Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Australian National Mediator Accreditation Standards
The Approval Standards:
· Specify requirements for mediators seeking to obtain approval under the voluntary national accreditation system; and
· Define minimum qualifications and training; and
· Assist in informing participants, prospective participants and others what qualifications and competencies can be expected of mediators.
All mediators who wished to be accredited under the new system must formally apply to a Recognised Mediator Accreditation Body (RMAB), the Australian Mediation Association is such a body. General membership of the AMA does not automatically entitle Practitioners to be accredited under the standards. ADR Practitioners must apply for national accreditation as a separate process. Applicants must satisfy the AMA that they meet the pre-requisite requirements under the standards. For more information and to view the national standards please Click Here. For Accreditation under the Australian National Mediator Standards please click here.
All current Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners and members of LEADR, IAMA, Law Society ADR Panels and other ADR bodies or organisations will be eligible for accreditation provided they also meet the continuing accreditation requirements which have two key elements: practice as a mediator over the previous two years (generally 25 hours, but this may be varied to meet particular circumstances) and 20 hours of professional development.
For Accreditation under the Australian National Mediator Standards please click here.
Australian Mediation Register
The Australian Mediation Register (AMR) will be shortly open for mediators to become registered, please visit http://www.amr.asn.au/. The aim is to launch the Register to coincide with the implementation of the National Mediator Accreditation System. The Australian Mediation Register is a web based listing of mediators who certify that they meet either the minimum national standards, accreditation as a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner or have undertaken mediation training.
Please note that only those mediators accredited under the national standards, by the AMA, will have permission to use the wording “Australian Mediation Registered Mediator” and the accompanying logo in their advertising and business promotion. The web based Australian Mediation Register, hosted by the AMA, allows mediators to advertise their credentials and business. The site contains all rules and procedures that need to be followed to use the logo and accompanying words. To view the Australian Mediation Register please click http://www.amr.asn.au/ (please note that registration on the site is not currently available and will be opened shortly).
As a special introductory offer all general membership to the AMA is currently free. In order to enhance your membership experience and interaction with the AMA, we encourage you to visit our website at http://www.ama.asn.au/ and the soon the be launched Australian Mediation Register http://www.amr.asn.au/ where you can find information on the organisation, current events, ADR services and lists of resources. Your contact details have been added to our membership database to remain updated, along with our national network of ADR consultants, to receive monthly ADR news, dispute resolution job opportunities, networking events, seminar and conflict resolution information and many more opportunities within the ADR field. We invite you to contact us with questions, suggestions, or offers of assistance. Please forward this email on to any other ADR practitioners you may know and ask them to contact me should they wish to become a free member.
AMA Panel of Mediators – case referral work
Should you wish to receive fee paying mediation matters, please download an application form (click here) and join our National Panel of ADR Consultants for referral work. Please address and submit your details in accordance with the requirements of Part 6. This panel will enable you to receive referral work for your particular area(s) of mediation expertise. There is no on-line form, simply read through the application form and make a submission in accordance with the Selection Criteria in Part 6. If your application is successful you will be placed onto our referral panel for potential casework.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
The AMA strongly supports and is committed to the application and implementation of the Australian National Mediator Standards, according to CEO, Callum Campbell. The Association is a Recognised Mediator Accreditation Body (RMAB) under the standards and acts to maintain and further develop the national mediator accreditation scheme.
“We aim to ensure that the Standards and scheme operate in an effective, efficient, satisfactory and fair manner.” Mr Campbell said.
The Australian National Mediator Standards apply to any person who voluntarily seeks to be accredited under the National Mediator Accreditation System to act as a mediator.
“Best practice and adherence to quality standards are imperative for professional mediators. We undertake to have an ongoing role in Standards development and the definition and any extension of the recognition process into the future.” Mr Campbell said.
As a RMAB, the AMA’s role in the system involves administrating and participating in the accreditation component of the national mediation accreditation scheme. The mediator must have personal qualities and appropriate life, social and work experience to conduct the process independently and professionally.
Those mediators accredited through the Australian Mediation Association will be allowed to call themselves an "Australian Mediation Registered Mediator" and use the logo which is expected to develop as a brand that signifies quality in mediation in Australia.
