MII Guidelines on Assessing Advanced Member Skills

The concept of competency includes all aspects of performance. It includes

  • performance at an acceptable advanced level of mediation skills
  • organising tasks
  • responding and reacting appropriately when things go wrong
  • fulfilling a role
  • transfer of skills and knowledge to new situations
 
For Advanced Member assessment, the assessee should demonstrate an advanced level of mediation skills.
 
For these standards mediation is defined as:
 
Mediation is a process in which an impartial and independent third party facilitates communication and negotiation and promotes voluntary decision-making by the parties to a dispute to assist them to reach a mutually acceptable solution.
 

MII Code of Ethics

 
The standards identified in the assessment record define the advanced competencies required of Mediators in a wide range of settings and contexts. While Mediators may work in many different sectors, the requirements to be recognised as an MII Advanced  Mediator are the equivalent across the different areas of work type. It is accepted that Mediators will have experience in different areas of work types. To qualify as a Advanced Member it is necessary for you to demonstrate advanced practical skills in whatever area you work in. It is recognised that some applicants will have had a specialist practice whereas others will have a more general practice. Some Mediators may only have practiced in one area, some in a number of areas and others in areas that don’t fit within the current MII sector model.
 
The MII is looking for each of its Advanced  Members to have core advanced competencies and where appropriate, to have specialist competencies for particular sectors. As different specialities may use different models of mediation you should inform the assessors which sector rules you would like to be assessed by.
 
All MII Advanced Members are equal no matter by which route a Mediator achieves that qualification. It is recognised that some mediation agencies may require a Mediator to qualify as a Practitioner by a particular route before employing them – that is a private matter for the agency. The MII is happy to supply a letter confirming the route you used to achieve Advanced Member status.
 
Mediators are constrained by the Code of Ethics only to work within their competence.
 
The assessment relates to the actual conduct of mediation sessions. They may relate to pre-mediation intake functions such as initial contact with the parties and scheduling of sessions, or to post-mediation follow-up to put the mediation into context provided that the skills or issues raised are of an advanced nature and were conducted by the Mediator themselves. It is recognised that such functions may be carried out by Mediators themselves or by other specially trained personnel, but are not part of the core competencies for all Mediators.
 
The assessment for Advanced Member status is an assessment of advanced skills as evidenced by the applicant either within the write-up of an agreed number of cases or at interview. The applicant should prepare a short personal statement to give a brief overview of their practice and experience and to put the cases into context. They should also write a couple of paragraphs relating to their personal awareness.
 
Although the cases can be read as discrete documents, applicants are encouraged to refer to skills they have acquired by virtue of other mediations that they have conducted. Applicants are encouraged to select their cases and highlight those situations which enable them to showcase a number of diverse skills – not all skills will be used in every case. The assessment is made on the skills demonstrated in the cases submitted.
 
Through your choice of cases you should be able to demonstrate:
 
  • Competence is demonstrated as evidenced in the cases to be assessed
  • Mediation is congruent with agreed definitions of mediation
  • The Mediator uses appropriate professional judgement to apply the process in a flexible manner that maintains the integrity and transparency of the process
  • Full consultation with any co-Mediator is used at all times throughout the mediation
  • Mediators have underpinning knowledge of:
  • Ethical guidelines
  • Cultural factors relevant to the Mediator's area of responsibility
  • The applicant’s portfolio of case summaries/case developments, agreements, are an opportunity for each applicant to show that he/she has integrated mediation theories, concepts, principles and skills to a high enough standard to be considered an advanced practitioner.
  • Demonstrating a basic understanding of the process, principles and general mediation strategies, such as naming skills like reflective listening or option development without demonstrating why that strategy was chosen in the particular context and for what specific purpose is not sufficient.
  • At Advanced  level the applicant will be expected to demonstrate through their interventions in mediation, through their agreements, or critical reflection, a good working knowledge of many of the areas outlined below.
 

The following are core areas for assessment:

 
Managing the relationship in mediation
Managing the process
Managing the content
Managing the agreement
Personal awareness
 
  • Demonstrating the Skills of Managing the Relationship
 
To establish a respectful and trusting relationships with participants:
 
Protects and affirms participant’s rights to self-determination
Maintains and supports participants integrity
Creates sufficient trust so that participants can allow emotions to surface and the real issues can be addressed
Demonstrates a predictable and accountable way of working
Participants demonstrate they are willing to work with risks because of the quality of trust in Mediator and the process
To establish a collaborative relationship between participants:
 
Works with participants to promote mutual understanding, insight and empathy for the other(s)
Enhances participant’s commitment to their new collaborative working relationship.
 
