facilitation and Discussion or Formal Complaint”, a single investigation may incorporate more than one grievance about the same topic.  An example of this is found in references 0006, 0007, 0008, and 0009.

click here to access the
Ombudsman Services Register
(Register of Facilitation and Discussion requests, Formal Complaints; and Outcomes, Actions, Recommendations, and Sanctions)

The IRCM CIC recognises that Respondents are anyone with coaching and/or mentoring skills, runs coaching/mentoring courses/training/workshops, and/or is working within the Coaching and Mentoring Industry:

  • Coaches – qualified, accredited, or not – and representing themselves as a Coach.
  • Mentors – qualified, accredited, or not – and representing themselves as a Mentor.
  • Students – qualified, or not – and representing themselves as a Coach.
  • Students – qualified, or not – and representing themselves as a Mentor.
  • Students – qualified, or not – and using their skills in their every-day employment.
  • Coaches and/or Mentors who are members of a Coaching and/or Mentoring Support Group.
  • Coaches and/or Mentors who are members of a Coaching and/or Mentoring Professional Body.
  • All individuals working for or representing a Private Commercial Training Organisation.
  • All individuals working for or representing a Formal Education Body.
  • All individuals working for or representing a Support Group.
  • All individuals working for or representing a Professional Body.
  • Any individual who is representing the coaching and/or mentoring industry.

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Respondents may be Commercial Organisations:

  • Professional Bodies, Support Groups, Formal Education Bodies, Private Commercial Training Organisations, Coaches, and Mentors.
  • industry-related Commercial Organisations not listed above.
  • non-industry related Commercial Organisations where the product and/or service is coaching or mentoring related, where the grievance has been raised with the relevant Ombudsman Service and for industry requirements, needs to be raised within the Coaching and Mentoring industry.

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Students, Coaches, Mentors, or Organisations who wish to be excluded from the Coaching and Mentoring Industry must register their change of career or focus but understand that the Ombudsman Service may receive and process a grievance registered against them within the pre-defined period.

It is the independent responsibility of each individual and organisation within the Coaching and Mentoring Industry and the consumers to understand this Ombudsman Service Policy and Procedures.

The IRCM CIC, providing the Ombudsman Service for the Coaching and Mentoring Industry will, for all grievances received, ensure that the Complainant, the Respondent, and all relevant parties are provided with the link to the Ombudsman Service Policy and Procedures.

It is important that every consumer who feels unsatisfied with the service or product they have received, know about this Ombudsman Service Policy and related Procedures.

The Ombudsman Service or the IRCM CIC do not accept any responsibility for costs and/or expenses related to or incurred by any individual/organisation, or any third parties, supporting parties, or witness, for any grievance registered and progressed through the Ombudsman Service Policy and Procedures.

All communication, unless otherwise stated, will be through the use of email.  Emails will be deemed to be served within 12 hours after sending unless returned automatically as un-delivered.

All timeframes documented within this Ombudsman Service policy and procedure will be adhered to, unless it is otherwise noted by the Head of Ombudsman Service or Head of Appeal in their communication with the Complainant, Respondent, and if necessary Third Party(s).  It is recognised that, where gaining, collating, and processing all relevant information is reliant on receiving the information from one or more parties, timeframes may not be met.  Where the timeframes cannot be adhered to, the Head of Ombudsman Service or Head of Appeal will notify all other parties of the delay and the reason.

The Seven Principles of the Ombudsman Service is listed in alphabetical order.  This does not represent a priority of order.

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Accountability

Ensuring that all members of the Ombudsman Service team are seen to be responsible and accountable for their decisions and actions, including but not exclusive to:

    • Accountable to the Regulator of Community Interest Companies for external scrutiny.
    • Accountable to Complainants, Respondents, where applicable Third Parties, and the Coaching and Mentoring Industry.
    • Robust mechanism for external audit and review of service quality.

