Ethics in Complaint Resolution: Maintaining Integrity and Fairness

By Sue Clark


The effectiveness of complaint resolution hinges greatly on the ethical compass of the resolution manager or facilitator. Their role is to maintain integrity and fairness throughout the entire process. Ethical principles in resolution are essential to ensure that the process is not only effective but also respected and trusted by all parties involved.

Neutrality and Impartiality

One of the foundational ethical principles in complaint resolution is the third party’s neutrality and impartiality. This expert must remain unbiased, treating all parties with equal respect and without favouring one side above the other. This involves avoiding any conflicts of interest that could compromise the leading party’s objectivity. This professional must also disclose any potential conflicts before the process begins, allowing the parties to decide whether they are comfortable proceeding. Maintaining neutrality ensures that all parties believe in the fairness of the process and are more likely to engage openly and honestly.


Confidentiality is another critical ethical standard in complaint resolution. Parties must feel secure that their disclosures and discussions during resolution will not be shared outside of the conversation. This confidentiality fosters a safe environment where parties can freely express their concerns and explore potential solutions without fear of repercussions.

Informed Consent

Ensuring informed consent is a vital ethical responsibility in complaint resolution. Experts must provide clear and comprehensive information about the process, including its purpose, the role of the parties involved, and the voluntary nature of participation. Parties should understand that they have the right to withdraw from this process at any time. Providing this information helps parties make informed decisions about their participation and fosters trust in the process. Professionals must also ensure that all parties understand the terms of any agreements reached, ensuring that these agreements are entered into freely and knowledgeably.


Fairness is a cornerstone of ethical resolution. Professionals must strive to create a balanced process where all parties have an equal opportunity to present their views and interests. This involves actively managing power imbalances and ensuring that no party dominates the process to the detriment of the other. Resolution managers should facilitate discussions in a way that encourages equitable participation and helps all parties feel heard and respected. By fostering an environment of fairness, these managers help to ensure that the outcomes of the resolution process are just and acceptable to all involved.

Avoiding Misrepresentation

Resolution managers must avoid any form of misrepresentation or deception. They should accurately present their qualifications, experience, and the nature of the process. Honesty and transparency in all communications are critical to maintaining the integrity of the resolution process. Misrepresentation can undermine trust and credibility, not only in the individual resolution manager, but in the process as a whole.

Ultimately, ethics in complaint resolution are crucial to maintaining the integrity and fairness of the process. Managers must adhere to principles of neutrality, confidentiality, informed consent, competence, and fairness to ensure that all parties trust the process and are willing to engage constructively. By upholding these ethical standards, resolution managers can facilitate effective and just resolutions, contributing to the overall credibility and success of this method.

To find out how the CRS can bring the benefits of complaint resolution to your business whenever and wherever it is needed, be sure to get in touch, today.