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    BRDGES Academy

IMI QUALIFYING ASSESSMENT PROGRAM

(To view the BRDGES Inter-Cultural Qualifying Assessment Program, click here)

 

Introduction

BRDGES Academy is the first e-learning academic platform of its kind in the globalization of education and discourse for mediators, conflict resolution practitioners, peace-builders and all those who support those practices. BRDGES’ cutting-edge certifications and courses offer global approaches to learning core advanced competencies essential for effective inter and intra-cultural mediation and conflict resolution practices.  In the 21st century, mediators, peace-builder, lawyers and other dispute resolution practitioners are increasingly required to interact and operate across continents and cultures. BRDGES Academy was created to meet this demand.

 

1. Mediator Experience

The Qualifying Assessment Program (QAP) must include a methodology for ensuring that Applicants have demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Program's Assessors a substantial level of experience as a mediator. The QAP must include clearly identified criteria on this requirement.

Please kindly see the substantial level of experience and training criteria below:

The Application. Each Applicant will complete a notarized Application, which application shall include (the Application Form will be provided):

  1. Proof that the Applicant has mediated 20 cases, within the last three (3)  years. The number of cases mediated may be discretionary based upon: (i) the history of the use of mediation in the Applicant's resident country; and, (ii) the enactment and use of a National Mediation Law regulating the use of mediation;
  2. Or, in the alternative, the Applicant may demonstrate 200 provable hours in active mediations within the last three (3) years by listing the style and name of the mediation and Court Case number (if applicable) The number of hours of hours of mediation may be discretionary based upon: (i) the history of the use of mediation in the Applicant's resident country; and, (ii) the enactment and use of a National Mediation Law regulating the use of mediation;
  3. Attached to the application shall be two (2) Professional Letters of Reference describing the Applicant's reputation for fairness, transparency and ethical conduct;
  4. Attached to the Application, the Applicant shall include a minimum of 15  (fifteen) Feedback Forms using the IMI Feedback Form format for the mediations conducted in No. 1 above.

The President and her team will carefully screen all applications and work with applicants personally to resolve questions and identify corrections before final processing.

2. Mediation Knowledge

The QAP must include a methodology for determining that Applicants have demonstrated a strong understanding of general mediation theory and practice which may be based on written tests, essays, reports, theses interviews and/or other testing platforms.

As the mediation profession is gaining stature worldwide, many governments, or, in the US, many states are creating mediation certification standards. Following the creation of national mediation, laws, many Ministry of Justices or other similar governmental organizations are maintaining the accuracy and implementation of standards for certifying their  mediators. The BRDGES Academy, as  an international mediation training facility, will conduct international training on a universally compatible e-learning platform. Therefore, the BRDGES Academy, wishes to honor and integrate - wherever possible - with a country's recognized certification standards for its mediators. Therefore, Mediation Knowledge includes alternatives.

Methodology for Determining Applicants have a strong understanding of general mediation theory and practice:

(1) For Candidates possessing an active Certificate:

  1. Proof of a valid certificate issued by  (i) the state or country of residence, OR
  2. Proof of a listing from a Ministry of Justice or state entity as being certified by that jurisdiction; AND
  3. Additional advanced mediation training of 20 hours; AND,
  4. A Self-Statement explaining the Applicant's understanding of (i) the mediation theory by which he or she practices and (ii) his or her own mediation philosophy. Using the AAA Mediation Skills Evaluation Form, the Form will be adapted by the BRDGES Academy to include Emotional Intelligence questions.

(2) In the ALTERNATIVE:

  1. Proof of a  minimum of 40 hours of Basic Mediation Training by a training organization certified to train in mediation, which training includes the participant conducting a simulated mediation and ; AND,
  2. Proof of Continuing Mediation Education ("CME") or continuing Professional Development ("CPD") of 16 hours of advanced mediation training every two years after receipt of Basic Mediation Training
  3. Additional advanced mediation training of 20 hours; AND,
  4. A Self-Statement (Form Attached) by the Applicant's explaining: (i) the mediation theory by which he or she generally practices and (ii) his or her own mediation philosophy.

3. Mediator Skills

The QAP must include a methodology for the evaluation of candidates' performance in terms of the occurrence and effectiveness of mediation process and mediation techniques, against high competency benchmarks. The Evaluations/Assessments may be based on roleplay or live action assessments, and may include videotaped and online assessments such as web dramas, self-assessments, interviews, peer reviews, user feedback and other in-practice skill evaluations.

After submission and review of the Application to ensure all of the criteria are met, Applicant will be asked to perform an online 2-3 hour Mediation Simulation, acting as the mediator. The "Role-play Submission" is an integral part of the application process. 

