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Grievance Procedure

In accordance with Article 12 of the Statutes of the Association, the CSC Executive Committee establishes the following grievance management process, including the establishment of the Grievance Management Committee, for the Concrete Sustainability Council.


  1. Objectives

  2. Potential complainants

  3. Areas of grievance

  4. Informal resolution

  5. Filing requirements

  6. Grievance Management Committee

  7. Conflict of interest

  8. Grievance management process

  9. Formal consideration of the grievance

  10. Appeal to the GMC against a decision by the Executive Committee

  11. Appeal against a decision by the GMC made in the first instance

  12. Notice timelines

  13. Transparency

  14. Confidentiality

  15. Costs


1. Objectives

The CSC grievance management process aims at providing:

  • a clear focal point for grievances raised by CSC members;

  • a transparent and impartial process and mediation to address grievances, with respect for sensitive information;

  • a credible, efficient and solution-oriented arbitration.


2. Potential complainants

The grievance management process is open only to:

  • members of the Association;

  • the users of the Certification System, and

  • the stakeholders formally involved in the Association.


3. Areas of grievance

The grievance management process shall apply only to grievances between:

  • Members of the Association; or

  • Members of the Association and formally involved stakeholders; or

  • Formally involved stakeholders;

  • Member(s) of the Association or formally involved stakeholders and organ(s) of the Association; or

  • Organ(s) of the Association.

For this grievance management process to apply, a grievance must be directly relevant to the processes explained in one or more of the following CSC documents:

  • Statutes;

  • By-Laws;

  • Membership Conditions and Application and related policies;

  • The CSC Manual and its Revision Procedure;

  • The local adaptation of the CSC Manual

  • The Certification System.

Any grievance outside of the scope of the processes explained in the above documents, or not involving the parties listed above, shall not be considered by this grievance management process.

CSC members are expected to have their own grievance mechanisms to resolve grievances that do not fall in the areas of grievance addressed by the CSC grievance management process.

4. Informal resolution

CSC encourages its members and stakeholders to seek, prior to invoking the grievance management process, an amicable settlement to any grievance directly with the person, entity or organ of the Association whose action or decision is the subject of the grievance. In the course of this attempt at informal resolution, the complainant can seek support from the Chair of the Association, or the Chair of the Grievance Management Committee, to serve as a mediator.

If no satisfactory settlement can be agreed between the parties, the complainant may formally file a grievance as indicated below. Evidence of an attempt of informal resolution shall be required by the Chair of the Association before any formal grievance may be filed by a complainant.

5. Filing requirements

As required by Article 12 of the Statutes, the submission of a grievance shall

  • be lodged with the Secretariat of the Association; and

  • document the nature of the grievance.

The written grievance should also include the relevant contact details for the sending of notifications and information concerning the grievance management process, as well as any relevant information on a prior attempt of informal resolution of the grievance.


6. Grievance Management Committee

Role

The Grievance Management Committee (GMC) serves as:

1) the appellate organ of last resort for decisions arising from the grievance management process;

2) the reviewing organ when the Executive Committee is one of the parties involved in a grievance process.

Composition

The GMC is composed of 1 member from each of the membership categories, appointed by the Executive Committee, from amongst a list of voluntary members, for four years renewable twice consecutively. The Chair of the Association shall call for voluntary members in a timely manner.

Ombudsman

The GMC shall elect a Chair to steer its activity. The Chair of the Grievance Management Committee shall be referred to as the Ombudsman in order to distinguish the role from the Chair of the Association.

Attendance

The Ombudsman shall ensure that the process to manage grievances permits the participation of the GMC members.

GMC members who are unable to participate in a grievance management process shall notify the Ombudsman has soon as they are aware that they will not be able to participate.

A prolonged and/or repetitive inability to participate in the GMC work, as well as the failure to inform the Ombudsman of the inability to participate in the GMC work, shall be considered as a vacancy.

Decision Making

The GMC shall make decision by consensus (absence of sustained opposition).

Quorum

No decision shall be made by the GMC unless a quorum is present. The quorum of the GMC is constituted when at least 3 out of 4 members of the GMC participate in a Grievance Management Process, as deemed necessary by the Ombudsman.

7. Conflict of interest

A member of the Executive Committee shall not take part in the discussion and decision-making related to a grievance in which this member is involved. The same applies to members of the Grievance Management Committee.

In the case where one member of the Executive Committee or GMC has a potential or actual conflict of interest in participating in the grievance management process, this member or one of its colleagues on the Executive Committee or GMC, shall inform the Chair of the relevant organ (i.e. the Chair of the Association or the Ombudsman) as soon as they become aware of this conflict of interest. The Chair of the relevant organ shall then suspend the member for the time of the grievance management process. A final decision as to whether a member of the Executive Committee or GMC has a conflict of interest shall be made by the other members of the Executive Committee or GMC.

If the Executive Committee itself is a party to the grievance, the GMC shall be the reviewing organ in the grievance management process, noting therefore that any dissatisfaction regarding a decision of the GMC following a formal consideration of the grievance may only be reviewed in General Assembly.


