Consumer & Commercial

Conciliation

Consum​​er and Commercial Division

When you come to NCAT's Consumer and Commercial Division for a hearing you may be asked to resolve your dispute by conciliation.  Conciliation is a voluntary process where parties negotiate and attempt to settle the dispute themselves.

All parties are encouraged to reach agreement through conciliation before their hearing can take place.

What happens in conciliation?            
Conciliators            
Advantages of conciliation            
Conciliation checklist

What happens in conciliation? 

Conciliation is a confidential alternative dispute resolution process which brings the parties together to talk about their dispute and reach an agreement.

The parties are usually directed to a room or area outside the hearing room where they discuss the issues is dispute, show each other their evidence, try to understand and respect each other's different points of view, negotiate differences and discuss possible solutions.

If an agreement is reached during conciliation, the parties write it down on the form provided.  If a Conciliator is available they will help the parties come to an agreement.  The agreement is then made into a legally binding 'consent order' by a Tribunal Member.

Conciliators 

Conciliators are provided at major NCAT Consumer and Commercial Division hearing venues to assist parties to come to an agreement.  Conciliators attend to a number of parties at the same time and may not be able to stay in the room during the entire conciliation process.  In regional areas, the Tribunal Member may act as both Conciliator and Member with the consent of the parties.

Note:  A Conciliator is not an advisor and will not make decisions for you.

Advantages of conciliation 

Conciliation is the preferred method for resolving disputes.  It allows the parties to have control over the outcome of their dispute. Conciliation is also more likely to result in a satisfactory outcome.  Conciliation creates an opportunity for you to:

  • tell your side of the story in a free and open discussion
  • listen and get a better understanding of the other party's issues
  • resolve the dispute mutually and quickly on the day
  • find a solution that makes sense to both of you.

Conciliation ch​​ecklist 

 Be prepared t​o negotiate. 
 Make a list of possible solutions. 
 Try to understand and respect each other's point of view. 
 Only agree to what you think is fair.