The Role-play Submission:

  1. To the extent possible, other Applicants may observe the Role-play mediation.
  2. The Applicant (who is the Role-play mediator), the Role-play parties and any observers will complete evaluation reviews using the Cole Academy Mediation Skills Evaluation Form. 

Role-play Assessment:

The online Role-play will be video-taped, unless the Applicant requests otherwise.

A minimum of two (2) Assessors will review the Role-play as it occurs on line or in the video of the Role-play afterwards.  Assessors may play one or more of the parties in the simulation.

Using the BRDGES Academy Assessment Form, each Assessor will complete his or her evaluation of the Role-play.

Please note, that at least one (1) or more of the Assessors will not be associated with the BRDGES Academy, but will be independent.
 

4. Program Transparency

The benchmarks and criteria applied by the QAP must be published and be openly accessible on the organization's website. Details of all approved programs will be listed on the IMI web portal www.IMImediation.org and will include a direct link to the credentialing organizations' websites.

The BRDGES Academy for International Mediation Training has been in operation for five (5) years and is accredited by the Florida Supreme Court, the first fully regulated mediation program in the United States.  As such, the BRDGES Academy has been offering CME (or CPD) courses to mediators for CME credits to over 6000 certified mediators in the State of Florida.

The President of the BRDGES Academy is Lynn Cole, also a certified IMI mediator.

The BRDGES Academy has its own website at www.brdgesacademy.com. Linked to the BRDGES Academy is www.LynnCole.com where one can find Ms. Cole's full CV.

The General IMI QAP and all of its requirements will be posted on both Websites with cross links to IMI QAP specific pages.

 

5. Program Integrity

Each Assessor must have substantial experience of assessing the performance of mediators. At least one of the Assessors on each Program must be independent of the QAP.

What criteria are applied in appointing your QAP's Assessors?

Assessor Qualifications. The BRDGES Academy will develop standards and criteria for selection of professionals to hold positions of Assessors with the Academy. Mediation professionals with advanced training and international experience will be solicited as Assessors. For example, other experience mediation professionals, academicians and researchers may be asked to become BRDGES Academy assessors if they meet the developed standards and criteria.

Are the QAP's Assessors, or any of them, required to be independent of (a) your organization and (b) the training Faculty?

Yes. In the assessment of any application or Role-play, at least one (1) of a team of  two (2) assessors or two (2) of a team of three (3) assessors are required to be independent of the BRDGES Academy. 

The President will be responsible for ensuring the selection of Academy Assessors who meet this independence standard, as well as qualification and competency standards.

6. Ongoing Monitoring of Programs

The QAP must include a process for the ongoing monitoring of the performance and practice of the Assessors. IMI will liaise closely with all recognised program organizers to maintain a sustainable quality control system. 

Assessor Monitoring. The BRDGES Academy is reaching out to two other organizations, ACR and MBB, organizations for which Lynn Cole has served in elected capacities, to develop a co-monitoring of Assessors program.

In the Interim, Ms. Cole, as President, and the BRDGES Academy Team will conscientiously observe performances of Assessor's duties and roles and often review actual Assessor's work in real time.

Assessor Training. There will be an initial start-up training for all Assessors to understand their duties and responsibilities and to use training online.

Assessors will meet as a group quarterly to review and discuss how the system can be improved. A policy of assessor collaboration for dialogue and improvements will be established.

All Assessors will be required to enrol in and complete the BRDGES Academy Intercultural Courses for 16 credits. (See Inter-Cultural QAP).

All Assessors will be expected to maintain regular CME/CPD credits of a minimum of 16 hours every two years.

Assessor Complaint Process. BRDGES Academy considers transparency and issue-related dialogue to be of the utmost importance in maintaining the integrity of the IMI QAP process. At times, Assessor(s) and an applicant may disagree. If and when that happens, a complaint panel consisting of two assessors not involved in the issue will address the issue. and consult with the disputing parties to reach a resolution.

7. Commitment to Diversity

The QAP must be accessible on an equal basis to experienced mediators regardless of their professional affiliations, gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation or other personal characterization.

The BRDGES Academy is wholly female owned. In addition, the BRDGES Academy Team currently is comprised of a Greek female who reads and writes in four (4) languages and lives in Istanbul; a second generation Lebanese male law student; and, an experienced female mediator who trains in emotional intelligence. Lynn Cole is committed to diversity in both her personal and professional life.

 


  

 

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BRDGES Academy

IMI INTER-CULTURAL QUALIFYING ASSESSMENT PROGRAM (ICQAP)

 

I. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

Any ICQAP must meet the following general criteria in order to be able to qualify mediators for IMI Inter-Cultural Certification

A. Methodology

All ICQAPs must implement a performance-based assessment methodology for assessing whether each candidate’s performance meets each of the Substantive Criteria in Section II below. 

 

First Stage.

