Transformative Mediation by Distance

A Pilot Course Starting January 2019

Mediator and lawyer par excellence, Wayne Plenert, is offering this new mediation training course next year. Students will participate in a hybrid format, watching conference calls at a distance while also interacting within small in-person groups (pods). For more information and a course outline, take a closer look at the course syllabus below or scroll to the bottom for a list of Frequently Asked Questions:

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Q: Who should take this course?

A: Just about anyone, particularly:
  • People interested in leadership skills;
  • people wanting to explore interpersonal conflict and how it can be addressed;
  • people wanting 30 hours of training towards being a mediator or for professional development.
The course is specifically designed so people can attend who otherwise might not consider it or who reside in smaller communities. It is intended to be accessible to the indigenous community. 

Q: Who is Wayne Plenert?

A: Wayne is an experienced mediator, trainer, and retired lawyer based in Dawson Creek, BC. He is a former chair of the Roster Committee of Mediate BC Society and now the mediation mentor leading the Northern Navigator initiative in the Peace River Provincial Courts. He also delights in finding practical uses for good theories. His writing includes Personal Injury Mediator Styles and Transformative Parenting ( post).

Q: Where did the idea come from?

A: Jereme Brooks approached Wayne Plenert to deliver mediation training for indigenous communities on and off reserves and who may be challenged in accessing training offerings. As Wayne has extensive experience in mediation, training delivery, and is interested in new and effective ways of doing things, he was stimulated to come up with this initiative. We believe this has not been done before, and since this is a pilot, this teaching model has not been tested. 

Q: Who accepts this course?

A: This course is accepted by Mediate BC towards application to the Family Mediation Roster. It also is accepted towards Professional Development training. If someone requests, an application will be made to the Law Society of BC towards mediator training or professional development hours.


Q: Why is it free? What’s the catch? 

A: The design of the course is an experiment to see if there is another way to deliver skills training to underserved areas in BC without the participants having to spend a lot of money to travel and pay for accommodation. There is no catch. We ask that participants be patient with us and let us know of any feedback they may have throughout their experience.


Q: Is attendance mandatory?

A: In order to get a certificate of completion, you must participate in 30 hours. Please keep in mind that the experience of your whole pod will depend on each member’s attendance as the course is designed to be participatory. 

Q: What happens if I need to miss a session?

A: The whole pod should decide on an alternate date to view the recorded session prior to the next class. The course is designed so that each participant is practising the skills within their pods during each session. This ideal outcome will only work with a minimum of 3 participants present. In extraordinary circumstances, 1 person may miss a session and the pod may still continue on the designated evening. That participant will need approval from the instructor and complete any necessary work before next week.

Q: Those dates don’t work for me as I’ll miss too many of the Tuesdays with other commitments. Can it be another night of the week?

A: It is possible if the entire pod wishes to meet on another evening, say Thursdays, they may arrange on their own. The video recordings of each session will be posted online by the organizer as soon as possible after a session ends. 


Q: Will someone help me find a pod to join?

A: It is up to the participants to form their own pods. However, if you are interested but do not know of others, contact Mediate BC and the instructor. 

Q: So this isn’t an online course that I can complete at my own pace and schedule?

A: No. The design of the course works best when the pod is all viewing together in the same physical space so that they may practice the skills being taught at the same time. (In some circumstances, participants may be able to be part of an online pod. Please discuss with the instructor ahead of time.) The schedule for the course is set for 3 hours a week on Tuesdays for 10 weeks from Jan to mid-Mar 2019.

Q: What equipment will my pod & I need?

A: A computer will reliable internet access, preferably connected using a cable instead of wifi. Mediate BC will send all registered participants details instructions to sign in to the course. If your pod is not meeting in the same location, please have a method to communicate with each other in real time, e.g. a group messaging platform.

Q: How do I register?

A: Go to [registration page].

Q: What is I’m having trouble seeing the instructor during the session?

A: Please call Ann Lee at 604-684-1300 ext. 101 or for help.

Q: What if I’m having trouble accessing the video after a session?

A: Please contact Zoe Stryd at 604-684-1300 ext. 106 or