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What is conciliation?

A conciliation is like a case conference. It is an informal, private meeting conducted by an AAT Conference Registrar or an AAT Member to help the parties try to reach an agreement. 

A conciliation usually goes for 2-3 hours but they can be longer. 

The conciliation must be attended by:

  • you and/or your representative, such as a lawyer or disability advocate, if you have one
  • a case manager from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) with the authority to discuss and resolve the matter 
  • the NDIA’s legal representative if they have one
  • the AAT Conference Registrar or AAT Member.

The following people may also attend a conciliation:

  • a support person for you, such as a friend or family member
  • an interpreter provided by the AAT if you need one. 

We prefer that you and the NDIA attend in person or via video, but a telephone conciliation conference can be arranged if necessary.

How can I prepare for the conciliation?

You can use the Conciliation preparation toolkit [PDF, 235KB] which is also available online to help you think about what outcome you want, and what you are willing to negotiate and compromise on. You don’t need to give us or the NDIA anything from the toolkit. Here are a couple of important tips:

  • please arrive at the conciliation with an open mind and willing to reach an agreement if possible
  • send us and the NDIA any new evidence you have gathered before the conciliation.

For more information, you can look at the Conciliation process model [PDF, 86KB]  and Confidentiality in ADR processes.

What happens at conciliation?

An AAT Conference Registrar or AAT Member will help the parties to:

  • talk about the issues in the case and decide which issues haven’t been resolved
  • talk about the evidence in the case and hear each other’s point of view
  • consider the strengths and weaknesses of the case
  • consider the alternatives to resolving the matter
  • talk about what you and the NDIA can do to reach an agreement
  • set a timetable to put the agreement in place.

What happens if there is an agreed outcome?

You and the NDIA can come to an agreement about some or all the issues at any time before a hearing. The things you agree on must be put in writing, signed by all the parties and sent to us. This document is known as the terms of agreement.

Once you send us the terms of agreement, we will look at what the document says and if satisfied it is within the power of the AAT, will make a consent decision.

If the agreement was reached at a case conference or other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process, we will not make a decision for 7 days after we receive the agreement. You and the NDIA can withdraw from the agreement during this time.

What happens if I cannot attend the conciliation?

You should tell us as soon as possible and we might be able to change the date.

If you do not attend the case conference and you do not have a good reason, we might dismiss the application.