Mediator qualifications can include certificates, formal degrees, and licenses, depending on the location and the type of mediation practiced. In this form of alternative dispute resolution, parties meet with each other and a neutral person to discuss a situation and determine if it is possible to reach an agreement that satisfies everyone involved. This may require some concessions from both sides. Fields like family law may utilize mediation to make legal problems less traumatic, and it can also be used to resolve commercial disputes, arguments about securities trading, and other matters.
Certificates may be awarded after completing a class or training. Mediation classes can vary from short workshops covering basic topics to multiple units studied over the course of weeks or months. In some cases, experience in mediation is also required to earn one of these mediator qualifications. The precise details can depend on the program. People who want to be able to practice may want to consult regional regulatory guidelines to determine if a certificate will prepare them for work.
Other mediator qualifications are granted in association with formal degrees. College degree programs, including postgraduate programs like master’s and doctoral training, may offer mediator qualifications. Doctors and attorneys can take special coursework during their professional education to earn additional qualifications as mediators, if they want to work in conflict resolution. These higher qualifications may be required by some agencies and organizations and can prepare people to practice in a variety of environments.
Licenses are another form of mediator qualification. These are typically issued by regulatory agencies or professional organizations, which may be voluntary in nature. People may need to provide documentation of a set number of hours of training before they will be allowed to sit for a license exam which tests their knowledge of the law and specific mediation procedures. In some regions, people cannot work without a license, or the scope of their practice may be limited if they are unlicensed.
The best options for a given mediation professional can depend on work environment. People who want to work in the courts to generate legally binding resolutions, or with regulatory agencies, may need to have advanced qualifications and could need to carry licenses as well. Mediators with more advanced mediator qualifications may have more job options available, along with the ability to transition between jobs more easily. Basic training can allow people to work as volunteers or to represent regional organizations, which may be sufficient for their needs.