narrow boat
About the Waterways Ombudsman Scheme

The Rules of the Waterways Ombudsman Scheme

The rules of the Ombudsman scheme were adopted by British Waterways in 2005. In June 2012 the Trustees of the Canal & River Trust resolved to adopt, temporarily, British Waterways’ scheme with minor amendments. In April 2015 the Rules were amended to ensure that the Scheme complies with the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015 (SI No. 542). The Rules were amended in September 2020 and again in November 2023 to reflect changes to the Committee and Scheme membership. The Rules were updated in March 2024 to include an Appendix to reflect how awards are calculated. 

Rules of the Waterways Ombudsman Scheme March 2024

The funding of the Scheme

As with other Ombudsman schemes, the Waterways Ombudsman Scheme is funded by the organisations subject to investigation. That is currently the Canal & River Trust and the Avon Navigation Trust. If and when other organisations join the scheme, they would contribute to the funding.

The Scheme has been validated as a full member of the Ombudsman Association. One of the key requirements of the Association’s validation process is that the remuneration of the Ombudsman is not subject to suspension or reduction by those subject to investigation. The remuneration is agreed by the Waterways Ombudsman Committee, and the Chair of the Committee reviews and signs off all invoices.