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COLOMBIA UNIVERSITY

IMI QUALIFYING ASSESSMENT PROGRAM

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

 

Introduction & Background

Columbia University’s Master’s Program in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, which can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis, combines theory, applied research and practice to prepare professionals to develop practical models for negotiating and third party intervention to resolve disputes among parties with differing objectives and desires. This graduate program is part of a rich history of conflict resolution at Columbia University that began when Morton Deutsch founded the first center for conflict resolution in the mid 1980s.

The graduate program’s philosophy is grounded in a commitment to interactive, dialogue-based methods of managing and resolving conflict. The focus is on building common ground, engaging in dialogue, applying practical skills, forging relationships, valuing different cultural orientations and taking a systemic view.

The courses on mediation offered in the Master’s Program share the following learning objectives:

  • Understand the basics of negotiation with a focus on interest-based negotiation, and the connection between negotiation and mediation.
  • Appreciate the core values and philosophies that underpin the prevalent styles of mediation.
  • Understand theories and concepts from multiple disciplines that provide a variety of perspectives to inform your understanding of the styles and dynamics of mediation.
  • Gain insight into your own relationship to conflict as a conflict-intervener, your role in assisting parties in conflict, and strategies and tactics to align your behavior with your intent as a mediator.
  • Apply a variety of mediation principles characteristic of the practice of the facilitative and transformative styles of mediation.
  • Develop communication skills used in mediation, such as probing, paraphrasing and reframing, and understand why these skills are essential for an effective mediation.
  • Identify the cultural influences that impact mediation and the link between the cultural competence of the mediator and the parties in conflict, on the one hand, and mediation outcomes, on the other.
  • Identify the role emotions play in influencing mediations, and strategies and tactics that can be used to increase emotional intelligence.
  • Understand the various environments in which mediation may be employed and how the environments may impact the style and practice of mediation.
  • Use mediation concepts and skills you can apply to coach the parties in conflict during mediation.
  • Appreciate the ethical considerations in mediation. 
  • Identify potential opportunities for using your mediation knowledge and skills in your personal and professional lives.

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.

To be qualified for IMI Certification by the Columbia University QAP, Applicants shall demonstrate a substantial level of experience as a mediator by having mediated a minimum of 20 disputes or 200 hours of mediation within a five-year period. In support of their applications, Applicants shall submit a mediation log setting forth the total number of cases mediated and the total number of hours spent mediating such cases. In addition, the mediation log shall also document the following information with respect to all of the mediations listed:

  • date of the mediation
  • type of mediation (e.g., community, commercial, workplace, employment, family, etc.) forum (e.g., court-annexed, community center, ADR provider, other)
  • length of the mediation
  • whether dispute was co-mediated
  • number of participants (excluding mediator/co-mediator)
  • whether parties were represented by counsel
  • outcome of the mediation
  • supporting evidence of evaluation and feedback for at least ten cases

The mediation log will be a record that will enable Applicants to prepare the self-assessment described in Mediation Knowledge in Section 2 below.

 

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.

Columbia University will use the following methodology and criteria to determine the Applicant’s level of knowledge in relation to general mediation theory and practice.

To be qualified for IMI Certification through our QAP, Applicants must have successfully completed 6 credits or 60 hours in two courses offered on mediation at Columbia University: 

K4107 Introduction to Mediation or an equivalent accepted course, and K4208 Advanced Mediation Apprenticeship. Their level of understanding will be assessed in K4208 Advanced Mediation Apprenticeship. Applicants will be required to receive a grade of “B” or higher in this course. In the case of Applicants receiving their mediation training at a different institution, we will use the following guidelines to assess their competencies. Approved Training Programs must be able to demonstrate a Satisfactory rating in Core Knowledge and Skills*; and an Adequate rating in Beginning Skills (see Figure 1 below):

Knowledge Specific Areas
Conflict Conflict Resolution Theory*
Principles of Conflict Resolution* 

Management and Transformation of Conflict* 

Different styles of handling conflict

Positions, Interests, Needs*

Conflict Mapping 
Negotiation Theory Principles of Negotiating and Bargaining*

Negotiation Strategies 
Mediation Principles Code of Ethics*

Ethical Dilemmas

Values and Principles* 

Professional Assumptions* 
Mediation Process Different process models: family, community, business, schools, restorative justice, etc.
Stages of the process: pre-mediation/case development and mediation parts*

