As my readers know, the private practice of mediation remains unregulated in the United States. Some view this fact with consternation, others with relief.
Meanwhile, in the absence of public licensing of mediators in private practice, private organizations have stepped in to fill the void left by the state, offering private credentialing mechanisms. The giants in the field who have embarked on this path have done so with transparency, inviting the input of practitioners to shape such mechanisms, and with honorable intentions and a concern for ethical practice, with the credibility that reputation has earned them.
There’s one problem. Just as anyone can hold themselves as a mediator, so, too, can any organization hold itself out as a credentialing body.
A colleague recently alerted me to one credentialing scheme that raised some warning flags. One private company has begun offering credentialing for mediators. It’s a business neither of us had heard of. The qualifications it specifies are minimal, setting the bar dismally low.
None of this is reassuring, not to consumers and not to mediators.