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FMC accreditation scheme

How do I obtain Family Mediation Council Accreditation (FMCA)?

To become an accredited family mediator, you first need to attend an FMC approved foundation training course. After this, you can register with the FMC as working towards accreditation, and then start work to build up a portfolio of evidence that you meet the competencies outlined in the FMC standards framework.

There are two parallel portfolio assessment schemes. One is run by the FMC – please see below for full details – and the other is run by The Law Society. Both schemes enable mediators to meet the professional standards requirements as set out in the FMC’s Standards Framework and passing either assessment can lead to the award of Family Mediation Council Accreditation.

 

The Family Mediation Council Accreditation Scheme 

Download the Family Mediation Council Accreditation Scheme here: FMC Accreditation Scheme.

Portfolios should be submitted using this standard template: FMCA Application Form & Portfolio Submission Template

Please note that the FMSB has made changes to the portfolio requirements until the end of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic – please see here for details.

 

Resources for Mediators Working Towards Accreditation

As you start building your mediation practice and working on your portfolio you may find the following documents helpful:

Observation Prompts for Mediators Working Towards Accreditation

Mediator Self-Reflection Sheet – for use after a mediation session

Obtaining Participants’ Permission for a Mediator to be Observed

Providing Information to Clients about Costs

 

Mediators who require extensions

Mediators have three years from completion of their training to submit their portfolios. This can be extended in certain circumstances. Please read the Guidance on extensions for mediators who trained after 1.1.15. If you trained before this date, or have any questions after reading the guidance, please contact fmsb@familymediationcouncil.org.uk.

 

Frequently asked questions about FMCA Accreditation

What is FMCA?

How was the FMCA scheme developed?

How do I gain FMCA as a new mediator?

Is there a time-limit for gaining FMCA?

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

I am accredited for child-only mediation. Can I get accreditation for all-issues mediation?

What happens if I was previously trained or accredited but my practising status has lapsed?

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

Who can undertake legal aid work?

Who can sign court forms?

What is reaccreditation, and how does it work?

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

 

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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How was the FMCA scheme developed?

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. Since the standards were introduced in 2014, there have been three updates: to the number and type of cases commentaries to be submitted, to the requirement to be observed by your own PPC and the stage cases must reach to be submitted as part of a portfolio, and to standards for Child-Inclusive Mediation.

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How do I gain FMCA as a new mediator?

To become an accredited family mediator, you first need to attend an FMC approved foundation training course. After this, you can register with the FMC as working towards accreditation, and then start work to build up a portfolio of evidence that you meet the competencies outlined in the FMC standards framework.

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Is there a time-limit for gaining FMCA?

You must normally pass the assessment for FMCA within three years of completing your training.This can be extended in certain circumstances. Please read the Guidance on extensions for mediators who trained after 1.1.15. If you trained before this date, or have any questions after reading the guidance, please contact fmsb@familymediationcouncil.org.uk.

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

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

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I am accredited for child-only mediation. Can I get accreditation for all-issues mediation?

Yes. The requirements and procedure are set out here.

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What happens if I was previously trained or accredited but my practising status has lapsed?

If you previously trained or were accredited as a family mediator but have not been practising, you can apply to the FMSB to Return to Practice. The FMSB will consider how long ago you were trained/accredited, how much work you carried out as a family mediator, any CPD you have carried out, and any other relevant factors to determine the extent of the training/CPD that should be carried out prior to you joining the FMC Register and/or gaining FMCA status. Please see here for more details

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What happens if I trained or became accredited 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?

The Legal Aid Agency recognised all FMC Accredited mediators (FMCAs) as eligible to carry out 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.

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Who can sign court forms? 

Only FMCA mediators can sign court forms. If you are working towards accreditation, you should read the  MIAM guidance and speak to your PPC to understand the circumstances in which they will sign court forms where you have conducted an assessment meeting.

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

Yes. The requirements and procedure are set out here.

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What is re-accreditation, and how does it work?

Mediators need to renew their accreditation status once every three years (a different period may apply in the first instance if you transferred in to FMCA). See here for more details, including the timescales involved and details of information you will need to provide when applying to renew your accreditation status.

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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, or if you do not meet the criteria for renewal of accreditation.

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