Thinking about the CMC Registration Scheme..
Although the Civil Mediation Council is going through challenging times at the moment, what with having no CEO and Melanie, the Registrar, resigning and taking on a much less demanding role, the committees have been quite active.
As a Board member I am on the Registration and Standards Committee which has responsibility for Individual, Provider and Training body registrations. We also have responsibility for reviewing and revising the standards required for registration, particularly the minimum standards required for training and accrediting commercial (and Workplace) mediators.
There has been a lot of discussion about the flood of newly-trained mediators entering the market with little chance of serious work. There has also been feedback about accredited mediators being unready (or unsuitable) for commercial mediation but it is quite a challenge to work out a scheme whereby CMC Registration can be seen as a quality mark.
It has always been my belief that we should be setting the accreditation criteria and licensing the assessors, so that trainers had the flexibility of the type, length and content of courses but in the end had to assess on common criteria.
We are not there yet, requiring a minimum of 40 hours training (of which 50% is role play case studies) with at least one of the two assessment sessions being by an independent (and practising) mediator. I am very sceptical about setting minimum standards. I would much rather be identifying aspirational standards that we could all strive for. But at least what the CMC is doing is establishing mediation as a profession of credibility with users, practitioners and government.