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What is Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)?

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is the term for a wide range of processes and techniques that enable two or more disagreeing parties to mediate with an independent trained Mediator so as to come to an agreement without mitigation. It is a speedy and inexpensive method for the parties to negotiate the dispute in confidentiality.

Disputes can range across a variety of issues, sometimes its non-payment, claims of damaged goods etc. and sometimes its simply a lack of understanding and expectations creating a deadlock.


What are the benefits of ADR?

The main benefit of solving a problem with an alternative dispute resolution is that it is usually:

  • cheaper than going to court
  • more adaptable
  • speedier
  • less traumatic
  • the ADR procedure is confidential.


SBID Dispute Resolution service for Accredited members

The SBID Dispute Resolution was introduced for Accredited Members in 2009. It acts as a template example for consumers to resolve a dispute with any UK based design practice (trading under British Law) including non-recognised interior designers, although the guidelines for the Intellectual Property Office Mediation process is for SBID members only. However, the public can appoint a formally trained and independently accredited Mediator.

SBID was founded to be the standard bearer organisation of interior design. By shaping and leading the interior design professions standards for practice, SBID created the first to market guide for fees of an interior designer. This first to market governance provides guidance and direction with support if or when things go wrong.

Importantly, the SBID has pioneered trading standards in the UK interior design profession for its members, however  they have been adopted generally by practitioners and other interior design organisations across the UK which we are very proud of. SBID have encouraged the industry to follow the direction we have set out, this has led to an audit trail that demonstrates what is now generally regarded as industry standards. SBID created work experience and training as membership accreditation criteria for the first time in the UK. Statistics show from data shared prior to SBID public launch initiatives, that we have created and influenced a continuous reduction over a ten year period of industry complaints.

*If you are a consumer/customer and have instructed an Interior Designer (not recognised or accredited by the SBID) we can only offer guidance.


How can I log a Complaint against an Interior Designer?

 The SBID provides industry guidelines for consumers to process a complaint against any interior designer. However it will only process and guide disputes relating to an SBID Accredited Interior Designer.

Please contact us and provide the following information

1          Design Practice name

2          Basis and date when the dispute arose.

SBID will appoint a caseworker to  your complaint and the procedure for resolve will be laid out with a clear timeline.


What can I do if I’m still dissatisfied with the outcome?

 If you are unable to reach agreement with an SBID Accredited Designer, we can refer your complaint to SBID’s Mediation partner; Intellectual Property Office Mediation. The service is governed by trained Mediators with experience, knowledge and understanding of issues surrounding all elements of design best practice.


What if the problem isn’t resolved at Mediation?

 If you don’t resolve the dispute at Mediation you can progress to court to be reviewed and decided by a judge. Anything discussed or has occurred in mediation remains confidential. Going to court would however mean that the case must start all over with a fresh start. It would be advisable to work with an experienced lawyer who can help you understand your rights and work with you through the court system as this process can be complicated and stressful.


Find out more about our flexible membership structure.

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