NMAS Review – release of Part 2 of the Effectiveness Survey Report

Following on from the NMAS Review September 2021 Update, Part 2 of the NMAS Effectiveness Survey Report is now available to download on the NMAS Review Hub and the Mediator Standards Board (MSB) website.

This blogpost provides:

a. Insight into Part 2 of the NMAS Effectiveness Survey Report

b. Background information 

We welcome your thoughts and comments about the Reports!


a. NMAS Effectiveness Survey Report – Part 2

What have we learned so far?

Part 2 of the Report provides insight into whether mediators perceive the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS) as helpful in relation to six contexts:

Rank

NMAS Context

All ‘helpful’ responses

% all mediators

1

Promoting mediator credibility (Survey Q64)

82%

2

Training & accreditation (Survey Q65)

76%

3

Promoting mediation as a profession (Survey Q66)

75%

4

Participating in CPD (Survey Q67)

72%

5

Guiding everyday mediator practice (Survey Q68)

69%

6

Promoting or developing mediation services (Survey Q69)

67%

In response to the main themes arising from the findings, Part 2 also includes six preliminary recommendations, signalling potential priorities for the MSB or its member organisations (MSB Orgs).

Here is a sample of the findings and recommendations contained in Part 2:

1. ‘Overall, the NMAS was perceived as helpful. Importantly, MSB Orgs and mediators
agree that the NMAS is most helpful in relation to promoting mediator credibility.
This is a tremendous endorsement of everyone involved in the development and
implementation of the NMAS, especially those who, from the outset, recognised
the nexus between the quality of ADR services and community confidence in ADR.’

RECOMMENDATION: ‘Celebrate those who have contributed to the development and implementation of the existing NMAS.’

2. ‘When asked about how often they refer to the NMAS, specifically Part II Approval Standards and Part III Practice Standards, MSB Orgs reported referring to them more often than mediators. This was particularly so in relation to initial accreditation, where 26% of mediators reported never referring to the Approval Standards.’

‘Despite less than 2% of mediators reporting zero years of accreditation, 9% of mediators suggest they never refer to the Approval Standards in relation to reaccreditation requirements, and 11% report never referring to the Practice Standards in regard to competency and practice requirements.’ 

RECOMMENDATION: ‘Investigate ways to maximise mediator perceptions of NMAS helpfulness, including ways to promote mediator engagement with the NMAS, particularly the Approval and Practice Standards.’

3. ‘When referring to the NMAS Standards, It has become apparent that mediators and Member Orgs often mean the system as a whole. This confusion has the potential to have a negative impact — particularly given its use as a public-facing document and reference point within the intake process.’

RECOMMENDATION: ‘Clarify the existing nomenclature to ensure the distinction between the NMAS — which covers the entire accreditation system, including the responsibilities of the MSB and MSB Orgs — and the Standards, which describe the approval and practice requirements for mediators.’

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b. Background

NMAS Review

In 2020, the Mediator Standards Board (MSB) engaged the team at Resolution Resources to review the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS). We encourage everyone in the dispute resolution community to learn more about the purpose and methodology used to conduct this current review.

NMAS Effectiveness Survey

The Effectiveness Survey was conducted in March 2021. The purpose of the survey was to ascertain the extent to which MSB member organisations and mediators perceive the NMAS Standards to be helpful. It was also an opportunity to gather data about the mediation community, some of which now informs the design of the upcoming main NMAS Survey. The Effectiveness Survey Report will be released in four parts:

To review the complete summary of findings and recommendations, we invite you to read Parts 1 and 2 of the Effectiveness Survey Report – available to download now on the NMAS Review Hub. The MSB is also releasing findings on their LinkedIn page and website. Follow them for more updates.


The NMAS Review Hub has been specifically constructed to provide up-to-date and transparent information about the review. We invite everyone in the DR community to visit regularly and/or subscribe to receive updates on the release of Parts 3 and 4 of the Effectiveness Survey Report and information about the upcoming NMAS Survey!

The NMAS Review Team

Emma-May and Danielle

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