An essential part of IMI’s quality management system is the audit process that regularly reappraises all existing IMI-recognised programs. This includes IMI Certified Mediator Training Programs (CMTPs) and Qualifying Assessment Programs (QAPs), including MAQAPs for Mediation Advocacy, ICQAPs for Intercultural QAPs, and ODRQAPs for Online Mediation.
Organisations with IMI-recognised programs must resubmit their program every two years, for re-appraisal. The due date for program submission is either June 30 or December 31, as advised by IMI. The intention of the audit is to ensure that organisations’ programs have not changed and continue to reach IMI’s independent quality standards.
What does the audit process involve?
The audit process is similar to that for original appraisal. Programs are firstly checked by IMI Support, to ensure that the forms are correctly and completely filled out. If the program appears to meet IMI criteria, there have been no complaints, and the program’s quality has not been reduced, then one appraiser is appointed (two in case of CMTPs). After that appraiser has approved the updated program, it goes to the Appraisal Committee Chair for sign-off (not applicable in case of CMTPs). IMI Support will then update the program’s documents on the IMI website and notify the organisation that their program continues to be recognised by IMI.
Particular attention is paid to:
- The detail and quality associated with the program
- Diversity and linguistic/geographic reach
- How conflicts of interest are identified and managed
- The process of how assessors are appointed
- How privacy is managed in light of GDPR and similar legislation
- That those being Certified meet the bare minimum requirement of 200 hours’/20 mediations complete (QAPs)
- The inclusion of the IMI-approved program on the organisation’s website
- That the organisation is submitting at least one new IMI mediator under their program (CMTP, QAP etc) per year
- That no credible negative feedback surrounding the quality of the program has been received in the past year (negative feedback is assessed by the Appraisal Committee).
What if a program fails audit?
Programs that fail or do not participate in the audit are de-listed on the IMI website, and affected organisations are no longer entitled to use the IMI name or logo/s in conjunction with their programs.
Should an organisation wish to resubmit their program after removal, they are welcome to submit a new application, no less than six months after their program was de-recognised. This is associated with the same application fee as for a new application (i.e. 450EUR at the full rate).
How do I submit our program for audit?
If you originally submitted your IMI program application online, then find the email with the link to your application, then edit and resubmit the form.
If your application preceded the online process, then you will need to do the following:
- Locate your approved program documents (if you don’t have them to hand, you can download them via IMI’s the ‘Find a Program’ page www.imimediation.org/find-program).
- Follow the link to the QAP/CMTP (etc) application form under the ‘Organisations’ menu on the IMI website
- Copy-paste your old data across to the online form, and if there have been changes to your program, update the program information.
It is possible to start completing the form and then finish it later; simply make sure you skip to the last page of the form and select ‘save’ then submit. You will receive an email with your answers to date, and a link to continue editing the form.
Once you have submitted your updated program for auditing, it will be reviewed by the relevant Appraisal Committee. Where there are no or limited changes, this should not be a lengthy process, and your program will remain online in the interim.
As of 2020, there is a flat rate of 150EUR associated with IMI’s administrative costs during the audit process. This fee should be paid at the time of program submission. Organisations that do not collect any fees in association with delivery of their program are exempt from this cost.