To fully support the implementation of the system, the AMA has launched the Australian Mediation Register, where accredited and non-accredited mediators’ services can be found and utilised.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Our eNewsletters are designed to ensure that you remain updated within the dispute resolution field by receiving ADR news, dispute resolution job opportunities, networking events, seminars and conflict resolution information as well as many more opportunities within the ADR field.The last two decades have been a time of experimentation, development, and in certain areas, progressive institutionalisation.
The current community of conflict resolvers, however, has begun to organise itself as a coherent profession, field, movement, and discipline. This ADR generation has evolved to move beyond the seemingly endless introspective definitional debates and accept as fact that we are a unified profession and to get on with the hard political tasks of organising it.
The National Mediator Accreditation Standards are on track for implementation in January 2008. These Approval Standards apply to any person who voluntarily seeks to be accredited under the National Mediator Accreditation System to act as a mediator and assist two or more participants to manage, settle or resolve disputes or to form a future plan of action through a process of mediation. The Practice Standards are intended to govern the relationship of mediators with the participants in the mediation, their professional colleagues, courts and the general public so that all will benefit from high standards of practice in mediation. These certainly are exciting times.
The Australian Mediation Association's aim is to advocate, facilitate, encourage, and provide coordination for the development of programs incorporating ADR and Mediation as the preferred means of dispute resolution. We encourage the development of standards in training and certification in all areas of ADR while providing Industry, Agencies and Individuals with expedited matters to qualified ADR practitioners from the ranks of our Professional Membership.
Callum Campbell CEO
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
The Australian Mediation Association (“AMA”) was founded in response to the growing demand from the public, private and Government sectors to engage in Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) to resolve conflicting issues between disputants. Of particular relevance to the AMA’s establishment are the mandatory mediation provisions of the Family Law Act, commencing on July 1, 2007.
Family law disputes are about to undergo a revolution that will have a profound and ongoing impact on aggrieved parties and their families. Under new mandatory mediation provisions of the Family Law Act, parties will have to undergo compulsory mediation in an attempt to resolve disputes before they can take matters to court. The Shared Parenting Act will usher in changes to dispute resolution provisions that will affect individual Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners (“FDRP’s”) and organisations approved to provide resolutions.
The AMA’s vision is to lead the ADR industry as the Resolution Experts, setting the standard of excellence by which all dispute resolution services will be measured. The most respected lawyers and other professionals in Australia will choose the AMA for the resolution of disputes, particularly when the stakes are high, the matter is complex, and the parties appear unyielding.
Australian Mediation Association CEO, Callum Campbell says that the past two decades of alternative dispute resolution have been a time of experimentation, development and, in certain areas, progressive institutionalisation. The present community of conflict resolvers, however, has not organised itself as a coherent profession, field, movement or discipline. July 1 this year signals a move beyond the introspective definitional debates and inspires the profession to accept as fact that it is a unified profession.
Federal Attorney General Philip Ruddock said in many respects Australia leads the world in ADR. “The Australian Government is committed to ensuring Australia remains at the cutting edge of ADR,” Mr Ruddock said.
The AMA will be regarded as the premier ADR service provider in Australia with distinctive dispute resolution services recognisable in all of its qualified mediators. The AMA is focused on facilitating highly professional, diplomatic and responsive interventions that achieve successful outcomes for all parties involved.
“The mediation industry has evolved from its infancy, and the reforms have thrust it into the mainstream. Entities such as the AMA – a group of lawyers, mediators and conflict resolution practitioners – will increasingly come to the fore,” Mr Campbell said.
For referral mediation work, the AMA invites all family dispute resolution practitioners and mediators to join their National Referral Panel by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ama.asn.au or phone 1300 MEDIATE (633 428).
Our efforts are just beginning, there is much to do, and your support is deeply appreciated.
Callum Campbell CEO AMA
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
This is the time of year that most of our hearts, thoughts and sentiments are with our families and friends. A time to reflect on the achievements of the past 12 months and to prepare for the new year. Christmas, however can be a time of great sorrow for others. Amongst of all the celebrations, I encourage you to spare a thought for those who are worse off than ourselves.
A few examples for me are... the debacle exacerbated by the allied forces in Iraq seems to have encouraged some of the worst elements of religious bigotry and nationalistic fervour imaginable. I am at a loss to know how we can move on as a nation, reverse our warring attitudes and demonstrate genuine concern and love. The people we fight have suffered far too much.
Our Indigenous Australians continue to be marginalised and a new fresh approach to their issues and concerns must be taken so as to allow their aspirations to be realised.
