The Commission does not mandate the use of a particular ADR technique in an agency's ADR program. As such, numerous ADR techniques are available for use by agencies in their programs. The Commission requires, however, the ADR technique must be used in a manner that is consistent with the core principles outlined in Chapter III of the Management Directive (MD)-110. One fundamental core principle provides that ADR techniques must be voluntary; i.e., the parties (the complainant and the agency) must mutually agree to participate and a binding decision cannot be issued by a third party. In addition, the use of an ADR technique must not diminish the complainant's rights protected under Part 1614 regulations. For example, an ADR program many not require a complainant to waive his/her right to an investigation, hearing, or to appeal the final decision to the Commission.
Below is a description of various ADR techniques and the agencies which utilize them. Agencies are not limited to using only one technique in their program; rather, they are encouraged to experiment with these techniques by using various methods in combination to reach effective resolutions.