Established in 2003, the CMC liaises with government, the Civil Justice Council, different mediation organisations, employers, and other stakeholders to promote mediation as an effective means of conflict resolution and address issues of concern within the mediation process. In addition, with over 700 registered individual members, 40 registered service providers and 21 registered mediation training providers, the CMC is the largest registering and regulatory organisation for mediators in England and Wales. It provides the public with a trusted directory of mediators across various areas including civil and commercial, workplace, community, SEND and education. It keeps members and the public abreast of developments in mediation, the mediation process, and its place in the settling of arguments in a constructive, non-confrontational manner. The CMC also hosts a Fixed Fee Mediation scheme which, following the removal of a similar scheme from the Ministry of Justice’s webpages, assists members of the public in finding a mediator for disputes under £50,000 at a fixed price.
Since 2016, the CMC has operated a voluntary system of regulation for mediators; the vast majority of its members have opted to become a regulated mediator. In early 2021, the CMC changed its membership policy so that from January 2022, every individual CMC member who practices civil/commercial or workplace mediation in England and Wales will have to be CMC regulated. The purpose of regulation is to protect the public, and the regulatory scheme covers both civil/commercial mediation and workplace mediation. It offers mediators a professional pathway from training through to CMC Fellowship, which is available to the most experienced mediators. The CMC does this by setting criteria for mediator skills training courses and operating an approval system for these courses. As such, all CMC regulated mediators are trained to agreed industry standards, follow an appropriate Code of Practice, carry out necessary professional development activities, and have both suitable insurance and a suitable complaints process in place.
The CMC also offers a similar regulatory scheme for providers, and jointly with the College of Mediators, operates a slightly different scheme for members specialising in SEND mediation. In addition to requiring mediators to demonstrate they meet the CMC’s criteria for recognition, the CMC also offers a complaints process that can be used if a client is not satisfied with the outcome of the mediator’s own complaints process.
The CMC carries out activities to promote best practice, for example through offering affordable CPD at its conferences and issuing guidance on relevant topics. It is also continuing to strengthen its regulatory approach, for example through developing a framework for external assessment of training courses.