INDEPENDENT COMPLAINT AND CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
We are a family held together by unconditional love, servant leadership, and true unity.
Our striving for this ideal from our vision can be undermined by conflicts and abuse of authority. That is why we want to identify and address unhealthy developments at an early stage. For this reason, we at ICF have decided to mandate and appoint an independent, external, and non-judgmental clearing office (ombudsperson).
As a registered mediator and in agreement with the guidelines of the Clearing Office, the Ombudsperson is committed to confidentiality.
The Ombudsperson is not a member of the Board, a staff of ICF, or any of its local churches.
The Clearing Office will only take action against third parties in consultation with the applicant or affected person.
The Clearing Office offers a complaint and conflict management service accessible to all ICFs and their environment.
RECEIPT OF COMPLAINTS
From visitors, staff, leaders, and pastors of ICFs as well as external parties and public offices on topics such as conflicts with those responsible in ICFs or in the ICF Movement, manipulation, dealing with finances and donations, etc.
After a free, confidential and independent online analysis, you discuss your options for action with the ombudsperson. Further steps will only be taken in consultation with you.
If you would like to resolve the conflict yourself after conflict counseling, one of our mediators will support you with online conflict coaching on request and at your own expense.
CLEARING CONVERSATION / MEDIATION
If, after online conflict counseling, you wish to clarify with the involved parties (ICF Church / ICF Movement), the clearing office will organize an online mediation with a neutral mediator and all involved persons, with the goal of bringing about a sustainable clarification.
Married, two adult children, lecturer for mediation and conflict management at the University of Graz, inventor of the MEDIUS Conflict Navigator, and ombudsman of the “Freikirchen” in Austria.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The ICF Clearing office (Ombudsman) was established as an independent complaint and conflict management service for ICF churches, their visitors, staff, pastors, and outsiders (including organizations).
The Clearing office provides a confidential, protected setting for adults, youth, and children.
Receiving requests and complaints (Digitally) from pastors, staff, and outside parties/visitors/public entities e.g., conflicts with those responsible in ICFs or in the ICF Movement, manipulation, handling of finances and donations, etc.
Conflicts between visitors of the churches or complaints about each other are not the subject of processing by the Clearing Office.
The Clearing Office is not responsible for general inquiries of an organizational character or concerning the structure of the ICF (constitution, by-laws, guidelines, church rules, …) and refers in such cases to the secretariat of the ICF Movement.
After receipt of the request/complaint, the complainant or affected person receives an access key to analyze the situation with the online conflict navigator. The options for action suggested for clarification and further steps can then be discussed with the ombudsperson in an online meeting.
Dealing with these inquiries/complaints in consultation with the bodies concerned (pastor, leadership team, staff of the respective church, or ICF Movement) by telephone or electronic media. If possible (consent of the person complained about required), personal talks of all parties involved with moderation by a neutral mediator are brought about. The communication is to be conducted via an online platform in the most resource-saving way possible.
From the request to the evaluation of the online analysis, there are no costs for the complainant(s). If he/she wishes conflict coaching to discuss and reflect on his/her clarification steps, this is subject to a fee.
If mediation is a suitable clarification procedure, the Clearing House will reach an agreement with the parties involved. This is free of charge for the complainant. After the preliminary phase and all parties’ agreement, a mediation contract is drawn up. Only when all sides have agreed on this mediation contract and the jointly determined cost key will the costs be settled accordingly.