Family Mediators train as mediators through different routes. Most Lawyers, like myself, will train through Resolution (formerley the Solicitors Family Law Association). Lawyers along with non lawyers can train through other training bodies, for example the FMA (Family Mediation Association).
All member organisations (that is : FMA, Resolution and others) are now governed by the umbrella governing body, The FMC ( Family Mediation Council).
This is all part of the ongoing process of bringing in a unified standard and accountability for all mediators to raise the standards of mediators and their work and increase public confidence in mediation.
The New Year has started with a new set of standards for mediators launched by the FMC on 1st January 2015. As part of this there will be one accreditation standard, which all mediators wil have to work towards. Mediators may find this a little onerous but a high common standard across mediation organisations is critical.
The aim of the new FMC's accreditation process is to provide a clearer picture to the public of what family mediation is, how it works and promote public confidence through standards.
With heightened public interest in mediation and the ongoing support of mediation by the Government it's crucial that the standards framework provides an accessible foundation to increase public awareness and confidence.
I welcome these changes as it has long been my view that if mediation is being promoted within Family Law and endorsed by Government the public should be able to expect mediators to be high standard and for there to be a unified standard and accountability across the board.