A strong MTSA has a solid communications clause. But, what does this look like? What are the benefits? What are the potential pitfalls? This blog post will help answer these questions.
What is a communication clause and why do you need one?
A communication clause states how the parties of the MTSA will formally communicate with one another over the lifetime of the agreement. It is important to have a communications clause because it means you are proactively planning to meet with your service partner. Regular communication between you and your MTSA partner helps you fulfill your MTSA in a number of ways:
- Stay up to date on service delivery
- Discuss and resolve issues early, before they become problems
- Share information, especially if there are staff changes
- Build rapport and establish trust
What does a communication clause look like?
Over the lifetime of an MTSA, service partners will have a number of reasons to contact each other: for example, to review their MTSA, to bill for services, to pay for services, and to access information about service provision. A communication clause sets out in one place the following key pieces of information:
- Which representatives should be meeting (primary contacts)
- How often meetings should occur
- What topics need to be discussed regularly
- Whether a formal committee is required and, if so, the mandate of the committee
- Contact information
What are the benefits?
A communication clause keeps key information in one place and helps avoid confusion later on. Having a good communication protocol helps avoid the stress of trying to figure out how to contact your service partner when there is important business to discuss. It also provides for regular touch points so you don’t go too long without communicating with your service partner. Even when things are going smoothly, going too long without communicating can make it difficult to get on the same page later on.
What are the potential pitfalls?
Some communication clauses are vague or don’t provide the right information. In these cases, they are no better than not having a communication clause at all! When you are preparing or renewing your MTSA, taking the time to agree on how communication will occur over the lifetime of an MTSA can prevent a headache later on.
For more information on communication protocols, and other aspects of MTSAs, make sure to review the the handbooks below.