New Zealand Law Society

Navigation menu

FAQs

Membership of NZLS Panel of Mediators – Family Specialist

What is the criteria for applying for membership of the NZLS Panel of Mediators – Family Specialist?

There are three criteria for membership to the NZLS Panel of Mediators – Family Specialist:

(a) education:
You must have completed the following NZLS CLE Ltd training:

OR have any alternative mediation training assessed (download application form in MS Word or in PDF).

(b) membership:
You must be a full member of the Law Society and its Family Law Section.

(c) experience:
You must have a minimum of 5 years practical experience in the New Zealand Family Court or apply to have an alternative qualification assessed (download application form in MS Word or in PDF).

How do I apply for membership of the NZLS Panel of Mediators – Family Specialist?

You will need to complete the application form (download in MS Word or in PDF) for membership of the NZLS Panel of Mediators – Family Specialist and return with your payment of $201.25 ($115.00 application fee and $86.25 for the first year’s accreditation). All those who qualify for membership of the Panel will automatically become accredited members until the end of the membership year in which they apply. The first declaration of continuing accreditation requirements can be filed any time during the membership year following your membership to the Panel. (i.e. if you apply before June 2012 your first declaration will be due during the 2012/13 membership year but before 30 June 2013). Membership of the Panel includes the on-going commitment to maintain your accreditation status.

If you have not completed the NZLS CLE Ltd mediation training, you will need to use a separate application form (download in MS Word or in PDF) to have your alternative qualification assessed.

Is there a logo I can use on marketing material to show I am a member of the NZLS Panel of Mediators – Family Specialist?

A logo is available for accredited members of the NZLS Panel of Mediators – Family Specialist to use on their letterheads, emails, websites and other marketing material. 

Accreditation

What do I need to do to retain my accredited status?

You will need to complete family mediation related activities within a membership year, which includes:

  • at least 15 hours of mediation practice; and
  • Up to 10 hours of professional development or other mediation-related activities.

At least 10 hours of a family specialists panel member's combined ongoing mediation practice and professional development must be family specific. 

To retain your accreditation you will need to complete and file an annual return and declaration before the end of each membership year (1 July to 30 June).

Can I my CPD hours towards retaining my accreditation to the NZLS Panel of Mediators – Family Specialist be used for my NZLS CPD hours?

When NZLS introduces mandatory CPD (expected in 2013), the hours allocated towards retaining your accreditation to the NZLS Panel of Mediators – Family Specialist will count towards your NZLS CPD requirements.

What happens to my accreditation if I do not file an annual return and declaration?

Your accreditation and membership to the Panel will lapse.

If I can’t complete my hours in the 2-year cycle can I suspend my accreditation period?

There may be valid reasons to suspend an accreditation period, for example, taking maternity leave. Please email family@lawsociety.org.nz if you need to enquire as to whether the NZLS may use its discretion to suspend an accreditation period.

Fees

Please refer to the fees page. All fees are inclusive of GST.

Benefits

By becoming an accredited member of the NZLS Panel of Mediators – Family Specialist, you can demonstrate that you have achieved a certain level of training and experience in family mediation and that you are committed to maintaining a high standard of mediation in your practice. Membership of the Panel entitles you to a listing of the on-line directory on the public and members-only area of the FLS website, the use of the post nominal NZLSFamMed to reflect your accredited status and an annual certificate of accreditation. A logo is available for accredited members of the NZLS Panel of Mediators – Family Specialist to use on their letterheads, emails, websites and other marketing material.

Training

What training do I need to complete before I apply to the NZLS Panel of Mediators – Family Specialist?

What if I have already completed mediation training from another organisation and do not wish to undertake the NZLS CLE Ltd mediation training?

You will need to apply to have your alternative qualification assessed (download application form in MS Word or in PDF).

How do I get my alternative mediation training qualification assessed?

You will need to provide details of your alternative qualification using the application form (download in MS Word or in PDF).  Please return the form with the relevant information including the $115 fee. (A fee will only be charged for successful applications. If your application is unsuccessful, your fee will be returned to you.)

What if I have not completed the NZLS CLE Ltd Lawyer for the Child training?

NZLS requires family specialist panel members to have undertaken Lawyer for the Child training because the course emphasises the child focus; it also deals with managing oneself and understanding what a professional brings to their role in the Family Court context due to their background and life experiences.  When the NZLS CLE Ltd mediation courses were designed, and it was pointed out that the considerable majority of EIP mediators were Lawyer for the Child or had completed the training, a decision was made not to repeat that material and thus add a day to the mediation training.  

If you have completed other education and training that you believe is equivalent to the NZLS CLE Lawyer for the Child course, please explain this in your application (download as MS Word or as PDF) to have your alternative qualifications assessed.   

Early Intervention Process

How do I get appointed as a mediator in the Family Court under EIP?

