Congratulations!  You are considering mediation.  Statistics throughout the world convincingly establish that mediation has at least an 80% chance of successfully leading the parties to an agreement, including situations where the parties are deadlocked.  Few other processes have a success rate that high.

To maximize the chances of a successful outcome – just like anything else – preparation is essential, and that is the purpose of this Decision Tree.  It has been designed to provide objective and impartial guidance to users of mediation services on what to bear in mind when appointing a mediator.  It has been prepared with the benefit of comments and suggestions from members of the IMI Independent Standards Commission and others.

Because mediation is consensual, selecting the right mediator and the right process is often the first thing parties find themselves agreeing on, often after a long history of disagreement. To the maximum extent possible, engage the other party or parties in this process.  If all parties apply similar considerations when selecting a mediator, a joint choice will be easier to make.

Because mediation is not just consensual but also flexible, the process can be moulded to the parties’ needs.  Choices that the parties need to make include all the branches on the Decision Tree.

One point of clarification before you start.  The Tree refers to “Mediation Providers”.  These are organizations and institutions that provide a mediation service to users.  That service can vary widely in scope and contact but generally includes helping with the selection of a mediator and often case management support.  IMI is not a provider – IMI does not have a panel of mediators, nor does it offer case management support.  What it does do is run