Every professional family mediator, no matter how experienced, must have a professional practice consultant (PPC) to work through professional issues with them and to support their continued professional development as mediators. PPCs are highly experienced mediators, who have been trained to do this work.
You will be in contact with your PPC regularly and they are your first port of call for questions or problems arising in your mediation practice. They will also try to help a mediator develop their individual mediation practice and will work with them to identify specific issues to work on, relevant training etc.
FMA allocate you a PPC at the end of the course, chosen from our register of qualified PPCs. Not all Foundation Training providers do this, but we believe it is a significant benefit to helping you get started on your family mediation journey post-training. FMA chooses the allocated PPC very carefully, in order to meet the trainee’s particular needs. For example, we would usually allocate a newly qualified mediator from a legal background a PPC from a social sciences or therapy background for balance. We also pay attention to the location of the allocated PPC; it may be important to find someone you can see in person without travelling too far, but at the same time we try to avoid allocating a PPC who is in direct competition with you for work.
FMA members do not have to stay with their allocated PPC and may choose an alternative PPC from our register or choose a PPC from another Family Mediation Council (FMC) member organisation. (All FMA PPCs are recognised by the FMC and by the Legal Aid Agency.)
Mediators must see their PPC for at least 4 hours every year. Most PPCs charge a fee of between £100 and £150 per hour. So, one year of support from a PPC might cost in the region of £400 to £600. You should budget for this, as well as the continuing professional development and memberships you will need as a practising family mediator.
Neither the FMA nor the allocated PPC is responsible for finding or organising work for the new mediator, including providing opportunities to observe and/or mediate. Mediators are responsible for their own professional development. PPCs are expected to guide and support their newly qualified mediators in an enthusiastic way, and to provide links and introductions to others who may be able to help.
To see more about what FMA has to offer professional family mediators, have a look at our guide to the benefits of membership of FMA.