Mediation Styles: facilitative, evaluative, transformative, problem solving 

Process management: engaging, empowering, screening, power balancing, facilitative, negotiation and agreement*

Co-mediation  

Caucus  

Shuttle 
Managing the Relationships in Mediation Establish and maintain a respectful, trusting and balanced relationship by: creating rapport, respecting the participants, encouraging mutual respect, being objective and impartial*

Encourage self determination* 

Facilitate collaborative relationship

Enable to hear each other’s stories*

Enable to develop relationship with mediator and each other if feasible whereby they express feelings and become “real” to each other

Facilitate expressions of regret and apology

Enable to explore future relationship if relevant 
Managing the Process in Mediation Manage the introduction with respect and clarity*

Assist in negotiating process, ground rules and agenda* 

Attend and explore concerns through empathetic, active and reflective listening* 

Using various types of questions

Reframing, paraphrasing and summarizing

Enable the development of each person’s story*

Assist in understanding consequences of plans

Assist with option building, broadening the number or scope of options

Manage impasse, resistance or difficult behavior 

Use of Caucus 

Work with power imbalance or control issues

Handle intense emotions or difficult agendas

Display flexibility and use creative strategies

Reality test through questioning and encouraging participants to consult with others to broaden options

Develop clarity about participants’ concerns

Empower participants to explore and find ways forward*
 Manage creative discussion of ways forward

Facilitates agreement or non-agreement

Writes agreement 
Managing the Content of Mediation Obtain, identify, organize, analyze, prioritize and evaluate information
Assess issues and options and reason logically*
Read, comprehend and use relevant written materials*
Write clearly and concisely using neutral language*
Organize records and materials* 

 

As part of the curriculum in K4208 Advanced Mediation Apprenticeship, applicants must submit an 8-page, double-spaced, written self-assessment of their mediation style/approach and knowledge. This self-assessment shall be based upon the mediation log kept in accordance with Mediator Experience in Section 1 above. Applicants will demonstrate their strong understanding of general mediation theory and practice by summarizing the experience and learning points of the mediations described in the mediation log, and reflecting on what went well, what they could have done differently to improve their performance as mediator and why, and what actions have been taken to make improvements and with what results. Applicants will be expected to cite references to mediation theory and research as appropriate to support the points they make to further demonstrate their familiarity with and access to this knowledge.

This self-assessment will be graded in accordance with the criteria set forth in the “Skills Assessment Instrument” (see Attachment A).

 

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.

Within 90 days of completion of the self-assessment described in Mediator Knowledge in Section 2 above, candidates will be assessed on their performance in terms of the occurrence and effectiveness of the mediation process and mediation techniques by submitting a video no less than 30 minutes, of a mediation that they have conducted (either simulated role play or live demonstration with participants who have signed a release). This includes a self-reflection exercise on the video that shall be submitted with the video.

Two Assessors will review the video, one of whom shall be independent. The Assessors will use the “Skills Assessment Instrument” (see Attachment A) to assess the candidate’s performance on the video. The Assessors will methodically analyze the video and check off the areas where the candidate has shown proficiency. The Assessors will also take notes of areas the candidate needs to improve upon. If the candidate scores 85% or higher overall, the Assessors shall recommend that the candidate be qualified for IMI Certification. If the candidate scores below 85%, he/she will be advised of those areas where he/she needs improvement. Columbia University will offer the candidate a suggested plan to follow to achieve the improvement necessary to become certified, if the candidate so desires.

The candidate’s performance will be assessed according to whether the candidate is able to:

  • manage the process and tailor mediation approaches to the context
  • show respect for the core values underpin the prevalent styles of mediation
  • apply a variety of mediation techniques and use a variety of interventions at different stages of a mediation
  • use communication skills, such as probing, paraphrasing and reframing, to facilitate the mediation
  • show awareness of cultural influences that impact mediation and be culturally competent show awareness of the role emotions play in influencing mediations, and use strategies and tactics for managing the emotions of the parties
  • use mediation skills and interventions in coaching the parties in conflict during mediation
  • show awareness of ethical considerations in mediation be emotionally intelligent and professional

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 by the ISC, the benchmarks and criteria will be published and be openly accessible on the Columbia University website at: http://ce.columbia.edu/negotiation-and-conflict-resolution.

