1. Mediator Experience

The Qualifying Assessment Program (QAP) must include a methodology for ensuring that Applicants have demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Program’s Assessors a substantial level of experience as a mediator. The QAP must include clearly identified criteria on this requirement.

CONCILIA Certification as “CERTIFIED MEDIATOR” is possible only for experienced mediators. Many CONCILIA Certified Mediators are more experienced than 200 hours of mediation and 20 mediations (required by IMI). Furthermore, every Italian “CONCILIA certified” mediator has to be prior accredited by the Italian Ministry of Justice, having passed a qualifying training course of minimum 50-hours of theory and practice, organized by an accredited ADR Center. Moreover, to maintain the status of CONCILIA Certified Mediator, a mediator must accumulate a minimum of 18 hours of refreshing courses every two years, and must certify that he/she acted as a mediator every two years in at least 10 mediations.

CONCILIA Candidate Mediator shall have and maintain high professional competency in mediation skills (both theory and practice), having competence in procedural aspects of the resolution of disputes rather than the mediator’s familiarity with technical knowledge relating to the subject of the dispute. Therefore a professional who requests the “CONCILIA Accredited Mediator Status” (CAMS) shall obtain (first) and demonstrate (after) necessary skills and substantive training appropriate to the mediator’s areas of practice and upgrade those skills on an ongoing basis.

2. Mediation Knowledge

The QAP must include a methodology for determining that Applicants have demonstrated a strong understanding of general mediation theory and practice which may be based on written tests, essays, reports, theses interviews and/or other testing platforms.

All CONCILIA Registered Mediators are prior required to pass a written test composed by 70 multi-choice questions relating to mediation theory and practice. The questions give the opportunity to the participants to test their capacity of being professional mediators, both theoretically and practically. Furthermore, every candidate have to pass an interview with an assessor who investigate the particular mediation knowledge of the individual and his/her attitude to become a civil and commercial mediator.

3. Mediator Skills

The QAP must include a methodology for the evaluation of candidates’ performance in terms of the occurrence and effectiveness of mediation process and mediation techniques, against high competency benchmarks. The Evaluations/Assessments may be based on roleplay or live action assessments, and may include videotaped and online assessments such as web dramas, self-assessments, interviews, peer reviews, user feedback and other in-practice skill evaluations.

Besides the above-mentioned written examination, Concilia will test with role playing, tests and mediation simulations that candidates have some particular skills, qualities and characteristics (candidates will receive written feedback covering the areas of competence where their performance needs improvement. Unsuccessful participants will be advised as to which areas of performance or knowledge they need to address before presenting for further evaluation) The assessment process is spread over a 4-hours period.

To pass this assessment a mediators must cumulate a minimum score of votes – at least 130 points – in a total of 4 sessions.

The above mentioned skills, qualities and characteristics on which candidates are tested are the following:

1st session
Mediator qualities (to pass the exam of this session: 90 points maximum, 45 points minimum):
– Appropriate manners in conducting mediation;
– Use of Non-verbal communication;
– Responding in a positive way to others;
– Appreciation of own values and preferences;
– Building true and valuable rapports;
– Sensitivity to the problems of others;
– Appreciating all inputs;
– Use of humor;
– Showing respect to all;
– Use of paraphrases;
– Keeping mental, not written note;
– Alertness to emotional needs;
– Creating a secure setting;
– Ability to talk freely and openly to all parties;
– Ability to accept feelings of all parties;
– Ability to listen actively;
– Ability to analyze problems, identify and separate the issues involved, and frame these issues for resolution or decision-making;
– Ability to identify and separate the mediator’s personal values from issues under consideration.

