In October 2011, the Council of the ABA’s ADR Section appointed a Task Force to recommend whether the Section should adopt a policy on mediator credentialing. The Section Task Force has now published its report.
In summary, the Section concludes that, in view of a lack of consensus about the attributes of the mediation process or a process for determining competency, the prospect of creating a single nationwide credentialing system was not supported at this time. However, the Section supports local initiatives and innovations in mediator credentialing provided they meet six guidelines for what an effective credentialing program should include, namely:
- Clearly define the skills, knowledge and values that credentialed persons must possess.
- Ensure candidates have training adequate to install those skills, knowledge and values.
- Be administered by an organisation distinct from the organisation that trains the candidate.
- Have an assessment process capable of consistently determining whether candidates possess the defined skills, knowledge and values.
- Explain clearly to persons likely to rely on its credential what is being certified.
- Provide an accessible, transparent system to handle complaints against credentialed mediators, including de-credentialing mediators who fail to comply with the standards.
The Task Force expressed its opposition to mandatory licensing, to barring non-lawyers from being credentialed and barring users from selecting non-credentialed mediators.
For a copy of the full Final Report of the Section, please click here.