8. Grievance management process

The grievance management process shall take place as follows:

Lodgement and assessment of admissibility of the grievance

a) Upon receipt of a grievance lodged in accordance with Article 12 of the Statutes, the Secretariat of the Association shall, within 5 days, notify the parties named in the grievance of its lodgement with the Association, and provide them with copies of the documents lodged by the complainant.

b) The parties named in the grievance shall have 1 month from the receipt of the notification to lodge a response to the grievance with the Secretariat of the Association.

c) Within 1 business day of the expiry of the time to lodge any response to the grievance, the grievance and any responses shall be forwarded, by the Chair of the Association to the Executive Committee, or if the grievance include the Executive Committee, directly to the Ombudsman.

d) The Executive Committee or the GMC shall then review the admissibility of the grievance, and notify the parties to the grievance whether they will proceed to formally consider the grievance, within 15 days of initial receipt of the grievance.

e) In the case of the grievance being rejected for formal consideration by the Executive Committee, the complainant may re-submit the grievance for review by the GMC, provided that the re-submission is made within 5 days of receipt of the notice of rejection for formal consideration. Any request for review of the grievance shall be in writing, and be addressed to the Secretariat of the Association

f) The GMC shall review the admissibility of the grievance and notify the parties whether the grievance should proceed for formal consideration or not within 15 days of receipt of the submission for review.

g) If the GMC upholds the decision not to formally consider the grievance then the process is taken no further.

h) Should the GMC decide that the grievance should be formally considered, the grievance is submitted to the Executive Committee for formal consideration.

9. Formal consideration of the grievance

Once it has been decided that the grievance should be formally considered, the Executive Committee or GMC (whichever is responsible for the initial formal consideration of the grievance) shall, within 60 days of notifying the parties to the grievance that they will formally consider the grievance:

  • Organise and receive such written and oral submissions from the parties as deemed necessary to formally consider the grievance.
  • Notify the parties of the decision for resolving the grievance.

Within 30 days of receipt of the decision for resolving the grievance, the parties to the grievance shall agree on the final terms of settlement including a final detailed action plan to implement the decision. The discussion on the final terms of settlement is facilitated by either the Chair or the Ombudsman, depending on which body considered the grievance.


10. Appeal to the GMC against a decision by the Executive Committee

If any party to the grievance is not satisfied with the Executive Committee’s decision, they may, within 15 days of receipt of the notice of the decision, appeal the decision to the GMC.

If any party to the grievance is unable to agree on the final terms of the settlement within 30 days of the Executive Committee’s decision, they may, within 5 days of the expiry of the time to settle the final terms, appeal the decision to the GMC.

Any appeal to the GMC shall be in writing, and be addressed to the Secretariat of the Association, stating the reasons why the party affected is not satisfied by the decision or cannot agree on the final terms of settlement.

The GMC shall, within 30 days of receiving the appeal:

  • Organize and receive such further written and oral submissions from the parties as deemed necessary by the GMC to formally consider the appeal.
  • Notify the parties of the GMC’s decision, which shall be final.

Within 15 days of receipt of the GMC’s decision for resolving the grievance, the parties to the grievance shall agree on the final terms of settlement including a final detailed action plan to implement the decision of the GMC. The discussions on the final terms of settlement are facilitated by the Ombudsman.

If any party to the grievance is not satisfied with the GMC’s decision, or is unable to agree on the final terms of the settlement within 15 days of the GMC’s decision:

  • where the disagreeing party is a member of the Association, the Ombudsman shall refer the matter to the Executive Committee for determining the appropriate course of action for the unsatisfied party. The Executive Committee may decide to expel the member involved in the grievance according to Article 5.2 of the Statutes;
  • where the disagreeing party is an organ of the Association, the Ombudsman shall refer the matter to the Executive Committee for determining the appropriate course of action for the unsatisfied party.


11. Appeal against a decision by the GMC made in the first instance:

When the Executive Committee is a party to the grievance, requiring the GMC to consider the matter in the first instance, and any party to the grievance is not satisfied with the GMC’s decision, or one or more of the parties are unable to agree on the final terms of the settlement within 30 days of the GMC’s decision, the Ombudsman shall request the Executive Committee to call a meeting of the General Assembly to find a satisfactory solution to the grievance.

12. Notice Timelines

Timelines refer to the number of days after receipt of the document established in the previous step. Documents are taken to be received if emailed to the address either provided to the Association as the contact address for the member or party in question, in the written grievance, or in written response to the grievance: on the next business day following the day the documents were emailed.

13. Transparency

In order to ensure accountability and transparency, the outcomes of any grievance management process, including any action plans shall be published and reported to the Members of the Association within 30 days of the agreement on the final terms of the settlement. The parties to the grievance, by mutual agreement, may decide to disclose more information on the grievance (e.g.  the content of the grievance, the intermediary steps of the process) and / or to a wider audience (i.e. general public).


14. Confidentiality

The members of the Executive Committee and GMC involved in a grievance management process shall be required to keep confidential all information supplied by the parties in the grievance management process.


15. Costs

Each party shall bear its own costs of participating in a grievance management process. Direct costs incurred by the CSC for the management of a grievance shall be divided and assigned to the parties involved in the grievance and reimbursed to the CSC.