The drive to professionalise mediation is on-going, and part of any quality mediation service should be the supervision of its mediators.
The introduction of the Mediation Quality Mark and the contractual arrangements with the Legal Services Commission identify the role of supervisor as a crucial one, and the UK College of Mediators the mediation supervisor as ‘the lynchpin of the system which establishes and maintains practice standards.’
This is a newly developing role is set to become more central as the use of mediation increases and discussions about standards become more formalised. Yet Supervision in mediation is underused and the benefits go unrealised. Where there is supervision, it is too often fragmentary, unstructured and lacking direction.
To keep an in-house mediation service operating means justifying its existence. This means having standards in place, and demonstrating they are being met. And it means being able to quantify the positive impact that mediation has on the health of employees or their cost to their employer. This is a key role for a supervisor.
This paper provides a good practice model of supervision to enable all mediation services to incorporate this critical function.