Mediators Federation Netherlands (MFN)


Introduction & Background

The Mediators Federation Netherlands (MFN) is the Dutch national standard-setting and quality assurance platform for the practice of mediation in the Netherlands. MFN is a private non-profit foundation (“stichting”) and has been in operation since 1995. MFN operates from within a strictly independent position in society and does not itself train mediators, or administer mediations.

MFN’s objectives are to: promote, make transparent and assure the quality of mediation and mediators in the Netherlands; provide structure and encourage the practice of mediation; offer a multilateral consultation structure; and provide independent information on mediation to the public, as well as quantification, research and contacts. MFN operates the quality system in an independent foundation, Foundation for Quality of Mediators. The ‘brand’ for mediators in the register is MFN registered mediator:

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.

MFN Registration would be unachievable for mediators not having significant experience of mediating. Almost all MFN Registered Mediators have considerably more experience than the minimum recommended by IMI (200 hours or 20 mediations). The interview that follows the Practical Skills roleplay is designed to draw heavily on, and to assess, the candidate’s actual experience. Moreover, to retain the status of MFN Registration, a mediator must, in addition to accumulating a certain number of CPD points every three years, certify that they acted as a mediator during the previous 3 years in at least 9 mediations cumulatively exceeding over 36 hours of mediation, of which at least 2 mediations occurred in each Registration year.

2. Mediation 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.

MFN Registered Mediators are required to take a Knowledge Test established for MFN by Leiden University and comprises 50 multi-choice questions relating to mediation. MFN has published a list of recommended reading for those wishing to take the Knowledge Test. The Test proves candidates’ knowledge of the theoretical frameworks of mediation from both process and skills perspectives, including significant models and components of mediation process.

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.

In order to prove their skills, MFN registered Mediators must complete an assessment and pass a peer review with good result.

The Practical Skills Assessment involves performing as a mediator in a roleplay before two professional actors under the scrutiny of two assessors. The assessment instrument was developed for MFN by Utrecht University under the direction of Dr. Hugo Prein. Following the roleplay, candidates have an opportunity to discuss their performance with the assessors and to discuss techniques used as well as alternatives that might have been deployed. The interview is highly practical in nature and designed to enable mediators to leverage their past experiences as a mediator. The interview is considered a key part of the assessment.

In exceptional cases, MFN may seek the ISC’s approval to qualify individual mediators for IMI Certification where skills assessment to “MFN Registered” standards can be proved through an interview between the applicant and assessors appointed by MFN or by other means of assessing an applicant’s competency in mediation, proposed by the applicant and approved by MFN.

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.

The benchmarks against which candidates for MFN Registration are assessed are set out in the Assessment Instrument that appears as an Annex in the by Dr Hugo Prein entitled Trainingsboek Conflicthantering which is part of the list of essential reading recommended for all candidates for the MFN Registration Practical Skills Assessment. A copy of an English translation is attached.

5. Program Integrity

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.

Intop Mediationtoets has contracted the task of setting the mediator tests and assessments. The Examination Institute Intop is a separate body engaged under contract. It uses both the questions for the Knowledge Test and applies the Practical Skills Assessment, under an MFN license. All assessors engaged by the Examination Institute are highly experienced mediation assessors.

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.

Registration is open to anyone passing these requirements, but to remain on the MFN Register, a mediator must accumulate a certain number of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. Each year, the MFN assesses whether the minimum number of CPD points has been acquired during the previous 3-year period.

If an MFN Registered Mediator chooses to abandon his or her status as MFN Registered, or loses it as a result of disciplinary action, then the mediator would also lose IMI Certification.

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.

MFN invites applications for its “Registered” designation from all sectors of society, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation and personal characterization. Membership of MFN is open to all mediators of good standing.


To view the website of MFN, click here

To contact MFN in regards to being qualified for IMI Certification, email: [email protected]

QAP Approved 2010 (formerly NMI)

Mediators Federation Netherlands (MFN)
Westblaak 150
Rotterdam KM 3012
Phone: +31 10 201 2344
Email: [email protected]