There is currently no clear consensus on what qualifications mediators need in order to perform competently in the many and varied contexts in which mediation is practiced. That said, OMA has defined Core Standards of Mediation Practice to help define expectations for the profession. OMA standards and guidelines are researched and developed by the Standards and Practices Committee prior to submission to the OMA board for approval. University and community based program use these standards to establish clear expectations for their students and volunteers.
In addition, mediators in programs that receive state funds to provide dispute resolution services must meet the minimum qualification and training requirements established by the Oregon Dispute Resolution Commission and set out in Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR Chapter 718). Individual programs often have additional requirements for training and practice under the supervision of an experienced mediator. It is typical for a mediator to have completed a 32-40 hour basic mediation training. After such training, new mediators commonly receive mentoring from experienced mediators. Mediators specializing in areas such as workplace disputes, family mediation, land-use issues, etc. commonly complete additional training in those specific areas. Mediators also seek continuing education opportunities on an on-going basis. Before you sign up for a training, or if you are consider hosting your own, consider OMA’s Model Guidelines for Mediator Education, Training, and Experience.
In the interests of promoting high quality mediation practices, OMA has worked for years towards a certification process. This is currently still a work in progress. For more information see our Certification page.
Additional guidelines that may apply:
Although the state of Oregon does not regulation mediators as a whole, various rules and statutes do govern specific types or mediation:
- Court Connected Mediator Rules Qualifications and training requirements for court connected mediators
- ORS Chapter 36 Oregon statutes related to mediation and arbitration
- Oregon State Bar Rules of Professional Conduct For Lawyers as Mediators. See Rule 2.4
- Oregon Office of Community Dispute Resolution Rules Qualifications and training information for Community Dispute Resolution Centers
- Consumer’s Guide to Mediation Selecting a mediator
- Mediator Competency History of Mediation in Oregon: Certification, Licensure and Enhancing Mediator Competency
How Can I Become A Mediator?
As a first step, consider becoming a volunteer mediator at your local community mediation program. Many of these programs offer low-or-no cost training in exchange for volunteer commitments. See the Community Dispute Resolution Program page for more information.
If you are seeking advanced training or continuing education opportunities, check out OMA’s Training and Education Calendar and educational programs offered through one of Oregon’s many University-based conflict resolution programs.