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Review of Australia’s Mediator Accreditation System concluding soon

The independent review of the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS), the framework governing Australia’s professional mediators, has now entered the final stages of consultation.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 22 February 2022 Big Law
Christopher Boyle
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The NMAS Review Survey launched last Monday, 14 February, and – as the consultation component of the NMAS Review – is being led by independent research firm Resolution Resources on behalf of the Mediator Standards Board (MSB).

The survey has been distributed to approximately 6000 mediation-related professionals and member organisations and will remain open to the entire dispute resolution community until 4 March 2022.

It has the potential, MBS said in a statement, to “be one of the largest data gathering processes of its kind ever attempted in Australia, and will make an important contribution to the field of industry-based research into dispute resolution”.


“Importantly and at the forefront, this data will inform recommendations for changes to the current NMAS – and therefore the future of mediator accreditation,” the board proclaimed.

Resolution Resources co-founders Danielle Hutchinson and Emma-May Litchfield added: “The energetic support of the legal profession – including lawyer-mediators and lawyers concerned with practice standards – is vital.

“Lawyers’ deep engagement with the law provides a unique opportunity to observe and participate in mediations. Their insight and reflection on the evolution of mediation and mediator skills and practices, will be invaluable.” 

MSB chairperson and former registrar at the Supreme Court of Western Australia Christopher Boyle reflected that, “at the end of this review, we hope to have a range of evidence-based, actionable recommendations”.

Ms Hutchinson and Ms Litchfield said that survey participants might find that it is “a little different” different from surveys they have completed in the past, but that the dispute resolution community is “up to the challenge”.

“The survey is rigorous and complex, as it examines all the information from the current NMAS — both the NMAS standards and the system — as well as some questions that have emerged from our consultation with the dispute resolution community so far,” they advised.

Completion of the survey, and ultimately participation in the review is voluntary. MSB said that it hopes that legal professionals see the value in taking part.

“This is the opportunity to give the review the benefit of their knowledge, experience and values. The more input we have the better the review will be. I hope that all mediators help the board to help the profession and the public,” said Mr Boyle.

Anyone wishing to participate can do so before 4 March 2022, and can participate via the dedicated NMAS Review Hub.

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