The Process of Becoming a Mediator
1) Contact Your Community Dispute Resolution Center
A staff member will speak with you informally about your interest in being a mediator. They 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 conducted by a Office of Court Administration certified trainer.
*A training waiver may be granted 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 a Community Dispute Resolution Center (CDRC). Then you’ll meet with a 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 for a post-observation interview and de-brief.
Once the observation stage is completed, apprentice mediators co-mediate cases with 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.
*Power & Control – Domestic Violence
*Also, each year several other advanced mediation trainings are offered by NYSDRA and Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRCs)
Examples of these advanced trainings include (but are not limited to): overcoming impasse, parent/teen issues, elder care, special needs children, special education and more.
4) Obtaining your Certification
Upon completion of the apprenticeship program, Mediator Apprentices may apply for Certification by their center. The center 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.
5) 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 Community Dispute Resolution Centers 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 CDRCs, and approved by the Office of Court Administration.