Our member forums kicked off in March and were extremely well attended – our General Insurance forum in Melbourne had the highest number of registrations ever! There are more forums on the horizon and you can find out how to attend in the upcoming events section of this edition of The FOS Circular.
FOS’s management team has been listening to members through a variety of channels over the past few months.
“Collaboration with our members increases our ability to deliver a better service for all concerned,” said Executive General Manager Investigation and Resolution, Jamie Orchard.
“Some of our recent process improvements were identified as a direct result of feedback from our members. These include changes to the criteria we use to allocate a dispute to a particular pathway, and greater emphasis on identifying resolved disputes earlier in the process.
“Allocating the right dispute to the right pathway results in more efficient handling of disputes,” Jamie said.
“The workflow criteria guide provides all the information you need about how we decide whether a dispute should be dealt with as a Fast Track, Standard or Complex matter.
“Separately, we had noticed a higher than forecast number of disputes flowing into our case management stage, after registration and referral and subsequently closing at the early stages of case management. Many of these could have been closed sooner.
“To make sure resolved disputes are closed as soon as possible, where a full offer has been made, but the applicant has not been in contact with the FSP, we will contact the applicant ourselves and confirm that the dispute is resolved, before progressing the dispute.
“It is more cost effective and timely, and in the best interest of all parties involved, for these disputes to be closed as early as possible,” he added.
“Member forums are held throughout the year in a number of locations and we are always keen to hear how you are finding the service we deliver.
“Many members take advantage of just picking up the phone and getting in touch. We want our members to know we are accessible.
“Our aim is to remain at the forefront of financial dispute resolution, both in Australia and overseas. I encourage all our members, regardless of how many or few disputes they have with us, to consider how we can maximise the benefit of being a FOS member,” Jamie said.
FOS has commissioned DBM Consultants, an independent professional market research firm, to undertake some detailed stakeholder research on our behalf in April to see how we’re doing in a range of areas. Your feedback will help us to better understand the views of our key stakeholders and shape our strategies and operations for the future.
An ongoing emphasis on developing materials that add value to our members has seen the recent development of a new membership brochure, along with work on materials aimed at educating small businesses interacting with FOS, and a guide for members who are having a dispute lodged against them.