National Review of Australia’s Mediator Accreditation System Enters its Final Stages

Christopher Boyle, MSB Chairperson The independent review of the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS), the framework governing Australia’s professional mediators, has now entered the final stages of consultation with the launch of the “NMAS Review Survey” on 14 Feb.

Led by independent research firm, Resolution Resources on behalf of the Mediator Standards Board (MSB), the consultation component of the ‘NMAS Review’ thus far has included more than 720 professionals, across a range of initiatives including a series of working groups, surveys, reference group consultations and a pilot group for this final survey.

On Monday, the NMAS Review Survey, the final consultative initiative, was distributed to approximately 6000 mediation-related professionals and member organisations, and will remain open to the entire dispute resolution community until 4th March.

The Survey has the potential to be one of the largest data gathering processes of its kind ever attempted in Australia, and will make an important contribution to the field of industry-based research into dispute resolution. Importantly and at the forefront, this data will inform recommendations for changes to the current NMAS – and therefore the future of mediator accreditation.

“The energetic support of the legal profession – including lawyer-mediators and lawyers concerned with practice standards – is vital” said Resolution Resources Co-Founders Danielle Hutchinson and Emma-May Litchfield.

They added, “Lawyers’ deep engagement with the law provides a unique opportunity to observe and participate in mediations. Their insight and reflection on the evolution of mediation and mediator skills and practices, will be invaluable.”

Christopher Boyle, MSB Chairperson and former Registrar at the Supreme Court of W.A. reflects, “At the end of this Review, we hope to have a range of evidence-based, actionable recommendations.

When asked about what participants can expect from the survey, Ms Hutchinson & Ms Litchfield emphasised, “We expect participants may find the survey is a little different from surveys they have completed in the past, but we think the dispute resolution community is up to the challenge.”

“The survey is rigorous and complex, as it examines all the information from the current NMAS — both the NMAS Standards and the System — as well as some questions that have emerged from our consultation with the dispute resolution community so far.”

While mediator accreditation and participation in the Review are both voluntary, the MSB hopes the dispute resolution community, including the legal sector, sees the value in contributing their insights. “This is the opportunity to give the review the benefit of their knowledge, experience and values. The more input we have the better the review will be. I hope that all mediators help the Board to help the profession and the public.” said Mr. Boyle.

Anyone wishing to participate can do so before 4th March 2022, and can participate via the dedicated NMAS Review Hub https://nmasreview.com.au/events


ABOUT Mediator Standards Board is the peak body for Accredited Mediators in Australia and is responsible for the ongoing development and maintenance of the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS) introduced in 2008. Website> https://msb.org.au/about-msb

The NMAS As the benchmark for professional standards, and the only accreditation system for the training and assessment of mediators across Australia, the NMAS is delivered by 28 registered mediator training providers across the country and currently includes 3900 accredited mediators. The organisation responsible for its development and maintenance is the Mediator Standards Board (MSB).

MEDIA QUERIES MSB National Chairperson, Mr Christopher Boyle and Resolution Resources Executive Director, Danielle Hutchinson are available for comment, – contact Jenny Watson info@msb.org.au or 03 9005 1903 for enquires.

Release date: 21 Feb, 2022