NFM Mediators: A Gold Standard

When you choose a mediator you need to feel sure that you will receive a highly professional service in every aspect.  All NFM mediators are fully qualified and accredited by the Family Mediation Council (FMC) and the Legal Aid Agency (LAA).  This accreditation is the ‘gold standard’ for family mediation.

Our mediators all have professional qualifications and experience in relevant disciplines, such as law, social work, human relations, banking or counselling prior to training as a mediator. The route to mediator accreditation is:

  • Traineeship in a NFM member service, observing experienced mediators
  • Attendance at the a 9 day core training programme
  • Co-working as a trainee with experienced mediators
  • Regular monthly supervision with a professional practice consultant
  • Leading cases, supported and co-worked with an experienced mediator
  • Documenting casework in a portfolio, with recommendations from practice consultant and co-workers.

This process normally takes around two years from appointment as trainee.  NFM mediators’ training and apprenticeship enables them to help people discuss and decide a wide range of issues, including children’s arrangements, how to manage finances and deciding on the division of assets.

All NFM mediators receive regular supervision with a Professional Practice Consultant and complete continuing professional development training with NFM (or other authorised body) as a condition of their continued membership of National Family Mediation.

You can have confidence if you choose a NFM member service that you will be working with a highly trained and qualified mediator, who has the ability, knowledge and skills that you will require to help you decide your future.

Should I choose a mediator with a legal background?

The background of the mediator is not relevant, because mediators are skilled and knowledgeable in helping you identify the information you need in order to make decisions. They do not give advice because that would affect their impartiality and could be very uncomfortable for participants.  You are encouraged to seek your own separate advice in order to ensure you make fully-informed decisions .

What is the secret of mediation?  What will the mediator do?

Mediators use a range of skills to help people plan for the future:

  • Listening to ensure your points are really heard and understood
  • Summarising understanding
  • Naming and articulating issues in such a way that they can be discussing
  • ‘Reframing’ – helping people use words that will encourage listening and discussion
  • Using questions to help people identify priorities and needs
  • Being impartial, not taking sides and encouraging self-determination
  • Managing the agenda in a timely way
  • Ensuring access to necessary information
  • Helping people spell out arrangements to check they will work

These skills are designed to help you decide for yourself what is best in all the circumstances.

NFM is a network of professional family mediation providers based in England and Wales that work with families affected by relational breakdown. All providers aim to help clients achieve an outcome that works best for them and their family

If you would like to get more information about mediation and/or make an appointment you can contact NFM direct on 0300 4000 636 or you can also contact a NFM family mediation provider in your area.

All services also take referrals from Solicitors, the court or other helping / support agencies.

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