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Clarity of purpose

Ensuring that Complainants, Respondents, Third Parties, and the Coaching and Mentoring Industry know why the Ombudsman Service Policy and Procedures exists, why it is defined, what it can do for each consumer and what they should expect from it, including but not exclusive to:

    • Clear explanation of the purpose of the Ombudsman Service.
    • Clarity on who the Ombudsman Service Policy and Procedures serves.
    • Clear definition of the Ombudsman Service Policy and Procedures.
    • Clarity on the extent of the Ombudsman Service jurisdiction.

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Confidentiality

Confidentiality is at the heart of the coaching and mentoring industry and as such at the heart of the Ombudsman Service policies and processes, and good business practice.  The Ombudsman Service and IRCM CIC takes their responsibility of confidentiality seriously, and requests that all parties involved in the Ombudsman Service retain the Confidentiality of the grievance.

As stated above:

    • The Ombudsman Service will maintain the confidentiality of the details of the grievance in as far as it is able to.
    • Where confidentiality is breached, the Ombudsman Service will notify all parties.
      Where the Complainant, Respondent, or Third Party is an individual/organisation within the coaching and mentoring industry, this breach will be noted against their record.

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Effectiveness

Ensuring that the Ombudsman Service delivers quality outcomes; simply, efficiently and professionally, including but not exclusive to:

    • Demonstrating the methods used to keep to commitments.
    • Working closely with all individuals/organisations within the industry; specifically the Formal Education Bodies, Private Commercial Training Organisations, and Professional Bodies to implement Coaching and Mentoring Industry recommendations.
    • Effective risk management to raise the standards, confidence, and excellence in the Coaching and Mentoring Industry.

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Independence

Ensuring and demonstrating the freedom of the Head of Ombudsman Service, Ombudsman Service Panels, Head of Appeals, and the Appeals Panel from interference in decision making, including but not exclusive to:

    • Freedom from interference by any Director or member of the IRCM CIC team in the Ombudsman Service policy and process when working on reported grievances.
    • Building an appropriate and proportionate structure.
    • Appointment, re-appointment, and remuneration of the Head of Ombudsman Service, Ombudsman Service Panels, Head of Appeals, and the Appeals Panel consistent with ensuring Ombudsman Service independence.
    • Governance arrangements that ensure and safeguard the independence of Head of Ombudsman Service, Ombudsman Service Panel, Head of Appeals, and the Appeals Panel.
    • Governance that ensures and safeguards the independence of the Ombudsman Service Policy and Procedures.
    • The Head of Ombudsman Service, Ombudsman Service Panel, Head of Appeals, and the Appeals Panel involved in the governance of the scheme to conduct themselves at all times in the best interest of the Ombudsman Service Policy and Procedures.

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Integrity

Ensuring straightforward, in-depth, and complete dealing of each grievance registered; based on honesty, selflessness, professionalism, and objectivity.

Ensure high standards of propriety in the conduct of all aspects of the Ombudsman Service, including but not exclusive to:

    • Ability to demonstrate impartiality in all activities.
    • Demonstrating and declaring the management of all conflicts of interest.
    • Ensuring that all members of the Ombudsman Service Team comply with the IRCM CIC’s Code of Conduct.

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Openness and Transparency

Ensuring openness and transparency in order that the consumers can have confidence in the decision-making and management processes of the Ombudsman Service Policy and Procedures, including but not exclusive to:

    • Be clear about the legal rights, governance, authority, and funding arrangements of the Ombudsman Service.
    • Clearly worded policies and procedures.
    • Clear criteria for outcome decisions.
    • Clear and proper recording of decisions and actions on the Ombudsman Services Register.
    • Where possible the Ombudsman Service will maintain the confidentiality of the details of the individuals in as far as it is able to.
    • Where possible the Ombudsman Service will maintain the confidentiality of the Complainant/Respondent/Third Party grievance details, in as far as it is able to.
    • Where confidentiality is breached, the Ombudsman Service will notify all parties.
    • The Ombudsman Service will make all information and publication of decisions clear, consistent with the statute, contract, and good practice.
    • Clear levels of authority including conflicts of interest delegation.
    • Providing when requested details of the conflict of interest which apply to the Ombudsman team in relation to the relevant parties of a grievance.