 Each Candidate must submit a training/experience questionnaire providing evidence that:

1) Intercultural Training The candidate has completed at least 20 hours of training in intercultural mediation, a certificate of completion from a pre-approved training provider's registered program or by submitting curricula syllabi from courses completed;

2) Online simulation/role-play Each candidate shall complete a 2-3 hour online simulation/role-play of an international mediation. Mediation fact patterns will be drawn from ICC published actual international cases. Each role play will be recorded.

  1. At least one week prior to the mediation simulation, each candidate shall prepare a written mediation strategy on how to manage the mediation process, which shall include identification of cultural patterns and preferences, if any, and design of appropriate processes and potential interventions. This Mediation Strategy shall be provided to the Assessors prior to the Role-play.
  2. The Mediation Role-play or simulation shall be observed and assessed. There shall be two Assessors who shall have substantial experience evaluating performance of mediators. At least one of the Assessors shall be independent of the ICQAP Training faculty and preferably a member from IMI. The second Assessor shall be a member of BRDGES Academy's international faculty. The Assessment shall be a written, performance-based assessment which measures knowledge, self-awareness, applicable multi-cultural perspectives, and communication skills. Each Assessor shall score the Assessment.

 

Second Stage.

3) Evaluations. Each party to the mediation shall complete a written assessment similar to that of the Assessor.  After observing the Mediation Role-Play video, the Mediator shall complete a written Self-Assessment which shall address:

  • Did he or she follow the Mediation Strategy, and if not, why not;
  • Challenges he or she experienced and how he or she addressed them;
  • Special issues and opportunities connected with the experience;
  • Use of cultural theory in the Role-play, if any;
  • How did one's own culturally-shaped perspectives or behavior affect the parties' interactions;
  • Recognition one's culturally shaped perspectives and interactions during the Role-play and how they impacted the mediation;
  • Identification of communication differences, and how such were facilitated 

4) Oral Interview and Evaluation. The ICQAP Candidate shall meet with the two Assessors, who prior to the meeting shall have reviewed all of the assessments, including the Mediator's Self-Assessment; the Parties' Assessments and the both Assessor's Reviews. Discussion will focus on areas for improvement, if any. 

5) The ICQAP candidate must receive positive evaluations from both Assessors in order to receive the recommended ICQAP.

 

B. Transparency  

The benchmarks and criteria applied by an ICQAP must be published and be openly accessible on the organization’s website.

The BRDGES Academy, with its predecessor organization of the Cole Academy for International Mediation Training, has been in operation for six (6) years and is approved to be listed as a Continuing Mediation Education Provider ("CME") by the Florida Supreme Court, the first fully regulated mediation certification program in the United States.  As such, the BRDGES Academy has been offering CME (or CPD) courses to mediators for CME credits to over 6000 certified mediators in the State of Florida.

The President of the BRDGES Academy is Lynn Cole, also a certified IMI mediator and Past President and Chair of the Board of Mediators Beyond Borders, International.

The BRDGES Academy has its own website at www.BRDGESAcademy.com. Linked to the BRDGES Academy is www.LynnCole..com where one can find Ms. Cole's full CV.

  

C. Integrity

Each Assessor must have substantial experience of evaluating the performance of mediators and in working in inter-cultural situations. At least one of the Assessors on each Program must be independent of the ICQAP training faculty for Inter-Cultural Certification. 

Assessor Qualifications and Monitoring. The BRDGES Academy will develop standards and criteria for selection of professionals to hold positions of Assessors with the Academy. Mediation professionals with advanced training and international experience will be solicited as Assessors. For example, other experience mediation professionals, academicians and researchers may be asked to become BRDGES Academy assessors if they meet the developed standards and criteria.

In the assessment of any application or Role-play, at least one (1) of a team of  two (2) assessors or two (2) of a team of three (3) assessors are required to be independent of the BRDGES Academy. 

The President will be responsible for ensuring the selection of Academy Assessors who meet this independence standard, as well as qualification and competency standards.

The BRDGES Academy is reaching out to two other organizations, ACR and MBB, organizations for which Lynn BRDGES has served in elected capacities, to develop a co-monitoring of Assessors program. 

The BRDGES Academy will develop standards and criteria for selection of professionals to hold positions of Assessors with the Academy. Mediation professionals with advanced training and international experience will be solicited as Assessors. For example, other experience mediation professionals, academicians and researchers may be asked to become BRDGES Academy assessors if they meet the developed standards and criteria.

Yes. In the assessment of any assignment in the courses  or in the Final Role-play, at least one (1) of a team of  two (2) assessors or two (2) of a team of three (3) assessors are required to be independent of the BRDGES Academy. 

