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ACCA’s Professional Conduct Department offers a Conciliation Service to help resolve complaints which are unlikely to lead to disciplinary action.  There are three separate aspects of the service: conciliation, mediation and arbitration.

Before contacting the Conciliation Service, your first step should be to lodge a formal complaint with the firm in question.  ACCA firms are required to have in place internal complaints-handling procedures in accordance with section 3.18 of ACCA’s Code of Ethics and Conduct.  Your complaint should be investigated by a person of seniority who, where possible, has not been directly involved in the matter.

You will find in the Related Documents section a sample letter which you may use to invoke the firm’s procedures.

If you have exhausted the firm’s own procedures and your complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction, the Conciliation Service may be able to help.


Conciliation is a ‘win-win’ approach, whereby ACCA’s Conciliation Officer helps find a solution to the dispute which is acceptable to both parties.  Conciliation is conducted mainly by telephone and is particularly useful where the complaint is urgent.  The most common complaints which ACCA conciliates are fee disputes, transfer of information and other client care issues. 

Mediation and Arbitration

While fee disputes can often be resolved by ACCA’s Conciliation Officer, most legal disputes are not suitable for conciliation.  However, resolving them through the Courts can be a costly and time-consuming process.  Members and clients are therefore encouraged to explore alternatives.

The ACCA Mediation Scheme

Mediation is a more formal method of conciliation, whereby the mediator brokers a settlement during the course of a session attended by both parties.  The parties are not obliged to accept the mediator’s suggestions and can pull out of the process at any time. 

The ACCA Arbitration Scheme

An arbitration is akin to a Court procedure, in which the arbitrator’s decision is legally binding upon the parties.  A documents-only arbitration is the most cost-effective, but an arbitration can also be conducted by meetings or hearings.
Both The ACCA Mediation Scheme and The ACCA Arbitration Scheme are administered independently by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. 

How do I find out more?

Further information is available in the Guide to ACCA’s Conciliation Service and in the mediation and arbitration scheme documents, which can be downloaded from this website or obtained by request to ACCA’s Professional Conduct Department on +44 (0)20 7059 5993.   
If you would like us to conciliate a dispute involving a member of ACCA, please telephone or write to the Conciliation Officer who can be contacted as follows:

Conciliation Officer
Professional Conduct Department
29 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London WC2A 3EE
tel: +44 (0)20 7059 5917
fax: +44 (0)20 7059 5998

Last updated: 29 Jan 2014

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