Institut Français de Certification des Médiateurs (IFCM)

Introduction & Background

IFCM, Institut Français de Certification des Médiateurs, has been created, as a non-profit organisation, under French law, on October 20th, 2008, and has its address at 75116 – Paris, 112 avenue Kléber. Its sole purpose is to grant complying mediators a certification.

IFCM has been created at the initiative of the Académie de la Médiation, a think-tank dedicated to developing and promoting mediation in French speaking countries. Académie de la Médiation has been successful (i) creating the Company’s charter in favour of mediation, signed by 50 of the largest French companies, (ii) creating the Lawyers’ charter in favour of mediation, signed by more than 300 law firms in France, (iii) creating and editing mediation kits for (a) companies, (b) law firms and (c) judges.

Recognising the strong need for qualified mediators as well as making such lists available to the various Courts, the Académie has put in place a task force to develop and incorporate IFCM. This task force is comprised of the following individuals:

• Sylvie Adijès: mediator (full-time, CMAP, IEAM) and trainer; • Emmanuelle Camus-Nikitine: general counsel Sperian; • Adeline Guilhen: mediator (IMI certified, CMAP), CEO, IFCM’s treasurer; • Françoise Sauret-Prot: mediator (CMAP), lawyer; • Louis-Bernard Buchman: mediator (WIPO, ICDR), lawyer; • Thierry Garby: mediator (full-time,IMI certified, CMAP, IEAM, WIPO, CDR, AAA,

SIMED), Académie’s President; • Philippe Lamy: mediator (CMAP), lawyer; • Alain Roy: mediator (full-time, CMAP); • Claude Amar: mediator (IMI certified, CMAP, IEAM), CEO, Académie’s general secretary, IFCM’s President.

1. Mediator Experience

The Qualifying Assessment Program (QAP) must include a methodology for ensuring that Applicants have demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Program’s Assessors a substantial level of experience as a mediator. The QAP must include clearly identified criteria on this requirement.

IFCM certification requirements are:

  • A letter of intent including a “profession of faith”; Proof that mediator has performed, at least, 7 mediations (which number will increase gradually with mediation’s development in France), of which at least three in the previous year; The proof would be accepted by way of written reference on paper or via email from the actual users of the mediator’s services, log-book without any confidential information or copy of the paid invoices for mediations)
  • Adherence to one of the codes of ethics;
  • Certificate of professional liability insurance.

In addition to the IFCM Certification the assessed mediator will be qualified for the IMI Certification when he can prove having performed at least 20 mediations/200 hours.

2. Mediator Knowledge

The QAP must include a methodology for determining that Applicants have demonstrated a strong understanding of general mediation theory and practice which may be based on written tests, essays, reports, theses interviews and/or other testing platforms.

Besides proof of proper training in a training organisation of which program satisfies the IFCM, candidate will have to successfully pass a written test (example of which is included).

3. Mediator Skills

The QAP must include a methodology for the evaluation of candidates’ performance in terms of the occurrence and effectiveness of mediation process and mediation techniques, against high competency benchmarks. The Evaluations/Assessments may be based on roleplay or live action assessments, and may include videotaped and online assessments such as web dramas, self-assessments, interviews, peer reviews, user feedback and other in-practice skill evaluations.

If successful with (1) and (2), the candidate will be invited to perform in a role-play, where a jury of three assessors (*) will assess his skills during a minimum time period of 75 minutes. The instruments used to evaluate candidates’ performance will be the Dr. Hugo Prein’s Certification Assessment Instrument (Utrecht University) or Chris Honeyman’s (NIDR Performance-Based Assessment), translated and adapted by IFCM’s experts. This role-play will be organised and monitored by an independent third party, Mediation Studio. We have, so far, prepared approximately 100 role-play cases. Alternately, in very sensitive cases, it is possible that the mediator’s skills assessment may be conducted by observing real life mediation, the observer being chosen within the IMI & IFCM certified ones.

(*): the three assessors will all be either faculties, researchers or mediators, two acting as parties, one as observer, trained for assessing performance in role-play by Mediation Studio, which organises role-play mediations, on a monthly basis, since 2002.

4. Program Transparency

The benchmarks and criteria applied by the QAP must be published and be openly accessible on the organization’s website. Details of all approved programs will be listed on the IMI web portal and will include a direct link to the credentialing organizations’ websites.

All of the above will be made fully available on IFCM’s website, which is under development, as well as links to the training organisations, as mentioned in (2).

5. Program Intregrity

Each Assessor must have substantial experience of assessing the performance of mediators. At least one of the Assessors on each Program must be independent of the QAP.

All assessors will be either renowned faculties or researchers, or mediators, preferably IMI and/or IFCM certified, all having received proper training to assess mediators’ performance. All will be independent from IFCM, and will randomly be chosen by Mediation Studio. Their names as well as their resumes will be made available on IFCM website.

6. Ongoing monitoring of Programs

The QAP must include a process for the ongoing monitoring of the performance and practice of the Assessors. IMI will liaise closely with all recognised program organizers to maintain a sustainable quality control system.

IFCM certification will be valid 3 years, renewed upon receipt of documents evidencing that mediator has followed relevant training sessions or some other form of continuing education and relevant experience. Assessors will remain on IFCM assessors list for as long as they practice either as faculty, researcher or mediator. IMI monitoring is more than welcome.

7. Commitment to Diversity

The QAP must be accessible on an equal basis to experienced mediators regardless of their professional affiliations, gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation or other personal characterization.

Discrimination, whether professional affiliation, gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation or other personal characterisation, is strictly prohibited in France and strictly scrutinised.

The registration process, as well as application to both exams, whether written test or role- play, will be organised so that most of the process is done on-line, therefore anonymously.


To contact IFCM in regards to becoming qualified for IMI Certification, email: [email protected]

QAP Approved 2010

Institut Français de Certification des Médiateurs (IFCM)
Paris France