IMI Certification is available to any experienced mediator who gains a certificate from a Qualifying Assessment Program (QAP) as a result of a performance-based assessment approved by the IMI Appraisal Committee.  QAP applications may be completed online.

(For criteria and guidance in relation to mediation advocate/advisor QAPs, for certifying IMI Mediation Advocates, please see here)

Criteria

The following are key requirements for a QAP to be approved. Further guidance is given in the next section.

1. Mediator Experience

The 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.  Mediators without 200 hours or 20 mediations are unlikely to be sufficiently experienced.

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.

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. Because of the wide variety of mediation processes and styles, and to allow for innovation and creativity in the field, Program criteria will vary and consequently the ISC is not establishing fixed 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.

4. Program Transparency

The benchmarks and criteria applied by 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.

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.

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.

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.

Guidance

The purpose of the appraisal procedure is to ensure all IMI Certified Mediators assessed by QAPs share a minimum high standard of mediation experience, knowledge and skills. This means that IMI Certified Mediators are of consistent quality across jurisdictions, and IMI Certification gains credibility and meaning for users.

This guidance are designed to assist organisations in preparing their applications, and reflects common queries from applicants. It is best viewed on desktop (i.e. not on a phone).

ItemGuidance
Mediator experienceYour 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.
Explain how you establish that applicants are highly experienced, and how you verify that experience. For example, through use of logbooks, court records and so on. Specify exactly what level of experience is required to be eligible for your program.
Mediation knowledgeYour 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. You should make sure you include what type of content is assessed.
Mediator skillsYour 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. You should include the ‘competency framework’ that helps you assess mediators, setting out the skills and knowledge assessed, how each item is assessed, and what ‘score’ is applied for each item.
Program transparencyThe benchmarks and criteria applied by your 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.
Give the link to your website where the program you are submitting for appraisal is displayed, and if it is not yet online, explain when it will be. Note that the IMI logo and references to IMI recognition should be included alongside the program on your website.
Program integrityEach Assessor must have substantial experience of assessing the performance of mediators. At least one of the Assessors on each Program must be independent of your organisation. What criteria are applied in appointing your QAP’s Assessors?
Are the QAP’s Assessors, or any of them, required to be independent of (a) your organisation and (b) the training Faculty? How is independence determined?
Ongoing monitoringYour 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 organisers to maintain a sustainable quality control system. (See also here.)
Explain how the performance of your QAP’s Assessors are/will be monitored to ensure a consistent application of high quality standards. Confirm your agreement to provide all necessary information and accept monitoring from IMI.
Commitment to diversityExplain how your QAP is made available/promoted on an equal basis to all experienced mediators regardless of their professional affiliations, gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation or other personal characterisation. Indicate any specific diversity or inclusion measures undertaken by your organisation.
Clarify your passing criteriaBe very specific about how applicants pass or fail your assessment. This should include any assessment details not already covered above, as well as indications of passing or failing grades. We recommend you attach example exams, questionnaires, and assessment sheets to your application.
Steps taken should a participant failOutline what happens if an applicant fails. Be specific about any components they may re-sit, and any applicable time delays. How many times may they re-attempt?
Privacy policyYou are asked to provide a link to or upload your privacy policy. Make sure this includes how participant data is processed and protected, with particular reference to GDPR (participants in the EU) and CCA (participants in California) as applicable.
Additional comments regarding applicationInclude any additional information. This may include a general description of other programs offered by your organisation and how long they have been running in their current form, and any mediation training or assessment programs designed for experienced mediators.

Notes

Organisations with approved QAPs are able to qualify mediators for IMI Certification. They should submit new eligible assessed mediators via the form on the IMI website. This form is only accessible by organisations with QAPs.

Organisations with QAPs may act as ‘Reviewers’ for mediators and advocates. Reviewers prepare a summary of user feedback known as a ‘Feedback Digest’ for IMI Certified Mediator/Advocate profiles.

Mediators become ‘IMI Certified’ only when their profile is filled out, has a current Feedback Digest, and payment of the annual contribution (or waiver) is received. IMI is then able to clear the profile for inclusion in the IMI ‘Find a Mediator’ database, which is publicly viewable.  From that moment and for as long as they retain their Certification, mediators may use the IMI Certified Mediator logo.

Organisations with QAPs may use the IMI Qualifying Assessment Program logo when marketing their assessment program.

Note that organisations’ specific programs are recognised, and that IMI’s recognition of those programs does not constitute endorsement of that organisation’s other activities.