Consumer Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) service for complaints against Certass member contractors >

What happens now?

Please contact Certass with your complaint at the below details after reviewing our complaint policy:

Tel: 01292 502 396
Email: [email protected]

Certass can provide an independent Alternate Complaints Resolution Service for matters relating to a Certass registered contractor in the Renovation, Maintenance, and Improvement (RMI) sector for construction. All Certass registered contractors are required to participate in our Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) process for their Certass scheme membership to remain active.

Only upon the contractor’s internal complaints procedure having been fully exhausted can any complaint be escalated to the Certass Alternate Dispute Resolution service. The contractor will provide a copy of their complaints procedure to their customers upon request.

When seeking to resolve a dispute the Certass complaint handler will consider applicable legislation (such as Building Regulations, consumer legislation etc.), industry best practice guidance and of course our own scheme rules at Certass which a trader agrees to when signing up for Certass membership. All complaints will be dealt with impartially and in an even-handed manner. Certass reserves the right to refuse to accept complaints with another ADR provider’s involvement or complaints that are vexatious or trivial in nature.

Each party to the dispute shall submit a complaint file to Certass, detailing all applicable issues and evidence, such as photos, witness statements etc. to enable the complaint handler to review fully the issues raised. Certass may make available to either party the opposing party’s evidence. All complaints shall be submitted and conducted in English.

Certass Complaints Procedure Summary

  1. Acknowledge all complaints received in 10 working days either verbally, by email or letter with a determination if the complaint falls within our ADR remit and where appropriate request a case file be prepared and sent to Certass by both parties.
  1. A Certass administrator will review the case files within 15 working days of receipt of a complete complaint file with information from both the parties, notifying the parties if Certass will refuse or refer the complaint to a Certass mediator. On complaint closure or refusal, a full explanation will be provided to both parties to the complaint.
  2. Certass will collect the ADR fee from the parties.
  3. The mediator will contact the parties to book a mediation discussion with 21 days of referral.
  4. Option to upgrade from mediation to Med/Arb for complex disputes.

The Certass ADR service is via independent mediation. The mediation fee charged to the consumer is:

  • Free for 1 hour’s professional mediation where the contract value is less than £100
  • £35 for 1 hour’s professional mediation where the contract value is £100 or more

Where the parties agree on a resolution, the mediator will prepare an agreement which is legally binding on both parties. 

Legally Binding Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a process used instead of the traditional court system. ADR is considered quicker and cheaper than the traditional court system; parties to the dispute do not need to employ legal representation (although they have the option to do so at their own cost). As a consumer, you may choose to use the court process instead of using our ADR service to pursue your complaint. If Certass mediation cannot find a resolution suitable to both parties within the allotted time, then our med/arb option is available; which is legally binding where the parties agree to the decision of the independent Arbitrator.


Med/Arb is short for Mediation/Arbitration. It is a form of arbitration where the arbitrator starts the process as a mediator but where mediation fails, the arbitrator imposes a binding decision. The principle of med/arb is to firstly allow for a softer mediation process to occur taking every opportunity to find a resolution to a dispute by:

  • facilitating a discussion between the parties
  • considering all information received during the mediation by both parties
  • encouraging both parties towards a settlement that they have agreed upon

If this process does not bring about a mutually agreed upon settlement, then the case switches to arbitration. The Arbitrator deliberates the evidence submitted by both parties and decides. Where an Arbitrated decision is made, costs may be awarded as part of the decision. An independent third party company carries out mediation and each mediator is individually accredited with the Civil Mediation Council (CMC).

The Med/Arb option is only offered after mediation has taken place and includes a free technical inspection report on the installation.

The fee for Med/Arb is £199 for each party – All fees are inclusive of VAT.

Additional Information – Please click here if your issue relates to:

  • A Building Regulation Compliance Certificate (BRCC) and/or Certificate of Conformity (CC) not being issued
  • Or you believe that a member of our Competent Person Scheme has installed works which breach Building Regulations

Complaint information provided by the complainant will be shared with the other party to ensure transparency and allow the other party to have an opportunity to investigate the issues.

Please note:

The decision resolving the complaint or appeal shall be made by, or reviewed and approved by, person(s) not involved in the certification activities related to the complaint or appeal.

To ensure that there is no conflict of interest, personnel (including those acting in a managerial capacity) who have provided consultancy for a client, or been employed by a client, shall not be used by the certification body to review or approve the resolution of a complaint or appeal for that client within two years following the end of the consultancy or employment.