FMA Suggestions for FMSB Priorities

The FMA Board have considered what the FMSB workplan and priorities could be and believe that there are three levels of work detail needed. FMA would thus like to contribute the following.

1.Having spent a year, and considerable funds developing the FMC Professional Standards and Self-Regulatory Framework the FMA believe the FMC, the mediation profession, the MOJ and the public would naturally expect the FMSB to focus on implementation of the Professional Standards and Self-Regulatory Framework so that the standards can actually be applied and work in practice.

Clearly within the Framework there are specific tasks for the FMSB however in a general sense FMA believe the priorities should be:-

Setting up the register of FMCA mediators to include 

  • Process,  procedures,  fees,  issue of registration number
  • Establishing the criteria for appraising for FMCA
  • Auditing the initial accreditation of mediators
  • Ensuring that all mediators seeking FMCA status meet the requirements of the Professional Standards and Self-Regulatory Framework (this may be done through MO’s, in which case there will be a need to ensure all MO’s meet the requirements set down by the Professional Standards and Self-Regulatory Framework –  McEldowney identified that this was not the case at the time of the McEldowney Report)
  • Establishing the FMCA database

Appeals

  • Establishing a process and procedure for appeals against non-accreditation
  • Dealing with appeals against non-accreditation

Post Training Requirements (new mediators)

  • Review of Assessment of Professional Competence
  • Review of Appointment, training and updating of assessors
  • Oversight of assessors
  • Review of Law Society Scheme

Complaints

  • Establishing a suite of complaints processes and associated disciplinary processes

PPC’s

  • Establish PPC standards,
  • Establish a PPC register
  • Audit of appropriately qualified and in good standing PPC’s
  • Review of PPC courses

Courses

  • Accreditation of Foundation courses,  PPC courses,  as  per  the Professional Standards and Self-Regulatory Framework
  • Accreditation of DCC courses
  • Approving training providers
  • Re-approval of courses

Mediator FMCA Re-accreditation

  • Process
  • Individual timescales (eg 2years, 3 years)
  • Procedure for FMCA Re-accreditation
  • Procedure for PPC Re-accreditation

Non-UK Mediation Qualifications

  • Validation of mediation qualifications from other jurisdictions
  1. Other

Alongside this there are a host of associated tasks such as

  • Reviewing the Code of Practice
  • Establishing within the Code, for example, the formal requirements for online (synchronous and asynchronous) mediation,  the accessibility of Child Inclusive Practice, etc
  • Establishing a Code of Practice for PPC’s
  • Reviewing precedent documentation
  1. On a more wide reaching level
  • The Voice of the Child – to what extent does what Angela Lake Carroll and Janet Walker are promoting accord with where mediators/ FMC think they are, and how is this to be taken forward?
  • The interface with the “redefined Family Justice System” – given the incoherence of the current forms and rules from the mediators’ and prospective clients’ perspective, and the inconsistency of approach, can we have clear recommendations from the mediation standards perspective about how these issues are to be improved?
  • Should the FMSB be collating views about other areas of interface such as the suggestion around drafting Consent Orders?
  • Legal Aid – is the FMSB the right place to be negotiating on behalf of mediation standards with LAA and MOJ, whether about payment for child inclusive and other enhanced work, clarity about outcomes, and use of co-mediators?
  • Review/ revision of the Standards documents – how is it working, and are the expectations clear, particularly of PPCs and of professional development?
  • Standards – minimum and expansive – how will the FMSB ensure that family mediation has not only minimum competences but creative, humane developments that still fall within its scope – is FMSB the place, for example, for defining and developing online and Skype family mediations, therapeutic models, “hybrid” civil/family models, etc

As considerable aspects of Area’s 1 and 2 in particular, have been long awaited, FMA believe that a timescale for each aspect of the work would be helpful to enable mediators, member organisations and interested parties to have a feel for the development of the work.

FMA are aware of the width and depth of the work that rightly falls within the scope of the FMSB and assume that the FMSB are going to create sub groups to help it undertake this work. FMA would be willing to help with any of these working groups on the understanding that this must be in an impartial and no-partisan way. FMA have, over the past 3 years undertaken a root and branch review of their own professional requirements on the Membership organisation and its members and so much of this work has a form and precedent in practice within FMA

FMA believe that the FMSB is the face of mediation in the above areas as where else is the conversation happening?