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National Mediation Accreditation Scheme

What is Mediation?

A mediation process is a process in which the participants, with the support of the mediator, identify issues, develop options, consider alternatives and make decisions about future actions and outcomes. The mediator acts as a third party to support participants to reach their own decision.

Understanding the mediation process and the role of the mediator are amongst the first steps to take if you are considering mediation. The existence of a national system for accreditation of mediators means that consumers can now choose an accredited mediator to assist them.

Role of the Mediator

Mediators do not advise upon, evaluate or determine disputes. They assist in managing the process of dispute and conflict resolution whereby the participants agree on the outcomes, when appropriate.

Mediation Processes

Mediation processes are primarily facilitative processes. The mediator provides assistance in managing a process which supports the participants to make decisions about future actions and outcomes.

What is the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS)?

The NMAS is a national accreditation scheme which provides a minimum level of standards of training and assessment for all mediators. Other mediator accreditation schemes that impose specialist requirements for particular fields may exist together with the NMAS; for example, the family dispute resolution practitioner registration requirements under the Family Law Act 1975.

Why choose an Accredited Mediator?

When clients chose an accredited mediator:

  • the mediator has been approved as an accredited mediator by a Recognised Mediator Accreditation Body (RMAB) such as Better Place Australia ;
  • Better Place Australia has been satisfied that the mediator has appropriate competence taking into account their qualifications, training and experience;
  • the mediator is required to comply with the Approval Standards and the Practice Standards as set down by the Mediator Standards Board (MSB) and any relevant legislation;
  • for the mediator to maintain their accredited status they must reapply for accreditation every 2 years, ensuring an ongoing review of their practice;
  • Better Place Australia  has obtained evidence that the mediator is insured (either individually or via their employer);
  • Better Place Australia  has obtained and confirmed evidence that the mediator is of good character; and
  • if the client wishes to provide feedback or make a complaint, Better Place Australia  has a process for receiving your feedback or complaint.

How do I become a mediator?

The requirements for accreditation are set out in the NMAS Approval Standards and include:

  • Complete a training course such as Better Place Australia’s Accredited Mediator Course of a minimum of 38 hours with a provider whose course meets the training standards detailed at 2.3 of the Approval Standards;
  • Undertake an assessment of at least 1.5 hours in length; and
  • Apply to an RMAB such as Better Place Australia for accreditation, providing evidence of the above training, assessment as competent, good character references, professional indemnity insurance and undertakings to comply with the Standards.

What work opportunities are there as a mediator?

There is an increasing use of mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution in Australia.

People who undertake mediation training vary to the extent that they find opportunities as a mediator.  Some may find salaried roles within government or not for profit agencies.  Others use their professional networks to build private mediation consultancy businesses, which may include offering other related professional services.  Others pursue further academic studies and careers, or use their mediation skills in roles such as working in human resources.

As with many areas of study, it is very dependent on the individual – on their expectations, skills, flexibility, entrepreneurship and opportunities.

Becoming an Accredited Mediator

The process for accreditation is standard across the profession and is administered by RMABs such as Better Place Australia . To apply for accreditation, contact Better Place Australia Training for further information and assistance regarding the accreditation process.

How do I find out more?

• Call us direct on 1800 639 523
• Email training@betterplaceaustralia.com.au



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