IMI in 2018: Year in Review

It has been a productive year for IMI, with our team, Board, and Task force members working on a wide range of initiatives designed to raise the standards of mediation and improve access to justice worldwide.  Read below for a wrap-up of what has been achieved, and a glimpse of what you can expect in 2019.  And, as always, thank you for your ongoing support of the International Mediation Institute.

New in 2018


  1. UNCITRAL’s Working Group II finalised drafts for a Convention on the Enforceability of Mediated Settlements (the ‘Singapore Convention‘) and associated Model Law.  IMI is working with its partners to promote signing of the Convention in August of 2019.  (Read IMI’s Briefing Paper here.)
  2. IMI worked with the Council of Europe‘s European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) to develop a Mediation Toolkit that incorporates IMI’s Training Standards and Competency Criteria.
  3. Content and data from the Global Pound Conference Series, later Global Pound Conversation, was integrated into the main IMI website.  All GPC data and reports can now be found under ‘Research’ on the IMI site, with all blog posts, opinions, and expert interviews also available (remember to update your links!).
  4. New Qualifying Assessment Programs were launched in Turkey and in Kenya.

Personnel updates

  1. 2018 saw significant personnel changes, with long-time Executive Director Irena Vanenkova departing in January.  Laura Skillen joined as part-time Director of External Relations in March.  Angela Herberholz continues to run the Young Mediators’ Initiative on a voluntary basis, with former-GPC Editor Natasha Mellersh now news editor on the IMI website.  (Meet the IMI Team here.)
  2. At IMI’s annual face-to-face Board meeting in Paris in June, Wolf von Kumberg departed the IMI Board after 12 years, with Malik Dahlan also farewelled. Michael McIlwrath was elected Board Treasurer, and Karl Hennessee Board Secretary. IMI continues to consider new Board members with an eye to increasing diversity.

Updates for organisations

  1. All Qualifying Assessment Program profiles were overhauled, to simply search and upkeep
  2. A new ‘QAP Dashboard’ was developed to enable QAPs to more easily submit mediators and mediation advocates as newly-certified (available upon QAP login)
  3. Additional QAP branches were added to the ‘Find a Qualifying Assessment Program‘ tool on the IMI website
  4. The early phases of auditing QAPs has commenced

New for individuals

  1. All IMI profiles were re-created this year, from our Certified Mediators through to our Young Mediators.
  2. Searching via expertise was re-launched in November, with IMI Certified Mediators and Mediation Advocates able to select and display key areas of expertise on their profiles.
  3. A new online feedback form was created to enable mediation professionals to more easily collect feedback from conflict parties (you must log in to access this page)
  4. Certified Mediators were promoted as part of an IMI campaign on Google and via social media
  5. Payment of listing contributions was simplified through implementing automatically renewing subscriptions
  6. Contribution options were made available for US dollars and Pounds Sterling, as well as in Euro

Events and Collaborations

  1. IMI supported CDRC Vienna, sending a team of interns to document events and gather key learnings for distribution to the international community.
  2. IMI leant its support to NLIU-INADR’s International Law School Mediation Tournament in India, with participants submitting several blog pieces to IMI.
  3. IMI’s Online Dispute Resolution Task force members presented on ‘Standardising ODR Platforms and Practice‘ at the ODR Forum in New Zealand,
  4. YMI supported and was present at the ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition in February 2018.
  5. In March 2018, YMI, joined forces with IIADR (Indian Institute of Alternative Dispute Resolution)  and PACT  (Peacekeeping and Conflict Resolution Team) to deliver a two-day workshop for law students on “Basic Principles of Negotiation and Mediation” in Pune, India. 

The Young Mediators’ Initiative

Run on a voluntary basis, YMI is an important stepping stone in reaching excellence in mediation and kicking off a career in alternative dispute resolution.

  1. YMI joined forces with the International Academy of Mediators (IAM) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to begin developing a global mediation mentorship program for young mediators, and those just starting out.  Other organisations have since joined discussions, including Institut Français de Certification des Médiateurs, Instituto de Certificaçao e Formaçao de Mediadores Lusofonos and Singapore International Mediation Institute.  All involved parties are working on the program’s framework, and hope to kick it off in 2019.
  2. The new IMI website fostered revision of all YMI profiles, allowing its members to review their goals, and attracted new passionate mediators to join YMI.
  3. YMI’s social media community grew exponentially, especially on Facebook, triggering the need to entertain a new group on LinkedIn

Coming in 2019

  • Certification of organisations who deliver training programs including assessment will be opening in January 2019.  These programs will be known as ‘Certified Mediator Training Programs’ (CMTPs), and will be delivering training that meets the international standards established by IMI’s Training and Assessment Competency Task Force.
  • CMTPs will be searchable on the IMI website, so that those looking for training will be able to find their closest centre with mediator training that meets international standards.
  • People who become accredited via CMTPs will be eligible to be listed as ‘IMI Accredited Mediators’ on the IMI website—more news to come!
  • IMI’s International Standards Commission is being reformed into an Independent Advisory Committee and Expert Network, to more quickly leverage expert advice—more news to come!
  • Launch of online dispute resolution (ODR) certification for organisations in mid- to late-2019, following which, individuals will be able to certify with a specialisation in online dispute resolution.
  • Ongoing work with CEPEJ to embed mediator training standards in the European Union.
  • An audit program for IMI’s Qualifying Assessment Programs will be instituted, to ensure the maintenance and ongoing development of standards worldwide.

We encourage you to leave comments and suggestions below, and we look forward to working with you into 2019!

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