What might the future hold for Australia's mediator accreditation system? -- NMAS Review Recommendations Released.

After completing an extensive review into Australia’s National Mediator Accreditation System, independent research firm Resolution Resources has delivered its 'Findings and Recommendations Report' to the Mediator Standards Board (the MSB).

The formal review (known as the NMAS Review), which began in the second half of 2020, used an intensive, research-driven process that involved extensive consultation with the broader Australian mediation community, and included MSB member organisations, mediators (accredited and not) and other relevant bodies.

In its decision to undertake a formal review, the MSB felt it was important to ensure the process was independent. It engaged Resolution Resources to implement a sound and tested methodology, in order to produce an evidence-based set of recommendations for evolving the NMAS. The last review of the NMAS was in 2015, and used an internally managed approach.

The MSB has elected to release the formal Findings and Recommendations Report to the mediation community before the endorsement, or otherwise, of any recommendations.

In a statement circulated to MSB members on Monday, Christopher Boyle, Chairman of the MSB shared, “The review process highlighted the positive role that the NMAS has played in the mediator community, adding credibility and integrity to the training and practice of Australian mediators.

The findings of the review show that mediation in Australia is an ‘emerging profession’. There are elements of self-regulation that are definitive of mature professions that mediation could draw from, particularly in respect of complaints handling and discipline.

The path to a fully-developed profession is one that will take some time to travel, and the exact route to that destination is not yet clear.”

The MSB has resolved to commit further resources to preparing short-, medium- and long-term responses to the Review. These will include clear transition periods for individuals and organisations that may be affected.

“Until threshold decisions have been made, it would be premature and distracting to engage in discussions about details of how recommendations might be implemented. The Board will continue engaging with the community – we are a members’ organisation. The MSB was established to govern a system for member organisations, and it intends to maintain that.” said Boyle.

A process of active engagement will be announced by the MSB in the coming months. The NMAS Review - Findings and Recommendations Report is published on the MSB website https://msb.org.au/nmas-review and the NMAS Review website https://nmasreview.com.au/

Release date: 06 Sep, 2022