David Hicks should not be held, in an unconstitutional facility, without an opportunity to defend himself. His plight in solitary confinement, without being charged, is a disgrace to the so-called civilised world. The failure of the Australian Government to offer any support or assistance, as shown by the UK to its detainees, is a failure to uphold the value of human rights. He is now quite unlikely to cause anyone a fraction of the harm being meted out on him. What lessons do we give to our children?
Afghanistan families who suffered persecution and hardship to reach safe shores were not to know their persecution would continue in camps within (and outside) Australia.
Global warming is rapidly changing the landscape and fragile ecology of the planet with its disastrous effects on many of the worlds poorer people. This however is a phenomenon that will effect us all.
Whatever our various political persuasions, Australia deserves a compassionate and capable government and an affective and informed opposition. Let us hope that the current leadership in all major parties can attain good governance – leadership about which we can despair less.
I invite you to spare a thought for David Hicks and the many thousands like him in oppressive conditions around the world at Christmas. Thanks again for everything you contributed in 2006. Have a safe and refreshing break and be at ready to face an exciting and challenging new year.
Monday, December 04, 2006
On October 8-11, 2006 The Keystone Center and Mediate.com jointly convened and hosted a meeting of 106 senior mediators and facilitators, primarily from the United States but with good representation from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England, and Ireland. Nearly all of those attending had twenty or more years of experience as conflict resolvers and many had additional qualifications as leading thinkers, writers, teachers, and researchers. This brief summary is a synthesis of that meeting and seeks to report on both the substance and process of the gathering. We desire to leave behind a trail for others to follow as discussions on the topics and issues raised inevitably continue into the future.
The purpose of the meeting was to “(1) take stock of where the field has come over the past three decades; (2) assess the current landscape and field’s current strengths and weaknesses; and (3) prepare a statement of best counsel and guidance to the next generation of policy-making and policy-influencing practitioners.” Given the short time frame of the meeting, the number of people involved, and a format that emphasized developing “propositions” to guide the future, there was more emphasis on counsel for the next generation than on taking stock or discussing and analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the field. That task remains for others to do at another time. Still, much of the discussion was informed by a widely shared feeling that, despite considerable growth and institutionalization of the field, mediators and facilitators are not important players in the most pressing and significant issues the world faces today.
In addition to resource materials and “propositions” submitted before and during the meeting, three substantive presentations were made. One focused on the question of whether we are or are not a distinct and unified profession, field, discipline, and calling. The second focused on various social, legal, political, and technological “mega-trends” that may influence or shape conflict resolution efforts in the coming decade. The third focused on the importance of cross cultural perspectives in our dispute resolution work. The agenda and various written and film products on these and related subjects can be found at www.mediate.com/keystone.
The conference ranged across important questions of different sorts and sizes. Many were of an internal nature centering on matters of standards, certification, the growth or failure to grow of various sectors, and the rise, fall, and need for popular support and funding. Others looked outward and focused on why leaders in the political world have not adopted the philosophies and techniques of conflict resolution and how we can, collectively, have greater voice in national and international disputes.
To help organize and discuss the many different ideas and proposals that surfaced, conference organizers utilized an electronic “preferencing” system to help sort and weigh various propositions. A summary of higher-scoring consolidated propositions is found at Attachment 3 and many more ideas can be found embedded in the rolling record (Attachment 1). Readers of this report are encouraged to review both the attachments and the visual and written materials at www.mediate.com/keystone.
Substantive Advice – Ten Challenges for the Next Generation
In general, next generation mediators and facilitators are urged to focus their attention on the following:
1. Stop Dithering and Get Organized (Or Not).
The last two decades have been a time of experimentation, development, and in certain areas, progressive institutionalization. The current community of senior conflict resolvers, however, has not organized itself as a coherent profession, field, movement, or discipline. The next generation must move beyond the seemingly endless introspective definitional debates and either accept as fact that we are not a unified profession or get on with the hard political tasks of organizing it.
2. Put the House in Order.
There is growing concern that none of the existing umbrella organizations have fully lived up to their potential to bring together and unify the various strands and application areas of mediation. Sectored interests in family mediation, court mediation, environmental mediation, and community mediation continue to be strong but effective bridges across these application areas have not yet been built. ACR may still have great potential as a consolidated home for the different strands and applications of conflict resolution but it will need fresh thinking, fresh energy, and fresh strategies.
