In Oregon, most of the mediation community’s practice areas (court annexed, family, government, and community) have standards or requirements, which include mediator training, experience, internships, monitoring, ethics, and continuing education. However, mediators in private practice not operating under one of these umbrellas have had no such mechanism.
The new guidelines are intended to help the private sector “catch-up” with the sectors that have standards, requirements, or guidelines already in place. The Guidelines require more experience to make up for the lack of supervision and mentoring that exists in the court and community programs.
The goal of the Guidelines is to take one evolutionary step forward with private sector mediators to enhance the quality of mediation services delivered, provide consumers with information to make informed decisions when choosing a mediator, and provide prospective mediators with specific ideas on how to prepare to become a mediator.
A) This voluntary model is designed to provide guidance to mediators, programs, and consumers that use private practice mediators about minimum education, training, and experience. They should be read in conjunction to OMA’s Core Standards of Mediation Practice.
B) Meeting these Guidelines is not proof of competency. Users of private mediators must carefully consider all relevant factors in their selection process.
C) These Guidelines are a beginning – not an end to OMA’s efforts to promote the provision and use of quality mediation services.
A) Board Action
B) Meeting these Guidelines is not a condition of OMA membership
III. Formal Education Or Degree
IV. Number Of Mediations
A) Participation in 20 Actual Completed Cases as Mediator or Co-Mediator
V. Training (See Experience For Alternative Mechanism)
A) Basic mediation training course of 30 hours
B) A six hour court system course comparable to that described at (http://www.ojd.state.or.us/Web/OJDPublications.nsf/Mediation?OpenView&count=1000)
C) Study ORS Chapter 36 (http://landru.leg.state.or.us/ors/036.html) and take OMA Confidentiality Quiz.
D) Study OMA Core Standards of Mediation Practice and take OMA Standards Quiz.
A) Start with Court Model for Curriculum and Trainer Qualifications. http://www.ojd.state.or.us/Web/OJDPublications.nsf/Mediation?OpenView&count=1000
B) Then, partner with others to develop curriculum and Trainer Qualifications
VII. Experience (See Training for Alternative Mechanism)
A) 200 hours of mediation experience as an observer, co-mediator, or mediator
B) Of the 200 hours, 50 must be in context and subject matter of mediator’s primary focus
C) Hours spent mediating to achieve the Number of Mediations element count towards this Experience element
D) 50 hours of additional mediation experience every 2 years
IX. Supervision or Mentoring
A) Mentoring or Apprenticeship Relationship Recommended
B) OMA to work with interested stakeholders on a mentoring program
A) Sufficient forum context familiarity to satisfy the reasonable expectations of the participants demonstrated by education, training, and/or experience
XI. Subject Matter Familiarity
A) Sufficient subject matter familiarity to satisfy the reasonable expectations of the participants demonstrated by education, training, and/or experience
XII. Standards of Practice
A) OMA’s Core Standards of Mediation Practice and those required by mediator’s profession of origin
XIII. Quality Feedback Loop
A) Participant Evaluations Encouraged.
B) OMA to work with interested stakeholders on a participant evaluation system
XIV. Continuing Mediator Education
A) 24 hrs every 2 years with one credit on confidentiality and one on ethics
B) For now, follow the MCE structure outlined in the Chief Justice Order
XV. Member Certification and Advertising
A) Members may self-certify that their training, education, and experience meet these model guidelines. When making representations, mediators should provide the website to these Guidelines. They may not say they are “Certified,” “Qualified,” “Licensed,” or use terms that convey a similar meaning.
B) OMA will develop a web mechanism where members can self-certify and that mechanism will cross-reference these Guidelines so the consumer knows the basis for the representation.
XVI. Ongoing Monitoring and Evaluation
A) OMA Standards and Practices Committee is authorized to:
1) Conduct random reviews to determine if a mediator’s advertising and representations are consistent with these Guidelines and the Core Standards. It may also respond to inquiries made through the OMA Voluntary Mediation Process for Resolving Disputes With OMA Mediators. It may educate members, the membership, and Board if issues are found.
2) Answer questions and interpret these Guidelines.
3) Conduct surveys to assess the effectiveness of the Guidelines.
4) Work with stakeholders to monitor and evaluate Guidelines, and
5) Make recommendations to the Board for improvement to its “Quality Enhancement Initiative”
B) Such authorized ongoing activities of the Standards and Practices Committee shall be exercised in reasonable and appropriate consultation and coordination with other OMA committees, e.g., Member Services, under the continuing supervision and direction of the OMA Board.
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