New learning technologies

New learning technologies

Why do we need new learning technologies?

In case you haven’t noticed the world is changing and it is changing very quickly. The internet has brought challenges but it has also brought amazing opportunities for those of us who lead, train and support others.

It has never been easier to connect people to share knowledge or conduct business. Forcing people to travel to sit in a room together is no longer necessary and as time progresses will no longer be desired.

We now live in the Information Age. Organisations and individuals must adapt to this new world or be left behind the same way that blue collar workers have been left behind at the end of the industrial age.

It is hard to realise what is happening when you are in the middle of it but we are living through a major adjustment that has just begun. If you want to compare it with the last age we are still at the steam engine stage!

Why eLearning?

Mediation Institute was established in 2013 with a mission to make mediation training more accessible for people throughout Australia.

This is part of the mission of the founders of Mediation Institute which is to prevent violence, abuse and entrenched conflict by training and supporting dispute resolution professionals.

Our approach is to harness technology to maximise the convenience and accessibility of our courses.

Award winning eLearning Methodology

eLearning shouldn’t be an email correspondence course and it doesn’t mean just the passive acquisition (or not) of knowledge.

The potential of eLearning is to reach out to people in their homes and workplaces and engage them in interactive, student led learning.

Our approach in building our courses was validated by our peers. 

We submitted our course for independent evaluation in the 2014 eLearning Excellence Awards and won!

We were awarded the 2014 eLearning excellence award for the Vocational Education and Training Industry (VET) category.

Mediation Institute Winner of the eLearning Excellence Award 2014


New learning technologies

eLearning provides us with new learning technologies that give us unprecedented opportunities to innovate the way we train and support people and where they are when we do that.

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Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning

Prior Learning Assessment or Recognition of Prior Leaning is an assessment only process to help people who have workplace experience and formal and informal training to gain recognised qualifications.

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education finance
Family Dispute Resolution

Education Finance

Education Finance allows for an investment in your future by acquiring qualifications that lead to improved career opportunities.

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But students like workshops!


Our student surveys indicate that what students like is the interaction with others not having to travel to a workshop nor having to sit in a room for hours on end.

What they like is talk through ideas, have private conversations in the breaks and debate concepts when they challenge them during the learning process.

In other words, they want to connect, to be able to speak, be heard and talk through the confusion that is inevitable when learning new information.

All of this can be enjoyed using technology by providing discussion focused webinars and tutorials (not boring fly on the wall lectures) and content delivered in ways that they can interact and engage with.


Upcoming Events
Peer Supervision
Tue 29

Day Session January 2019 Online Peer Group Supervision

29 January @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm AEDT
Webinar - Understanding Facilitative Mediation
Feb 04

Understanding Facilitative Mediation

4 February @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm AEST
Practice Development Mastermind
Feb 05

Rural and Regional Connection

Our prediction is that as the internet continues to connect up our regional and rural areas we will see a repopulation of regional areas. 

If it is possible to connect into the world economy and work in high level information and service jobs more people will escape the high real estate prices of capital cities to raise their children in regional areas.

 This will lead to a need to provide more services to widely dispersed people and technology will be used to achieve that in a way that provides quality, affordable services.

We see our role as trainers as being to support the upskilling of the community services workforce to support the need to use technology as core tools in their professional practice.

Rural Residents

Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process of assessing skills and competence acquired on the job and through formal and informal training that is not a current unit of competence or qualification. The purpose of is to allow people who are already competent in their work role to have that competence recognised without them having to complete training that they do not require.

Recognition of prior learning is given on a unit by unit basis and can only be given for full units.

If you do not have the necessary competence for a full qualification you can still be given recognition of prior learning for any units you do have competence in including imported units if they are relevant to the qualification you are applying for.

If you do not have the necessary competence for a full unit of competence you will have to do the training and assessment for the unit. You may be able to negotiate with the training provider to have specific assessment tasks waived and credits for them based on your evidence of partial competence.

Which qualifications can I apply for Recognition of Prior Learning with Mediation Institute?

