Comments: By Trial and Mostly Error: Mistakes Can Be the Best Teacher

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Virginia Colin, Burke VA     09/12/12
regulation of mediation
While we do not yet have national licensing or certification programs for mediators, some states do have laws about what mediators must do and must not do. If you work in a state that has not yet developed guidelines for and oversight of mediators, I recommend looking at Virginia’s statues and programs. Here we have training programs and mentoring/apprenticeship programs overseen by the Supreme Court of Virginia. The Commonwealth has also provided detailed Standards of Ethics and Professional Responsibility for Certified Mediators. In 2011 the legislature went too far. It wrote long clauses about confidentiality that every mediator is required to include verbatim in every Agreement to Mediate. I hate them because everything could be stated in plain English with far fewer words and no legalese, which would serve my clients better, but that’s another story. Most of what is happening in Virginia provides a good model for other states to consider.