For people thinking of becoming a mediator

Could you become a mediator?

Family mediation is hugely rewarding work. Challenging, yes – but working with separating couples and their children at their most difficult period provides an opportunity to give them the right guidance and help make separation less painful than it might otherwise be. It is a privilege for which mediators must be fully equipped and fit for the demands of the role.

Family mediation is a regulated profession which has been around in the UK for over forty years. Historically, part of what was referred to as ‘ADR’ (Alternative Dispute Resolution), but family mediation is now part of the mainstream and not so alternative. Judges and Government expect and encourage mediation because, along with mediators and those who have mediated previously, they know it really works.

Do I have the right qualifications, skills and experience to become a family mediator?

Potential family mediators should be able to demonstrate the following:

Diversity and Inclusion

If you don’t come from one of those backgrounds but feel passionately that you would be a good family mediator, read on.  The FMA is a multi-disciplinary community and positively welcomes applicants from other professions.  Our ‘discretionary route’ is available for candidates who can demonstrate that their professional experience means they are as suitable as the professionals listed above.

A training panel, consisting of professional family mediators, considers ll discretionary applications. The panel and looks for candidates able to:

It is very important to have a family mediation profession which is open to the widest range of people possible; including people whose first language is not English, people who have issues with processing or producing written materials.   Our goal is to work with every candidate and trainee to explore with them what might be needed for them.

As a membership organisation representing mediators, the FMA is committed to the principles of Equality and Diversity. Our Equality and Diversity statement available is available on request.

Contra indicators

Eligibility is not the only important consideration. In FMA’s experience, it is extremely difficult for someone to train as a family mediator whilst going through divorce or separation themselves.  Knowing what it is like to have gone through divorce or separation may be valuable as a family mediator, but we believe that actually going through divorce or separation while training makes it much harder to become a family mediator. Trainees going through divorce and separation have found it very stressful to discuss some topics on the course.  They can also find it difficult to be as objective as they need to be about the mediation process and the needs of other families, which may not match their own. We ask anyone who has been through a divorce or separation recently to wait a while before applying.