Mediation Process

Official 'Certify Your Disc Jockey' Document On Mediation (Complaint) Services
July 2012

With special appreciation to the Canadian Disc Jockey Association (CDJA) for sharing their Mediation documentation and giving us permission to adapt it to suit the needs of 'Certify Your Disc Jockey'.  


Becoming a 'Certified Disc Jockey' requires DJs to agree to 10 (ten) standards, as outlined on the website, to sign a legally binding addendum with a client, and to meet the 'standards' to the client's satisfaction . EACH AND EVERY TIME a DJ performs, he or she is required to meet these same standards to their client's satisfaction.  The standards may be provided within a DJ's written contract, or as an attached ADDENDUM they along with their client sign, to be a part of their legally binding written contract with their clients.  Members demonstrate a desire to conduct their respective businesses professionally, and to a higher standard of quality and ethics than others in the industry may choose to do.

While standards do help ensure consumers are protected, they do not replace a business’ need to invest in their education, training and experience.  There are many professional Disc Jockey associations that provide training opportunities and seminars to their members, and there are many direct educational opportunities as well.  So while you should ensure your Disc Jockey agrees to, signs and attaches the ADDENDUM, it is equally or more important to consider their experience and training.

Membership is also available to Professional DJs that follow this practice on a constant basis.  There is no cost, and all that is required is to place the logo and link on their business DJ website.  Problems or challenges involving a member with another Member, a non-member, our customers, or any staff, related to the Hospitality Industry that we meet will become the sole purpose of this document.

In Appendix A of our formal document, we have listed ten at our members are expected to meet.  We suggest that our clients PRINT OUT Appendix A, and have their respective Disc Jockey sign the document and include it with their written contract.

In Appendix B of our formal document, we have listed examples of infractions where the mediation process may be available. These transgressions represent some of the conditions that we feel weaken the Certified-Disc-Jockey Network’s efforts to build a strong, vibrant, organization of professionals.

Conduct and Ethics:
The Hearing Process This is the program that will assist any member who needs a framework of steps to follow in order to protect his/her membership position from the tribunal of peers who will examine the complaint.

Preliminary Stage: Mediation
When you have a complaint to be filed, there is a process that the claimant should follow before any other major actions are put into effect. These initial steps are put there to try to avert a protracted series of actions that can be circumnavigated by simple, common-sense interactions between the two factions that are at "odds" with one another. Please consider these options before you initiate the final procedures that will consume larger amounts of time and energy from busy Peers or Administrators!

A. Call the company (individual, owner, representative, etc.) who is the central figure in your complaint. Explain to him/her what your issue is and provide him/her with a full description of the problem. This would include the date, host(s) name(s), location, witnesses (this includes venue personnel), and how it pertains to the contract that you signed with that business. Remain calm but firm, and be open-minded enough to realize that the person to whom you're speaking may not have answers for you at that moment. Allow that person to seek out the corroborating (or opposing) information from the performer and get back to you within a reasonable time frame (as per agreement).

B. Expect that return call to take place on time, and if not, call again to get an answer. Another waiting period may ensue (due to business pressures) but this should not happen a third time! The owner/representative should provide you with the DJs story and then talk to you about "Effects and Consequences" of the problem between you and his/her business. This is the point in time when cooler heads and serious intentions should prevail. Try to reach an amicable settlement that is a compromise between both of you. The owner/rep may handle the compromise himself or have the Disc Jockey settle the score with you (and that's OK, because it may be a company policy). In any case, through common concern and commitment, there is a good chance that matters can be straightened out at this point.

C. However, if communications break down and you're still not satisfied, then you can contact the Certified-Disc-Jockey Network directly, to intercede on your behalf. He (or his designate) will become a Mediator in the case. As a Mediator, we will not take sides or make judgments for either contestant. The arbitrator's duty is to "keep both parties talking and working towards a resolution." Do not expect the Mediator to make a ruling on either person's claim. The solution MUST come from the two factions.

D. If the Mediator cannot keep the parties discussing the matter and the claimant still wants to carry the matter further, then the accuser can formally lodge the complaint to the Certified-Disc-Jockey Network as a "PROCESS ACTION." The Certified-Disc-Jockey Network will then "red flag" the member's file and then inform both parties of the Intent to enact the Code's staged grievance procedures.

E. The claimant will submit all pertinent documentation, witness materials and event data to the Certified-Disc-Jockey Network by written means within 7 days of Advisement of Intent. We will start the PROCESS as described below and inform the defendant of the claimant's rights to enact the code's HEARING PROCESS.

