Dispute Resolution System

The resolution model is based on a potential six-stage dispute resolution process, which can be categorized into our three services: education, mediation, and arbitration. 

The majority of the disputes are resolved by Stage #3 – Coaching and Consultation. Typically, it only takes a couple of phone calls or e-mails for DRC to equip its members with the necessary tools to reach a resolution with their trading partners themselves.

When an amicable settlement cannot be immediately reached, members may file a Notice of Dispute to initiate Step #4 – Informal Mediation.

Lingering disputes usually skip Stage #5, Formal Mediation and proceed directly to Stage #6, Arbitration for a court-enforceable, binding decision rendered by a third party arbitrator. 

It is extremely rare for an arbitration award not to be paid as directed by the arbitrator.


Stage 1

Prevention Measures

Education, Training and Information Dissemination, DRC By-laws and Standards.

Stage 2

Unassisted Problem Solving

Cooperative problem solving/negotiation among disputants.

Stage 3

Coaching and Consultation (DRC staff and/or contracted third parties)

Advice/information, counselling, referrals, case analysis.


Stage 4

Informal Mediation (DRC staff and/or contracted third parties)

Informal Mediation is the beginning of the formal DRC procedures. It imposes certain filing requirements as well as a twenty-one day timeframe within which the parties work towards a resolution.

Stage 5

Formal Mediation

Formal Mediation is an option that can be used regardless of the dollar value of the claim. Both parties must agree to use this option and the mediation is carried out by an independent third party mediator that can be selected from a roster maintained by DRC. If the parties do not agree to use formal mediation or should a mediation not succeed in generating a settlement acceptable to both parties then either party may proceed with arbitration.


Stage 6


When the parties are unable to come to an agreement, they may decide to proceed to arbitration. Arbitration results in a court-enforceable, binding decision rendered by a third party arbitrator, appointed by the parties. Arbitration may be initiated regardless of the amount of the claim. To best suit the needs of our members, we have two processes, based on the amount in dispute.

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