Applying the criteria

IMI, through its international independent committees and taskforces, has created a set of competency criteria and standards that may be used by organisations all over the world. This page gives some guidance as to some of the ways in which they can be used by organisations to ensure their mediation training and assessment meets international best practice guidelines.

What criteria are there?

As of 2021, IMI has developed criteria for:

  • Assessment of experienced mediators
  • Assessment of experienced mediation advocates
  • Mediation training programs
  • Trainers, coaches, and assessors
  • Online mediation
  • Intercultural mediation
  • Investor-state mediators

We invite you to read through the competency criteria. They are linked in the main menu, and may also be found on individual taskforce pages.

You will also find a Code of Conduct and Professional Conduct Assessment process linked in the menu, that many organisations and countries use as the basis of their own codes. Learn more about the Ethics Committee here.

Qualification, Certification, and Specialisation

Several of the above criteria have been turned into IMI pathways. There is both a ‘vertical’ Certification pathway, indicating a person’s growth in their mediation career from newly-trained to highly-experienced, and ‘horizontal’ Specialisation, as areas that mediators may wish to specialise in.

The ‘vertical’ Certification pathway:

  • Mediators who have completed quality initial training only via an IMI-recognised program are known as IMI Qualified Mediators.
  • Mediators who are highly-experienced and have had their high level of skills and knowledge assessed against IMI benchmarks are known as IMI Certified Mediators. A similar Certification pathway exists for mediation advocates.


  • Mediators who have finished initial training, plus completed a minimum amount of online mediation can have their skills assessed as an IMI Online Mediation Specialist.
  • Mediators who have finished initial training, plus completed a minimum amount of intercultural mediation can have their skills assessed as IMI Intercultural Mediators.

Using criteria to develop your programs

We invite you to use the IMI competency criteria when developing your training and assessment programs, to ensure programs meet international standards. For example, bar associations in a country may wish to use the IMI mediation advocacy criteria to ensure lawyers can fulfil this function to a high standard. Training organisations may wish to use multiple sets of criteria. For example, a basic mediator skills training course should meet the criteria for training programs, and all trainers should meet the criteria for ‘trainers, coaches, and assessors’. A course specific to online mediation should meet all the criteria and inclusions set out in the online mediation standards, and an intercultural training course can likewise leverage the intercultural competence criteria to ensure all bases are covered.

Having your programs assessed for IMI recognition

Organisations can also gain international recognition for their programs with IMI. Programs should meet the criteria set out by IMI, and can be submitted using the application forms linked in the main menu. As a general guide, QAPs (Qualifying Assessment Programs) assess experienced mediators, while CMTPs (Certified Mediator Training Programs) deliver initial training.

As of 2021, IMI recognises:

  • QAPS that assess experienced mediators (IMI Certified Mediators)
  • MAQAPs that assess experienced mediation advocates (IMI Certified Mediation Advocates)
  • CMTPs that deliver quality initial training (IMI Qualified Mediators)
  • ODRQAPs that assess experienced online mediators (IMI Online Mediation Specialists)
  • ICQAPs that assess experienced intercultural mediators (IMI Intercultural Mediation Specialists)

Occasionally, organisations submit combined programs. For example, an ODR program that both trains people in missing knowledge, and later on assesses their skills once that person has gained the requisite experience.

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