June 04, 2009

ACR Revives Certification Efforts

After a member survey indicated continued support for mediator certification, the Association for Conflict Resolution has revived its Certification Task Force. As presently envisioned, ACR's mediation scheme is based on three criteria:
  • Reliability, involving not only requirements for experience and training but also assessments of knowledge and performance-based skills;
  • Accountability, which requires Standards and a Code of Ethics, specific to the areas of expertise with a credible grievance procedure; and
  • Inclusivity, requiring that it be available and achievable by diverse demographic groups, and that it be model-neutral.
The first two criteria differ significantly from the certification program recently introduced by Mediate.com, which does not attempt to asses mediators' skills or have a grievance procedure. Both organizations indicate that certification would not be obtainable by entry- or mid-level practitioners. (ACR Update.)

Mediator and blogger Diane Levin is concerned about the proposal for a performance-based assessment. She wonders how ACR will ensure that assessments are free from bias and based on objective criteria not subjective observations, especially in light of studies finding discrimination against female mediators. She says that, "ACR must be prepared to explain what steps it can take to reassure women, and minorities, too, that the process will indeed achieve not thwart inclusiveness." (Mediation Channel.)

Related post: Mediate.com Unveils Certification Program.

1 comment:

  1. It is interesting to see that two of the major ADR organizations are launching certification programs this year. It seems timely for IOA to launch a certification program for ombudsman, before another organization launches one first.