Frequently Asked Questions

Family mediation is challenging work requiring particular personal qualities, contextual knowledge, practical experience and a range of professional skills.

Mediators come from a wide variety of backgrounds. There is a minimum entry level of education to degree or diploma or equivalent or five years work experience in a similar or related field.

Background experience is always valuable.  We often have new trainees coming to us from related fields and they bring knowledge and skills which we encourage them to use and share. If, however, you want to be eligible to register with the Family Mediation Council (FMC) as an accredited family mediator, you will need to complete the full Family Mediation Training course. If you are seeking to extend existing skills in other areas of work please get in touch and we will be happy to discuss other possibilities.
The NFM Family Mediation Training has been approved by the FMC as meeting the minimum standards set to become a family mediator.  This means that ongoing assessment of your skills and knowledge is an integral part of the course, including your performance in simulated practice on the course and the submission of written assignments which are marked by the trainers.  Provided you meet the standards set, you will pass the course. 
It is not practical to review all other training offered worldwide to make exceptions. 
Completing the Family Mediation Training is the first step towards becoming qualified as a Family Mediator.  
The mediation skills taught on the NFM training course are useful to anyone working with families, couples, parents or with any family relationship. Some professionals use mediation training to enhance their skill sets. 
If, however, you wish to work as a professional family mediator, there are additional requirements. 
Before becoming an accredited and qualified family mediator, a trainee must first register with the Family Mediation Council (FMC) or the Law Society as working towards accreditation (FMCR) and must clearly represent themselves to the public as not yet fully accredited.  
They are then required to undertake an extended period of supervised casework practice, working with a professional practice consultant (PPC) and/or co-mediator in accordance with the Family Mediation Council Standards and Self Regulatory Framework
You will have up to three years to complete this supervised practice from the end of your training, and in most cases, it will take at least eighteen months.
To become a fully accredited family mediator, you will need to complete a portfolio, demonstrating your competence in mediation, and identifying key elements of your practice as it relates to core mediation skills. This will include providing casework material on a minimum of three cases.  Your portfolio will be assessed by the FMC.  If you are successful, you will be able to register with the FMC as an accredited mediator (FMCA).  Family mediators have to undertake ongoing CPD in order to renew their registration at three yearly intervals.
NFM Family Mediation Training requires candidates to demonstrate on application that they have a high level of critical analysis and independent thinking and have the ability to relate theory to practice. Candidates will need to show that they meet the “essential” criteria set out on the person specification included in the application pack. Formal qualifications and prior relevant experience are also considered with excellent literacy and numeracy skills being a core essential.  
By the end of the course, we will be looking for particular skills and abilities, such as the ability to address clients in a non-judgmental and respectful manner, to listen well and to help clients develop options without imposing your own views. 
The course is delivered in four modules.  There are two taught modules, each of three days and two distance learning modules, each requiring 20 hours of study. These takes place over a four-month period with the expectation that written assignments are completed before, between and immediately after the taught modules.
The learning outcomes for the course are included in the application pack.
To become a fully trained family mediator all four modules must be completed. 
The course is delivered in a range of formats, e.g. work completed as a whole group, as individuals, in pairs, in groups etc. All elements of the training are supported by written handouts that support the distance learning workbook assignments to consolidate learning. 
Presentation of the information by the trainers also uses a range of styles and techniques to aid learning. 
You will be expected to take part in group work with a trainer observing for the assessment procedure. These are not exam conditions; they are aimed at facilitating learning and the trainer will help you if you have difficulty. 
Before, between and immediately after the taught modules, you will be required to complete tasks and assignments, some of which will be for assessment purposes. This will include reading set articles and commenting on them, reflecting on your own values/prejudices and how they might impact upon practice and any preparatory reading needed for the next module. Assessed assignments will be submitted by agreed deadlines during the course. Your certificate of completion will not be issued if the assignments are not completed and assessed. It is expected that the two distance learning workbook modules will take 20 hours each, including work on the set assignments. 
You will receive a Certificate of Completion provided you have satisfactorily completed all four modules (this will mean reaching the required standard when assessed) and include assessment of the set assignments. 
You will also receive a detailed assessment of your particular skills, strengths and areas to develop. The assessment criteria will be explained in detail at the beginning of the course.  
The aim of the course is to help you achieve certification. If you meet the entry requirements, and once engaged in the course you demonstrate commitment, understanding and willingness to learn as well as completing the required assignments, it is likely you will reach the standard needed to pass the course. The trainers are there to work with you to develop your skills, identify areas you are struggling with and help you when you don’t understand something. 
Becoming a good mediator takes knowledge, understanding and, above all, skill. The training programme is designed to help you and teach you the required level of skill to proceed to practice. We expect mistakes but we also expect substantial progress where we can see a trainee is improving until they meet the criteria. We will give you constant feedback so you will know how you are progressing and any areas that may need additional attention. Your assessment document will detail in what way you did not reach the required standard for assessment and where appropriate, the options you may have in order to improve.
National Family Mediation is a unique provider of family mediation. Family mediation started in the voluntary sector 30 years ago. The code of practice and the specific training needed to become a family mediator were devised and developed by NFM and have since been adopted and used by other mediation providers.
A cornerstone of NFM’s success is its commitment to professional standards and delivery of professional services. Our priority is to the training of highly skilled practitioners who deliver a high quality service for the benefit of families affected by relationship breakdown.
NFM training will give you a comprehensive and inclusive set of skills and knowledge to work in this field that is unrivalled and unmatched by any other training currently on the market today.
We are the specialists in our field.

