IMI Certified Mediator Assessment or Legal Mediator

ACB offers Qualified Assessment Programs, recognized by the International Mediation Institute to become an IMI Certified Mediator.

Corporate representation

ACB Foundation is a conflict resolution & prevention research center. The foundation is specialized in quality control, selection of qualified neutrals or negotiation professionals for commercial cases, as well as representing the interests of the private sector in the area of dispute resolution and negotiation. ACB Foundation was formed in 1998 by (legal) professional associations and businesses – including the Dutch Employers Association VNO-NCW - that saw a need for a high-quality infrastructure in the field of conflict management & commercial mediation representing their interests. The aim of the foundation is to promote the use and quality of commercial and legal negotiation, deal facilitation and mediation in commercial conflicts and especially to support development of professional users of mediation services, including mediation advocates.

 

ACB 3-step assessment program philosophy

ACB identified a set of criteria that are important for mediation training programs to guarantee that prospective mediators are trained in a way as to ensure a solid base to become commercial or legal mediators (Annex A). The quality of mediators and the interests of the private sector are not served through prescribing a specific mediation style or approach. Self-evaluation, continuous professional development with peer feedback as well as a clear understanding of the mediator of their own style and approach are crucial. It is important that the user ‘gets what s/he sees’ in the description and Feedback Digest of a mediator which enable him to make an informed choice for a mediator fitting their needs in a specific case. This philosophy forms the base of the ACB assessment program and the ACB assessment tool used during the performance based assessment (Annex B) that has been developed by Toolkit Company.Therefore the feedback digest, user feedback, a logbook and self assessment of the mediator are taken into account during the 3-step assessment program and the mediator receives individual feedback from an assessor in several instances both on their performance during the assessment and while reviewing how the mediator dealt with mediations in practice. 

 

The ACB three-step assessment system

ACB Foundation uses a three-step system to assess performance and knowledge and monitor actual mediation experience for mediators who would like to become IMI certified:


Step 1: Performance Based Assessment

Performance Based Assessment to become ‘ACB accredited Legal Mediator’ or ‘ACB accredited Mediator’

A 45-minute video or life action assessment by one or two (for Legal Mediators) ACB trained assessor(s), based on a role-play; as well as a 15-20 minute interview with the assessor(s). Candidates need to prepare and hand to the assessor(s) a strength-weakness analysis as well as a paper describing their mediation style. This forms part of the assessment and will be used in the feedback and interview with the assessor(s) in this step as well as in step 3. Candidates will be assessed based on the ACB / Toolkit Company assessment tool.
The idea behind this assessment is to give young (meaning ‘new to the field’) mediators a chance to ascertain potential clients and mediation providers that they meet quality standards, which will help them to acquire cases (either on their own or as co-mediator) that are necessary to gain sufficient experience to become an IMI Certified Mediator. As well as offering a first step in an ongoing professional development system that will guide and monitor mediators when gaining experience while embarking on a Continuous Professional Development path including self reflection and peer intervision that should stimulate the mediator to continue the habit of self reflection and seeking peer reviews.

The Mediator skills that are tested during the performance based assessment as well as the interview fall into the following categories:

  1. Professional attitude, self-reflection and professional development
  2. Managing the process, including generating options, decision-making, closure, implementation  and follow-up of mediations
  3. Advanced mediation process management skills

See annex C: Practice Assessment Criteria Tool

In order to be admitted to the performance based assessment in step 1 the applicant must have completed mediation-training(s) that meet the ACB criteria for training programs.

The costs for step 1 are € 850,- excluding vat/BTW (21%) where applicable.

 

Step 2: Monitoring actual cases, self-assessment and gaining sufficient experience

Systematical self-assessment keeping track of actual cases and monitoring performance while gaining sufficient practical experience

At latest after passing the performance based assessment and interview in step 1, the candidate should gain experience in at least 20 cases or 200 hours of mediation. For each mediation a feedback form should be submitted to the parties and the mediator should keep track of a logbook of their mediations as well as update their self assessment/strengths-weaknesses analysis.

Before being admitted to step 3 of the assessment program the candidate needs to submit to ACB a logbook and a self-assessment prepared by them as well as the Feedback Digest and feedback forms submitted by the parties. ACB will submit these documents to the assessor.

  • The logbook must contain at least 20 full-scale mediations or 200 mediated hours in the 3 years prior to step 3 of the assessment.
  • The Feedback Digest should be based on feedback forms from those mediations and be prepared by an independent Reviewer according to the IMI guidelines. Candidates can choose their own Reviewer or apply for an ACB Reviewer (More information on Reviewers on IMI’s website: imimediation.org & www.acbmediation.nl).
  • The feedback forms on which the Feedback Digest is based should also be submitted to ACB.
  • The self-assessment should be updated by the mediator and also be based on those mediations  (at least 20 mediations or 200 mediated hours in past 3 years prior step 3 of the assessment).

In order to be admitted to steps 2 and 3 of the assessment the candidate needs to successfully pass the performance based assessment as well as the interview with the assessor(s) in step 1. The interview consists of a part dealing with theory and background knowledge to establish sufficient understanding of mediation-, conflict- and negotiation theory as well as a part where the assessor(s) will examine how the candidate applied these learning’s in practice.

There are no costs payable for step 2 to ACB.

 

Step 3: Peer review, oral assessment and testing of performance in practice

After gaining sufficient practical experience and monitoring those cases in a structured way including self-assessment, the mediator is being reviewed and assessed on their performance in practice by an external assessor before becoming an IMI Certified Mediator

After submitting all documents prepared during step 2, the mediator will be eligible for the final practice assessment. It is important that the self-assessment should be a summary of the experience and learning points of actual mediations that were carried out and described in the logbook, including an analysis of what went well, what the mediator could have done differently and why, and a list of the mediators strong skills and areas of development. The self assessment should be accompanied by a description of the mediators style/approach to the mediation process.  

In step 3 of the assessment procedure the assessor will hold a 20-minute interview with the mediator to discuss their actual mediation cases and experiences and provide feedback on their performance. The candidate needs to successfully absolve the interview with the assessor and establish that they have sufficient understanding of mediation-, conflict- and negotiation theory as well being fully able to apply all learning’s in practice and to carry out mediations in a professional manner.  During step 3 of the assessment also the mediators proficiency in advanced mediation process management skills like dealing with attorneys representing their clients, multi-party cases or cross border cases will be tested.

The Mediator skills that are tested during the interview in step 3 fall into the following categories:

  1. Professional attitude, self-reflection and professional development
  2. Managing the process, including generating options, decision-making, closure, implementation  and follow-up of mediations
  3. Advanced mediation process management skills

See annex C: Practice Assessment Criteria Tool.

The costs for step 3 are € 350,- excluding vat/BTW (21%) where applicable.