Guidance on Online and Remote Mediation 

The CMC has published Guidance on Online and Remote Mediation.

CMC Registration Schemes – Temporary Changes in Light of Coronavirus Crisis

The CMC’s Registration and Standards Committee has discussed whether changes are required to its Registration Schemes in light of the fact that mediators may have less work during the coronavirus crisis, unless they have moved their mediations online. In doing so the Committee has followed the principle that it should be as flexible as possible whilst still seeking to maintain professional standards.

It has agreed the following temporary measures in light of the coronavirus crisis:

  1. Renewal of Registration – Minimum of 2 mediations or observations

Most mediators due to renew in the spring or early summer will already have carried out the required amount of work, because the crisis has hit towards the end of their year’s registration, but a small number will not. For registered mediators renewing their registered status, within the coming months, the CMC will exercise discretion if mediators have not been able to meet the requirement to carry out two mediations or two observations during the previous year because of the coronavirus crisis. Please note that that one of these two observations may be of an online mediation or an online simultation.

Registered providers who are renewing their registration and whose panel members have not met the minimum requirements for work or observations should contact the CMC for guidance by e-mail to Angela Turley (applications@civilmediation.org).

  1. Renewal of Registration – Minimum of 6 hours’ mediation specific CPD

This requirement will remain. The 6 hours’ mediation specific CPD can be achieved through reading relevant resources available online, or attending webinars, both of which can safely and easily be done from home. Many trainers are in the early stages of considering whether their CPD courses can be moved online, and we expect to be able to add virtual events to the CPD page on the CMC website in due course: https://civilmediation.org/cpd-for-mediators/

  1. New Registrations

Mediators who have passed a 40-hour Registered Training Course and have one or two observations or mediations will need to wait to obtain the final observations or mediations before they can register with the CMC. Mediators are usually required to carry out these three observations/mediations in the year prior to registering, but the CMC understands that this period may need to be extended due to the coronavirus outbreak. Allowances will therefore be considered where applications are made within a year following the end of social distancing measures. Please note that for newly trained mediators who need to observe three mediations before they can become CMC Registered Mediators, one of these three mediations may be either of an online mediation or an online simultation.

  1. Workplace Conversion Courses

The CMC does not approve or register workplace conversion courses, but has published minimum criteria for courses that Civil/Commercial Registered Mediators who also want to register as Workplace Mediators should attend (see ‘Registration in Additional Categories here: https://civilmediation.org/for-mediators/training-courses-events/).

The criteria require the course to include a minimum of 8 hours’ training in person. As the majority of the course is not role play based, mediators’ attending have already passed a 40-hour mediation skills course, and are already working mediators registered with the CMC, these courses can be delivered online for the rest of 2020. This timescale has been chosen to allow course providers for provision of courses and for people to confidently book an online place on a course.

Trainers providing workplace conversion courses online are required to ask course participants to complete this very short questionnaire at the end of the course: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/SDHUXQ/. This will enable the CMC to gather feedback on the online nature of the course, to consider whether such online training should be allowed more often.

  1. Registered Training Courses

The CMC has carried out a review to consider whether a 40-hour mediation skills course delivered online, in part on in full, can lead to CMC registration. Please see here for full details of the outcome of the review. In August the CMC extended the temporary arrangements regarding mediation skills training courses (which were initially put in place until September) until the end of 2020.

For any courses that have already started, CMC will work with course providers to identify a way in which the course can be completed. The first step in this process is for course providers to contact the CMC, setting out how they would now propose to deliver the remaining elements of the course.

Any changes that are being made to mitigate the disruption caused by coronavirus and are temporary in nature. Whilst the CMC will use this experience to gather evidence of how changes to the requirements effects professional standards, it should not be assumed that any changes will in due course become permanent. 

 

A letter from the Chair

31 March 2020

Dear Members,

It goes without saying that we currently find ourselves in extremely difficult times with unwelcome constraints, both personally and professionally. The mediation community is no exception.

The current restrictions on movement and face-to-face communication present considerable challenges for the mediation sector.  However, the need for mediation has not gone away and indeed it is an obvious, but perhaps regrettable, observation that the present situation could result in a greater demand for the help that mediators can bring.  Established mediators have already started adapting their normal working arrangements to offer online mediation where practicable. The CMC has now produced some guidance for its members on online mediation which we hope may be of assistance.

The CMC’s Registration & Standards Committee is currently considering a range of measures to help members temporarily to navigate the current crisis without sacrificing the professional standards on which the CMC’s reputation rests. These temporary measures will be circulated very shortly. The CMC itself is continuing to function as normal and its dispersed structure, with professional staff and Board members working from home, has enabled it to continue operating with the minimum of disruption.  We are taking the optimistic route of continuing to plan for the Annual Conference in November (following the huge success of last year’s Conference) although plainly we will have to keep this and any other plans under review.

One plan that has not changed is the desire to improve the CMC’s communications strategy through the appointment of some marketing consultants (CharityBod Ltd) familiar with the way charities operate. Our online and social media profile should increase over the next few months both in terms of keeping members up-to-date with developments and raising the public profile of mediation generally.

Meanwhile, on a personal level, may I express the hope that you all retain good health and that you can find a way of maintaining your mediation profile and activity over the next few months.

Yours sincerely,

David Foskett

Sir David Foskett

Chair CMC