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Beyond Conflict

IMI QUALIFYING ASSESSMENT PROGRAM

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

 

Introduction & Background

The ‘nrm networkis a registered trading name of Beyond Conflict Ltd incorporated in Ireland. The ‘nrm networkis a community of both experienced, qualified mediators and also newly trained but inexperienced mediators. Our members come from the larger mediation practitioner community and from mediation training providers who operate throughout Ireland. The ‘nrm network’ transcends certifying ADR bodies providing a forum for collaboration and skills development across the country.

The ‘nrm networkspecialises in development of skills and the promotion of best practice, this is done through role play events run monthly throughout Ireland. Through case study evaluation evenings overseen and directed by longstanding practitioners, new mediators can glean knowledge and understanding of the process of mediation and especially the complexities involved in getting disputants to a point of moving from their positions and identifying each other’s needs. The Network provides on-going mentoring to newly trained or certified mediators. The Network has worked with and will continue to work with existing QAP’s. The network’s Chairman works in Ireland and across Europe promoting mediation, training professionals from both the corporate sector and NGO’s. The Network is coordinated and run by a team of IMI Certified Mediators who also hold national mediation certifications and recognised qualifications in Mentoring and Coaching.

The network was established in 2012 and achieved an active membership of over 300 within its first 6 months of activity. Beyond Conflict Ltd is an established mediation and conflict resolution practice which specialises in inter-cultural conflict resolution within organisations and the greater workplace. It’s CEO in addition to running Beyond Conflicts successful ADR practice develops, coordinates and delivers mediation training for some of Irelands leading training providers. His nationally and internationally certified training programs are delivered to a domestic, governmental and international audience.

The ‘nrm networkdoes not directly sell training programs into the marketplace. Rather it works in conjunction with leading ADR and Corporate training providers assisting them to develop training programmes for mediators. Mediators who have successfully completed training programmes that have been approved by the Beyond Conflict Ltd and have the relevant experience will be deemed able to apply to QAP as operated by the Beyond Conflict Ltd t/a nrm network.

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.

Beyond Conflict Ltd will require that successful application to the QAP leading to IMI certification only be granted to candidates that have satisfied the following criteria.

By way of completing a questionnaire each candidate must show that at the time of making an initial application to QAP they have mediated 6 disputes (either as a sole or a co-mediator), 2 of which must have been within the last six months. One of which must have been remunerated (i.e. not pro bono). Once this has been satisfied, a candidate can start the QAP process. Other information required on the initial questionnaire includes:

  •   Background and Experience of the candidate

  •   Total number of hours of mediation experience

  •   Total number of cases

  •   Type of mediations (e.g. Commercial, Workplace, Employment, Family, etc.)

  •   The length of the mediation in total (expressed in hours)

  •   Role the candidate played in the mediation

  •   Supporting evidence of evaluation and feedback for at least three cases

Although the above criteria being met will allow the mediator to begin the QAP application process, each candidate before completing QAP must commit to sign a self-declaration that they have completed 20 face-to-face mediation cases or 200 hours of mediation. This must be accompanied by a time and case log.

Our candidates should be registered with the ‘National Register of Mediators’ www.mediatorsireland.ie and have their profile uploaded. This profile will document their field of practice, experience and qualifications, certifications already achieved and a record of their CPD training over the past 12 months. Beyond Conflict Ltd holds that CPD is essential for a mediator to continue to develop their professional skills.  

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.

Beyond Conflict Ltd will use the following methodology and criteria to determine the candidate’s level of knowledge in relation to; mediation theory and practice.

To be eligible for IMI certification through our QAP a candidate must show 60 hours of formal mediation training. This training must be provided by an organisation on the current ‘nrm networkpre-approved training course list. The applicant should also already be listed as a YMI mediator. The level of understanding will be assessed in two ways:

Part One

The applicant must submit a 2500 word written self-analysis of their mediation abilities. This self-assessment must be written by the applicant and will outline how over 10 cases they applied mediation theory. The candidate will write from a three point perspective:

  1. What mediation theory and understanding did they use well,

  2. Based on their own post-review and feedback from the clients, what could they have done

    differently to improve their role in the mediation,

  3. What action has been taken to make needed improvements and with what results.

The candidate will need to show their understanding of mediation theory, recognise their skills and abilities, while being able to identify areas for development. The assessors should also get a clear understanding of the candidates style/approach to the process of mediation. This written assignment must be submitted three weeks prior to the skills assessment day. It will be graded using a marking structure as set out in the ‘Assessment Framework Document’.

