Becoming a Mediator
Why Should I Become a Mediator?
Conflict is a pervasive part of life we all deal with and it takes a great deal for somebody to walk in our doors and request help from a stranger. Being a mediator is an unique opportunity to be there and help people with their conflicts at times when they truly need it the most in an environment they can’t find anywhere else.
Being a mediator provides access to a diverse network of volunteers and Mediation Matters staff members from all walks of life. Moreover, you also will join a greater network of stakeholders, partner organizations, and alternative dispute resolution professionals.
The skills you develop as a mediator are invaluable. They will help you resolve conflict in all aspects of your life: personally, professionally, and in the greater community.
As a mediator, you will have access to regular training opportunities to hone your skills and learn about different facets of dispute resolution.
The Process of Becoming a Mediator
1) Contact Mediation Matters Staff
After contacting us, a Mediation Matters staff member will speak with you informally about your interest in being a mediator. We will briefly go over the training and the apprenticeship process.
2) Complete a 30 Hour Basic Mediation Training Course
All volunteers at the center a required to complete a 30 hour course that normally takes place over four days*. These Basic Mediation Trainings are facilitated twice a year by Mediation Matters and are conducted by a Office of Court Administration certified trainer.
*A training waiver may be granted by Mediation Matters, in consultation with the Office of Court Administration, for equivalent training.
3) The Apprenticeship
Application & Interview
First, you will have to submit a resume, volunteer application, and Basic Mediation Training certificate if you haven’t received your training through Mediation Matters. Then you’ll meet with a Mediation Matters staff member for an orientation interview.
The goal with observations is to observe as many different mediations sessions facilitated by as many different mediators as possible, so there no fixed number of observations. At a minimum, apprentices are required to observe four mediations by three different mediators.
Upon completion of observations, the apprentice will schedule a meeting with Mediation Matters staff for a post-observation interview and de-brief.
Once the observation stage is completed, apprentice mediators co-mediate cases with Mediation Matters certified mediators. Again, the amount of co-mediations can vary per individual. The skills can come intuitively to some and are difficult to master for others. You are encouraged to co-mediate as many cases as possible.
Required In-Service Trainings
Before becoming certified, apprentices have to participate in the following in-service trainings.
- Agreement Writing
- Mediation Ethics
- Power & Control – Domestic Violence
Also, each year several other advanced mediation trainings are offered by Mediation Matters and/or other Community Dispute Resolution Centers. Examples of these advanced trainings include (but are not limited to): overcoming impasse, parent/teen issues, elder care, special needs children, and more.
4) Obtaining your Certification
Upon completion of the apprenticeship program, Mediator Apprentices may apply for Certification by Mediation Matters. Mediation Matters reserves the right to require an Applicant for Certification to demonstrate his or her mediation skills by participating in a structured role play, simulating an actual mediation case.
- The apprenticeship should be completed within six months of taking the Basic Mediation Training.
4) Requirements for Being an Active Mediator
In most cases, Mediator Certification will last for a period of one year. After that, Certification will be maintained providing the Mediator participates in a total of six (6) mediation cases within the past twelve (12) months, and has completed a total of eight (8) hours of continuing mediation education or training.
This training can be in the form of training beyond Basic Mediation Training, periodic in-services, Office of Court Administration (OCA)-approved Advanced Regional Training sponsored by Mediation Matters, or any other Community Dispute Resolution Center in the state of New York. Other training may be considered upon request on a case-by-case basis.
Mediators whose Certification may lapse due to extended inactivity as a Volunteer Mediator may re-apply for Certification after attending a refresher training. The curriculum for this training will be developed and conducted by Mediation Matters, and approved by the Office of Court Administration.