To strengthen your association’s ability to manage disputes, we recommend that you:
- appoint a member to be in charge of receiving and dealing with complaints
- set up a system to record, track and monitor complaints
- keep a record of any complaint that goes to mediation or court.
You should also consider adopting a grievance procedure. If you do not have a grievance procedure, the OFT has a draft example which you can use.
The main purpose of the laws governing associations is to provide a way for non-profit community groups to become registered. Being registered brings advantages to the organisation and to its members, however it also brings responsibilities.
While the legislation has penalties for some breaches of the incorporated association laws, the laws do not give the Office of Fair Trading powers to oversee or intervene in an association’s day to day affairs. How an association conducts itself is up to the management committee, a group of members democratically elected by the association’s members.
We recommend management committees put in place grievance procedures to manage any disputes that may arise.
If you can’t resolve an issue internally or via mediation, only the Supreme Court can make orders about how association is run.
You can get free mediation from one of our dispute resolution centres.