Part Two

Assessment days will be held throughout the year and dates will be searchable on the ‘nrm networkwebsite. The assessment day will begin with all candidates being required to sit a 25 minute written test. This test will be made up of 5 multiple choice questions focusing on the process of mediation, followed by 5 open ended questions relating to mediation theory and knowledge as covered in the approved training programmes undertaken by the candidates prior to QAP application. This test will be graded as outlined in the ‘Assessment Framework Document’. 

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 completing the written test, each candidate will partake of a 60 minute mediation role play. This role play will be assessed in the room by an external assessor and later verified by a second assessor from the video recording of the same role play. Upon completion of the skills demonstration role play the mediator will be interviewed by the assessor (interview to last for 15 minutes).

The candidate must successfully meet the skills demonstration and interview criteria, gaining a minimum pass mark of 80% or higher. Both skills demonstration and interview are graded as outlined in the ‘Assessment Framework Document’.

The assessor will be testing the candidate’s skill level and process management ability. Test criteria needing to be met by the candidate includes:

  •   Ability to manage the process and tailor mediation approach and methodology to the context, using specific and relevant skills as the mediator

  •   Demonstrated use of appropriate interventions and reframing as required

  •   Ability to engage with participants and manage communication throughout the process

  •   Professionalism shown throughout

  •   Demonstrate good self-reflection abilities 

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.

Upon approval of this application by the ISC, the benchmarks and criteria will be published on the ‘nrm network’ website (www.nrm.ie) as well as its parent company Beyond Conflict Limited’s website (www.beyondconflict.ie).

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.

The ‘nrm network’ does not offer training; rather its purpose is to promote quality and best practices among industry professionals and trainee mediators. The network works in partnership with a range of mediation training providers and helps support their students gain experience and mentoring. The Network is a community of experienced and novice mediators working together. Beyond Conflict Ltd offers qualified and experienced assessors to training providers as independent contractors. Both assessors used by Beyond Conflict to assess candidates to the QAP will be independent from the candidates training provider and one will not be a direct employee of Beyond Conflict Ltd or the ‘nrm network’. The external assessors may at times be joined by the principal mediator at Beyond Conflict as part of our on-going monitoring and Quality Management Systems (QMS).

Each assessor used must have shown documented evidence of their mediation experience, certification, current affiliations and memberships to approved mediation organisations. Assessors should also have academic qualifications in educational assessments. Each assessor will be interviewed and approved by the principal of Beyond Conflict Ltd.

Assessors will grade the candidate’s application and assessment based on the criteria laid down in the ‘Assessment Framework Document'.  

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.

Beyond Conflicts ‘Assessment and Appeal Team’, headed by the CEO will monitor all assessors. Each assessor will undergo a minimum of 25 hours assessor training per year. Beyond Conflict Ltd welcomes input and monitoring from the IMI.  

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.

Barriers have been removed to allow any sufficiently experienced mediator to enrol in our QAP. Candidates can be trained by a pre-approved training course, or they can submit the details of their mediation education and training for it to be approved on a case-by-case basis. The ‘nrm network’ welcomes members from a cross-section of affiliations, certifications and other membership organisations. Our commitment is to the promotion of mediation regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation or other personal characterisation. 

 

 


Inter-Cultural QAP Logo (ICQAP) copy.jpg 

Beyond Conflict

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. 

Beyond Conflict Ltd will use two qualified and experienced mediators, one of which will be independent from the Beyond Conflict Ltd and its subsidiary ‘nrm network’ to assess candidate’s performance based assessments to make sure they meet the required criteria.

Each candidate will be required to complete an experience questionnaire and provide evidence that they have undergone at least 40 hours training in intercultural mediation, either from a pre-approved training provider's registered program or by supplying details of the curriculum and a copy of their certificate of attendance.

Once this is satisfied they will be assessed in three ways:

1. Written assignment

  • 3000 word assignment
  • Additional backup documentation in appendix format if required
  • Fully referenced
  • Containing a case study of an intercultural or cross-border mediation this mediator was involved in
  • The written assignment should contain a detailed outline of the case study and the parties involved. This will include a description of the setting, issues, the cultural background and the positions / interests / needs each party bring to the mediation
  • The candidate should provide a descriptive account of how they as the mediator applied theory and knowledge to overcome and counter the influencing factors and cultural considerations (CFAs). They should explain how they adapted to using appropriate interventions based of this, thus identify the (CFA’s) that impact a mediation. 

