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Becoming a Mediator

ABOUT MEDIATION IN BC

The practical steps to becoming a mediator in BC can seem confusing. Unlike law, dentistry or other professions, mediation is not a regulated field with a standardized entry process. There are various ways to develop expertise, gain practical experience, and build a thriving practice. Though this allows for a lot of flexibility and ease-of-entry, it also means the public is at risk. Anyone can call themselves a mediator and charge for their services, which could harm clients, damage the reputation of the mediation process, or in some cases, lead to violations of the law (particularly in separation/divorce cases).

THE ROLE OF MEDIATE BC

Mediate BC exists primarily to overcome some of these challenges and to protect the public. Though mediators don’t have to join a Rostering organization like Mediate BC, it is strongly recommended. It allows mediators to better serve clients and be responsible practitioners. To be listed as a Registered Roster Mediator (RRM), mediators have to be sufficiently qualified (see criteria for admission) and maintain various standards and expectations. 

Your steps to becoming a mediator

We recognize not all prospective mediators can or want to fulfill the relatively stringent Mediate BC admissions standards. The following is information to help you on your road to becoming a mediator.

Generally, the steps to becoming a mediator can be broken down into three parts: Training, Experience and Professionalism.

The first step in your path to mediation is attending training. There are many training programs across the province, country and globe. It is recommended that you look for training that has some synchronous elements, where content is delivered live by an instructor either in person or online. It is also recommended that you select training that includes lots of opportunities for practice, role-play and coaching. 

Mediate BC’s offers Mediation Training and Coached Role-play practice sessions. Head to our Training Page to see current offerings. 

Learning to successfully apply the skills learned in training is a critical link in making the transition from being trained as a mediator to becoming a mediator.

Many people gain experience by co-mediating with another mediator or finding a mediator that is willing to provide mentorship.  Gaining mediation experience through mentorship or co-mediation helps hone the application of the skills learned in training.

Associates on Mediate BC’s roster can access our mentorship program where they are matched with a Registered Roster Mediators to work on a file collaboratively. To find out more head to our Mentorship Program page.

This general term typically refers to safeguarding yourself and your clients along with a commitment to ethical behaviour.

Maintaining a professional reputation with your mediation clients is vital. Many mediators choose to do this by:

  • Carrying professional liability insurance (Mediate BC and NFP Canada have partnered to offer group insurance rates to Registered Roster Mediators and to Associate Mediators on our Rosters)
  • Being listed with a Rostering organization and adhering to professional Standards of Conduct
  • Being party to a Complaints Process

 

Being listed with a Rostering organization (like Mediate BC) represents a significant milestone in the development of a mediation practice. It means you have met their requirements for admission (typically encompassing training and experience requirements) and often provides you with access to Standards of Conduct and Complaints Processes. You also gain access to different resources and practice advice in order to grow and develop your practice. 

Things to consider about the profession

Mediation is unfortunately not a very straightforward field where you complete training, a practicum, get credentials, and open up shop! Here are some additional elements to consider regarding the profession:

There are a number of different practice areas in mediation such as family, commercial, personal injury, community, elder care, child protection, etc. Most specializations will require additional training. 

When deciding on a specialization, things to consider are your future referral sources, existing connections and your own interests, skillset, professional background and expertise. 

While some government agencies and large corporations will hire in-house mediators, most mediators are private business owners. For those going into the profession, they must consider the additional elements of running a mediation business like marketing and accounting. 

While most mediators are private business owners, some large organizations and government departments hire in-house mediators.

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