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What Qualifications Does a Mediator Need?

by Alaska Judicial Council
August 1998
Qualifications refer to the amount and type of training, education and experience possessed by a mediator. In some states, courts or legislatures impose training or experience standards on mediators who practice in state- or court-funded mediation programs. In most states, a person can offer private mediation services without taking a class, passing a test or having a special license or certification. In reality, however, many private mediators, and most of those who work for or are associated with mediation organizations and programs, have some training or experience.

Most independent mediation programs impose their own training or experience standards on mediators. For example, community mediation centers often require their volunteers to complete a certain amount of mediation training before handling cases. Some national and local mediation membership organizations set training and experience requirements and ethical standards for their practicing members (refer to the resources section at the end of this brochure for more information). One national non-profit mediator organization, the Academy of Family Mediators, is working to develop a voluntary performance-based certification program.

Many mediation-referral services impose training, experience or other requirements on mediators who wish to be included on their rosters. For example, the American Arbitration Association requires mediators listed on its mediation panel to complete an AAA training course, receive recommendations from the trainers, and successfully complete an apprenticeship.

The information on this page has been excerpted from the
Consumer's Guide to Mediation
published by the Alaska Judicial Council,
with funding from the State Justice Institute.