2. Skills Demonstration

  • The candidate will be required to mediate in a recorded role play scenario.
  • They will be assessed according to the prescribed marking criteria by an assessor in the room and a verifier (working from the video recording).
  •  The skills demonstration will be 60 minutes in duration
  • The case will be based on one of our intercultural role play case studies.

3. Self-reflection Pre Skills Demo & Post Demo write-up

  • Once the candidate receives the skills demo brief (45 minutes prior to the assessed skills demonstration), they will document possible cultural patterns and preferences they may face, drawing on their knowledge of specific cultural focus areas. They will also document a planned strategy to establish processes to facilitate communication
  • At the conclusion of the skills demonstration the candidate will write up a self-reflective analysis of the mediation.
  • They are to identify their own cultural influences and their positive effect on the mediation, how their cultural influences effect the way they interpreted the behaviours of others.
  • The candidate should also be able to analyse and identify any negative discordances when facing cultural differences and show how they have or plan to adapt strategies for re-establishing balance.
  • The candidate must achieve an 80% pass rate or higher to gain the IMI Inter-Cultural Certification.  

B. Transparency  

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

The program and criteria along with the requirements of the training curriculum to be covered will be published on the ‘nrm network’ website (www.nrm.ie) and the Beyond Conflict website (www.beyondconflict.ie

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. 

The ‘nrm network’ does not offer training; rather its purpose is to promote quality and best practices among industry professionals and trainee mediators. The network works in partnership with a range of mediation training providers and helps support their students gain experience and mentoring. The Network is a community of experienced and novice mediators working together. Beyond Conflict Ltd offers qualified and experienced assessors to training providers as independent contractors. Both assessors used by Beyond Conflict Ltd to assess candidates to the ICQAP will be independent from the candidates training provider and one will not be a direct employee of Beyond Conflict Ltd or the ‘nrm network’. The external assessors may at times be joined by the principal mediator at Beyond Conflict Ltd as part of our on-going monitoring and Quality Management Systems (QMS).

Each assessor used must have shown documented evidence of their Inter-Cultural mediation experience, certification, current affiliations and memberships to approved mediation organisations. Assessors should also have academic qualifications in educational assessments. Each assessor will be interviewed and approved by the principal of Beyond Conflict Ltd.

Assessors will grade the candidate’s application and assessment based on the criteria laid down in the ‘IC Assessment Framework Document’.

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. 

Barriers have been removed to allow any sufficiently experienced mediator to enrol in our QAP. Candidates can be trained by a pre-approved training course, or they can submit the details of their mediation education and training for it to be approved on a case-by-case basis. The nrm networkwelcomes members from a cross-section of affiliations, certifications and other membership organisations. Our commitment is to the promotion of mediation regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation or other personal characterisation. 

 

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. 

In the described 3000 word case study assignment the candidate will be expected to document a recognised cultural theory and show how this was seen in practice during the mediation. They must also show what knowledge and theory they applied in order to overcome the inter-cultural challenges faced. The candidate could show an understanding of how the similarities and differences in culture affected the mediation and how they adapted their style in an appropriate way to meet the needs of both cultures. 

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

The candidate must show an ability to understand how their own culture impacts the mediation process. To accurately show this the candidate should give a detailed description of their culture and describe where this can show through in the mediation and with what effect. 

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. 

Within the written assignment the candidate must clearly show a description of each parties culture. They should also show how the different cultural behaviours came through in interactions between the parties and the mediator, thus highlighting the different cultural focus areas that impacted this mediation being described.  

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. 

During the Skills demonstration role play the candidate should show their adaptability and heightened awareness when mediating. This will include being able to adjust their communication style to meet the needs of the parties styles. It should be clearly shown that they can overcome differences by carefully facilitating communication processes.  

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. 

The candidate will show how they have prepared for the assessed skills demonstration mediation scenario, showing how they plan to initiate and facilitate communication bearing in mind specific cultural focus areas. They will document their thought process in planning strategies to overcome possible challenges they will face due to cultural differences. 

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. 

During the assessed skills demonstration the candidates must show their ability to manage the mediation process while taking into account cultural focus areas. They must show that they can adapt the process and design appropriate interventions to keep the process moving forward. 

 

QAP Approved 2013
ICQAP Approved 2013 


To contact Beyond Conflict in regards to becoming IMI Certified, email Andrew Gibson at: andrew@beyondconflict.ie

The ICQAP program and the criteria are published on the Beyond Conflict website at:  www.beyondconflict.ie 

 

 

 

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