Mediation Institute provides training and assessment in partnership with the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) Inspiritive 21178.  We are a specialist training provider and have qualified and experienced assessors who can review your RPL application for the following qualifications:


Our Partner RTO has the ability to assess Recognition of Prior Learning for the following accredited Courses

10249NAT- Course in Process Oriented Coaching Qualification Information on

10250NAT – Graduate Certificate in Neuro-Linguistic Programming Qualification Information on

How do I apply for recognition of prior learning?

If you are interested in applying for recognition of prior learning the first step is to get in touch with us to discuss your situation. You must have current or very recent (within the past 12 months in most cases) and you must be able to provide evidence.

If in our discussion that seems likely we will give you a Recognition of Prior Learning tool which will allow you to look more closely at the qualification or units you are seeking recognition for. Once you return that with your application form we will complete the reivew and determine if you are able to be granted recognition of prior learning.

If you are then you will be issued with the qualification or a statement of attainment for the units of competence you have applied for. Under the Australian Qualification Framework there is no difference between a qualification that has been issued as a result of recognition and one that has been achieved through training and assessment.

Click here to go to the Contacts Page of this site.

The choice to complete the assessment only recognition of prior learning process or apply for training and assessment depends on several factors. 

Cost is certainly a factor in all except our marine radio units the RPL cost is 1/3 of the train and assess cost per unit.

Whether you believe that you would benefit from the training. While you may be technically competent and able to meet the requirements for recognition of prior learning is that the best option for you and your professional development? Informal leaning through workshops and on the job has it’s place but sometimes lacks the theoretical base that can lead to mastery of a subject when combined with practical experience.

Upcoming Events

What you need to know about Mediator Accreditation

When we talk about Mediation Accreditation you need to be aware that there are two very different systems that accreditation relates to.

The first is entry level to the professional dispute resolution industry and is called NMAS Accreditation.

The other is a post graduate level accreditation as a family law mediator and is called accreditation as a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner.


Summary of this article

If you don’t have time to read the full article. These are the key points.

Lowest level of accreditation

  • the lowest level of accreditation as a professional mediator is NMAS Accreditation
  • NMAS accreditation requires the equivalent of a 38 hour course and assessment or experience and assessment
  • Use the Registers on the MSB Website check if a mediator is accredited

The highest level of accreditation

  • the highest level of accreditation as a professional family law mediator is the CHC81115 – Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution
  • this takes about a year to complete
  • Use the register on the Attorney Generals Website  to see if a FDR Practitioner is accredited

NMAS Accreditation

National Mediator Accreditation System accreditation is entry level to the industry and requires:


FDRP Accreditation

Family dispute resolution practitioner accreditation requires:

What is a RMAB?

Mediation Institute and a number of other organisations who train, assess and/or accredite mediators are called Recognised Mediator Accreditation Bodies (RMAB’s) 

The role is delegated to them by the Mediators Standards Board.

Link to the Mediators Standards Board Website

As a RMAB Mediation Institute:

Is becoming a NMAS Mediator Mandatory?

Not legally. The NMAS Accreditation System is a voluntary industry standard established in Australia to ensure that there is a way to identify mediators who meet a minimum standard.

Mediation Institute strongly advises members of the community to only work with a mediator who has current NMAS Accreditation.

If someone claims they are a mediator but are not NMAS Accredited it may mean that:

  • they have not been trained in mediation
  • they have not been assessed as competent in mediation
  • they have not met accreditation requirements to become accredited
  • they have not maintained ongoing professional development requirements to maintain their accreditation.

How do I know if a mediator is accredited?

As a RMAB our job is to assess mediator’s competence against the NMAS Standard and accredit them.

Once we accredit a mediator or re-accredit a mediator who is applying for their accreditation renewal we put their name on the national register.

The register allows anyone to look up the name of a person claiming to be a mediator to see if they are actually accredited.

They also have an obligation to tell you who their complaint handling body is and how you can access the NMAS Standards.

Are NMAS Mediators Accredited for Family Law Mediation?

No. The situation for Family Law Mediators is different. 

Completing the minimum requirements to become a NMAS mediator does not equip you to be a family law mediator.

It requires a much higher level of education and obligations.

