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Latest updates on emerging trends, issues and concerns within mediation. We will be taking a more campaigning stance on quality and standards across mediation.

Steve Hindmarsh Ltd secure Civil Mediation Council Registration

1st April 2009

The Civil Mediation Council launched its Workplace Mediation Registration Scheme on the 31st of March 2009. Steve Hindmarsh Ltd was one of the first companies to register.

The field of mediation is an emerging profession and the CMC´s scheme is a first step in managing standards and public accountability.

The scheme has broad criteria for access and has already provoked debate within the sector on the next steps.

Mediator credentialing, registration and certification are the subject of heated debate amongst mediators and services. The diversity of practice within the mediation sector poses a challenge for future regulation. For consumers regulation should offer clarity and simplicity in choosing a provider, helping them match their situation to their mediator. Any consumer faces risks in making a choice over which service provider to use. Service good and bad will be naturally regulated by the market place. There is a responsibility for the sector to protect the consumer and maintain standards amongst its practitioners.

The complexity of issues such as ´conflict´ and ´justice´ provide a great opportunity to define evaluative criteria for customer satisfaction. Objective research on mediation efficacy is thin on the ground. There is much sales talk with many services claiming expertise, lead status and market share. The roots of practitioner´s ´routes´ into mediation are many and varied. With lawyers, counsellors, psychologists, HR managers, social workers, management consultants and subject matter experts all expanding their practice to include mediation. Some with training and some without.

As an example workplace mediation training courses vary in length from as little as 24 hours (3 days) to several days. Forms and standards of accreditation are many and varied, with some accredited by the training provider themselves, others recognised by the Law Society or validated by independent academic bodies under the QCA (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority).

In our view, a regulatory framework should require practitioner responsibility rather than specific practice prescription. The profession needs to help consumers make satisfying and successful choices. This includes a robust complaints procedure with consequences where the profession fails.

Whether you support or oppose the rise of regulation it seems an inevitable progression, I would encourage you to join the debate.

Link – Civil Mediation Council Workplace Registration Scheme.

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