A dispute resolution process involving a neutral third party, mediation offers the opportunity for parties to find their own, mutually acceptable solution. Mediation can be used for family, workplace and civil and commercial disputes.

It is typically quicker, less stressful and much cheaper than resolving disputes through the courts. Mediation is also confidential and can help people avoid the publicity of a court case.

Mediation can be provided by the courts, private organisations, charities and community groups. If you are thinking of becoming a mediator, look for accredited training which will give you a recognised qualification and increase your employability. You can become self-employed after qualifying or work as a full-time mediator, part of an existing job (for example, a solicitor or barrister) or in a mediation service organisation.

A qualified mediator will have a good knowledge of the law in relation to the types of disputes they are likely to deal with. You will be able to explain legal issues and discuss them with clients. You should have the ability to listen actively, ask questions and reframe the issues. You should be able to encourage the parties to communicate effectively and assist them to consider options for resolution.

The College of Mediators runs a system of voluntary regulation for family, peer and civil/commercial mediators and providers. This ensures that they have been trained to acceptable industry standards, abide by a code of conduct, carry out continuing professional development and offer access to a complaints procedure. mediation uk

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