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What’s the difference between certified and accredited?

What’s the difference? Certified means you’ve completed training and have a certificate. Accredited means you’ve met all requirements to be Accredited.

 

Certified just means a certificate has been issued. You need to look at the certificate to know what standard the training was against.   Was it something put together by a training provider based on their beliefs about what learners need or was it based on a standard established by others? 

Accredited means that there has been a process against an accreditation system or standard. Accreditation usually requires some form of certification of knowledge and skills acquired through training or assessment of on-the-job developed skills.  It may also require insurance, declarations regarding your character, police or other checks of public records or so on. Read on for the specific requirements in the Mediation Industry.

Accreditatoin vrs Certification

Why are some courses called Nationally Accredited Training?

 

Does that mean they are a part of the nationally accredited (RTO) training system?  Not necessarily.

In the case of the Mediation Industry there is a course called Nationally Accredited Mediator Training which is not part of the Australian Qualification Framework but is instead offered against the standards established by the Mediators Standards Board (MSB) for the basic training needed to become a mediator. 

Here is more information about the Mediation Institute course for NMAS Training and Assessment

The NMAS Course is not on the Australian Qualification Framework but it is one that is trained to an independent standard that establishes a guideline for the training content and the assessment and even the qualifications / experience for the coaches and assessors.  The NMAS Training and Assessment is a course offered by Mediation Institute to train mediators who want to become Nationally Accredited Mediators under the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS).

The standard is set by the NMAS not the Australian Qualification Framework.

Other examples are professional development courses such as:

These courses are developed based on expert knowledge but there is not a qualification on the AQF framework that is able to be trained and assessed against and issued. 
 

Is non-AQF training worth doing?

 

Yes. They are often courses that are much more specific and tailored to what skills and knowledge is needed with little generic content that can sometimes be found in qualifications.

The NMAS Training and Assessment is a course offered by Mediation Institute to train mediators who want to become Nationally Accredited Mediators under the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS).

The system was established after extensive consultation.  The Mediators Standards Board (MSB) who administers the standard but delegates the authority to Accredit Mediators to what is known as Recognised Mediator Accreditation Bodies (RMAB’s)

RMAB’s are businesses such as Mediation Institute, associations or government departments.  There is a list of the RMAB’s in Australia on the Mediators Standards Board Website.

https://msb.org.au/msb-member-list

RMAB’s accredit mediators if they meet all of the requirements for accreditation.

What are the requirements for Accreditation?

 

Accreditation requirements depend on the accreditation system you are being accredited against. In this post we will look at the two most relevant to our members.  NMAS Mediator Accreditation and Accreditation as a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner.

NMAS Accreditation

 

The requirements for NMAS Accreditation are:

  • Training and Assessment. Competition of NMAS Training and Assessment or an approved alternative pathway to demonstrate professional competence as a mediator.
  • Character. You have to be of good character without professional disqualifications or cancellations (for any professional role) or relevant criminal convictions
  • Agree to comply with the Standards. You must be willing to comply with the NMAS practice standards – Get a copy of the NMAS here. This applies to more than just when you are mediating. https://msb.org.au/themes/msb/assets/documents/national-mediator-accreditation-system.pdf
  • Professional indemnity insurance
  • Approved complaint handling body such as the one provided by Mediation Institute Membership

More about NMAS Accreditation Requirements.

The Application Form for a new NMAS Accreditation and Membership explains what is required.

How to Join Mediation Institute for the application forms with full details.

Accreditation as a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner

The requirements for accreditation as a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner are established in the Family Law Act 1975 and Family Law (Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners) Regulations 2008 and are administered by the Australian Attorney Generals Department Practitioner Registration Unit.

    •  Have appropriate qualifications and competencies  
      • The CHC81115 – Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution is the nationally recognised training against the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) but there are other options. 
      • You can complete 6 of the 10 units of competence from the Graduate Diploma but only if you have other specified qualifications such as a degree in Law, Psychology, Social Work or similar or have and maintain NMAS Mediator Accreditation.
      • You can complete a course with one of the university or higher education providers that is equivalent to the AQF qualification. According to the Attorney Generals Website there are no higher education providers who offer a course equivalent to the Graduate Diploma but there are some who offer something equivalent to the core units. The same requirements as if you did the core units from the Graduate Diploma apply.
    • Character. You have to be of good character without professional disqualifications or cancellations (for any professional role) or relevant criminal convictions.  For this accreditation you need a national police check not more than 4 months old and not be prohibited from working with children in your state or territory and meet the working with children requirements if applicable
    • Agree to comply with the Regulations 
    • Professional indemnity insurance
    • Approved complaint handling body such as the one provided by Mediation Institute Membership

You can download the application form on the AG’s website.  https://www.ag.gov.au/FamiliesAndMarriage/Families/FamilyDisputeResolution/Pages/Becomingafamilydisputeresolutionpractitioner.aspx

Is Certification and Accreditation forever?

It depends on the standard.

In the case of qualifications on the AQF they have a review cycle where they are updated every 5 years or so. Sometimes the review is small and they are considered “equivalent” so your old qualification still counts.

Sometimes the upgrade is major and the old one is superseded and non-equivalent.

That happened to the Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution in 2015. It went from the CHC80308 – Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution to the CHC81115 – Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution.  A requirement for a mandatory 50-hour work placement was implemented although this is not yet well policed with some providers still deeming role plays to be the same as workplace experience.  The CHC80308 version of the qualification was not able to be issued beyond the 7th June 2017 but is still accepted by the Attorney Generals Department.

Generally professional development requirements and hours of mediation  work are required to maintain accreditation.

For NMAS – you have to provide evidence to your accrediting RMAB.

For FDR – the attorney generals department has the ability to request evidence that you continue to meet the requirements.

 

Did you get that?

 

Certified just means that a certificate has been issued. Ask the training provider what independent standards are used to design the training (if any) and what is included in the course.

Most professional development type courses are non-accredited while the first qualification or course needed to become accredited usually is against a standard.

The requirements for accreditation are set by the accrediting body who can be an association (in the case of NMAS) or a government department (in the case of FDR) Requirements for accreditation usually relate to professional qualifications, personal attributes, insurance, complaint handling and suitability for the role.

In most cases there are ongoing requirements that you must meet to remain accredited. Some accreditation systems require regular re-accreditation (NMAS) while others have requirements that you must meet but which are not formally checked each 2 years (FDR).

If you have further questions contact us.

 

Child contact supervision is work where there should be but currently isn’t an accreditation process. 

The Attorney Generals Department is currently reviewing the situation, and we believe that an accreditation system is going to be established.

Independent of this Mediation Institute is willing to cover voluntary membership for Child Contact Supervisors to provide complaint handling, but we require a commitment to complete relevant training and/or assessment of skills against three units of competence within a specified period of time.

It is unlikely that this will become popular until there is a requirement on supervisors to be adequately and specifically trained for the work.

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Our membership size has grown to a point where we are looking for additional member benefit opportunities for goods and services that you need to build your professional practices.

The Member Benefits page will continue to expand as the opportunities increase. 

Find out more about Member Benefits.

 

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