IMI Introduces Mediation Advocacy Competency Criteria

The competency of the parties’ advocates in mediations is widely recognized as a crucial factor in securing the best possible settlements. In order to establish a professional and technical basis for enabling disputing parties to identify the right people to advise and represent them in mediations, IMI has developed a comprehensive set of Competency Criteria of Mediation Advocates/Advisors.

IMI Mediation Advocacy Competency Criteria is a unique product of the ISC Mediation Advocacy Taskforce following an intensive year of deliberations, involving many users and including pilot programs, public consultations and focus groups. The Criteria have been supported and endorsed by a wide range of stakeholders, including the Mediation Committee of the International Bar Association, the Standing Conference of Mediation Advocates (SCMA), the Paris Bar, ACB Foundation Corporate ADR & Mediation and Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

The Mediation Advocacy Taskforce was a joint effort of thought leaders and experts in mediation advocacy, drawn from a range of international mediation stakeholders:

Manon Schonewille (Chair, The Netherlands)
Prof. Hal Abramson (US)
Prof. Ewa Gmurzynska (Poland)
Aloysius Goh (Singapore)
Andrew Goodman (UK)
Jeremy Lack (Switzerland) 
Deborah Masucci (US)
Khory McCormick (Australia) 
Alexander Oddy (UK)
Sim Khadijah Binte Mohammad (Singapore)
Dimitra Triantafyllou (Greece).

The launch of the IMI Mediation Advocacy Competency Certification marks a critical step in the development of mediation around the globe and will enhance user confidence in using mediation to resolve disputes. Please see the Mediation Advocacy Competency Criteria at

IMI Mediation Advocacy Certification will:

  • help parties to make informed decisions about competent professionals experienced in advising and representing clients in the resolution of disputes and/or making deals through mediation and enable users to easily browse profiles and select competent and suitable Mediation Advocates/Advisors;
  • be available to any experienced Mediation Advocate/Advisor who is qualified by an Mediation Advocacy Qualifying Assessment Program (MA-QAP), that has been approved by the ISC, with their profiles identifiable in an open search engine.

ADR professional and provider organisations are now invited to submit to the IMI Independent Standards Commission their applications to be approved for qualifying competent professionals for IMI Mediation Advocacy Certification. Once approved, Mediation Advocacy Qualifying Assessment Programs (MA-QAPs) will be displayed at: This will enable users and advocates/advisors to contact them directly.

The ISC Mediation Advocacy Task Force recognises that some individuals already possess the high level of experience, knowledge and practical skills identified for competent mediation advocates/advisors. Accordingly, they might be endorsed for IMI Mediation Advocacy Competency Certification by an approved professional organisation via the Expertise Qualification Path (EQP) before December 31, 2013. For more details on the EQP please see

Manon Schonewille, Chair of the ISC Mediation Advocacy Taskforce commented:
‘It was a true delight and an inspiring challenge to crystallise what was scattered and fragmented and use it as a basis for creating a unique tool in advancing the users’ confidence in mediation and appreciation of the value of the advocates/advisors. I feel very proud of the results of the incredible dedication and hard work of the Mediation Advocacy (MA) Taskforce and would like to thank all the Taskforce members. Professional competent mediation advocates/advisors make such a difference in the dynamics of mediation and in creating innovative and smart solutions. Many mediators and parties report that mediations can fail, or sub-optimal outcomes are achieved, because those representing their clients fail to prepare their clients properly, act as if they are in a courtroom rather than at a negotiation table, focus on scoring points rather than helping to develop options for mutual gain. By helping distinguish and professionalise mediation advocacy competency, users can make more informed decisions on appointing the right professional for their mediations to assist them to generate the best possible outcome.”

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