The training required is CHC81115 – Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution Qualification or an approved higher education equivalent.

Only those who meet the training and accreditation requirements are entitled to call themselves Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners (FDRP’s)

How can I tell if a FDRP is really accredited?

Most FDRP’s are listed on the Australian Attorney Generals Department maintained register of Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners.

Some do not want their details published on the register so if you can’t find someone with a search of the register you can contact the Attorney Generals Department to check.

Why train and accredit as a NMAS mediator with Mediation Institute?

The top 3 reasons our students choose Mediation Institute are:

1. Flexibility

The course is delivered by flexible, accessible online learning.

2. Individuality

We offer ongoing enrolment throughout the year although service levels drop over Christmas. This allows you to start when you want and move through the course at your own pace.

Live mentoring means that you learn with the full support of live video NMAS Accredited Mediator / Trainer mentors who give you feedback as you are developing your skills.

3. Video Mediation

The added benefit to our online learning model is that you learn video mediation at the same time.

Mediation Institute provides this mediation training via eLearning and the skills development through Video Mediation.

You can find out more about our NMAS Accreditation Course here –

Why train to become a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner with Mediation Institute?

The top 3 reasons students choose Mediation Institute for the CHC81115 – Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution are:

1 Accessibility and Flexibility

Our course is delivered by online learning with live simulations for skills development. As with our NMAS Course you will learn Video Mediation and if you are not already a NMAS Mediator you will be able to use this course as a valid alternative to the NMAS Course in order to apply for assessment and accreditation as a NMAS Mediator.

2 Proper Work Placement

The requirement of the qualification is a 50-hour work placement with work with at least 5 families under the supervision of a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner.  Some providers do not do this and instead count the role plays you do to develop your skills as being work placement. They may only require 20 hours of client related work.

Some providers leave you to find your own work placement and do not provide any support at all. Before you enrol with one of those providers make sure that you have a placement in hand as even the 20 hours is very difficult to get. Mediation Institute has arrangements in place for your work placement should you want us to arrange it for you.

3. Self-paced learning

There are a number of different types of live video mediation role plays required in the course but the scheduling of these and the speed you move through the course depend on your availability.

You can find out more about our CHC81115 – Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution course here – https://www.mediationinstitutGrad. Dip. Course Information


Find the right course for your budget and preferred training style but do your due diligence. Some questions we recommend you ask.

  • Do they allow for re-assessment if you don’t pass your assessment fist time? If so what does it cost? (NMAS)
  • Do they teach you how to facilitate Video Mediation and equip you for the 21st Century as a mediator?
  • Do they require the full 50-hour work placement, and do they support you getting your placement? (FDR)
  • Are their trainers practising professional mediators or academics who are teaching you theory rather than the reality of working in the industry?
  • Do they run a professional body that will continue to support you once you complete your entry level course?

Needless to say, Mediation Institute does all of these things and more. 

Please get in touch for an obligation free discusssion if you are interested in becoming a professional mediator.


Sweeping Changes to the Family Court System announced.

Pre-empting the current review into the Family Court System the Australian Attorney General, Christian Porter, announced on the 30th May 2018 that the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court will merge. The change is to take effect from the 1st January 2019. The new court will be called the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCA). A new Family Law Appeals Division of the Federal Court of Australia (FLAD) will also be established to hear appeals from the FCFCA.

Western Australia has it’s own family court however it appears that the appeals divisions will hear some appeals from the Family Court of Western Australia although the Attorney General does not have the constitutional power to merge the Western Australian court into the rest of the country.

The intention is to speed up the process of settling family disputes which end up in court.

“Family break-up is a traumatic time for both parties and children, as well as the wider family. We have a responsibility to ensure that systems are in place to assist those families who cannot resolve matters without legal intevention are as efficient, and that the systems itself does not exacerbate the trauma of family break up, especially for children.

It’s estimated that these reforms will improve the efficiency of the federal family law system by up to a third, with the potential in time to allow up to an extra 8,000 cases to be resolved each and every year.”

Christian Porter, Attorney General

The Family Court currently hears family law cases involving complex financial arrangements, trusts, serious parenting arguments, allegations of child abuse in custody arrangements and protracted family disputes.