The assessors need to sign an integrity declaration for each assignment stating:

“To the best of my knowledge, this mediator has been assessed in line with my professional integrity, according to the ACB standards and requirements for professional assessments and on an equal base (independent of personal preferences, a specific mediation style or approach, training, or training institutes, professional affiliation, region, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or other personal characterizations or affiliations). I hereby attest that all marks were placed independently and to the best of my ability. Also I ascertain confidentiality of and privacy for the documents, information gathered as part of this assessment as well as the video materials."

The President will be responsible for ensuring the selection of Academy Assessors who meet the Academy's independence standard, as well as qualification and competency standards.

Assessor Monitoring. The BRDGES Academy is reaching out to two other international mediation and conflict resolution to develop a co-monitoring of the Assessors program.

Assessor Training. There will be an initial start-up training for all Assessors to understand their duties and responsibilities and to use training online.

Assessors will meet as a group quarterly to review and discuss how the system can be improved. A policy of assessor collaboration for dialogue and improvements will be established.

All Assessors will be required to enroll in and complete the BRDGES Academy Intercultural Courses for 20 credits.. All Assessors will be expected to maintain regular CME/CPD credits of a minimum of 16 hours every two years. 

Assessor Complaint Process. BRDGES Academy considers transparency and issue-related dialogue to be of the utmost importance in maintaining the integrity of the IMI QAP process.  At times, Assessor(s) and an applicant may disagree. If and when that happens, a  complaint panel consisting of two assessors not involved in the issue will address the issue. and consult with the disputing parties to reach a resolution.

  

D. Diversity

The ICQAP must be accessible on an equal basis to experienced mediators regardless of their professional affiliations, gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation or other personal characterization. This should be clearly stated on each ICQAP’s website. 

 

The BRDGES Academy is wholly female owned. In addition, the BRDGES Academy Team currently is comprised of a German female who reads and writes in three (3) languages and lives in Munich, German; a second generation Lebanese male law student; Lynn Cole, an experienced female mediator  trains in emotional intelligence. The faculty at BRDGES is international and diverse ethnically and religiously. Lynn COLE is committed to diversity in both her personal and professional life.

BRDGES  also believes in corporate social responsibility, "CSR," and is committed to acting as a Global Corporate Citizen.  We are incurring short-term costs that do not provide an immediate financial benefit to the company, but instead promote a positive social mission of improving intercultural communications to foster peace. We make it our practice to offer full scholarships to men and women from around the globe.

 

II. SUBSTANTIVE CRITERIA

Any training program that offers IMI Inter-Cultural Certification must meet these minimum substantive criteria when teaching mediators inter-cultural elements: 

A. Knowledge

1. Cultural Framework(s): Ability to apply at least one recognized cultural theory in order to identify relevant Cultural Focus Areas for facilitating inter-cultural mediations (See Appendix 1). The theory and approach shall include an appreciation of similarities and differences among cultures.  

2. Self-awareness. Ability to recognize one’s own cultural influences and their possible effect on the mediation.

3. Multi-Cultural Perspectives: Ability to recognize each participant’s culturally-shaped perspectives of behaviors or events. Ability to understand and appreciate participants’ similar and different cultural perspectives, and possible imbalances between them. Ability to manage ambiguities and mistakes that may emerge in multi-cultural situations. Ability to use the mediator’s understandings of these possible differences and similarities to create a workable environment for all participants, including one that optimizes communication among them. 

 

B. Skills

4. Communication: Ability to adjust one’s own communication style to the preferred styles of participants from other cultures, and to help participants communicate optimally with each other, including establishing suitable processes to facilitate communications. 

5. Preparation: Ability to prepare for a mediation by identifying possible cultural patterns and preferences (e.g., identifying specific Cultural Focus Areas for each mediation) and designing potentially appropriate processes and possible interventions. 

6. Managing the Process. Ability to detect whether, when and how cultural considerations (e.g. Cultural Focus Areas) may be impacting on the mediation process as the mediation progresses including abilities to adapt the process accordingly and design appropriate interventions, that also encompass any settlement and compliance phases. 

 


  

General Information

Full legal name: The BRDGES Academy, d/b/a Law Offices of Lynn Cole, P.A.

Year organization formed and laws of the country: The Law Offices of Lynn Cole is a corporation organized under the laws of Florida and registered in the State of Florida to perform law related work since 1995.

Address of organization’s primary office:

301 West Platt Street
Ste 409
Tampa
FL 33606

Details of contact person:

Lynn Cole, President of Law Offices of Lynn Cole, P.A. and President and CEO of BRDGES Academy.
Email: lhc@BRDGESAcademy.com


tel.: +01-813-223-7009

Website: http://lynncole.com/adr/www.BRDGESAcademy.com

 

QAP and Approved 2015
ICQAP Approved 2016

To contact BRDGES Academy in regards to becoming IMI Certified, click here

The QAP is published on the BRDGES Academy website at: http://www.brdgesacademy.com/

 

 

 

 

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