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Stream 13 - Alternative Dispute Resolution

A brief description of each type of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service is provided below. The description outlines the general nature of the services required. Individual Request for Proposals will elaborate on particular requirements within the context of the below description. For each category, the Supplier must ensure that the proposed resource(s) meets specific mandatory professional criteria. These criterions are defined in the Mandatory Criteria pages.

13.1 Conflict Coaching

Conflict Coaching is one-on-one support to help a person deal with a conflict situation. The coach can help a person identify and develop new practical skills to resolve conflict, replacing less successful ways of dealing with disputes.

Conflict coaching is a voluntary, one-on-one approach between the Supplier and the participant, in which a participant develops skills and confidence to resolve conflicts on their own, usually through a series of pre-determined meetings with a trained conflict coach. Conflict coaching features a focused goal for each session, and a guided learning process based on the client's situation and experience.

The Conflict Coach will maintain complete confidentiality about the content of the coaching sessions unless:

  1. the participant gives express permission for disclosure;
  2. the participant reveals intentions to harm him/herself or others; or
  3. disclosure is required or authorized by law.

The required services/tasks may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Provide guidance to ensure the process remains focused on the participant's objectives;
  • Determine, in conjunction with and with the approval of the participant, the structure of the process and the agenda, specific to the participant’s needs and interests;
  • meet or arrange telephone conversations at times that are mutually convenient;
  • meet for a finite number of sessions;
  • assist to resolve or prevent a dispute;
  • prepare the participant for difficult conversations;
  • build dispute resolution competencies;
  • develop understanding of the underlying factors contributing to the dispute;
  • provide a structure and framework to guide the participant to identify and achieve stated goals;
  • share observations and feedback to help participant see new insights and possibilities;
  • help the participant identify barriers to building awareness and conflict competency;
  • work with participant to explore and practice alternatives to counterproductive behaviors;
  • help participant move away from destructive reactions to conflict and to develop and practice constructive responses that facilitate positive changes in handling  conflict;
  • acknowledge new behaviors/competencies that support participant's movement towards intended outcome;
  • assist participant to focus on the future;
  • suggest exercises to develop the participant's conflict resolution competencies and attain stated goals.

13.2 Mediation / Facilitation conversation

Mediation is a voluntary process in which an impartial and neutral third party assists parties to create a mutually acceptable solution to their problem. Facilitation involves the use of techniques to improve the flow of information in a meeting between parties to a dispute. It is procedural assistance provided to enable participants to communicate more effectively and move towards a possible agreement. Both are interest-based processes to assist the parties in finding a mutually acceptable solution.

Parties may sign an agreement to mediate and, upon conclusion, the settlement can also be verbal or written as agreed by the parties.

ADR facilitation shares all of the elements of mediation except for the formality of mediation, in which written agreements with the parties, as signatories are optional in ADR facilitations.

The required services must include a series of process phases, but are not limited to the following:

Phase 1 – Pre-session preparation:

  • Assess appropriateness for an ADR process;
  • Understanding the general nature of the conflict;
  • Meeting and learning about the individual characteristics of the parties in order to best structure a process that is comfortable to all parties;
  • Establishing an understanding as to what each party wishes to resolve;
  • Setting a date and time of joint first session.

Phase 2 - Introducing the process:

  • Outlines expectations, process and possible agenda;
  • Explains guidelines and roles;
  • Assesses readiness to proceed;
  • provides opportunity for parties to tell their story.

Phase 3 – Exploring issues/interest and generating options:

  • Facilitate communication and understanding;
  • Helps parties generate complete information and better understanding of what is important to build common ground and move from positions to interests;
  • Identify common ground and key interests/priorities;
  • Clarify assumptions;
  • Generate possible options and verify feasibility of these options;
  • Detail steps for implementation;
  • Assess the Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA).

Phase 4 – Reaching Agreement:

  • Assists the parties to consider in sufficient detail the durability of any agreement;
  • Assists in articulating in written fashion the agreement/option they have reached;
  • Defines the final terms of the chosen option;
  • Determine the basis and plan for evaluation;
  • Rationale for inability to conclude matter (if applicable).

13.3 Group Processes and Work Place Assessment

This participatory and impartial process has a series of steps involving participants identifying ways of addressing conflict in the workplace.

A workplace assessment identifies what is working effectively in a work unit and what is not, according to the employees or members who are working within the group, so the group can engage in discussions to resolve conflicts that are negatively impacting them. It allows all individuals in a work unit to provide their opinions, views and perceptions, in a confidential manner, on a variety of issues that are important to explore in order to understand their work environment.

Group processes provide an opportunity for a group of members to work through issues that are causing difficulties within the group and to find ways to improve the working environment.