3. Influence the World.
Although much has been accomplished over the last three decades, those with seniority in the field have been much too tentative and introspective. To have greater impact, the next generation must look for new ways to engage the popular and political cultures and the private, public, and civic sector clients we work with. One formal output towards this end was the following statement which was affirmed with the signatures of most of those who attended:
Given that the world is confronted with real and perceived threats from several international arenas we, the undersigned, urge that citizens of our nations insist their elected and appointed government officials immediately engage in honest, direct and unconditional negotiations with all authorities and powers who can resolve these pending crises in ways that are equitable and practical for all concerned without sacrifice to national sovereignty or security. As citizens of the world and as professional negotiators and mediators we urge that proven conflict resolution processes be employed now.
In addition to maximizing the use of effective negotiation and mediation, the above statement signals both the birth of a nascent International Coalition of Concerned Mediators and the beginning of a more organized effort at bringing civility into our national and international negotiation and conflict resolution discussions. The need to convert real and potential conflicts into mutually productive negotiations grows increasingly urgent. Signatories and membership can be joined at www.concernedmediators.org.
4. Step up the Quest to Diversify.
The makeup of the community of conflict resolvers is still overwhelmingly white. Good efforts to diversify the field and populate it in ways that look more like our societies have been made but much more needs to be done. Diversity continues to be a major challenge that will face the next generation.
5. Reaffirm the Fundamentals of Mediation.
Although the many practices of mediation seem fragmented from each other and overly self-absorbed on the role of the mediator, an affirmation of certain fundamentals continues to be important. Definitions and philosophies of mediation will always vary whenever and wherever training and institutionalization take place. Nonetheless, at least five principles seem critical. First, mediation is a voluntary and supplementary process and should not be used to substitute for or jeopardize participation in other due process procedures. Second, it should continue to remain a confidential process and efforts to undermine this should be resisted. Third, participation in mediation should be “eyes open” and premised on informed consent. Fourth, specific mediators should not be forced on the parties. Parties must retain a free choice of neutrals (who have adequately revealed any conflicts of interest. Fifth, parties with standing or interest should have full and equal access to a mediation forum to help resolve matters to the highest satisfaction and full self-determination of their own negotiated outcomes.
6. Expand the Intellectual Boundaries of Mediation.
Much of the writing and research about mediation is repetitious, unoriginal, and self-perpetuating in its thinking. It may also be much too focused on the role and stance of the mediator and insufficient in its attention on the parties. The theory and practice of mediation draws from interdisciplinary sources as diverse as economics, psychology, law, business, anthropology, and international relations. As mediation evolves to its next stage, it may best be informed by frontier fields such as neuro-biology, behavioral economics, and advanced systems theory no less than the older wisdoms of ancient philosophers ranging from Socrates, Mohammed, and the Buddha.
7. Utilize New Technologies.
New cyber and cellular technologies offer extraordinary opportunities to assist people in resolving conflicts. Recognizing that technologies can be adapted and used in many ways, mediators and facilitators who do not stay abreast of such developments may find themselves increasingly marginalized and irrelevant. Experimentation and use of these technologies should be encouraged.
8. Encourage Practical Research.
Similar to the greater bulk of the writing that has taken place in the last twenty years, much of the research in the mediation arena has been conventional and unconvincing to decision-makers who control funding and influence the supply and demand of mediated conflict resolution. A new generation of research is needed to more definitively understand its impacts, how and when various forms of mediation are and are not effective, and how various dispute resolution processes can best be effectively and efficiently used towards different ends.
9. Emphasize Cultural Competencies.
Our societies are diverse, multi-ethnic, and cross-cultural and likely to become more so. This requires better understandings of cultural factors and the dynamics that pertain to communication, negotiation, and resolution.
10.Use Our Own Procedures.
As mediators struggle to start or accelerate practices, disputes are inevitable. The acid test of our collective belief in mediation is whether we use it ourselves when personal or professional conflicts arise. If we do not set the example and demonstrate its utility, we should have no expectation that others will find the value we are convinced lies in it.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Recognising the global influence exercised by the US, the political shift in the United States provides an important opportunity for rethinking some of the political and military orthodoxies that are taken for granted. Please join us in developing ideas to take advantage of this golden opportunity.
Here follow some thoughts of contributors:
THIS IS THE TIME TO BEGIN THINKING IN TERMS OF NON-VIOLENT OPTIONS.