Certify Your Disc Jockey - ADDENDUM (Professional Wedding Disc Jockey & Emcee Standards):

By no means do the following situations act as a finite list of ethical problems or grievances that could be lodged by a complainant in relation to the ten standards as documented on printable Appendix A (separate document).

1.    Available to help, full time;
2.    Only use professional series equipment that is suited for the event;
3.    Bring backup equipment to every event (not a call away);
4.    Use licensed music (i.e. AVLA licensed or record company/ artist compensated);
5.    Liability insured, and can prove it;
6.    Experience DJing and Emceeing weddings;
7.    Have a business website with contact information;
8.    No hidden expenses.  A warm meal is appreciated but is not a requirement.  Expenses are fully disclosed and included in the written contract;
9.    Never drink alcohol on the job; and
10.  The Disc Jockey you hire is the Disc Jockey who will perform at your event.

1.     Available to help, full-time.  Your DJ answers your email or phone call and informs you that he/she will call you back when they return to their office in two days.  The two days pass, and no call so you call again, and are informed again that they are unable to speak but they will call you back as soon as possible.  Days pass again, and still no return call.  This is an example of NOT being available full-time to help.
2.     Only use professional series equipment that is suited for the event.  Your DJ arrives and brings a plastic microphone that plugs into a ghetto blaster, and informs you it is for speeches. This is an example of using consumer instead of professional series equipment
3.     Bring backup equipment to every event (not a call away).  Your DJ has an equipment failure, and the sound is interrupted.  They did not bring backup equipment with them, and you have to wait an hour for backup to arrive.  This is an example of backup equipment not being with them at the event.
4.     Use licensed music (i.e. AVLA licensed or record company/ artist compensated).  Your DJ brings burned CDs, and does not have an AVLA license.  After the event you requested to see documentation that proves their music is AVLA licensed, but they are unable to produce it.
5.     Liability insured, and can prove it.  Members of some professional DJ associations are REQURIED to carry liability insurance.  Others may purchase their insurance on their own.  Certified Your Disc Jockey - Network members are required to be insured and prove it if asked to.
6.     Experience DJing and Emceeing weddings.  Your DJ arrives without a completed written itinerary or information, and announces the cake cutting at the wrong time, then plays the wrong song for the first dance and confuses the names of the wedding party.  That’s an example of what happens if your DJ does not have experience DJing and/or Emceeing a wedding.  Again, the Disc Jockey associations have training programs, and there are many seminars in place to help Disc Jockeys.
7.     Have a business website with contact information.  Your DJ provides you with a website link and asks that you fill out a form online.  But when you open the website, the form is buried many pages deep, and when you submit it you just get error messages.  There is no email, telephone number or address listed so you have to find the information elsewhere.  This is an example of NOT having a professional business website.
8.     No hidden expenses.  A warm meal is appreciated but is not a requirement.  Expenses are fully disclosed and included in the written contract.  Although your Disc Jockey did not discuss a meal with you, when your guests are served your Disc Jockey asks the caterer for a plate, even though you never discussed a meal being provided.  This is a hidden expense, and although your Disc Jockey may appreciate being provided with a warm meal, it should be discussed ahead of time at a face-to-face meeting.
9.     Never drink alcohol on the job.  Your Disc Jockey accepts a beer from a guest, hides behind his façade and drinks it.  You catch him drinking the beer and even manage to get a picture of him drinking.   This is an example of drinking on the job and acting unprofessional.
10.  The Disc Jockey you hire is the Disc Jockey who will perform at your event.  You meet a professional Disc Jockey and get along great.  You believe the Disc Jockey has the experience you were looking for and you hire based on their experience.  Then an inexperienced Disc Jockey shows up for your wedding reception and has no public speaking skills, limited training and experience and your experience is less than you expected.  This is It is an example of ‘bait-and-switch’.

The Certified Your Disc Jockey - Network takes these ten standards very seriously.  We have determined the most professional way to service our clients is to educate and empower them.  This is why you are provided with a set of ten professional Disc Jockey standards that should be included in your written contract, whether a part of the original contract, or as an additional document that is signed by the member and included as an attachment to the original contract.

While we strive for 100% satisfaction, there is always a possibility of discontent.  Most if not all concerns can be directly addressed and rectified by listening to both sides and gaining an understanding of what was expected and what was delivered.  As we are dealing with professional Disc Jockeys, your satisfaction is the number one priority.

Being able to resolve differences can leave all parties satisfied.  But feelings can come into play as well, so if a mediator is required, the objective is not only to ‘fix’ a problem, but also to help all parties understand how each respective party is affected.  We will endeavour to keep an open mind, and to keep focused on a resolution between all affected parties.  Your patience and consideration is very much appreciated.

TJD per

Special thanks to for allowing us to borrow from their Mediation documentation.

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