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 5 years work experience in a similar or related field.

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 a recognised qualified family mediator a trainee will be required to undertake mediation practice working with a professional practice consultant and/or co-mediator in accordance with the Family Mediation Council (FMC) Code of Practice for Family Mediators. This is available on the FMC website at http://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/.

To work with clients who qualify for public funding (legal aid), you will need to complete a portfolio, demonstrating your competence as a mediator, identifying key elements of your practice as it relates to core mediation skills. This will include providing casework material. If you are working with an NFM family mediation service, you will be expected to achieve this level of competence assessment.

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 three modules each of three days over a three/four month period with the expectation that course work is completed in the interim.

The Modules

Module 1: Introduction to Mediation

The principles of mediation the stages of mediation how to assess suitability domestic abuse screening safeguarding (child protection) issues

Module 2: Mediating Children's Issues

Mediating children's issues with parents writing up agreements the legal context the emotional aspects of separation and divorce the children's perspective the parents' perspectives

Module 3: Mediating Legal and Financial Issues

mediating finance and property matters relevant statutes and case law welfare benefits developing options for settlement preparation and presentation of financial schedules preparation and presentation of final documents including memorandum of understanding power imbalances working with impasse

For those ultimately wishing to become recognised family mediators it is recommended that all three modules are completed.

The course is delivered in a range of formats, e.g. whole group, individual, pairs, small group work. All elements of the training are supported by written hand outs that support the self-study work designed 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 assessment. These are not exam conditions they are aimed at facilitating learning and the trainer will help you if you have difficulty.

Between each module and at the end of the third, you will be required to complete tasks and assignments, some of which will be for assessment purposes. This will include reading and commenting on set articles, reflecting on your own values/prejudices and how they might impact upon practice and any preparatory reading needed for the next module. At the end of the course you will be set the task of completing the written outcome of a case presented on the course.

Self-study work is to be submitted prior to the start of the next module, with the date for submission of the final written work set with the group during module 3. Your certificate of completion will not be issued if the assignments are not completed and assessed. It is expected that assignments will take you no more than 3-4 hours self-study time after each module, totalling 10-12 hours.

You will receive a Certificate of Completion provided you have satisfactorily completed all 3 modules, including the self-study assignments (this will mean reaching the required standard when assessed).

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, demonstrate commitment and willingness to learn, as well as completing the required self-study work it is likely you will reach the standard needed to pass. 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.

Both the self-study assignments and learning activities throughout the course are assessed and feedback given to help you be clear about what you are doing well and areas for development. For those wishing to work with publicly funded clients (legal aid) there is a series of post training assessments to certificate MIAMs competence, Competence to Lead/Readiness to Practice (depending on member body) and full FMC competence assessment through portfolio completion.

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.

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 recognised mediator status.

Once in practice there are standard requirements for the number of hours of supervision you are required to undertake, including continuing professional development (CPD) points 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 nine days is £2,370 which includes a one hour session with a PPC on completion of the training.

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 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 and Birmingham.

If you have any further queries, please contact us

Head office opening hours:

9am - 5pm, Mon - Fri

Charity No: 1074796

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National Family Mediation

Civic Centre, Paris St, Exeter EX1 1JN

Tel: 0300 4000 636

Fax: 01392 911 240

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