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.
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
As you start building your mediation practice and working on your portfolio you may find the following documents helpful:
Mediator Self-Reflection Sheet – for use after a mediation session
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently asked questions about FMCA Accreditation
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.
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CPD requirements, have a professional practice consultant and have not had membership of any member organisation withdrawn for disciplinary reasons, AND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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
• With the exception of transitional measures, only mediators who are FMCA can sign off MIAMs. Fur further information, see the details MIAM guidance.
The FMSB is developing guidance. This may involve additional assessment, and may involve a short training course.
Once the initial recognition of Resolution and FMA-accredited members has taken place, these schemes will no longer form a route to FMCA.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.