The provision of support can be all important in trying to resolve disputes. Members get involved in branches in order to facilitate going diving and don't expect to become involved in resolving disputes between others. Consequently support is available via BSAC HQ to assist in resolving disputes by providing impartial advice and for when all else fails support in mediation.
Staff at BSAC HQ are able to advise members in a general way on disciplinary matters.
In particular advice will focus on the importance of following the procedures within the branch appropriate to the level of offence.
BSAC Staff are not able to take sides or to support one individual or group over another. Advice provided shall not be used by either party as evidence of support for their particular argument or position. BSAC Staff are not able to make decisions in any dispute and may need to refer the matter to other relevant advisors within BSAC (eg Instructor Training Group on NDC or the BSAC Safeguarding Officer).
BSAC HQ may be able to provide support in a dispute through assisting in mediation. This can take a number of different forms including:
- Providing advice on who within a branch could chair a meeting where the disputing parties involve members of the committee (eg Diving Officer/Chair)
- Facilitating informal or formal meetings between the disputing parties.
- Providing an independent Observer for meetings to advise and support open discussion and/or specialist advice.
- Providing an Independent Chair for formal meetings.
- Providing an Arbitration panel to manage a meeting between two disputing parties
- Advise on appropriate compromises to be considered by each party including:
- Relevance of each respective parties position and how each relates to BSAC Code of Conduct
- Guide on appropriate measures to comply with BSAC Code of Conduct
- Advise on whether proposed disciplinary measures are appropriate and proportionate
- Advise on how a branch should support members’ reintegration and compliance
- Signposting to specialist mediation services (there may be a cost associated with this that will be the responsibility of the branch).
Support can be available via HQ to facilitate mediation. We would advise any request for mediation be established at an early stage when it is evident that significant opposing views are held and before positions become entrenched. It is also preferable that BOTH parties, wherever possible, agree to request mediation.
In order to request mediation please use the Grievance Form selecting ‘Request Mediation’ from the dropdown list.