The Federal Circuit Court deals with the rest.

The new court will be divided into two divisions:

  • Division 1 will comprise the existing judges of the Family Court of Australia and deal only with family law matters.
  • Division 2 will comprise the existing judges of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and deal with family law matters and general federal law matters.

The Attorney-General said reform of the courts dealing with family matters is long-overdue.

Current situation

In the 2016-2017 financial year there were about 106,000 family law applications.

  •  almost 44,000 divorce applications in the Federal Circuit Court
  • almost 14,200 consent order applications in the Family Court (consent order applications are when the parties are able to reach agreement without requiring a court judgement)
  • about 25,600 interim order applications between the two courts (interim orders as orders made during a court case before the final trial hearing)
  • almost 20,500 final order applications across both courts following a final hearing (trial)
  • costs for families in the Family Court are estimated to be up to 4 times those of the Federal Circuit Court
  • matters in the Family Court require 45% more attendances by litigants than the Federal Circuit Court
  • days per trial in the Family Court are double that o fthe Federal Circuit Court
  • approximately 29% FCC matters and 42% of Family Court matters pending final orders are over 12 months old.
  • approximately 350 appeals are filed in the Appeal Division of the Family Court each year.

The Federal Circuit Court finalises over 85% of the final order family law matters.

“Despite the number of cases filed each year remaining relatively static over the past five years, the number of family law matters awaiting resolution has grown from 17,200 to 21,000 and the median time taken to reach trial has grown in both courts, from 10.8 months to 15.2 months in the Federal Circuit Court and from 11.5 months to 17 months in the Family Court.”

Christian Porter, Attorney General

The time it takes to reach trial is considerably longer in some court locations.  Mr Porter believes that the merger could see an extra 8,000 cases being resolved each year.  Some cases are taking three years or more to be resolved through the court.

In 2016-17, almost 1,200 families had their disputes transferred between the Family Court and the FCC. The waiting time to have a case transferred averaged 11.1 months in the FCC and 4.6 months in the Family Court. In both cases, litigants had to restart their proceedings using the procedures of the alternate court.

Australian Law Reform Commission Report

A current wider reaching review of the family law system, not just the courts, is currently being undertaken by the Australian Law Reform Commission is due to report back to the Government by March 2019.

The issues paper makes interesting reading for anyone wondering about the focus of the enquiry.

Media Release by the Attorney-General

The media release justifies the change as being to help families save time and costs in family law disputes.

“For too many families, disputes over property and custody of children, are being exacerbated by inefficiencies and growing delays in the court system caused by the overlapping jurisdiction and significant variations in the operational rules, processes and practices of the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court.”

“One key issue causing exacerbating delays for many families is the high number of cases transferred between the two courts. Almost 1200 families’ cases are transferred between the two courts each year, some after having been in court for more than 11 months. This means those families must start the whole court process again in the other court with completely different rules, procedures and processes. This and other inefficiencies mean highly skilled and trained judicial officers are being hampered from hearing and resolving more family law cases requiring resolution because of inefficient and often duplicated administration.”

Christian Porter, Attorney General

See the media release from the 30th May 2018 by the Attorney General here. 

Fact Sheet – Structural reform of the federal family courts

A fact sheet on the proposed changes is available on the Attorney Generals Website.

The Government expects to introduce legislation in the Spring Parliamentary sittings. Subject to passage of legislation, the FCFCA and the FLAD will commence operation on 1 January 2019.

Initially, the Federal Court and both divisions of the FCFCA will maintain their existing court rules. Following consultation with the judiciary, legal profession and other stakeholders, the new court will update its rules with a view to achieving consistency in forms, procedures, administrative matters and practice directions.

Transitional arrangements will be put in place for proceedings before the courts at the time of the commencement of the reforms to ensure that matters before the courts at that time are dealt with as effectively and efficiently as possible, and with the minimum of inconvenience and delay.

