Rules Governing Mediators
II. Certification Renewal
A. Application for Renewal
Mediators seeking continued certification shall be required to file an application for renewal and a completed Continuing Mediator Education Reporting Form accompanied by renewal payment fees. Mediators seeking renewal for appellate mediator certification shall also be required to maintain no less than one of their previous certifications in family, dependency or circuit court mediation.
Any material misrepresentation by a mediator in the renewal process shall be automatically referred to the Mediator Qualifications Board.
B. Continuing Mediator Education
The purpose of Continuing Mediator Education (CME) shall be to enhance the participant's professional competence as a mediator. The requirement of CME and the reporting thereof shall apply to all certified mediators seeking renewal and shall be fulfilled in accordance with the following procedures.
To qualify as CME, a course or activity shall have significant, current intellectual or practical content and shall constitute an organized program of learning directly related to the practice of mediation. CME shall be conducted by an individual or group qualified by practical or academic experience. All certified mediators (mediators) must complete a minimum of:
- Generally: Sixteen hours of CME, which shall include a minimum of four hours of mediator ethics, a minimum of two hours of domestic violence education, and a minimum of one hour of diversity/cultural awareness education in each two year renewal cycle, including the two years following initial certification.
- Family and Dependency: Family and dependency mediators must complete an additional two hours of the required 16 hours in domestic violence education per each renewal cycle, for a total of four hours.
- Appellate: Appellate mediators must complete no less than four hours of appellate-specific mediation education. This may be part of or in addition to the required 16 hours per each renewal cycle of the underlying certification.
Mediators who are certified in more than one area must complete sixteen hours of CME applicable to each of their areas of certification. Hours completed may be utilized toward more than one area of certification if the subject matter is relevant to each field of certification. For example, courses on such topics as mediator ethics, domestic violence, and general mediation skills may be credited to any or all of the areas of certification.
At a minimum, fifty percent of the required CME hours must be satisfied by attendance, not as a lecturer or presenter, at a live lecture, live seminar, or an audio/video playback of a seminar attended by a group that discussed the materials presented. Interactive Internet presentations may be counted as attendance at a live lecture. Non-interactive Internet presentations shall be applied toward the audio-visual category. A maximum of four hours of CME may be earned through mentoring as defined above. Mentoring activities cannot be applied toward the required ethics, diversity/cultural awareness, or domestic violence CME components.
Continuing education completed for another profession's continuing education requirement may be used as CME if the material bears directly on the mediator's mediation practice and complies with the CME guidelines set forth in this order.
Mediator certification shall not be renewed until all CME requirements are completed.
A CME hour is defined as 50 minutes. CME may be completed during the mediator’s renewal cycle in any of the following formats:
- attending a live lecture or seminar;
- listening to or viewing an audio or video presentation of a lecture or
- seminar with a group, and participating in a discussion of the materials presented;
- listening or viewing audio or video presentations;
- serving as a mentor pursuant to rule 10.100, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators;
- participating in Internet presentations;
- lecturing or teaching in CME courses;
- authoring or editing written materials submitted for publication and that have significant intellectual or practical content directly related to the practice of mediation; and
- successfully completing a self-directed program that is qualified for continuing education credit by a governmental licensing board.
Mediators must maintain proof of attendance at CME programs or other appropriate documentation and must report their CME at the end of each two-year renewal cycle on the Center's renewal form. The mediator shall be responsible for maintaining all records relating to CME, which records shall be subject to audit. In addition, the mediator must certify that he or she has read the current Florida mediation rules; Chapter 44, Florida Statutes; and other relevant statutes.
Any CME hours completed may be utilized for only one renewal cycle. Hours in excess of the minimum requirement shall not be carried forward to the next renewal cycle.
Attending and lecturing or teaching at the same CME presentation will not entitle a mediator to additional credit. This prohibition against repeat attendance shall not apply to annual conferences and yearly updates.
If all other qualifications for renewal are satisfied and all fees paid or waived, but a mediator is deficient in CME credits, the mediator shall be notified in writing and certification shall be continued for ninety days from the notice of noncompliance. During those ninety days, the mediator shall complete all remaining CME requirements to be eligible for renewal.
A mediator who disagrees with a finding of deficiency may object in writing within thirty days of the initial determination of deficiency as indicated in a certificate of mailing. Any such response shall be reviewed by a three-person subcommittee of the Supreme Court Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules and Policy appointed to review such matters, which shall make a recommendation to the full Supreme Court Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules and Policy. The decision of the full committee shall be final.
Renewal fees shall be at the same levels as for initial certification. All mediators seeking renewal shall be responsible for these fees. However, for renewals that are filed timely, the $40 county mediator renewal fee will be waived upon written confirmation from the ADR Program Director (or designee) that the mediator served as a volunteer in the county court mediation program a minimum of six (6) times during the prior certification period.
Mediators whose certification has lapsed may renew certification up to 180 days from the lapse date upon payment of a late fee in an amount equal to the mediator’s renewal fee. Mediators who apply for renewal within 365 days after the lapse date will be required to pay a late fee equal to five times the mediator’s renewal fee, up to a maximum of $750. Mediators who apply for certification after day 365 will be required to meet the requirements for certification as a new mediator, including satisfactory completion of a certified mediation training program and fulfillment of the mentorship requirements. For purposes of this paragraph, the lapse date reverts to the initial renewal date, notwithstanding any extensions.
A mediator may request from the Center an extension of the renewal requirements and a waiver of any penalties for an extraordinary hardship. If such request is denied, a request for review may be taken to the three-person subcommittee of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules and Policy Committee appointed to review such matters, which shall make a recommendation to the full Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules and Policy Committee. The decision of the full committee shall be final.
For additional information please contact The Dispute Resolution Center at 850-921-2910 or at DRCMail@flcourts.org.