IMI have received queries from mediation training providers, asking:
- whether online-only programs will be recognised by IMI as ‘Certified Mediator Training Programs’ (CMTPs)
- whether training delivered via existing CMTPs, out of necessity being conducted online, can be recognised as meeting IMI’s standards during the pandemic
IMI have not developed criteria for the recognition of online-only training. The training criteria are for the assessment of training delivered at least partially face-to-face, with the understanding that IMI Qualified Mediators will be conducting mediation face-to-face. The upcoming IMI Online Mediation Specialisation, for mediations conducted online, is only for those mediators who are already experienced at conducting mediations online, and is aimed at recognising that existing skill set.
However, we also recognise that we do not know how long this crisis will last, and IMI wish to support our mediators and the organisations with which we are associated. To that end, IMI’s Training and Competency Assessment Taskforce have convened to come up with the following flexible solutions:
- Organisations that have existing Certified Mediator Training Programs will be permitted to deliver that training online, given that they both (a) submit a methodology document indicating how they will ensure they are delivering the same program to the same standards, identifying challenges and how they will be overcome; (b) offer a face-to-face role-play component to be undertaken in future once it becomes possible. People successfully completing these programs will still be known as ‘IMI Qualified Mediators’ and will not be disadvantaged due to the pandemic.
- IMI invites training providers who are making the move online during this period, whether they have recognised CMTPs or not, to provide feedback on protocols and lessons learned. IMI will aim to synthesise these learnings into a document for general use.
- IMI invites mediators who have taken training online to provide their feedback as to what they generally find good or not-so-good about it, and how they feel it has prepared them to conduct mediations online and face-to-face.
- Later this year, IMI will convene training providers, including providers of training that is online-only, to further understand differences between face-to-face, mixed delivery, and online-only training.
- Based on the above learnings and discussions, IMI will discuss whether it is appropriate to accept online-only training in general as meeting the standards required of IMI Certified Mediator Training Programs, and/or if other solutions are appropriate.
- Organisations submitting CMTP applications during this time will be assessed as usual; should the program be accepted as meeting IMI standards and the crisis is ongoing, then at that point the training provider will be asked to provide the methodology document and face-to-face amendments as described in (1) above.
- These provisions will apply until announced otherwise, given it is not possible to be know when normal face-to-face operations will be able to recommence.
Above all, we wish you best of health in this time.