Mediated settlement conference programs have now become institutionalized within North Carolina's courts. The Commission believes that much of the success these programs have enjoyed is attributable to the competence and professionalism of our State's mediators. For that success to continue, the Commission believes that all mediators must remain committed to improving their knowledge and skills through self-reflection, consumer assessment (thoughtfully reviewing mediator evaulation forms completed by parties and attorneys), and the completion of continuing mediator education hours.
In an effort to encourage mediators to improve their skills, the Dispute Resolution Commission has adopted a Continuing Mediator Education (CME) Report Form. Although completion of actual CME hours is voluntary, mediators must use the form to report annually on their educational activities. The Commission will track reports and will contact mediators who do not respond. Mediators who voluntarity complete their CME annually, will be noted on the Commission's website.
The Commission recognizes that mediators are typically very busy individuals. Many mediators also operate thriving legal or other professional practices and have continuing education mandates they must fulfill in connection with those endeavors. For this reason, the Commission's request is modest - three hours annually (effective with the 2008/09 renewal period). The CME Report Form will be due each spring in connection with the Commission's annual certification renewal process.
The CME Report Form sets out a menu of activities eligible for CME credit, including attending courses or programs on dispute resolution, observing more experienced mediators, engaging inmentoring relationships, or completing independent study in the mediator's own home or office. (Suggestions for web sites, journal articles, and books that a mediator may read for credit are listed on this site).
If a mediator has any questions about the Commission's CME policy or the Report Form, he or she should contact the Commission's office.