Mediators to get new code of conduct

Mediators are close to setting up a new body to set ethical and training standards for the entire profession.
After almost two years of meetings, and with the Woolf reforms due to increase demand for mediators, members of the Joint Mediation Forum (JMF) say they are close to finalising an all-embracing code of conduct plus training and assessment standards.
The new organisation, called the Mediation Council, is expected to be in place by the autumn.
It will be run by 12 representatives from the main mediation fields. Rebecca May, ADR group case manager and JMF member, says that at this stage commercial, family and community mediators will have three representatives each, with three more people co-opted from “interested parties”, such as the Law Society.
Frances Maynard, a Centre for Dispute Resolution (CEDR) assistant director and JMF member, says the total number of representatives will never go above 12, but the number from each field could be reduced from three to two when environmental, or other groups, meet the new body's standards.
The initial representatives are expected to include: The ADR group and CEDR from commercial; the UK College of Family Mediators and the Family Mediators' Association from family; and Mediation UK from community.
The task of regulating and disciplining individual mediators will remain with the member organisations. But Maynard says: “If there are any complaints against a particular organisation that would be looked into by the body.”
“It is also going to serve as a representative voice for mediators and it is envisaged that it will be a resource centre as well,” she says.
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