Who Is The Reviewer?
Under the SIMI Credentialing Scheme, the Reviewer is a person who has been appointed by a SIMI Mediator to assist him or her in managing feedback received from parties. SIMI Mediators will only need to appoint a Reviewer in two scenarios:
- If the SIMI Mediator wishes to submit cases directly to SIMI for the purposes of verifying and recognising them under the SIMI Private Mediation Verification Scheme (SIMI PMV); and
- For the purposes of a SIMI Certified Mediator completing or updating the Feedback Digest on his or her mediator profile page.
Guidelines for appointing a Reviewer
SIMI Mediators have great flexibility in appointing their desired Reviewer so long as they take into account these guidelines:
- SIMI Mediators may select as their Reviewer either an individual or an institution. If an individual, the Reviewer should be a practising mediator, trainer, educator or other highly experienced professional (or ‘elder’) in the mediation field, and must not be a member of their family, or someone who is subordinate to them in their organization. They may also select a dispute resolution institution or other professional body in the dispute resolution field to be their Reviewer (for example, where you are a member of a Panel of Mediators).
- SIMI Mediators must declare the identity of their Reviewer, and their relationship with the Reviewer, to the parties (applicable under the SIMI PMV where the Reviewer needs to collect feedback directly from the parties) and on the profiles of SIMI Certified Mediators.
- Possible Reviewers will be other SIMI Certified or IMI Certified Mediators, or representatives from SIMI Partners. For credibility reasons, please avoid reciprocal Reviewer arrangements - ie where Mediator A appoints Mediator B as Reviewer, and Mediator B appoints Mediator A as Reviewer. (There would be no problem with Mediator A appointing Mediator B as Reviewer, Mediator B appointing Mediator C as Reviewer, and Mediator C appointing Mediator A as Reviewer.)
- SIMI Mediators must always be mindful that the professional standing, reputation and credibility of their appointed Reviewer will have a significant impact on their own capacity as a SIMI Mediator.
- SIMI Mediators are responsible for discussing and settling any fees their Reviewer may charge for accepting to act as a Reviewer.
What Does The Reviewer Do?
Collecting Feedback Under The SIMI PMV For SIMI Mediators
Under the SIMI PMV Scheme, SIMI Mediators who wish to progress to a higher tier other than SIMI Certified Mediator, may choose to have their mediation sessions verified directly by SIMI, for the purposes of satisfying the experience requirement under the SIMI Credentialing Scheme. Part of the application process under the SIMI PMV Scheme requires the applicant SIMI Mediator to inform their parties to complete and submit a SIMI Feedback Request Form to a Reviewer appointed by the SIMI Mediator.
Thus under the SIMI PMV Scheme, a Reviewer will first have to collate and verify that the SIMI Feedback Request Forms have been indeed completed by the parties. Subsequently, the Reviewer will have to check with the parties whether the case would qualify as a full-scale mediation where there SIMI Mediator had acted as a sole-mediator.
Once the applicant SIMI Mediator has acquired the requisite number of cases to apply for progression to a higher tier, he or she will write in to inform SIMI of their intention to apply under the SIMI PMV Scheme as well as indicating the name and contact information of their Reviewer.
Feedback Digest For SIMI Certified Mediators
If appointed as a Reviewer by a SIMI Certified Mediator, Reviewers are expected to provide an honest and objective summary of feedback about their SIMI Certified Mediator’s performance based on discussions with the SIMI Certified Mediator and the information on the SIMI Feedback Request Forms received from parties for whom the SIMI Certified Mediator has acted for as a mediator.
The Feedback Digest is important for several reasons:
- It enables future users to gain an appreciation of that SIMI Certified Mediator’s individual skills and character as perceived by prior users.
- It removes some of the guesswork and risk related to the users’ selection process when choosing a mediator and gives prospective users a greater insight into the competency and suitability of the SIMI Certified Mediator for a specific case, and facilitate the development of trust in the SIMI Certified Mediator. This, in turn, may make it easier to persuade hesitant parties to try mediation.
- It gives the SIMI Certified Mediator an opportunity to understand from a third party how the parties felt about the Mediator’s performance, and the mediation process in general. This in turn helps the SIMI Certified Mediator to refine skills and practices for the future, to build on strengths and focus on any development needs.
- It assists providers and other panel organizers when reviewing their mediators’ performances, to determine the SIMI Certified Mediator’s suitability for certain kinds of disputes and plan best practice and other professional enhancement programs.
- There is no fixed format for the Feedback Digest. SIMI recommends that feedback from at least 10 mediations is used as the basis for the initial Feedback Digest.
How To Frame A Feedback Digest
- Prepare each Feedback Digest from the perspective of a future user, trying to objectively summarize accumulated feedback to date as accurately as possible. It is important that the Digest is honest and is credible to future users.
- Emphasize any special strengths and characteristics repeatedly mentioned.
- Focus on perceived skills and styles, illustrating briefly where appropriate.
- Maintain confidentiality as to the mediation and its participants.
- Avoid merely offering a selection of quoted extracts from SIMI Feedback Request Forms, especially if these may be misleading when taken out of context. Avoid the Feedback Digest being stylistically perceived as a marketing endorsement, which could compromise credibility.
- Update the SIMI Certified Mediator’s Feedback Digest regularly, and at least annually.
- Keep the length of the Digest to a maximum of 1,000 words, or two pages.
Please include in the Feedback Digest a statement whether there has been any specific negative feedback that has been repeated more than three times from different mediations. Negative feedback must be summarised in the Feedback Digest if:
- You have spoken to the providers of that feedback, and also to the Mediator, to understand the circumstances in each case and believe the feedback to be relevant to future users, and
- Negative feedback on substantially the same perceived failing has been expressed more than three times from users in different mediations involving the same Mediator during the previous 24 months.
- You may include in the Feedback Digest any comments or explanations provided by the Mediator about negative feedback. If there has been no reportable negative feedback, the Digest should say so.
You are free to withdraw as a SIMI Certified Mediator’s Reviewer at any time, and you should inform the Mediator and SIMI promptly of any decision to do so.