Statement: Review of alternative dispute resolution schemes

  • Start: 31 March 2017
  • Status: Statement published
  • End: 12 May 2017

Statement published: 27 November 2017
Further research published: 19 February 2019

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) offers important protection to consumers who have a complaint about their communications provider (CP). CPs offering services to individuals and small businesses must be members of an ADR Scheme. The process allows people to escalate their complaint to an independent body, which will consider the case and reach a fair and impartial judgement.

Under powers in the Communications Act 2003 (the ‘Act’), Ofcom currently approves two ADR Schemes: Ombudsman Services: Communications (OS) and the Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Scheme (CISAS). We are required to keep these approvals under review.

We have also approved both Schemes under the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes Regulations 2015 (the ‘ADR Regulations’) and are required to review these approvals every two years.

In March 2017 we published a Call for Inputs which launched our latest review. This statement concludes our review. We consider that both Schemes’ performance meets the required criteria and are re-confirming our approval of both OS and CISAS under the Act and the ADR Regulations.

Main documents

Supporting documents

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Responder name Type
Advisory Committee for Northern Ireland (PDF File, 277.4 KB) Organisation
Andrews & Arnold Ltd (PDF File, 96.4 KB) Organisation
Association for Interactive Media and Entertainment (PDF File, 346.4 KB) Organisation
BT Group (PDF File, 217.4 KB) Organisation
Centre for Socio-Legal Studies (PDF File, 150.0 KB) Organisation
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