Frequently Asked Questions - Option 3, in-house training
Click on any question to read the answer.
Q. Do you require previous study or special skills to do the mediation courses on offer?
A. There are no pre-requisites to do any of our courses. However there is an assumption that you have good listening skills; an important part of being a mediator.
Q.What is an accredited mediator?
A. To become an accredited mediator you must meet the standards as set down by the National Practice Standards (links to these standards can be found at www.msb.org.au)
Your final assessment (a minimum of a 1.5 hour role-play) is assessed independently from the trainers in your course. You are graded as either competent or not yet competent.
Should you be graded as not yet competent in this assessment, conflictsolvers has a process in place to lodge a formal review and have your work re-considered within this framework.
Q. Are we required to run the five days simultaneously?
A. For those courses located in Melbourne you can choose to run this course over a few weeks (I suggest you enquire about this option). For those looking to run this course outside of Melbourne and interstate, whilst it is possible, you will need to enquire about the additional costs that may be incurred.
Q. Once I do a five day course and pass will I automatically receive my accreditation?
A. Passing the course is only the first stage of becoming an accredited mediator. Before being issued your certificate you will need to demonstrate other factors through an application such as;
- Being of good character. This may involve you obtaining a police check at your cost upon our request (not required upon initial application).
- Showing you have personal indemnity insurance. Workplaces often carry this indemnity but if you are operating as an individual, you will need to show evidence that you have purchased this indemnity. (Some organisations carry personal indemnity insurance such as those who are part of AASW)
- An undertaking to comply with on going practice standards and compliance with any legislative and approval requirements
- Membership with an appropriate association or organisation; and
- Mediator competence (keeping a log book in the future to demonstrate practice/training you have undertaken).
Q. What is the difference between an accredited mediator and a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (who primarily deals with parenting plans, property division and issues Certificate 60I’s)?
A. An accredited mediator handles disputes which are generally non-law based whilst the opposite is true of a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner. An FDR mediator is required to apply to the Attorney General’s Department and be registered by them to provide Certificate 60I’s. An accredited mediator meets different National Standards and is registered with an RMAB (Recognised Mediator Accreditation Body). Someone who is already an FDR Practitioner would have to apply and become an accredited mediator, it is not automatic.
The great news is that the Mediation Institute provides this course and at any stage you can attend one of our two day workshops in order to also obtain your national accreditation
Q. By being an accredited mediator can I also do Family Dispute Resolution work (family law)?
A. The simple answer is NO. To become a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner that issues Certificate 60I’s, you need a different qualification (for new practitioners, we highly recommend obtaining the necessary diploma through www.mediationinstitute.edu.au. They offer an excellent online study program ). Once you meet this training requirement, FDR Practitioners apply to be recognized by the Attorney General’s Department and are issued with an individual practicing number.
At any stage you can attend still attend one of our two day workshops in order to also obtain your national accreditation once you feel you are ready to do so.
Q. Once I am an accredited mediator, is there anything else I need to do in order to keep up my accreditation?
A. For the purpose of on-going accreditation you will need Continuing Professional Development within a two year cycle as defined by the Australian National Approval Standards and evidenced by an RMAB (you will need to keep a log book in order to demonstrate your on-going training/experience).
a) sufficient practice experience by showing that they have either:
i) conducted at least 25 hours of mediation, co-mediation or conciliation (in total duration) within the two-year cycle; or,
ii) where a mediator is unable to provide such evidence for reasons such as, a lack of work opportunities (in respect of newly qualified mediators); a focus on work undertaken as a dispute manager, facilitator, conflict coach or related area; a family, career or study break; illness or injury, an RMAB may require the mediator to have completed 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;
b) have completed at least 20 hours of continuing professional development in every two-year cycle that can be made up as follows:
i) attendance at continuing professional development courses, educational programs, seminars or workshops on mediation or related skill areas as referred to in the competencies (see the Practice Standards) (up to 20 hours);
ii) external supervision or auditing of their clinical practice (up to 15 hours);
iii) presentations at mediation or ADR seminars or workshops including two hours of preparation time for each hour delivered (up to 16 hours);
iv) representing clients in four mediations (up to a maximum of 8 hours);
v) coaching, instructing or mentoring of trainee and/or less experienced mediators (up to 10 hours);
vi) role playing for trainee mediators and candidates for mediation assessment or observing mediations (up to 8 hours);
vii) mentoring of less experienced mediators and enabling observational opportunities (up to 10 hours).