The Mediators ability to manage power imbalances:
 
Works with participants to develop or create a process that ensures equality
Protects and affirms participant’s rights to self-determination
Maintains and supports participants integrity
Establishes and maintains a working environment based on equality with all participants
The ability to give and receive appropriate constructive comments and feedback
 
  • Demonstrating the Skills of Managing the Process
 
To attend to and explore participant’s interests:
 
Identifies mutual and individual interests.
Capacity to both differentiate and connect interests of participants
Works with participants to identify principles based on underlying interests.
To manage conflict appropriately:
 
Uses interventions to seek clarification
Confronts discrepancies
Uses immediacy to attend to non-verbal cues
Reframes statements to defuse conflict and gain consensus
Asks questions to surface real conflict issue then manages the conflict dynamic
Is comfortable with conflict, assists participants to deal with conflict in a healthy, healing manner
Facilitates ongoing positive communication patterns as appropriate
 
 
  • Demonstrating the Skills of Managing the Content or Information
 
To help participants to identify and manage information:
 
Assists in the organization of information
Supports participants ability to assimilate new information
Encourages participants to develop a framework for gathering and tracking the information needed
Assists the participants to apply interest based criteria for judging information
Ensures information is integrated throughout the process.
To help participants apply interest based solutions:
 
Helps participants to identify principles and criteria to guide their decision- making
Assists participants to select a wide range of options which best meet their mutual and individual interests
Encourages participants to reality test their decisions
Works with parties to develop their own principles to evaluate their solutions
 
  •  Demonstrating the Skills of Managing the Agreement
 
Building towards agreement
Clarity about the function of the agreement
Consideration of the language used
Review
  • Personal Awareness
 
Emotional
 
Tuning into inner signals and recognizing how these affect our performance and us. Demonstrate being tuned into guiding values and how to intuit the best course of action, assessing the bigger picture in a complex situation. Emotionally aware Mediators will be able to speak openly about their emotions.
 
Accurate Self-Assessment
 
Knowledge of limitations and strengths.
Self-Confidence
 
Accurate knowledge of personal ability
Welcoming challenging mediations.
Integral Vision
 
Commitment to holding all sides of a conflict in all its complexity
Self-Control
 
The ability to manage disturbing emotions and impulses while working with participants and channel them in useful ways
The ability to remain calm and clear headed in high stress or crisis.
Transparency
 
The ability to be authentic and open about ones feelings, beliefs and actions as this allows integrity
The ability to admit mistakes or faults and confront unethical behaviour in others.
Adaptability
 
The ability to juggle multiple demands without losing focus or energy
To be comfortable with the inevitable ambiguities of mediation
To be able to adapt to new challenges, and adjust to fluid change
To be flexible in ones thinking when new information or new realities present.
 
Achievement
 
To have high personal standards and a drive to constantly improve personal performance.
Initiative
 
Sense of efficacy - to have what it takes to control one’s own destiny and create opportunities in difficult situations to fully explore all possible options.
Optimism
 
The capacity to see difficult situations as an opportunity rather than a threat.
 
 
Scale To Measure - Level Of Participation
 
The following rating scales are used to determine an overall rating under each area. Below each of the area headings are listed several factors to consider in making a rating. Assessors are asked to measure each area by circling the observed competencies on a scale of 1 through to 5 as follows
 
5 – Very Good Standard: The candidate has displayed the skills and knowledge which indicate they have the ability to conduct a mediation and where they demonstrated a capability of using all of the relevant interventions in each assessment area.
 
4 – Good Standard: The candidate has displayed the skills and knowledge which indicate they have the ability to conduct a mediation and where they demonstrated a capability of using most of the relevant interventions identified in each assessment area.
 
3 – Satisfactory: The candidate has displayed the skills and knowledge which indicate they have the ability to conduct a mediation and where they demonstrated a capability of using some of the relevant interventions identified in each assessment area.
 
2 - Needs improvement: The candidate has not displayed the skills and knowledge which indicate they have the ability to conduct mediation as they have failed to demonstrate appropriate use of the relevant interventions.
 
1 – Unacceptable: The candidate has failed to display most or all of the skills and knowledge which indicate they have the ability to conduct a mediation. The candidate has used few if any of the appropriate interventions in each assessment area.
 
Please circle one.
 
Under the “Comments” section, discuss specifically those areas completed successfully or needing improvement.
 
Candidates must demonstrate a satisfactory rating in all areas to pass
 
Other relevant documents
 
Guidelines on assessing Advanced mediator skills