|ALL SECTIONS | ABOUT MEDIATION | Civil | Commercial | Community | Elder | Family/DIVORCE | Public Policy | Workplace|
Mediators - Arbitrators - Collaborative Professionals - Mediating Lawyers - Facilitators - Online Mediators - Online Arbitrators
Mediate.com is now acting to implement our Mediator Certification Program because we so acting is in the best interests of growing the mediation industry.
One of our greatest concerns, as "mediation" comes to be ever more institutionalized, is that the essential voluntary nature, with all decision-making residing with participants, and the ability to leave or not agree without prejudice, are all valuable qualities that are coming to be eroded. Court and agency hybrid processes are the biggest culprit. With the court's contempt power, quasi-judicial immunity for mediators and powerful pressure to manage dockets, mediation is being co-opted and the unique qualities of the process are in jeopardy of being diluted or lost. There is no "National Mediation Association" to defend the best interests of mediation. For good or for bad, we believe that the best of mediation needs support and advocacy and that is one reason why Mediate.com is stepping up.
This is not a program for mediators so much as a program for consumers and their advisers. By setting rather high standards, by being sure that all information valuable to consumers is capably presented and consistent, and by having a clear and understandable system, we believe that we will provide added value to consumers looking for information to help them make their best mediator selection. The adopted training and experience standards are consistent with those recommended by the ACR Task Force.
We welcome and encourage additional "practice area" certifications as a healthy and realistic reflection of the mediation field evolving into a growing number of niche mediation industries. Mediate.com does not anticipate getting involved in niche area (e.g. divorce, workplace, commercial mediation) certifications. In fact, we are doing our best to integrate all mediation organizational affiliations and additional mediation certifications. We do not in any way see our efforts as preempting additional needed practice area initiatives.
We acknowledge that there is no "skills based assessment" nor "paper and pencil test," as had been suggested by SPIDR and ACR Task Forces over time. The problem with both is the practical challenge of deciding exactly what curriculum would be best included and then somehow also giving folks a quality opportunity to gain that specific learning. To do this on a "mediation field wide basis" is just not practicable.
Critically, we ultimately believe that well-informed disputants can protect themselves and that we do not need traditional paternalistic approaches to professional mediation credentialing. This is especially true with so many mediation applications and styles of mediation practice. Mediate.com is seeking to implement a realistic and sustainable program.
We welcome your ideas for further improving the Mediate.com Certification Program. Comments and questions should be sent to: email@example.com
The views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Resourceful Internet Solutions, Inc., Mediate.com or of reviewing editors.