Dispute resolution methods

Learn about the methods we use to resolve disputes – arbitration, mediation, conciliation and case appraisal.

Our dispute resolution methods

The term ‘alternative dispute resolution’ (ADR) refers to ways of resolving disputes without going to court.

We use 4 different methods to help parties resolve their disputes as efficiently as possible, without the need for a lawsuit. These are:

All of the services that we provide are technically ADR processes. However, we treat arbitration differently because it:

  • is more formal
  • can be quite similar to a court case with witnesses and expert evidence
  • involves the NST Member making a decision that is final, binding and enforceable.


In arbitration, an impartial third party (the NST, comprised of one or more NST Members) hears evidence and decides how to resolve the dispute. Compared to other forms of ADR, arbitration provides a certain resolution. However, the resolution will be the decision of the Tribunal Member, rather than a resolution mutually agreed between the parties.

Read more about arbitration


In mediation, the NST Member helps people settle their dispute by encouraging them to come up with their own solutions, focusing on their mutual interests. Mediation is non-binding. Mediation can lead to win–win solutions because parties have control over the outcome and are the only ones involved in the agreement.

Read more about mediation


In conciliation, the NST Member takes a more directive and advisory role, often providing opinions as to the strengths and weaknesses of the parties’ positions, and offering advice regarding possible outcomes.  Like a mediation, conciliation is non-binding, and the parties have control over the outcome.

Read more about conciliation

Case appraisal

Case appraisal is an advisory process in which the NST Member reviews the facts of the case, holds a short hearing, provides a non-binding opinion on the facts and likely outcomes, and outlines how the parties can achieve these outcomes. Case appraisal is non-binding and can help parties to resolve disputes at an early stage.

Read more about case appraisal

When we use these methods

You can choose case appraisal, mediation or conciliation for the following types of dispute:

  • eligibility, selection, bullying, harassment, or discrimination disputes
  • other disputes if the CEO approves in writing.

You can use arbitration for the following types of dispute:

  • eligibility, selection and disciplinary disputes
  • anti-doping
  • appeals
  • other disputes if the CEO approves in writing (but only in exceptional circumstances).