Frequently Asked Questions

What you should know

 

Answering the questions that you never had.. and a few that you might have!

What is the SMP?

Set up in 2013 by a group of mediation advocates and peacemakers, the Society of Mediation Professionals (Singapore) or “SMP”, sought to advance the interests and perspectives of mediation and ADR advocates in Singapore, a lacuna at that time. Birthed from conversations, SMP commits to keep conversations going because ideas, plans and movements results. SMP seeks to provide interested parties in mediation the necessary platform to assist to mould the standards necessary for mediation to be a thriving profession, and to provide the cross-pollination of views and perspectives between professionals and various stakeholders.

How is SMP different from other mediation institutions, such as SMC, SIMC, SIMI and SIDRA?

SMP is a ground-up initiative by like-minded practitioners coming together to share, empower and influence how mediation is practised, developed and nurtured. We share concerns and find solutions, dialogue and hone practice for each other by each other regardless of institutional affiliation or area of practice. In short, we are pretty much a society as Aristotle would rightly say, that the ‘whole is greater than the sum of its parts’, because when we organise ourselves, we are better together.

Why should I join the SMP?

If you have an interest in mediation, or want to be plugged into a community of like-minded practitioners, SMP is the organisation for you. You get to plug into the mediation network, and be involved in a myriad of different social and professional development activities to grow and become a better professional. As you come onboard, SMP will also develop and advance with your experience and knowledge, tapping into that reservoir to be the collective voice in discussions with others, i.e. disputants, lawyers, insurers, government agencies and overseas practitioners. It’s a symbiotic relationship, and we grow together!

What are some of the events that SMP have arranged in recent times?

A quick non-exhaustive snapshot of some of the events that we have arranged in the past few years are as follows:
  • Social events: We have held a variety of social events and networking sessions over the years, including a members’ guided tour of the National Gallery, a members’ Social Gathering at the Screening Room at Ann Siang Road and even a bowling event at Raffles Town Club;
  • Talks: We have arranged for many fireside chats and talks with key individuals in the mediation and ADR field. For example, we have, in the past arranged for talks, lectures and conversations with the Honourable Justice (Retired) Kan Ting Chiu on his experience with mediation, District Judge David Lim on his practical perspectives in alternative dispute resolution and with Mr Iu Ting Kwok, one of the leading mediation practitioners in Hong Kong;
  • Workshops: We co-organise workshops with other third parties from time to time, often including attractive discounts for SMP members. One such example is a Family Mediation Workshop Refresher Course by the Honourable Irwin Joseph and Mr Donald Saposnek PhD; and
  • Bigger events: We recently co-organised with the world-renowned Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (JAMS), a think tank day-long event, “The Singapore Convention: Life after August 2019”, featuring many eminent speakers from around the world including Michel Kallipetis QC, Geoff Sharp, Kimberly Taylor, Sukhsimranjit Singh, Thomas Stipanowich, Paul Gibson and our own Lim Tat.

What are things that you do apart from organising events?

We are duty bound to advance the field of mediation in Singapore. In so doing, we have invited speakers from other jurisdictions to speak about their extensive experience in order to glean from their wisdom. We have also organised town hall discussions regarding the Mediation Bill, helped members better understand it, and collected feedback on members’ concerns. We are in the midst of sourcing for professional indemnity insurance for the mediation community as well as developing a grassroots-led code of professional conduct and ethics that can raise the practice standards of mediation in Singapore. With you, we can do more.

Do you invite non-members to events?

The short answer is that it depends. Some of the more intimate events and gatherings are only for members, as we do want to keep the group small, and do want to reserve the more exclusive events for those who have committed to the organisation.  

While some of our other events are open to non-members, members are of course given priority for registration and pay a significantly discounted fee for such events.

(The TL;DR version of the above answer) Membership, of course, has its privileges!

Why are there membership categories for the SMP?

We have tiered membership categories because members join us at different seasons of their journey, and we want to help them reap the necessary benefits where they are at, yet ensuring that nobody gets left out. New to mediation? No problem, we still want to include you, share the space and grow with you. Generally speaking, those who qualify to be SIMI (Singapore-International Mediation Institute) accredited will qualify as members under the SMP Constitution. We want to be inclusive, as much as possible; so diversity helps us meet various needs!

Can I apply to be considered as an ordinary member (as opposed to an associate member) by pure virtue of my experience?

As mentioned above, those who qualify to be SIMI (Singapore International Mediation Institute) accredited will qualify to be members under our Constitution. However, if you feel that by virtue of your experience, you should be considered for full membership, we’d be more than happy to hear you out. If so, please do email us at secretariat@smp.org.sg.

Everything in this FAQ resonates with me, but I am only willing to become a member of an organisation which has a publicity flyer. Do you have a publicity flyer for membership?

Yes we do! The publicity flyer for membership can be found here.

I want to sign up – where do I go?

Please pop by our membership page, which can be found here. The membership page gives you a sense of the options available for joining us.

I have other questions; where do I direct these to?

We would be happy to hear from you! Please do feel free to email us at secretariat@smp.org.sg if you require more information. Alternatively, if you prefer to communicate via snail mail, you can drop us a note at: Society of Mediation Professionals, 28 Maxwell Road, #04-05, Maxwell Chambers Suites, Singapore 069120.