How mediation works
Mediation is a process where the parties in a dispute meet voluntarily to discuss their dispute with the help of an independent and accredited mediator.
During mediation parties are encouraged to identify and explore options to resolve their dispute. The mediator cannot make a decision about the outcome and supports the parties to reach their own agreement.
What is the role of the mediator?
The VSBC appoints an independent mediator to:
- help the parties communicate openly
- help identify options
- help the parties to reach their own agreement for settlement
It is important to note that mediators:
- are not judges
- do not decide who is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’
- do not give binding judgements
- do not give the parties legal advice
- does not impose a solution on a party
The mediator will not hand down a decision, but rather help the parties to reach their own agreement, encouraging win-win outcomes.
Other forms of dispute resolution
The VSBC is always exploring new ways to resolve disputes.
A facilitated meeting is an alternative form of dispute resolution used by VSBC when a mediation would not be suitable or appropriate. An example of where this may happen is when there are several parties involved in a dispute with the one organisation.
The Commissioner appoints a facilitator who sits with all relevant parties to guide the participants through the meeting and to make sure every participant has a say. A facilitated meeting is more flexible than a mediation.
For more information download the facilitated meetings fact sheet guide.
A voluntary Motor Vehicle Insurance and Repair Industry Code of Conduct (the Code) commenced on 1 May 2017.
The Code provides for the mediation and determination of smash repairer disputes by the VSBC. The VSBC is an approved determination provider under the Code to determine smash repairer disputes, where mediation has failed.
For more detailed information visit the Motor Vehicle Insurance and Repair Industry Determination Process under For lawyers.