 

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 Assessors will be instructors on the faculty of Columbia University who have extensive knowledge of and experience in mediation and the skills necessary to be considered a successful mediator. The Assessors will be required to provide documented evidence of their mediation experience, certification(s), and current affiliations and memberships to mediation organizations. Each assessor will be interviewed and approved by the Director of the NECR Program, Columbia University. At least one of the Assessors will be independent of the Columbia University QAP by not being an employee or independent contractor of the University.

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.

The Director of the NECR Program, Columbia University, will monitor the performance and practice of the Assessors to ensure a consistent application of high quality standards and will liaise closely with IMI to maintain a sustainable quality control system. Assessors will be invited to assist Columbia University over time to improve the QAP and to develop high quality standards.

 

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

 

 


  

Inter-Cultural QAP Logo (ICQAP) copy.jpg

 

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. 

Each candidate will be required to complete a 15-hour course on inter-cultural mediation offered at Columbia University.

As part of the curriculum of this course, the candidate’s knowledge and skills as described under Substantive Criteria in Section II. A. and B. below will be assessed in three ways:

1. Case Study

  • Candidates will be required to prepare a written case study of an intercultural or cross- border mediation the candidate mediated, or prepare a case study based on several intercultural or cross-border mediations combined. The case study will clearly identify the parties involved, the setting, the issues, the positions and interests of the parties, and their constituencies. The case study will further describe the cultural backgrounds of the parties, and how differences in culture may have contributed to the conflict(s) being mediated. Candidates will also demonstrate in the case study how their knowledge of cross-cultural theory informed the way they mediated. More specifically, they will explain how one or more CFAs contributed to both their understanding of the conflict(s) and their decisions as to the interventions they chose to use to appropriately respond to the cultural differences between the parties.
  • The case study will be between 5-6 pages in length and supported with references to theory.
  • Candidates will be required to receive a grade of “B” or higher on this case study.

2. Preparation Analysis and Skills Demonstration

  • Candidates will be given the salient facts of an inter-cultural role play prior to the skills demonstration. They will identify possible cultural patterns and preferences they may face, drawing on their knowledge of specific CFAs, and otherwise prepare for the mediation, specifically addressing how they plan to take into account multi-cultural perspectives of participants, facilitate communication across cultures, and design and make use of processes and procedures to accommodate the cultural differences of participants, all based on one or more CFAs.
  • Candidates will conduct a mediation of the inter-cultural role play for which they have prepared the preparation analysis and submit a video, no less than 30 minutes of such role play.
  •  
  • Two Assessors will review the video, one of whom shall be independent. The Assessors will use the “IC Skills Assessment Instrument” (see Attachment B) to assess the candidate’s performance on the video as well as his/her preparation analysis. The Assessors will methodically analyze the video and check off the areas where the candidate has shown proficiency. The Assessors will also take notes of areas the candidate needs to improve upon. If the candidate has scored 85% or higher overall, the Assessors shall recommend that the candidate be granted IMI Inter-Cultural Certification. If the candidate scores below 85%, he/she will be advised of those areas where he/she needs improvement. Columbia University will offer the candidate a suggested plan to follow to achieve the improvement necessary to become certified, if the candidate so desires.
  •  

3. Self-Reflection

  • At the conclusion of the skills demonstration, the candidate will prepare a 4-page, double-spaced self-reflective analysis of the mediation. The candidate will summarize the experience and learning points of the mediation, reflecting on his/her own cultural influences and how they affected the mediation process. More specifically, candidates should address the impact (both positive and negative) that their own culture and culturally influenced behavior had on the participants as well as the impact (both positive and negative) that participants from different cultures had on them, and what they could do differently to improve their cultural competence.
  • Candidates will be required to receive a grade of “B” or higher on this self-reflection.

B. Transparency  

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

Upon approval by the ISC, the benchmarks and criteria will be published and be openly accessible on the Columbia University website at: http://ce.columbia.edu/negotiation-and-conflict-resolution.

 

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 Assessors will be instructors on the faculty of Columbia University who have extensive knowledge of mediation and the skills necessary to be considered a successful inter-cultural mediator. The Assessors will be required to provide documented evidence of their inter-cultural mediation experience, certification(s), and current affiliations and memberships to mediation organizations. Each assessor will be interviewed and approved by the Director of the NECR Program, Columbia University. At least one of the Assessors will be independent of the Columbia University ICQAP by not being an employee or independent contractor of the University.

 

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 Columbia University ICQAP is accessible on an equal basis to experienced mediators regardless of their professional affiliations, gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation or other personal characterization.

