Mediator Skills Training

Flexible approach

The Louis Vuitton of mediation training- PC Tsang, Jacobs China Limited, Hong Kong

"Quite simply the best and most stimulating course I have ever attended" - Lorna Collopy, Solicitor

The CEDR Mediator skills training is a five-day programme of comprehensive tuition in effective dispute resolution where participants are trained in the skills for effective mediation of commercial disputes and assessed for CEDR Accreditation, internationally recognised as the standard of excellence.

The programme is offered as an 'open course' throughout the year and as an 'in-company' basis subject to a minimum group of 12 or15.

CEDR is accredited by the Civil Mediation Council as a Commercial and is endorsed by other respected bodies internationally such as the Bar Council in Hong Kong and the CCPIT Mediation Centre Beijing.

Course content

The course constitutes approximately 42 teaching hours over a period of five days. This is extremely intensive and a prompt start at 08.30 and a finishing time of 18.00.

Delegates will need to prepare thoroughly for this demanding programme and a minimum of 16 hours pre-reading should be reserved in advance of the course. The Mediator Handbook, case studies and role-play instructions are sent out one month in advance and maximum benefit can only be achieved if all delegates are familiar with these key materials.

The structure of the training is as follows:

Days 1 and 2
By alternating the methods of demonstration and practice we take delegates through the phases of mediation training from the first day of the course. Skills and process are explored, observed and then tried out by the participants in practical exercises. Case studies, based on actual mediations, are used throughout and participants will experience the role of mediator, adviser and mediation party.

Day 3
This is a 'practice day' of shared learning in preparation for the assessed days. During the day each participant will experience the role of Mediator, Party and their Advisor. There is a coach with each group in every session, throughout the day providing guidance and input as the role play progresses. The whole day is devoted to a single detailed case study and participants practice the skills at each stage of mediation. The training faculty coach small groups of participants through the case study and provide personal feedback to the Mediator of that session. The mediation sessions are interspersed with group discussions covering the key issues faced by the mediator. This is done in order to focus on what is going well for the Mediator and what areas are to be developed in preparation of the assessment days.

Days 4 and 5 (assessed days)
Each participant mediates one simulated case on each day. A faculty member observes each session and assesses performance against a set of competencies. Individual feedback, group learning and discussion continue alongside this assessment.

Consistency of delivery
A very detailed CEDR trainers' manual has been developed which, for each part of the course, sets out the learning objectives, teaching methodology and debrief points, to ensure that quality and consistency of delivery are maintained

Live demonstration of the mediation process
CEDR does not use video or power point to explain the process; rather we use live demonstration of the phases of mediation, by the experienced CEDR lead trainers. Although this is more difficult and more trainers it is highly effective in showing how the mediation process works and allows participants to interact and ask questions.

Focus on process and skills in parallel
The skills mediators use is linked closely to the different phases of the mediation process. CEDR therefore links relevant instruction in the skills to the examination of the phases of mediation.

Active-engagement through role play
Adults learn better by doing rather than just seeing, and therefore the CEDR course places emphasis on participants practicing the skills and process through role play and exercises.

Extensive coaching of participants
During role-play CEDR trainers provide coaching to the practicing mediators by reference to a formally defined and well tested competence framework which provided the basis for the assessment process (see later). This ensures consistency of coaching across groups and maximises the opportunity for participants to be successfully accredited.

Private one-to-one feedback
Course evaluations over the last 10 years consistently rate the level of 1-to-1 feedback given to participants as one of the most valuable aspects of our course. During the last 3 days of the course, coaches/assessors have a 15-minute private session giving specific feedback on areas that worked well and areas which need to be developed. This feedback is given in a constructive and appropriate way, using methodology developed over many years. A CEDR coaching and feedback manual has been developed to ensure consistency of approach and quality delivery.

It should be noted that to achieve the coaching and feedback to the level set out above coaches to be present in each group for the whole mediated session. Clearly, to maintain this level of quality there is an impact on cost, as more coaching personnel are needed.

CEDR Accreditation

The Certificate of Accreditation is awarded to participants who demonstrate the level of competence to achieve the status of CEDR Accredited Mediator. It is a highly challenging course, but approximately 70 per cent of participants achieve accreditation. The Foundation Course in Mediation Skills Certificate is awarded to acknowledge the participation of those who do not achieve accreditation, and an opportunity to be reassessed may be available for some participants.

CEDR :: Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution

CEDR Asia Pacific Skills

Training and consultancy solutions