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About us


The Waterways Ombudsman Scheme is listed as a certified ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) entity by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute

Under the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015, ADR entities must be approved by a relevant Competition Authority.

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) is the relevant Competition Authority for the Waterways Ombudsman Scheme. The scheme was unconditionally approved by the CTSI as a Consumer ADR body on 9 February 2017 and reapproved on 13 October 2021.

The Waterways Ombudsman scheme is a voluntary, private scheme which provides an impartial and independent dispute resolution service for unresolved complaints about the Canal & River Trust and the Avon Navigation Trust which have already been considered under the Trusts' own complaints process. The service is free of charge to complainants.

The Waterways Ombudsman Scheme is a member of the Ombudsman Association. 

The Ombudsman Association is a professional association for ombudsmen and complaint handlers, their staff and others interested in the work of independent complaint resolution. It periodically reviews its member organisations, in a validation process, to ensure that they continue to fulfil the criteria for membership. The Waterways Ombudsman was revalidated in 2017 as a full voting ombudsman member.

The purpose of the Ombudsman Association is to promote the role of an ombudsman as the ‘best practice’ model for resolving complaints, and to encourage the sharing and adoption of best practice by members through conferences, seminars and meetings.


Links to other sites

Canal & River Trust home page

List of EU ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) entities

Avon Navigation Trust home page