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The difference(s) between Conciliation and Arbitration

While the process of conciliationA process at the CCMA where a commissioner assists parties to a dispute in attempting to settle the matter and arbitration may look the same at first glance, these subjects have various differences between them. These differences are:



  1. The first stage of resolution.
  2. The Commissioner meets with the parties in dispute and search ways in which to settle the matter by reaching an agreement which caters for both parties.
  3. The parties themselves decide (the Commissioner may give suggestions).
  4. No legal representation is allowed.
  5. There is no calling of witnesses to support your case.
  6. Available only for existing disputes.



  1. The second stage of resolution.
  2. The Commissioner gives both parties an opportunity to fully present their cases.
  3. After hearing both sides, the Commissioner makes a binding decision by issuing an award.
  4. Legal representation is allowed.
  5. Witnesses can be called to support your case.
  6. Available for existing and future disputes.


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