Professional self-regulation FMA Annual Conference

Report
Professional self-regulation
FMA Annual Conference
London 24th September 2014
Dr Stan Lester
Stan Lester Developments
education and training systems
The beginnings
 1969 Divorce Reform Act
 1974 Finer Report
 1977 Bristol Courts Family Conciliation Service
 1981/2 National conference and NFCC (later NFM)
 1985 Solicitors in Mediation project
 1988 FMA
Professional oversight
 1996 Family Law Act
 Legal Aid Board competence requirements
 1996/7 UK College of Family Mediators
 2002 UK College responsible for APC
 Mediation Quality Mark for services
 2007 UK College disbanded, Family Mediation Council
formed as umbrella organisation
Competing systems and voices
 Six membership organisations for less than 2000 people
 FMC a co-ordinating or debating body?
 No clear qualified status that can be communicated to the
public (or means of revoking it):
 APC and Law Society assessments for LA work
 FMA and Resolution accreditation
 MIAMs-approved status
 Qualified after completing training?
 Unsatisfactory, but not an unusual position for emerging
professions.
Family Justice Review (Norgrove) 2011
 Supportive of family mediation
 Needs to have a minimum qualified standard and appropriate
means of oversight
 Possibility of an independent regulator?
Family Justice Review (Norgrove) 2011
 Supportive of family mediation
 Needs to have a minimum qualified standard and appropriate
means of oversight
 Possibility of an independent regulator?
Professional regulation in the UK
• Archetypal model: self-regulating professional
institute
• Legal professions: paired membership/regulatory
bodies overseen by LSB
• Health/social care: independent single- and
multiple-profession regulators in areas where
there is a ‘significant and proven public risk’
McEldowney review of the FMC 2012
 Appropriate body to self-regulate
 Constitutional reforms
 Single qualified status and practitioner register
 Central course approval
 Ability to strike off defaulting mediators
 Consistency of standards and processes across MOs
McEldowney review of the FMC 2012
 FMC appropriate body to self-regulate
 Constitutional reforms
 Single qualified status and practitioner register
 Central course approval
 Ability to strike off defaulting mediators
 Consistency of standards and processes across MOs
 2013 scoping study also identified issues with CPD,
professional/competence standards, PPC responsibilities
2014-15 reform process
 Professional Standards and Accreditation Board – PSAB
 Single, revokable qualified status – FMCA
 Register of practitioners
 Central course approval to a common standard
 FMC oversight of PPC standards, complaints and
disciplinary procedures
 Reaccreditation and updated CPD requirements
 Sensible limits to PPC responsibilities.
Questions
 Compulsion only for MIAMs and legal-aided work – how
achieve fully accredited profession?
 Transitional arrangements for Resolution and FMA
accredited mediators without legal aid approval
 Limited observed assessment
 Public protection between training and accreditation
 Endorsements e.g. DCC, abduction?
 Separate Law Society route.
What kind of profession?
 ‘Secondary profession’ – entered after training and practising
in another profession dealing with families
 ‘Professional function’ – an activity performed by members of
another profession?
 Knowledge-base? Presence in universities, research,
practitioner engagement in academic work, journals,
conferences?
What kind of profession?
 ‘Secondary profession’ – entered after training and practising
in another profession dealing with families
 ‘Professional function’ – an activity performed by members of
another profession?
 Knowledge-base? Presence in universities, research,
practitioner engagement in academic work, journals,
conferences?
‘Professions’
All that can be said about a profession is that it
requires ‘a formal commitment both to acquiring the
relevant knowledge and skills and to the ethos and
way of working of the profession, in a way that
simply working in an occupation does not’.
(Lester S, in RPCE 19(3), 2014)
Future organisation of family mediation
 Status quo?
 Current structure but more functions delegated to
FMC/PSAB?
 Single self-regulating institute?
 FMC as regulator with direct registration?
 External regulator?
 Who provides professional leadership?
PSAB
FMC
Membership organisations
Mediator

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