The VCMS process tries to be a time efficient as possible. When an owner refers their complaint to the VCMS, we will approach the practice and ask for copy records and correspondence so we have a good understanding of the background ahead of the mediation calls.
The mediation will then be booked in with a resolution manager for a 45-minute call. We ask that the parties prepare for the mediation by reflecting on the complaint and considering possible proposals to be explored. There is no formal or pre-mediation process.
On the day of the mediation, we ask that the person participating in the call has the authority to make a decision on behalf of the practice. Having spoken with both parties separately, the resolution manager will explore ways in which the complaint could be resolved.
The aim is to finalise a resolution on that day. If a resolution is agreed, this is likely to be confirmed in a written Mediation Agreement which you will both be asked to sign before any resolution is implemented.
We would therefore estimate that direct contact time will be no more than 1-1.5 hours. This is far less than the time involved in responding to a request for information from the RCVS Professional Conduct Team if the complainant refers their complaint to the RCVS, or preparing formal responses or statements, and attending court in a civil claim. With an 87% resolution rate, it is worth a go!