Membership Nomination Process & Criteria
Membership Nomination Process
Are you an experienced, professional commercial mediator who is interested in becoming an IAM member?
New IAM members are admitted to membership in the Academy by invitation only. Membership is limited to professional commercial mediators who are well-established and recognized in their local or regional community as leading mediators in the field. The IAM is dedicated to inclusiveness and diversity across a full spectrum. The Membership and Recruiting Committees assist Academy members in identifying mediators who meet the criteria for an invitation by the Board of Governors to join as Fellows or Distinguished Fellows.
Details regarding the requisite Mediator experience and other minimum qualifications for being invited to join IAM are found below in the Membership Criteria.
If you think that you satisfy the minimum membership criteria and are interested in becoming a part of the IAM, please contact an IAM member in your local area or region. That member can provide more information about IAM, coordinate with the Recruiting Chair, and explain the steps in the membership nomination process (and as more fully set forth below). In brief, a Nominee for membership is encouraged to first attend an IAM conference as a Delegate and thereafter be sponsored by two IAM Distinguished Fellows who must submit a Nomination to the IAM Board of Governors vouching that the Nominee meets the high standards for becoming an IAM Fellow or Distinguished Fellow.
New IAM members will be admitted to membership in the Academy under the following guidelines:
- Membership is by invitation only
- Membership is limited to professional commercial mediators who are well established and recognized in their local or regional community as leading mediators in the field
- The IAM is dedicated to inclusiveness and diversity across a full spectrum
- The Membership and Recruiting Committees assist Academy members in identifying mediators who meet the criteria for an invitation by the Board of Governors to join as Distinguished Fellows
Criteria for Admission to Membership as Distinguished Fellow
Nominees for membership in the Academy in the Distinguished Fellow category must generally meet the following minimum qualifications with respect to mediation experience:
- in commercial mediation practice at least 3 to 5 years, with the corresponding certification for those mediators who practice in jurisdictions that have certifications for commercial mediation
- at least a majority of their professional efforts are dedicated to commercial mediation
- in developed markets, must have worked at least 300 to 600 commercial mediation days
- in emerging markets1, must have worked at least 150 to 300 commercial mediation days
- in undeveloped markets2, must have worked at least 50 to 100 commercial mediation days
- mediation days consist of at least 4 hours of work focused on the mediation of commercial disputes (including teaching, training, or facilitating as well as mediating disputes and excluding days spent mediating pro bono, small claims, and domestic relations matters)
- alternative mediator experience may be considered provided it is substantially equivalent (participation in mediations as party or counsel is not considered mediator experience)
Membership Nomination Process
Invitations to join the Academy are issued only upon approval by the Board of Governors of a Nomination from a qualified Sponsor and Co-sponsor
- Sponsors must be Distinguished Fellows who have been members of the IAM for at least two (2) years or who have attended at least four (4) conferences
- Nominations are submitted to the Board of Governors only from qualified Co-Sponsors on a form that includes attestations vouching that the prospective new member is a pre-eminent distinguished or rising star mediator in their local community
- Nominees for membership are encouraged to attend at least one live or virtual IAM conference at the invitation of a member before their Sponsors submit a Nomination on their behalf
- Mentees in the Mentorship Program who have gained the requisite experience are encouraged to seek Sponsors for nomination as Distinguished Fellows (generally including the Mentor)
 “Emerging” markets are those areas or regions where relatively fewer commercial disputes are mediated, in contrast with developed markets where the majority of commercial disputes get referred to mediation, whether by courts, counsel, or parties. Factors include: the extent to which mediation is mandatory, the length of time mediation has been in use, the types of disputes that go to mediation, and the numbers of mediators who practice on a full or substantial-time basis.
 “Undeveloped” markets are those areas or regions where mediation is just beginning to be utilized and thus very few commercial disputes are mediated and very few mediators practice on a full or substantial-time basis.