 

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 written case study described in Methodology in Section I. A above, candidates will be expected to demonstrate knowledge of one or more recognized cultural theories by recognizing how such theories played out in the mediation as well as in the conflict (s) mediated. Candidates will also be expected to demonstrate how knowledge of cross-cultural theory informed the way they mediated. More specifically, they will explain how one or more CFAs contributed to both their understanding of the conflict (s) and their decisions as to the interventions they chose to use to appropriately respond to the cultural differences between the parties.

2. Self-awareness. 

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

In the preparation analysis, skills demonstration, and self-reflection described in Methodology in Section I. A above, candidates will be expected to recognize their own cultural influences and how they affect the mediation process. More specifically, candidates should be able to demonstrate an awareness of the impact (both positive and negative) that their own culture and culturally influenced behavior might have on participants as well as the impact (both positive and negative) that participants from different cultures might have on them, and be able to show a willingness to address what they could do differently to improve their cultural competence.

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. 

In the written case study described in Methodology in Section I. A above, candidates will be expected to recognize, using the lens provided by one or more CFAs, the culturally-influenced perspectives of the participants and how such perspectives might have led to differing behaviors in handling procedural issues and/or substantive matters. Candidates will also be expected to consider appropriate interventions, such as co-mediators and interpreters/cultural consultants, in managing multiple cultural perspectives.

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. 

In the skills demonstration described in Methodology in Section I. A above, candidates are expected to show their awareness that participants may communicate in different ways across cultures and be able to assist the participants in interacting with each other. Candidates are further expected to demonstrate their awareness of their own communication style and its impact on the participants as well as their adaptability in communicating with them which may include the use of interpreters.

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. 

In the preparation analysis undertaken before the skills demonstration described in Methodology in Section I. A above, candidates will show how they have prepared for the mediation, including how they planned to take into account multi-cultural perspectives of participants, facilitate communication across cultures, and design and make use of processes and procedures to accommodate the cultural differences of participants, all based on one or more CFAs.

 

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. 

In the skills demonstration described in Methodology in Section I. A above, candidates are expected to demonstrate their ability to manage the mediation process, including, as viewed through the lens of one or more CFAs, cultural differences and the challenges they bring to a mediation. By adapting the process and designing appropriate interventions, candidates will also demonstrate their ability to manage the process in a way that will move the process forward toward closure of the conflict.  

 


 

 ATTACHMENT A

SKILLS ASSESSMENT INSTRUMENT

 Candidate name: Assessor name:
Total score:  Date:

 

SKILL PROFICIENT 10% FAIR 8% NEEDS IMPROVEMENT 5%

Manage the process and tailor mediation approaches to the context

     

Show respect for the core values underpin the prevalent styles of mediation

     

Apply a variety of mediation techniques and use a variety of interventions at different stages of a mediation

     

Use communication skills, such as probing, paraphrasing and reframing, to facilitate the mediation

     

Show awareness of cultural influences that impact mediation and be culturally competent

     

Show awareness of the role emotions play in influencing mediations, and use strategies and tactics for managing the emotions of the parties

     

Use mediation skills and interventions in coaching the parties in conflict during mediation

     

Show awareness of ethical considerations in mediation

     

Be emotionally intelligent and professional

     

Act as agent of change to help disputants shift perspective

   

 

 

 

 


 

ATTACHMENT B

IC SKILLS ASSESSMENT INSTRUMENT

 Candidate name: Assessor name:
Total score:  Date:

 

KNOWLEDGE PROFICIENT SATISFACTORY NEEDS IMPROVEMENT

Cultural Frameworks: ability to apply at least one recognized cultural theory in order to identify relevant Cultural Focus Areas for facilitating inter-cultural mediations. The theory and approach shall include an appreciation of similarities and differences among cultures.

 (20%) (15%) (5%)

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

 (10%) (5%) (5%)

Multi-Cultural Perspectives: Ability to recognize each participant’s culturally shaped perspectives of behaviors or events; to understand and appreciate participants’ similar and different cultural perspectives, and possible imbalances between them; to manage ambiguities and mistakes that may emerge in multi-cultural situations; 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.

 (20%) (15%) (5%)
SKILLS (50%)      

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

 (20%) (15%) (5%)

Preparation: Ability to prepare for 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.

 (10%) (5%) (5%)

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.

 (20%) (15%) (5%)

 

 


 

To contact the Colombia University in regards to becoming IMI Certified, email:

The QAP and ICQAP programs and the criteria are published on the Colombia University website at: 

 

 

 

 

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