You need to apply to the Ministry of Justice. An application form is attached as Appendix 1 to the Ministry of Justice counsel-led mediation guidelines and submit the completed form to the Registrar of the Family Court in the region you want to practise. Postal addresses for the Family Court are available on the Ministry of Justice website.

What criteria do I need to fulfil before applying to mediate under EIP?

The Ministry of Justice counsel-led mediation guidelines set out the required criteria at para 5.7(a) to (f).

What if I do not fulfil all the criteria under the Ministry of Justice counsel-led mediation guidelines?

Any questions you have about the approval and appointment process for mediating under EIP will need to be directed to the Registrar of the Family Court in the region you want to practice in. Contact details are available on the Ministry of Justice website.

What if I comply with the criteria but am not yet a Panel member of either NZLS, AMINZ, or LEADR?

Under para 6 of the Ministry of Justice counsel-led mediation guidelines, if you meet all the criteria apart from Panel membership to one of the three organisations, you may be appointed to the list of approved mediators. The Ministry of Justice counsel-led mediation guidelines state that you will have until 1 October 2011 to become a member of one of the three Panels. The Ministry of Justice has recently advised that this date has now been extended to 31 December 2011.

How do I inform the Family Court that I am a member of the NZLS Panel of Mediators – Family Specialist?

When your application for membership of the NZLS Panel of Mediators – Family Specialist has been processed, you will be sent a certificate of accreditation. You can supply a copy of this to your local Family Court.

What if I need a replacement copy of my certificate of accreditation?

You can request an additional copy of your certificate of accreditation from the Family Law Section at a cost of $20 (GST inclusive). Please email your request to family@lawsociety.org.nz and a replacement certificate will be sent to you.

What level of remuneration is paid for mediators appointed under EIP?

Lawyers are appointed as “counsel to assist” under s 130 of the Care of Children Act to carry out counsel-led mediation. The remuneration rate is $170 per hour (inclusive of GST). More information on timeframes and associated costs, such as travel can be found at para 10 of the Ministry of Justice counsel-led mediation guidelines.

Intervention rule

How does the intervention rule apply to a barrister sole when they are acting as a lawyer mediator?

Rules such as the intervention rule do not apply to barrister sole mediators because they do not “act for” the parties. While the provisions of the Rules of Conduct and Client Care which relate to a lawyer-client relationship will not apply, other provisions of the Rules apply as appropriate.

Supervision

What is supervision?

Professional supervision is a contractually agreed working relationship between a supervisor and a client supervisee. Within this confidential relationship, the supervisor meets with the supervisee for the purpose of conducting a self-reflective review of practice, to discuss professional issues and to receive feedback on all elements of practice, with the objective of ensuring quality of service, improving practice and managing stress. The supervisory framework provides a safe and confidential space for such reflection and is a collaborative process.

How does supervision differ from mentoring?

Professional supervision focuses on practice. It recognises and confirms good practice while challenging and changing beliefs and practices that do not deliver what they should for the client of the supervisee. The focus is on the client of the supervisee. Mentoring takes place when a more experienced mediator provides guidance to the individual development of another mediator in doing their job more effectively and/or developing their career. The focus is on the individual development of the supervisee.

How do I arrange a supervisor?

Some private organisations and individuals provide professional supervision services.  It is up to individual mediators to choose their own supervisor and to discuss their supervision requirements with that supervisor.   

While NZLS does not endorse or recommend specific providers, one such organisation that can assist mediators with supervision is ThinkWell.

ThinkWell is an organisation that specialises in helping individuals get the best from themselves in their professional lives. ThinkWell is available as a single point of contact to connect individuals to supervisors throughout New Zealand. For further information contact ThinkWell on 0800 844 9355 or email contactus@thinkwell.co.nz. More information on ThinkWell is available on www.thinkwell.co.nz.

Is supervision a mandatory requirement for membership of the NZLS Panel of Mediators – Family Specialist?

Supervision in not a mandatory requirement of membership of the NZLS Panel of Mediators – Family Specialist. However, it is recommended that individual mediators arrange on-going professional supervision as part of their continuing professional development.

Is supervision a mandatory requirement for mediating in the Family Court under the Early Intervention Process?

Those mediating in the Family Court under the Early Intervention Process have an obligation under para 5(7)(f) of the Ministry of Justice counsel-led mediation guidelines to have arrangements in place for regular professional supervision.

How often do I need to attend a supervision session?

Supervision will usually involve a one-to-one meeting between a supervisor and supervisee. It is regular and on-going and the frequency and duration should be set at a level to allow all aspects of the supervisee’s work to be discussed and to enable the development of a beneficial supervision relationship. Most supervision sessions last for around one hour and typically take place somewhere between once a fortnight to once a month, according to the needs of the supervisee. You will need to discuss your supervision requirements with your supervisor.

Last updated on the 28th July 2016