2nd session
Procedural skills (to pass the exam of this session: 80 points maximum, 40 points minimum):
– Ability to treat the parties equally and fairly;
– Patience;
– Involving all;
– Sustaining optimism;
– Flexibility;
– Use of posItive language;
– Turning negative language to positive;
– Ability to use clear, neutral language in speaking and in writing;
– Gathering information with the use of open question;
– Checking comprehension with the use of closed questions;
– Testing possible solutions with the use of hypothetical questions;
– Testing reality with the use of challenging questions;
– Correct use of silence effectively;
– Ability to help parties invent creative options;
– Ability to screen out non-mediable issues;
– Ability to help the parties identify their own BATNAs and WATNAs.

3rd session
Negotiation skills (to pass the exam of this session: 60 points maximum, 30 points minimum):
– Using information tactically;
– Helping parties to use information positively;
– Identification of key points;
– Dealing with interruptions;
– Dealing with power imbalance;
– Dealing with inappropriate behaviors;
– Moving from the past to the future;
– Moving from rights and obligations to interests and needs;
– Avoiding impasse;
– Helping the parties in saving their own face;
– Making long-lasting decisions;
– Ability to earn trust and develop rapport.

4th session
Case management skills (to pass the exam of this session: 20 points maximum, 15 points minimum):
– Maintaining timetables;
– Avoiding redundant time;
– Using visual aids (as power-point slides, overhead projector, video-recorder, etcE);
– Keeping the parties informed.

4. Program Transparency

The benchmarks and criteria applied by the QAP must be published and be openly accessible on the organization’s website. Details of all approved programs will be listed on the IMI web portal and will include a direct link to the credentialing organizations’ websites.

The benchmarks against which candidates for CONCILIA Certification are assessed are written in:

and in:

5. Program Integrity

Each Assessor must have substantial experience of assessing the performance of mediators. At least one of the Assessors on each Program must be independent of the QAP.

For the purpose, CONCILIA created a Competence Assessment Committee (CAC) formed by professional mediators and trainers acting as evaluators.

To be an approved CONCILIA Assessor, a professional must have long-time experience of mediating and of assessing the skills of mediators.

For every examination session, in order to have some external professionals acting as Assessors, CONCILIA calls the experts of the Italian Chambers of Commerce. They are independent from the QAP.

6. Ongoing monitoring of Programs

The QAP must include a process for the ongoing monitoring of the performance and practice of the Assessors. IMI will liaise closely with all recognised program organizers to maintain a sustainable quality control system.

After the qualification as “CONCILIA Certified Mediator”, for to remain on the CONCILIA Roster, a mediator must accumulate a certain number of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours. Every two years, he/she has to accumulate a minimum of 18 hours of training in mediation, developed by a qualified ADR Center. If the above mentioned requirements are not taken, the mediator loses his/her “CONCILIA certification”, and he/she is cancelled by the list of accredited mediators.

7. Commitment to Diversity

The QAP must be accessible on an equal basis to experienced mediators regardless of their professional affiliations, gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation or other personal characterization.

CONCILIA encourages applications of mediators from all sectors of society, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation and personal characterization. Membership is open to all mediators of good standing, and who can provide minimum standards of qualification.

About the IMI

The IMI is the only organization in the world to transcend local jurisdictions to develop global, professional standards for experienced mediators, advocates and others involved in collaborative dispute resolution and negotiation processes. IMI also convenes stakeholders, promotes understanding and disseminates skills, all in a non-service provider capacity. IMI competes with no one because it provides no billable services.

IMI Global Accreditation

Global professional standards exist when high practice standards are developed, tested and implemented consistently cross-border by recognized, professional experts. This is achieved in IMI through the Independent Standards Commission (ISC), a 70+ strong body of Mediators, Users, Judiciary, Providers, Trainers, and Educators from 27 countries. Standards developed by the ISC are applied by service providers approved by the ISC to run Qualifying Assessment Programs (QAPs) to qualify competent, experienced mediators for IMI certification. There are currently 19 QAPs, with more in the pipeline and almost 400 IMI Certified Mediators in 45 countries.

For More Information

For more information about the International Mediation Institute, visit its website: