Note: This article was originally published in our Spring 2019 edition of our On Call newsletter, and has not been updated.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is an alternative to the College’s complaint process. It allows for the complainant, the midwife, and a third-party facilitator to work together to create a resolution that satisfies all parties. With ADR, there is no formal investigation. The midwife considers the complainant’s perspective and provides an account of their conduct that was considered to be problematic by the complainant. The ADR process will only take place if both the complainant and the midwife agree to resolve the complaint through this process.
Many complaints are eligible for ADR, but the Health Professionals Procedural Code states that complaints involving alleged sexual abuse or matters that have already been referred to the Discipline Committee cannot be referred to ADR. The College’s ADR Eligibility Policy further outlines the types of complaints that are not eligible for ADR.
Resolutions vary depending on each case, but they can include the midwife agreeing to engage in some form of education. In other cases, the midwife may apologize to the complainant.
Cases that go through ADR are often completed sooner than those that go through the formal complaints process. Resolutions must be reached within 60 days, with a possibility of an extension to 120 days.
What happens if ADR is discontinued or unsuccessful?
- This may happen for a variety of reasons:
- A party can withdraw from the process at any time.
- The facilitator or College may end the process in certain circumstances (e.g. if it is evident that either party is abusing the process and/or not acting in good faith).
- The Registrar or the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee may not ratify the agreement reached.
In these cases, the complaint will proceed through the College’s formal complaints process. If you have any questions about ADR, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions.