Independent Assessor - Terms of Reference

Flexible Resolution Services (Domestic & General cases only)

  1. Any person directly affected by the functions of Flexible Resolution Services (FRS) handling of a Domestic & General case, may raise with the Independent Assessor any complaint about the standard of service provided by FRS (a service complaint), provided:
    1. the complainant has followed FRS’ own internal complaints process entitled “Unhappy with our Service” (which is available at our website Flexible Resolution Services | Contact us or call us for a printed copy or email and it has had a reasonable opportunity of responding to the service complaint; and
    2. the person making the service complaint remains dissatisfied and complains to the Independent Assessor within three months of FRS confirming that it has completed its own internal procedures in relation to the service complaint.
  2. If the Independent Assessor receives a service complaint that also relates to other matters, the Independent Assessor shall only investigate the service complaint. Service complaints exclude, amongst other things:
    1. the merits of any decision concerning any complaint against Domestic & General under the law and/or rules relating to FRS, including jurisdiction; consideration or weighting of evidence, dismissing, rejecting, or upholding such a complaint; and any redress; and
    2. employment issues relating to the staff of FRS and issues concerning commercial transactions between FRS and third parties.
  3. The Independent Assessor may, at their discretion, decide to wait until a complaint has concluded before conducting their review. In exceptional cases, they may require FRS to suspend an investigation of the complaint against Domestic & General while the service complaint is considered.
  4. The Independent Assessor has autonomy not to accept a service complaint or to terminate the investigation of a service complaint if the behaviour of the person making the service complaint becomes unreasonable.
  5. The Independent Assessor shall have access to all files held by FRS relating to the service complaint and may seek any further information that he or she considers necessary from the person making the service complaint or from FRS
  6. If the Independent Assessor considers that a service complaint should be upheld in whole or in part, they may recommend that an apology or appropriate recommendation is made, in line with FRS’ internal service complaints procedure.
  7. If FRS does not accept that recommendation, the Independent Assessor shall refer the matter to the Board– which shall normally decide on its response at its next meeting, following receipt of the recommendation, for which it is possible to include the relevant papers in the agenda.
  8. If the Board declines to comply with a recommendation referred to it by the Independent Assessor, it shall inform the Independent Assessor and the person making the service complaint of its reasons for doing so, and shall publish them in the annual report.
  9. The Independent Assessor shall communicate the findings in writing to the person or firm who made the service complaint and to FRS. There is no further appeal against the Independent Assessor’s decision.
  10. Each year the Independent Assessor shall compile, for inclusion in the annual report, a summary of the number and nature of the complaints they received, and of any recommendations made or referred to its Board.

The Independent Assessor’s Terms of Reference: Flexible Resolution Services

Last updated: May 2023

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