REDRESS standards of practice

The Postal Service™ has developed standards of practice for its REDRESS mediators. These are instructional guidelines that provide assistance when mediators are faced with dilemmas. The standards are presented in full detail with comment in Publication 102 - Mediating Postal Disputes. In summary, the standards are as follows:

Standard I: Competency

Mediators shall maintain professional competency in mediation skills and, where lacking the skills necessary for a particular case, shall decline to serve or shall withdraw from serving as mediators.

Standard II: Impartiality

Mediators shall, in word and action, maintain impartiality toward the parties and the issues in the dispute and, where their impartiality is in question, shall decline to serve or shall withdraw from serving as mediators.

Standard III: Confidentiality

Mediators shall, subject to statutory obligations to the contrary, meet the reasonable expectations of the parties regarding the confidentiality of all communications made within the mediation process.

Standard IV: Consent

Mediators shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that all parties understand the mediation process and the options available to them, and that the parties are free and able to make whatever choices they desire regarding participation in mediation generally or regarding specific settlement options.

Standard V: Self-Determination

Mediators shall respect and encourage self-determination by the parties in their decision to resolve their dispute, and on what terms, and shall refrain from being directive and judgmental regarding the issues in dispute and options for settlement.

Standard VI: Separation of Mediation from Counseling and Legal Advice

Mediators shall limit themselves solely to the role of mediator, and shall refrain from giving legal or therapeutic information or advice and from otherwise engaging in counseling or advocacy during mediation.

Standard VII: Promotion of Respect and Control of Abuse of Process

Mediators shall encourage mutual respect between the parties and shall take reasonable steps, subject to the principle of self-determination, to limit abuse of the mediation process.

Standard VIII: Conflicts of Interest

Mediators shall, as far as possible, avoid conflicts of interest and, in any event, shall resolve all such conflicts in favor of their primary obligation to impartially serve the parties to the dispute.