The required services may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Perform a diagnostic process to identify intra- and inter- group dynamics which impact the workplace;
  • Identify the parties' interests and explore strategies for improvement;
  • Involving participants in addressing conflict in the workplace by gathering data in groups and/or individually;
  • Outlines the Suppliers methodology for the diagnostic piece, the proposed work breakdown structure and the proposed responsibility assignment matrix;
  • Performing a workplace assessment;
  • Responsible for the overall process while the group maintains control over the topics discussed and any actions taken;
  • Coordinating group interventions that can be designed collaboratively with employees or members when impacted by conflict or as a preventative measure;
  • Recommends and implements a Group Intervention process designed to bring about positive and appropriate changes in the work environment;
  • Provide a safe environment that encourages participants to discuss underlying needs and interests and resolve the conflicts in the workplace;
  • Allowing for the acknowledgment of the issues in the work environment and developing strategies through the Group process facilitation piece to resolve current and potential conflicts that emphasize personal responsibility for follow through action;
  • Provides recommendations for future action, including a range of options set out in terms of scope, anticipated schedule and projected expense;
  • Preparing the summary of findings containing a survey of themes gleaned from the diagnostic process used.

13.4 Commercial / Business Disputes: Facilitated Discussion – Mediation

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for commercial or business matters is a voluntary process in which an impartial/neutral third person (the Supplier) assists participants involved in a business dispute to create a mutually acceptable solution to their problem. ADR processes for commercial or business matters include facilitated discussion, mediation.

Mediation is a process which involves the use of techniques to improve the flow of information in a meeting between participants in a dispute. It is procedural assistance provided to enable participants to communicate more effectively and move towards a possible agreement. It is an interest-based process to assist the participants in finding a mutually acceptable solution. Participants may sign an agreement to mediate and, upon conclusion, the settlement can also be verbal or written as agreed by the participants.

A facilitated discussion shares all of the elements of mediation except for the formality of mediation, in which written agreements with the participants as signatories are optional.

The required services must include a series of process phases, but are not limited to the following:

Phase 1 – Pre-session preparation:

  • Assess appropriateness for an ADR process;
  • Understanding the general nature of the commercial/business dispute;
  • Meeting and learning about the individual characteristics of the participants in order to best structure a process that is comfortable for all;
  • Understanding what each participant wants to resolve through the commercial/business ADR process;
  • Explain to participants what they can expect to happen, help prepare participants and set parameters for the joint sessions.

Phase 2 - Introducing the process:

  • Outlines expectations, process and possible agenda;
  • Explains guidelines and roles;
  • Assesses readiness to proceed;
  • Provides opportunity for parties to tell their story.

Phase 3 – Exploring issues/interest and generating options:

  • Facilitate communication and understanding;
  • Helps parties generate complete information and better understanding of what is important to build common ground and move from positions to interests;
  • Identify common ground and key interests/priorities;
  • Clarify assumptions;
  • Generate possible options and verify feasibility of these options;
  • Detail steps for implementation;
  • Assess the Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA);

Phase 4 – Reaching Agreement:

  • Assists the parties to consider in sufficient detail the durability of any agreement;
  • Assists in articulating in written fashion the agreement/option they have reached;
  • Defines the final terms of the chosen option;
  • Determine the basis and plan for evaluation;
  • Rationale for inability to conclude matter (if applicable).

13.5 Commercial / Business Disputes: Arbitration

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for commercial or business matters is a voluntary process in which an impartial/neutral third person (the Supplier) assists participants involved in a business dispute to create a mutually acceptable solution to their problem. ADR processes for commercial or business matters include arbitration.

Arbitration is a process in which participants in a dispute rely upon one or more persons to make a decision about the best action to take to resolve the dispute. The participants agree to abide by whatever decision the arbitrator(s) put forward. It is a settlement technique in which a third party reviews the case and imposes a decision that is legally binding to those in dispute.

The required services must include a series of process phases, but are not limited to the following:

Phase 1 – Preparation:

  • Make contact with all participants and/or counsel as appropriate;
  • Become familiar with the laws of the location in which the contract is held;
  • Provide orientation for participants regarding the Arbitration process;
  • Explain to participants what they can expect to happen;
  • Prepare participants and set parameters for the Arbitration.

Phase 2 – Introducing the Process:

  • Outlines the overall process, roles and guidelines;
  • Outlines the limits and expectations in the process.

Phase 3 – Exchange of Information:

  • Obtains information on the problem to generally understand the nature of the conflict;
  • Gains an understanding of the issues to be resolved through the Arbitration process;
  • Become familiar with documentation relevant to the business dispute.

Phase 4 – Arbitral Hearing:

  • Conduct the Arbitral Hearing in accordance with the laws outlined in Article 18 of the Commercial Arbitration Code.

Phase 5 – Arbitral Award:

  • Making every effort consistent with Article 18 of the Commercial Arbitrator Code to complete the proceedings and render the Arbitral award within six (6) months of the commencement date;
  • Provide arbitral award in writing inclusive of the justification for the decision.

13.6 Conflict Management Training

Training is a major and significant activity as it is seen as an effective and preventative strategy to provide employees and managers with tools to deal with conflict as it arises. It is also the quickest method to reach a large percentage of the population and deliver messages in informal conflict management as required by the Public Service Labour Relations Act, section 207.

Training programs can include multiple day sessions or shorter more focus workshops dealing with specific topics and tools.

The required services may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Design training course, learning objectives, overall concepts, course material, overheads/handouts and/or delivery methods;
  • Review and prepare manuals, conduct coaching during training activities, and/or participate in the development of training materials such as case studies and role-plays;
  • Prepare for, deliver and/or facilitate ADR courses based on course material provided by the client;
  • Perform evaluations and assessment as to the effectiveness of the course.