The structural reform of the federal court’s page is located here

No consideration of Alternative Dispute Resolution

There is no mention of Alternative Dispute Resolution as an alternative to people going to court. We hope that the law reform review will identify more creative alternatives to the proposal to merge the courts such as providing additional resources and support to educate separating couples about negotiation and the effects of conflict on their children and the many alternatives to litigation through family dispute resolution.

The focus of this reform is on improving the efficiency of a service that many families would be wiser to avoid altogether.

“This single new court, the FCFCA, will help Australian families resolve their disputes faster by improving the efficiency of the existing split family law system, reducing the backlog of matters before the family law courts, and driving faster, cheaper and more consistent dispute resolution,”

“This significant structural change is designed to dramatically increase the number of family law matters finalised each and every year, and reduce the backlog of unresolved cases on hand at any one time. The purpose of the reform is to ensure Australian families experience shorter waiting times, and a reduction in the potential for conflict caused by prolonged and acrimonious family disputes.”

“The FCFCA will have one single point of entry for all federal family law matters to provide a consistent pathway for Australian families needing to have their family law disputes dealt with by court proceedings. Families will have one new court with one set of new rules, procedures and practices designed to ensure that their disputes will be dealt with by the FCFCA in the most timely, informed and cost effective manner possible.”

Christian Porter, Attorney General

We hope that a wider view of the family law system will provide the Attorney General and other decision makers the opportunity to see the benefits of more families not using the family court at all. The best way to reduce the conflict caused by prolonged and acrimonious family disputes is to provide support for families to resolve their disputes themselves with the assistance of professionals rather than handing over their fate to the hands of an overworked family court judge.

Innovations in alternative dispute resolution such as those being offered by the not-for-profit, Interact Support established by Mediation Institute directors can make more of a difference for families that combining courts.  Interact Support has video mediation high conflict family dispute resolution for those couples who are turned away from standard government funded Family Dispute Resolution services as well as Mediator Facilitated Negotiation which is a lower cost method for people who are too high conflict to negotiate directly but unwilling or unable to pay the tens of thousands of dollars that lawyer negotiation typically costs.

Integral to the Interact Support High Conflict Family Dispute Resolution Services is the use of the New Ways for Families Course which teaches participants skills to help them to be better negotiators and about the genuine, long-term harm that exposure to family conflict causes children.

Many people are being advised by their lawyers to file for exemptions to Family Dispute Resolution and go straight to court for parenting matters and to bypass any discussion of family dispute resolution for property matters.

It is disappointing to see the assumption in the Attorney Generals statement that all of the cases in the Family Court are there because the families can’t resolve their issues without legal intervention in the form of going to Family Court.

“We have a responsibility to ensure that systems in place to assist those families who cannot resolve matters without legal intervention are as efficient as possible and that the system itself does not exacerbate the trauma of family breakup, especially for children.”

Christian Porter, Attorney General

A reduction of the 22,000 cases that go to family court would be easy to achieve simply by tightening up the exemption rules and raising the threshold for access to the court and requiring mandatory alternative dispute resolution for property matters.

Education for lawmakers, lawyers and separating families about the potential for people to be empowered to make their own decisions regarding how to care for their children and how to divide up their assets is needed as well.

It is ludicrous that government funded services offering 2 hours of “free” family dispute resolution are seen to fail if they can’t help a couple to sort out their issues in that time and the only other alternative is to spend 2 or more years fighting in court.

The customised, nuanced and highly individual agreements that can be reached in Family Dispute Resolution take a little more time to achieve than is generally provided by the publicly funded system and yet not enough people automatically think of engaging an independent Family Dispute Resolution practitioner to work with their family to achieve this outcome. Once agreement is reached getting enforceable consent orders is a relatively simple, administrative process.


Mediation Institute Webinars

Mediation Institute Students and Members can now see upcoming webinars on the Events tab on our website.

If you know the event you are looking for you can search or if you are not sure you can browse the calendar view or click on the View As button and view a list or day view.

We will progressively populate the event calendar with Mediation Institute events as well as conferences and other events of interest to our members.

What if I can’t make it to an event live?

Tutorials are recorded and uploaded to the Members area and a link is usually also added to the event in the calendar.

Events such as Supervision must be attended live as we may discuss sensitive issues that would be inappropriate to record.

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