Military solutions are not delivering democracy, security or protection against terrorist threat. On the contrary they seem to be giving exactly the opposite. We are beginning to see something of the futility and counterproductive nature of coercive response to threat.
There is no way that the United States alone or in coalition with its allies can control a fractured and divided world. One challenge is how to organize an orderly withdrawal from Iraq. There will be no prospect for peace there without a cessation of foreign occupation. As Richard Armitage said in response to concerns about “cutting and running” we must “notify and walk”.
A new coalition of the willing is needed, involving the UN and other international development assistance to make the Iraqi regime independent and enable the Iraqi people to determine their own strategies for satisfying basic needs.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES CAN NOW BE GIVEN TO THE PEACEMAKERS BY ESTABLISHING A DEPARTMENT OF PEACE - to give voice to non-violent options in government at the highest level of decision making would institutionalise this process. Excellent bills are now before both US houses; now is the opportunity to pass these bills and support and fund the new department appropriately.
NEW THINKING - AND YOUR CAMPAIGNING - COULD MAKE A HIGHER CORRELATION BETWEEN JUSTICE AND PEACE A REALITY.
This will ensure that the powerful act justly and the just become powerful!
This involves the development of organizations and movements that are dedicated to ensuring inclusion rather than exclusion, equality of opportunity, education, employment options, and sustainable development at local, national and international levels. These are much more likely to deliver real security than efforts to impose military order.
DIALOGUE, CONVERSATION AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION - can be established and supported in the battle for hearts and minds. This is desperately needed between different faith groups, different political groups, different gender, cultural and ethnic groups. These will generate more positive benefits for peace, and co-operative and collaborative thinking can the replace the tragic division of the world into adversarial camps.
IT IS ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL TO REASSERT THE RULE OF LAW.
There must be a willingness for all castes, classes and elites to place themselves under the rule of law. We need to reassert the sanctity of the United Nations, the Geneva Conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. There must be an immediate end to the practices of extraordinary rendition and torture of those considered our opponents. This includes an immediate end to the detention of prisoners without trial at Guantanamo Bay.
MORE EFFORT IS NEEDED TO INVIGORATE AND REINVIGORATE REGIONAL AND GLOBAL INSTITUTIONS - The United Nations at its best is capable of channelling a huge amount of non-violent energy for productive purposes. It must be given the resources to do this.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO ENSURE THAT WE HAVE CONFLICT SENSITIVE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES - which are both top down and bottom up and that these are aimed at enhancing and strengthening the power of civil society groups all around the world so that there are immediate checks and balances on the arbitrary exercise of power in all states and nations.
THE US AND ALL OTHER NUCLEAR POWERS NEED TO TAKE AN IMMEDIATE LEAD IN REDUCING THEIR DEPENDENCE ON NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND OTHER WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.
Then moral energy can be returned to Non Proliferation Treaties (NPT) initiatives. These should also be accompanied by efforts aimed at reducing and controlling the flows of light weapons – which still generate most deaths in present wars.
HOW TO BECOME INVOLVED:
- Tell one person about this today, face-to-face, by phone or email.
- Add to, delete, edit or do your own version of this email. Send us a copy and circulate it widely.
- Start making campaign notes in your diary.
- Tell three people about this next week.
- Ask for time to discuss this at any group you attend or convene a conversation group yourself.
- Send "letters to the editor" and don't forget your local paper or newsletters of any organisations you have access to.
- Run a campaign in your own style; let us know or not as you wish.
- Email email@example.com with any thoughts you have about this campaign.
THERE NEEDS TO BE A RENEWED COMMITMENT TO NON-VIOLENCE AS A WAY OF A LIFE, and a return to diplomacy and negotiated solutions to problems. The world is too small for unilateralism and national exceptionalism. We need to reassert the essential value of multilateralism and collaborative problem solving.
We need to celebrate all those non-violent social and political movements that have generated positive social change, the Civil Rights movements, the Independence Movements, the democratic movements against tyranny. These struggles can lay claim to being more positive over the long term than most military interventions.
Non-violent transformation works. So often the right times have been missed. Now let us grasp this golden opportunity.
Do you wish to contribute an issue for action, discuss becoming a proponent?email firstname.lastname@example.org
This message was originally cirulated by: Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Queensland; Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney;
Conflict Resolution Network (Australia)