skip to content

Phased plan of de-escalation

(PDF)

 

The CRC's Ombudsteam offers support to all CRC-members and student assistants in case of conflicts and problems at the workplace or during supervision. This phased plan of de-escalation was developed to provide a reliable framework for solving problems. 

Any member or student assistant can approach any member of the Ombudsteam for help. 

The following members are available as contact persons:

- the Ombudsperson and his/her representative
- the representative(s) of the postdocs 
- the representative(s) of the doctoral students 
- the representative(s) of the administration employees 

The above contact persons form a team and together seek to solve problems and de-escalate conflicts. The content of a conversation may be shared within the team for reasons of consultation and support.

The following phases of de-escalation are available, whereby stages can be omitted:

1. Informal conversation
2. Documented conversation
3. Documented consultation with both parties (mediation)

In serious cases we may involve external advice to help solve the problem.

The following applies:

- At stage 1, the names of those seeking help will not be shared. But the topic of conversation may be discussed within the Ombudsteam.
- From stage 2 onwards, topics of conversation and names of those seeking help are recorded and shared within the team.
- The contact person and those seeking help decide together in which stage the case should be classified and whether the other contact persons should be involved.
- If certain contact persons should not be involved (e.g., due to potential conflicts of interest), this needs to be stated at the beginning of the conversation. Those contact persons will then not be involved, and topics of conversation and names will not be shared with them.

Within the team all information will be treated as confidential.

 

Stage 1 - Informal conversation

A person seeking help can always seek informal advice from any contact person. All contact persons are available for such a conversation.

A conversation at this stage will not be recorded; i.e., the names of those seeking help are not shared with other contact persons or third parties. But the topic of conversation may be discussed within the Ombudsteam.

This stage may be omitted. We see it as an offer to make it easier for members and student assistants to approach us early on, especially in cases where there is uncertainty and/or a potential conflict is only starting to develop. It may be the case that a conversation at this stage is enough to solve the problem, e.g., by identifying a misunderstanding. Otherwise we will recommend a conversation at stage 2.

 

Stage 2 - Documented conversation

If an informal conversation at stage 1 does not lead to a solution, the contact person will recommend a documented conversation at stage 2, possibly involving another contact person if necessary. Similarly, a person seeking help may request such a conversation from the start. Again, all contact persons are available for such a conversation.

From stage 2 onwards, the conversation is recorded in writing, and the record is signed by both parties and kept by the contact person in a safe place. The topics of conversation and the names of those seeking help are discussed within the team.

If this conversation does not lead to a solution, the other party must be consulted (stage 3).

 

Stage 3 - Documented consultation with both parties

At stage 3, consultations with both parties take place in the presence of at least one contact person (mediation). If a conversation at stage 2 does not lead to a solution, this mediation talk will take place. In addition, a person seeking help may request such a mediation at any time.

Before a mediation talk, the contact person seeks a conversation with each party separately. Afterwards, a mediation talk with both parties together is organized and moderated by the contact person.

As in stage 2, all conversations are recorded in writing.

 

Solving a problem by external conciliation boards

If a conflict cannot be solved at stage 3, we may involve external advice to help solve the problem.

 

Version as of February 2018