Conflict Resolution Procedure - SOCAN

Conflict Resolution Procedure

SOCAN is committed to responding to members’ concerns promptly, efficiently, and fairly.  This document sets out the procedure to resolve complaints relating to SOCAN that are raised by its members.

Any SOCAN member may submit a complaint in accordance with this Conflict Resolution Procedure.

Subject Matter

This Conflict Resolution Procedure is for complaints relating to the following subject matters:

  • SOCAN’s service standards;
  • SOCAN’s Distribution Rules, policies or procedures;
  • The process leading to the setting of a policy that may adversely affect a member’s interests;
  • The membership agreement; and
  • Any subject matter that is not specifically excluded below.

Complaints relating to the following subject matters are excluded from this Conflict Resolution Procedure:

  • SOCAN’s treatment of licensees or staff members;
  • SOCAN’s finances and financial statements;
  • SOCAN’s By-laws or Articles; and
  • Matters already before the Courts (unless SOCAN agrees otherwise).


There are three stages to this Conflict Resolution Procedure, which are designed to resolve complaints efficiently:

  1. Communicate the issue to SOCAN’s Member Services team;
  2. Submit a formal complaint to SOCAN Complaints; and
  3. Escalate the complaint to the SOCAN’s Ombudsperson.

Member Services Team

SOCAN asks that a member first attempt to resolve their issue by contacting SOCAN’s Member Services team.  Most issues or concerns are likely to be resolved at this stage.

SOCAN Complaints

If a member is not satisfied with the answer from the Member Services team, then the member may submit a formal complaint.  The member must complete the Complaints Form, and send the completed Form and all relevant documentation to within three years after the issue arose.

Once SOCAN receives the formal complaint, it will:

  • acknowledge receipt within five business days after all materials are received; and
  • provide a written decision regarding the complaint within 30 days from the date of acknowledgement, subject to the caveat below.

SOCAN may require additional time to review and respond to the complaint. If so, SOCAN will advise the member of the amount of additional time it requires and provide sufficient reasons for the additional time.  SOCAN will use best efforts to provide the written decision to the member by no later than 60 days from the date of acknowledgment.

Depending on the nature of the complaint, SOCAN’s Chief Membership Officer may take part in the consideration of the complaint and the determination of the decision.

SOCAN’s Ombudsperson

If a member is not satisfied with SOCAN’s written decision, then the member may escalate their complaint to the Ombudsperson.  The member must send the same completed Complaints Form, along with all relevant documentation and SOCAN’s written decision, to within 30 days of receiving SOCAN’s written decision.  The Ombudsperson will notify SOCAN’s Chief Membership Officer and General Counsel of the member’s escalation.

The Ombudsperson is a third party that has the power and discretion to independently review and investigate complaints that fall within their mandate.

The Ombudsperson can only review and investigate complaints submitted by a member in accordance with this Conflict Resolution Procedure. The Ombudsperson does not have the power to start any investigation with respect to any complaint that is submitted outside of this Conflict Resolution Procedure or that relates to an excluded subject matter.

The Ombudsperson has the discretion to determine the scope of their review and investigation, including whether an investigation of the complaint is warranted, the manner and timing of any investigation, and when an investigation should be terminated.  The Ombudsperson may consult with the member who submitted the complaint, as well as with SOCAN employees and directors of the SOCAN Board.

The Ombudsperson will issue a written determination to the member, with copy to SOCAN’s Chief Membership Officer and General Counsel, which will include a non-binding recommendation to the member and SOCAN.

Neither SOCAN nor the member will have any recourse against the Ombudsperson relating to their determination, including SOCAN’s or the member’s choice to follow or reject any recommendation contained in the Ombudsperson’s determination.

Investigations by the Ombudsperson are private and confidential. Unless the Ombudsperson in their sole discretion determines otherwise, the Ombudsperson will not disclose any information obtained during the investigation.

The Ombudsperson is the final appeal authority for a member’s complaint.  Should the SOCAN Board of Directors be required to make an ultimate decision related to the subject matter of the complaint, it will consider the Ombudsperson’s recommendation.