The National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS) prescribes requisite standards for accredited mediators.
Recognised Mediator Accreditation Bodies (RMABs) provide training and accredit mediators in accordance with these requisite standards.
There are two pathways to become a nationally accredited mediator:
1. Recognition of prior experience (“Experience Qualified”)
Prior experience may be taken into account by an RMAB in lieu of further training if you:
- Worked as a mediator prior to 1 January 2008 and have experience, training and education that satisfies the RMAB in accordance with the practice standards, as well as completed the continuing accreditation requirements in the 24 months prior to making an application; or
- Are resident in a linguistically and culturally diverse community for which specialised skills and knowledge are needed and/or from a rural/or remote community where there is difficulty in attending a mediation course or attaining tertiary or similar qualifications.
2. Completion of training provided by a RMAB
If you do not have relevant experience, you must either complete:
- 38 hours of Mediation education and training (provided by a RMAB); and
- Successfully complete a skills assessment of 1.5 hours duration. The skills assessment may also include practical components, such as simulating a mediation via videolink or live, however different RMABs provide different assessment options.
Upon application for accreditation, you must also supply evidence of good character and undertake to comply with practice standards and ongoing education requirements.
Applicants need to be able to gain a satisfactory police check and hold current indemnity insurance.
It should be noted that the process of gaining National Accreditation attracts a fee which is collected at the time of accreditation or reaccreditation (that is, every two years). This fee is paid to the National Standards Board to cover the cost of providing secretarial services. It is collected by the RMAB.
Continuing accreditation requirements
As a condition of ongoing approval for accreditation, mediators must comply with the Practice Standards and seek re-approval in accordance with these Approval Standards every two years. Mediators must:
- conduct at least 25 hours of mediation, co-mediation or conciliation (in total duration) within the two-year cycle. Alternatively, where a mediator is unable to provide such evidence for valid reasons, a RMAB may require the mediator to complete no less than 10 hours of mediation, co-mediation or conciliation work per two-year cycle and may require that the mediator attend ‘top up’ training or reassessment; and
- complete at least 20 hours of continuing professional development in every two-year cycle that may include the following; attendance at continuing professional development courses, educational programs, seminars or workshops on mediation or related skill areas; involvement in supervising and training of mediators; or representation of clients in a mediation.
Registered Mediators (ACT only)
Registered mediators are recognised as having a higher level of expertise in mediation than accredited mediators. Only registered mediators may be appointed by the court for matters that have been referred to mediation pursuant to rule 1179 of the Court Procedures Rules 2006 (ACT).
The registration process and the approval of registered mediators is outlined in section 5 of the Mediation Act 1997 (ACT). Potential applicants may apply via an Approved Mediation Agency.
- already be accredited mediators;
- have performed at least three mediations per year;
- demonstrate participation in continuing professional development over the previous three years; and
- provide references.
Applicants must attend an interview with a panel which will include at least one person from an interagency. A nominal fee is usually charged by the Approved Mediation Agency for registration. Registration must be renewed every three years as outlined in section 7 of the Mediation Act 1997 (ACT). Conditions for registration renewal are the same as the initial process.