2) Ongoing accreditation as a mediator requires the mediator to meet the practice standards and competencies described in the Practice Standards. An RMAB has discretion to remove or suspend a mediator in circumstances where it believes, on the balance of probabilities, that there has been non compliance with the Practice Standards, other relevant ethical guidelines or professional requirements, or these Approval Standards.
Q. What record(s) do you keep of me being an accredited mediator?
A. RMAB’s are required to keep a register of accredited mediators. Documentation is kept which includes application forms and evidence as required by the Approval standards. Once accredited a mediator must also show an RMAB that they have complied with the on-going requirements within a two year cycle as defined by the Australian National Approval Standards. Conflictsolvers has a link on their website where accredited mediators may refer people to see their name and the date they were accredited.
Q. I believe I’ve done a significant amount of mediation training already, can I apply to you to become an accredited mediator?
A. We welcome applications from those people who believe they meet the current standards of Accreditation. We can access your application at a cost of $200, however we strongly recommend joing VADR (Victorian Association of Dispute Resolution) and they will then; once you are a financial member, assess you for FREE.
You can get in contact with them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org (their site is www.vadr.asn.au)
Q. I’ve done some training in mediation else where, do you recognize prior learning in courses you run?
A. Absolutely. Both organizations are always willing to consider and accept prior learning in courses you may have completed. Please ask for an application form which you need to fill in and return for an assessment of other courses completed.
We will then be able to determine what part of our course will be waived for the purposes of accreditation. It may be that you are required to do the final three days of accreditation
Q. Do I have a chance of finding a job once I become an accredited mediator?
A. This is a complex question. The general skills obtained in learning to be a mediator are valued by many industries. In any work where you deal with people face to face, to have a solid background of conflict resolution skills is useful.
As to becoming a full time mediator, in reality there are (aside from lawyers), few full time mediators in the field (especially when compared to many other occupations). Recently there has been an increase in the need for mediators such as Family Relationship Centres.
It should be noted though, that many organizations will utilize mediation skills for dealing with conflict both internally and externally. There are many anecdotal stories of people who have learnt mediation skills using them on a regular basis within their regular employment field.
Q. What if I want to make a complaint?
A. We acknowledge that it's important if you feel something has gone wrong, to lodge a complaint. Of course if we can remedy the situation by talking the issue through, then we're happy to take your comments on board.
Initially if you feel you can't talk to the person involved, then we will ensure your complaint goes to someone who you haven't dealt with before. Please note that once this happens your complaint must be in writing showing the following detail;
- Name of the person the complaint is against
- Name, address and telephone number of the person making the complaint
- An explanation of the complaint and how it has impacted upon you or violated R.M.A.B./government requirements
- The facts upon which the allegation or allegations are based
- The date of each alleged violation or, in the case of an alleged continuing violation, the date that the first violation took place and the history of the continuing violation up to the date of the complaint
1/1A Davey St Sunshine West 3020 Vic
Or Email your complaint through to:
We also have the services of an independent accredited mediator.
Scott Dutton has more than 10 years in the welfare and training fields. He has mediated more than 200 formal mediation sessions in the areas of parent/adolescent, workplace, student/student, and family law conflict.
Scott has worked with a number of mediation agencies, including the Family Mediation Centre & REFS Training and Consulting Services. He has also worked for two Reconnect programs and as a training consultant. Scott currently has a private mediation practice.
Upon receipt of a written and signed complaint, Conflictsolvers will:
- Notify the person of the alleged violation(s).
- Evaluate the complaint to determine whether conflictsolvers can accept the complaint as submitted for processing, and notify the complainant if the complaint cannot be processed for any reason.
- Assist the complainant to clarify the allegations in the complaint, and give the complainant the opportunity to submit additional information.
- Work with the complainant and with the person named to resolve the issues in a non-adversarial manner, if possible.
- Undertake an independent investigation that may include further interviews of both the complainant and/or the person of the alleged violation.
- A summary of the complaint
- A summary of the investigation
- Conclusions of within the context of accredited mediators/R.M.A.B. guidelines
- Reasons for the final decision
- Any corrective action required
Q. Once I am nationally accredited is there a requirement to pay any on-going fee?
A. The Mediator Standards Board has now introduced a bi-annual fee for nationally accredited mediators in order to retain their accreditation. Each two years you will be sent an automatic reminder both by us and the mediator standards board to renew your accreditation. This consists of filling in a form outlining your current situation and paying the bi-annual fee of $150.00
Q. I am based overseas, am I able to complete your training?
A. We have had numerous participants from overseas countries successfully attend our training. There is no pre-requesite. Please remember however that our course is only taught in English and if you become accredited it is an Australian qualification (we are unsure of how that qualification is accepted within your own country of origin).