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FMC accreditation scheme

In 2014 the Family Mediation Council (FMC) approved a new framework for professional standards and regulation, and set up a register of family mediators that can be searched by the public.  The new framework was introduced progressively over 2015. For more detailed information about the framework, see the Standards Manual. Recent  updates have been made to the portfolio requirements – and to standards for Child-Inclusive Mediation.

Information on applying for accreditation under the FMC scheme leading to FMCA status

Please note that as of 1st January 2016 this is the only FMC scheme leading to accreditation. The Law Society runs a parallel scheme.

Guidance and Portfolio Template

Detailed guidance about applying for accreditation is available and you can find the template for submitting your portfolio here.

Mediators who require extensions

Mediators have three years from completion of their training to submit their portfolios. In exceptional circumstances this can be extended – please contact fmsb@familymediationcouncil.org.uk for more details.

Frequently asked questions about FMCA Accreditation

What is FMCA?

Who will be transferred to FMCA status?

How do I gain FMCA as a new mediator?

Is there a time-limit for gaining FMCA?

What happens if I have already started working towards FMCA?

I can’t find any information about the APC portfolio on the website

Where can I obtain more information about the new FMCA accreditation scheme?

Which training courses are approved?

What happens if my membership or practising status has lapsed?

What happens if I trained or qualified outside England and Wales?

Who can undertake legal aid work?

What happens if I do not hold FMCA, but I have been approved to provide MIAMs?

I am approved for child-only mediation. Can I get approval for all-issues mediation?

What happens if I achieve Resolution or FMA accreditation in the future?

What is reaccreditation, and how does it work?

When will I need to apply for reaccreditation?

What CPD do I need to record for reaccreditation?

Can FMCA be revoked or suspended even when reaccreditation is not yet due?

When do the revised complaints and disciplinary procedures come into effect?

What is FMCA?

FMC Accredited Family Mediator, the fully-qualified status for family mediators in England and Wales. Achieving FMCA requires successful completion of an approved training course, plus a period of supervised practice leading to submission of a portfolio successfully assessed leading to FMCA.

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Who will be transferred to FMCA status?

You will automatically have FMCA status if:

  • You are in ‘good standing’ as a practising family mediator with your FMC member organisation, i.e. you have paid your fees, met the current CPD requirements, have a professional practice consultant and have not had membership of any member organisation withdrawn for disciplinary reasons, AND
  • You have either passed one of (a) the FMC Assessment of Professional Competence or (b) the former UK College or Legal Services Commission schemes, or hold family mediation accreditation with the Law Society, Resolution or FMA.

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How do I gain FMCA as a new mediator?

You will first need to complete an FMC-approved training course, which involves at least 60 hours of instruction normally spread over several months. You then need to sign up with an experienced mediator who is a Professional Practice Consultant (PPC), and work towards assessment either with the FMC or the Law Society.

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Is there a time-limit for gaining FMCA?

You must normally pass the assessment for FMCA within three years of 1st January 2015 or of completing your training, whichever is later. If you do not pass within this time without good reason, you may be required to retrain or removed from the Register. An absolute maximum of five years is allowed between passing your course and achieving FMCA.

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Where can I obtain more information about the new FMCA accreditation scheme?

Detailed guidance on the new scheme is available and there is a template to use when completing your portfolio. If you have any unanswered queries please contact us using the email address info@familymediationcouncil.org.uk.

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What happens if my membership or practising status has lapsed?

If you passed one of the assessments or accreditation schemes that allow transfer into FMCA and you have not practised recently or your membership has lapsed, you will need to apply for non-standard entry after 1st October 2015. The Family Mediation Standards Board (FMSB) will assess your application and agree with you what you will need to do to become accredited. See the Standards Manual for further guidance.

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What happens if I trained or qualified outside England and Wales?

Apply for non-standard entry after 1st October 2015. The Family Mediation Standards Board (FMSB) will assess your application and agree with you what you will need to do to become accredited. See the Standards Manual for further guidance.

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Who can undertake legal aid work?

All FMCAs qualifying under the ‘new scheme’ from 2015 onwards (including via the Law Society) will be personally qualified to undertake mediation funded by legal aid, provided that they are working for a service or practice that holds a legal aid contract. This also applies to FMCAs who transferred in and were previously qualified to carry out legal aid work. However, FMCAs who transferred in but without current approval for legal aid work (for example those mediators having undertaken accreditation with FMA or Resolution) will need to undergo an assessment if they wish to gain this approval. The FMSB will provide further details of what will be needed in due course.

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What happens if I was approved to provide MIAMs before 31 December 2015 but I am not FMCA?

• With the exception of transitional measures, only mediators who are FMCA can sign off MIAMs. Fur further information, see the details MIAM guidance.

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I am approved for child-only mediation. Can I get approval for all-issues mediation?

The FMSB is developing guidance.  This may involve additional assessment, and may involve a short training course.

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What happens if I achieve Resolution or FMA accreditation in the future?

Once the initial recognition of Resolution and FMA-accredited members has taken place, these schemes will no longer form a route to FMCA.

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What is reaccreditation, and how does it work?

FMCA is initially awarded for a period of three years. Every three years you will need to submit information that demonstrates your continuing ability to practise, including how you have kept up-to-date and maintained your skills. See the Standards Manual for more information.

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When will I need to apply for reaccreditation?

If you are newly accredited in 2015, you will need to apply within three years of your accreditation date. If you are transferring to FMCA, your first reaccreditation will be due at some point between 1st January 2017 and the end of 2018. This is to spread the workload rather than having everyone going through reaccreditation at the same time. The FMSB will tell you in due course which group you are in.

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What CPD do I need to record for reaccreditation?

The old regulations for CPD ceased on 1st January 2015. You need to keep a record of self-managed continuing development, as described in the Standards Manual, from that date. When you are first recalled for reaccreditation your development record should refer to the period from 1st January 2015 to the date you are required to be reaccredited.

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Can FMCA be revoked or suspended even when reaccreditation is not yet due?

FMCA status can be revoked or suspended if you fail to pay your registration fees, if you are no longer a member of any of the FMC member bodies, or if you practise without the support of a PPC. FMCA will also be revoked in the case of a serious transgression against the Code of Practice or professional standards, subject to the normal disciplinary procedures.

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When do the revised complaints and disciplinary procedures come into effect?

All FMC member organisations must comply with the new procedures. The FMC is working with the Member Organisations on this; until further guidance is published please refer to your Member Organisation’s complaints procedure.

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