The following terminology is referred to as ‘grievance’ throughout this Ombudsman Service policy and procedure:

  • Grievance is something believed to cause distress, or a wrong considered as grounds for a formal complaint; or resentment against an unjust or unfair act.  Therefore, this term refers to the objection the person or organisation is raising against the Respondent.
  • Dispute is recognised as a conflict or controversy.  Therefore, this term refers to a conflict between two people in a business relationship.
  • Complaint is recognised as an expression that is used to describe dissatisfaction or annoyance about something.

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The following terminology is used throughout this Ombudsman Service policy and procedure:

  • Facilitation and Discussion refers to an alternative grievance resolution that uses various techniques to understand and present the information in a simplified manner, so that the parties involved are able to negotiate with the support of an independent person to be able to reach a mutually acceptable agreement.
  • Formal Complaint is the formal registration of a grievance that has not been resolved through facilitation or discussion.
  • Complainant is the term used by the Ombudsman Service to describe the Consumer who is raising the grievance.
  • Respondent is the term used by the Ombudsman Service to describe the industry-related individual or organisation, or non-industry related organisation that provides coaching and/or mentoring products/services; against whom the grievance is filed.

Although there may be many reasons for requesting facilitation and discussion or raising a formal complaint, the Ombudsman Service focuses on the following three types of grievances:

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Professional Misconduct

Professional Misconduct is defined when an individual/organisation, generally recognised as a Coach, Mentor, Support Group, Formal Education Body, Private Commercial Training Organisation, Professional Body, or industry-related Commercial Organisation has contravened the industry recognised Code of Conduct: Standards and Ethics or Coaching and Mentoring Industry Core Competencies.  This also applies to non-industry related Commercial Organisations that are providing coaching and/or mentoring services and/or products.

Whether on the IRCM CIC Directory or not, misconduct applies where the individual or organisation is considered to have failed to follow the ethical Code of Conduct for the coaching or mentoring industry.

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Professional Malpractice

Professional Malpractice is defined when an individual/organisation, generally recognised as a Coach, Mentor, Support Group, Formal Education Body, Private Commercial Training Organisation, Professional Body, or Commercial Organisation’s professional behaviour, through incompetence and/or negligence, is deemed to be below the minimum standards of the coaching or mentoring industry, it is considered to represent Professional Malpractice.

Whether on the IRCM CIC Directory or not, malpractice applies where the individual or organisation is deemed to be below the minimum standards of the coaching or mentoring industry.

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Coaching or Mentoring Industry Disrepute

Coaching or Mentoring Industry Disrepute is defined where an individual/organisation, generally recognised as a Coach, Mentor, Support Group, Formal Education Body, Private Commercial Training Organisation, Professional Body, or Commercial Organisation has behaved in such a way that it is deemed to have brought the Coaching or Mentoring Industry into disrepute; by behaving in a manner that undermines the consumer’s confidence in the coaching or mentoring industry.

Whether on the IRCM CIC Directory or not, bringing the industry into disrepute by the individual or organisation is deemed to undermine the consumer’s confidence in the coaching or mentoring industry.

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The IRCM CIC recognises that consumers may be coaches, mentors, or owners/members of staff of organisations within the coaching and mentoring industry.  Although this recognition brings an additional level of review in the conduct of the Complainant, this additional level of review does not detract from the details of the grievance; but serves to enhance the standards by which this industry is upheld.

As defined within company legislation for the UK, working days are defined that the day is not a Saturday or Sunday, Christmas Day, Good Friday or any day that is a legislated bank holiday.

In other words, a working day is any day from Monday to Friday that is not deemed to be a legislated bank holiday.

© 2021 International Regulator of Coaching and Mentoring CIC. All Rights Reserved
Version 5: November 2021

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Currently, all information provided by and correspondence with the IRCM CIC is in English.