Mediators play a hugely important role in modern family law cases, helping to keep difficult and emotionally challenging situations moving forwards, but you might wonder who mediates the mediators?
In a profession that prides itself on high standards and consistent advice, it is equally important to have individuals trained to an even higher level, who are able to act as consultants to other mediators and offer support to them in their daily lives.
This is where the role of Professional Practice Consultant comes in, a qualification Marcia Mediation’s own Marcia Lister now holds, having received accreditation from the nationwide family law organisation Resolution.
A Professional Practice Consultant is essentially a supervisor role available for other mediators to contact for an independent opinion, and to provide monitoring to ensure mediators are working to the same professional standards and code of ethics.
For Marcia, that means offering guidance to newly qualified mediators in their first cases, and to support mediators through the early stages of their careers as they work towards senior accreditation.
More than just a second opinion when it is needed, Marcia is there as an ongoing mentor, and sometimes just as a friendly ear to listen to any problems and help mediators to sound out their own potential solutions.
The role is, in itself, a symbol of how mediation works – through collaboration rather than confrontation, and with the best interests of all involved parties at heart – to make family law cases less stressful and emotionally challenging, and to achieve high standards of outcomes wherever possible.
In practice for clients, you usually will not even be aware of when a Professional Practice Consultant such as Marcia has been approached by your mediator, and any such consultation will of course be completely confidential and appropriate to your specific circumstances.
But it does mean that in particularly difficult or unusual cases, or at any time when your case hits an obstacle or apparent deadlock, your mediator can call on Marcia for a second opinion and to work together to identify a possible way to proceed.
Together, this allows mediators at all stages in their careers to deliver the highest possible professional standards and to handle cases of all kinds in a consistent way.
And for Marcia Mediation – whose mediators are all accredited to senior status under the Family Mediators Association definition – it ensures that we are able to continue to work on our professional development as a whole, and provide an unbeaten quality of service.