Your experience is always valuable. If you have already trained as a mediator we offer a 6 day Family Mediation conversion course providing you meet the criteria. Please contact the office to find out more about this. We often have new trainees coming to us from related fields and they bring knowledge and skills which we encourage them to use and share. If, however, you are looking for the NFM certificate to say you have passed the required standard to work as a mediator, you will need to complete the full Family Mediation Training course. If you are seeking to extend existing skills in other areas of work please get in touch and we will be happy to discuss other possibilities.

Because NFM is offering you a set minimum standard, this requires assessment of your skills and knowledge and provided you meet the standard, you will pass the course. This standard is accepted by the Family Mediation Council and by the Legal Services Commission and will enable you to progress in the field.

It is not practical to review all other training offered worldwide to make exceptions.

The trainers have been selected and recruited by NFM in an open recruitment process. They are practising mediators who have been carefully selected because of their significant experience, professional backgrounds, and proven track records in delivering excellent quality training. Their backgrounds include Teaching, Managing, Legal Professions, Social Work, and others. The trainers also work as a team to ensure the training course and materials incorporate new practice developments and initiatives. In this way we are confident that the services provided are fit for purpose and focussed on client need. At least two trainers are assigned to each course to ensure that you have excellent access to help and advice where you need it.

Whilst undertaking the training it is not a requirement to engage the services of a PPC as the course is assessed by the trainers on your completion of the modules and self study units to a satisfactory standard. PPCs can however be very useful in supporting you with observations and co-working. As part of the training, and included in the course cost, we provide a one-hour session with a PPC. 
If you are planning to become a qualified mediator after successful completion of the course, you will need to contract with a PPC to supervise your practice and casework to help you progress towards accreditation with the FMC.  Once in practice there are standard requirements for the number of hours of supervision you are required to undertake including continuing professional development (CPD) required each year. It may be possible to negotiate a contract with the PPC provided through NFM following training or you may wish to choose someone else. 
If you are attached to an NFM mediation service, a PPC will be appointed and you can discuss any supervision you will receive directly with them.
The total cost for all four modules is £2,425 which includes a one-hour session with a PPC on completion of the training.
The total cost of undertaking supervised practice after the course (see paragraph above – How do I become a qualified family mediator) can vary considerably.  You will need to pay for the services of a PPC.  In addition, you will need to find practice experience and this is notoriously difficult.  It requires creative thinking, tenacity and flexibility. While there are some National Family Mediation services who support and develop trainees, these trainee positions are often unpaid and may even require trainees to pay a ‘tuition fee’ to the service or mentor mediator.  After the initial training, it normally takes considerable effort and time – much of it unpaid - to build a Portfolio of case work that can be presented for Accreditation.
National Family Mediation training is accessible to people of different backgrounds and socio-economic groups in order to reflect our client group. As a registered charity, our pricing structure is designed to cover our costs – we are not for profit - whilst providing the best skills and knowledge base from which to develop a career as a mediator. 
Please note that terms and conditions apply. Please read these before enrolling on the course. 
Our courses are run throughout the year. Typical locations are London, Birmingham and York.   
If you have any further queries, please telephone or email the office: Tel: 0300 4000 636  email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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