Mediation Skills

The skills, qualities and characteristics on which candidates are tested are the following:


  • Provides welcome and opening comments  Explains mediation process
  • Clarifies role of participants
  • Establishes ground rules
  • Discusses the Agreement to Mediate
  • Appears sensitive to clients’ physical and emotional comfort

Information Sharing

  • Engages participation of clients
  • Understands issues and empathized with feelings
  • Accurately and briefly summarizes information and concerns
  • Balances time and focus between clients

Issue Clarification

  • Asks appropriate questions
  • Identifies interests, intentions, differences
  • Limitations and underlying problems
  • Identifies common ground
  • Reframes statements and issues

Generation of Options

  • Organizes and prioritizes issues amenable to mediation
  • Focuses on current and future needs rather than positions
  • Elicits multiple options and explored settlement possibilities

Personal Qualities

  • Appropriate dress and appearance
  • Develops rapport and trust, and conveyed a positive outlook
  • Appears confident and in control of emotions
  • Ability to treat the parties equally and fairly


  • Facilitates negotiation and bargaining
  • Assists parties to be realistic
  • Drafts agreement that is sufficiently specific and addressed all issues
  • Drafts agreement that is well organized, clearly stated, and easily readable
  • Assists in developing an agreement that is balanced, fair, realistic, understood, and not coerced
  • Discusses options for noncompliance or resolving future conflict
  • Exerted sufficient effort to assist parties in reaching agreement.

Professional Qualities

  • Allows adequate planning and preparation time
  • Possesses adequate knowledge of issues
  • Maintains neutrality, impartiality, and objectivity
  • Avoids giving advice, pressure, and judgment
  • Demonstrates respect for different values and lifestyles
  • Provides appropriate information and referral.

Communication Qualities

  • Posture, gestures, and eye contact
  • Use of voice, tone, volume, and clarity
  • Verbal content and timing
  • Listening styles and other intuitive abilities
  • Paraphrasing and reframing skills

Special Techniques and Skills

  • Demonstrates appropriate use of caucus
  • Overcomes impasses, resistance, or difficult behavior
  • Deals with power imbalance or control issues
  • Handles intense emotions or difficult agendas
  • Displays flexibility and used creative strategies effectively Comments

Communication Qualities

  • Posture, gestures, and eye contact
  • Use of voice, tone, volume, and clarity
  • Verbal content and timing
  • Listening styles and other intuitive abilities
  • Paraphrasing and reframing skills

People Management Skills

Builds and maintains rapport with the parties

  • Establishes rapport quickly
  • Listens actively
  • Is not argumentative
  • Paraphrases and summarizes facts and feelings fully and accurately
  • Acknowledges feelings
  • Asks more open then closed questions
  • Recognizes own and others’ perceptions and prejudices
  • Deals appropriately with the impact of perceptions and stereotypes
  • Uses reframing techniques to promote understanding and manage conflict -Uses language flexibly
  • Facilitates communication between the parties
  • Manages emotions of parties
  • Manages own emotions
  • Manages conflict between the parties in joint session

Creates and maintains a safe environment

  • Establishes atmosphere in which anger and tension are expressed constructively
  • Helps parties save face
  • Sensitive to interpersonal and team dynamics
  • Sensitive to power dynamics
  • Balances assertiveness and cooperativeness
  • Sensitive to impact of own behavior on parties
  • Demonstrates impartiality
  • Works in a non -discriminatory way
  • Shows respect and empathy
  • Realistic and frank with parties
  • Displays positive energy
  • Gives parties equal attention, body language and eye contact
  • Appears relaxed and confident
  • Attentive to parties comfort

Process Management Skills

Manages the process with confidence

  • Demonstrates confidence as the process manager
  • Able to be flexible in management of process
  • Demonstrates sensitivity to the mandating dynamic
  • Stays in control of the process while maintaining rapport
  • Respects confidentiality at all stages
  • Manages the process with fairness and dignity for all
  • Confidently keeps parties to process roadmap
  • Manages process without determining content
  • Handles process challenges while maintaining rapport

Works through the phases of mediation

  • Prepares for the mediation
  • Makes good use of environment
  • Opens the mediation well, covering key points
  • Communicates core principles of mediation to the parties
  • Manages opening statements well
  • Takes notes appropriately
  • Makes sound choices about the order of meetings
  • Opens and closes side meetings meticulously
  • Explores issues before moving to generating options
  • Moves the parties from positional styles of negotiation to interest based styles
  • Moves parties from a rights focus to an interests focus
  • Effectively makes use of realty testing and explores BATNA at an appropriate stage in the process
  • Facilitates the negotiation process
  • Assists the parties manage the negotiator’s dilemma
  • Manages reactive devaluation
  • Facilitates the drafting of a settlement agreement
  • If appropriate, uses the single text process
  • Adopts an appropriate pace

Problem Management Skills

Manages the content of disputes to maximize potential for settlement

  • Allows the parties to manage the content and determine the outcome of the dispute without expressing a view
  • Confidently works with parties, issues, needs and interests
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the bigger picture
  • Generates an atmosphere of creative problem -solving
  • Contextualizes the problem
  • Identifies and builds consensus
  • Builds parties confidence in prospect of agreement
  • Handles ethical challenges assertively

Explores content and options in a creative manner

  • Accurately identifies the issues in dispute
  • Explores positions, needs and interests
  • Identifies common ground
  • Assists the parties generate options to meet needs and interests as a basis for settlement
  • Encourages the generation of mutual gains options
  • Is able to work on a number of options simultaneously
  • Assists parties assess options in relation to objective criteria, particularly needs
  • Uses reality testing and BATNA to encourage parties to assess risk
  • Encourages parties to source expertise and information Necessary
  • Consolidates agreement and captures detail in agreement

The assessment requires:

  1. An applicant, at a minimum, performing the role of A Professional mediator in a simulated Mediation of at least 3 hour;
  2. An assessor observing a simulation using mediation observation sheet, without providing any coaching to the applicant during the simulated mediation;
  3. Assessment criteria reflecting the knowledge, skills and ethical principles articulated in the Practice Standards;
  4. An applicant being found competent by an assessor using an assessment observation sheet documenting the extent to which the applicant has met or has not met the assessment requirements; providing written feedback on the applicant’s Performance and indicating the assessment outcome;