At last. Months after most of us paid the Family Mediation Council our money to register, we registered family mediators have our numbers. Why is that so important? Well, as only accredited (FMCA) mediators can sign a court form following a MIAM or when a mediation breaks down, the number allocated to eligible mediators will tell a court whether a court form is validly signed or not. For all you normal people who aren’t family mediators wildly excited by being given a number, that means that a mediation exemption certificate should be signed only by a FMCA mediator plus his or her unique number with either the letters A or P after that number.
So, before making a mediation referral if you may need a court form signed, do ask whether the mediator is accredited (FMCA) or not. I realised the other day that the last three times that I have been asked what I charge by solicitors thinking of making a referral, I have not once been asked whether I am FMCA or not. That seems to me a far more important question and I suspect that clients might agree. After all they tend to care whether you are in fact a solicitor or a trainee who is still working under supervision. That is not in any way to suggest that the trainee isn’t good at his or her job but that job involves still completing training. Clients have to be told the level of legal fee earners. It’s just the same with mediators where those who aren’t yet FMCA should not describe themselves as family mediators but say that they are working towards FMCA.
So ask the question. All of those of us who are registered with the Family Mediation Council now can tell you our number as well.