Family Mediator (Accredited) QualificationsNick Richards FDRP LL.B MBA GDLP DMgmt MQLS
What is a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP)?
Registered FDR practitioners generally come from the following professional backgrounds:
- legal practitioners (Solicitors and Barristers)
- social workers (qualified)
- psychologists; and
A registered FDR practitioner must meet all accreditation standards in the Family Law (Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners) Regulations 2008 which includes having been assessed as competent in units that involve screening and assessing families for family violence and child abuse.
The Attorney General manages the accreditation of FDR practitioners in Australia and for a practitioner to receive accreditation they must:
- have met all appropriate qualifications and competencies.
- have access to a suitable complaints mechanism.
- have a national police check.
- not be prohibited under a law of a state or territory from working with children.
- meet the ‘working with children’ requirements.
- be suitable to perform the functions and duties of an FDR practitioner; and
- must be covered by professional indemnity insurance.
A person is required to meet criteria for accreditation relating to qualifications and competencies, which includes competency in screening and assessing families for family violence and child abuse.
Generally, competencies are met through training which includes a workplace assessment under direct observation to demonstrate competency in delivering services to clients, including clients affected by family violence.
Practitioners can meet this accreditation requirement by:
- completing the full Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution; or
- have an appropriate qualification and competency in the six compulsory units from the Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution; or
- have accreditation under the National Mediation Accreditation System.
Some practitioners may meet accreditation requirements if they were included in the Family Dispute Resolution Register on 30 June 2009 and achieved competency in the three specified units (or higher education provider equivalent) before 1 July 2011.
To issue section 60I certificates, mediators must meet the FDR accreditation standards. NMAS accreditation alone does not entitle practitioners to issue section 60I certificates.
Law Firms offering Family Dispute Resolution
Law firms and legal practitioners offering family mediation by persons not registered with the Attorney General as a FDRP cannot issue s 60I certificates. This means should you undertake mediation with an unaccredited person and you cannot reach an agreement with the other party and the matter proceeds to court you will need to engage with a registered FDRP and go through the mediation process for a second time
Law Firms & Conflicts of Interest
If a law firm mediates a family dispute for you, they cannot act for you or the other party as a conflict of interest has arisen. They would now be privy to confidential information between the two parties of which could be used for an unfair advantage.
What is the danger of engaging a mediator (non-accredited FDRP)?
If you choose a mediator that is not accredited by the Attorney General you may need to undergo the mediation process again, costing you time and money.
Our Practitioners & our standard
Our practitioners are generally those that have completed their Graduate Diploma in Family Dispute Resolution amongst possessing our standard of knowledge, skills and experience in FDR:
- has postgraduate qualifications in law, social sciences, counselling and/or psychology;
- has or does practice as a solicitor, psychologist, barrister, counsellor (specialist) or social worker (specialist);
- has experience mediating with families who have complex needs and come from diverse cultural backgrounds;
- has up to date knowledge of the Family Law Act and Domestic Violence Act relevant to FDR and the issue of 60 I Certificates;
- has up to date knowledge, skills and experience in the screening for risk in the areas of child protection, domestic and family violence and suicide;
- has knowledge and experience in working with complex family systems, high acrimony, family distress and trauma, mental health, drug and alcohol and family law issues;
- has knowledge, skills and experience in the delivery of child centred, child focused and child inclusive practice;
- has knowledge, skills and experience in drafting agreements made in relation to parenting and property matters.