Standards For Mediator Credentialing
Definition of "a mediator": A mediator is an impartial third party who
encourages and facilitates communications between parties in a process the purpose
of which is to resolve a conflict or collaborate in decision-making. A mediator strives
to promote understanding, reconciliation, and/or settlement. A mediator does not
render a decision on the issues under consideration; the primary responsibility for
the outcome of the mediation rests with the parties.
The Pennsylvania Council of Mediators (PCM) recommends the following voluntary
standards to establish and maintain the status of credentialed mediator. These standards
apply to all persons practicing mediation, whether paid or as volunteers. These standards
apply to all persons desiring to be a credentialed mediator, regardless of the length
of previous practice or experience as a mediator.
To become a credentialed basic mediator, a person must:
1. Take mediation training consisting of a minimum of 22 substantive hours of
content (dispute resolution information, theory, philosophy, and models), skill building
and role play. Training should include feedback to the participants as to their skill
level and understanding and commitment to the process.
2. Take mediation training which includes the following content:
- Information gathering
- Relationship and interaction skills
- Communication skills
- Problem solving
- Decision making
- Agreement formalization
- Professional information
3. Participate as a co-mediator with, or be supervised by a credentialed mediator
acting as a mentor for a minimum of six cases (totaling a minimum of twelve hours).
The credentialed mediator, acting as a mentor and the person seeking credentialed
mediator status will engage in a performance-based review of each of the six cases,
with the mentor providing feedback, guidance and a review of progress.
4. The credentialed mediator shall not be considered to be qualified to act as
a mentor unless, at a minimum, that mediator can document training and experience
substantially equivalent to Sections A.1, A.2, and A.3 above.
To maintain the status of credentialed basic mediator, a person must:
1. Be personally responsible for ongoing professional development in the field
of mediation as well as take six hours of continuing education during a given year.
The content of the educational program must cover one or more of the content areas
listed for the basic training (see A.2 above).
2. Spend a minimum of twelve (12) hours in a given year actively engaged in the
3. Promote public awareness and understanding of the mediation process and support
the field by volunteering at a community mediation center; mentoring new mediators;
becoming a member of a mediation organization; or similar activity.
4. Adhere to the ethical standards of PCM.
To attain and maintain the status of credentialed mediator in a specialty area,
a person must complete the following training, in addition to the requirements for
credentialing as a basic mediator:
1. Victim-Offender: Participate in a minimum of twenty (20) hours of Victim Offender
2. Divorce and Custody: Participate in a minimum of a forty (40) hour AFM-approved
or equivalent training. Training should cover the following topics:
- Experience of divorce for adults and children
- Family law and family economics
- Mediation, negotiation & conflict management theory & skills
- Information gathering skills & knowledge
- Relationship skills & knowledge
- Communication skills & knowledge
- Problem-solving skills & knowledge
- Family violence & screening for abuse
- Ethical decision making & values skills & knowledge
- Adhere to additional standards established by local courts &/or other professional
3. Workplace/Employment: Participate in a minimum of an eight (8) hour training
focusing on workplace/employment issues including, but not limited to the following
- Determining whether a case is right for mediation
- Employment law issues
- Employment contracts
- Nature of the employment relationship
- Basic concepts of the legal rights and remedies of employers and employees
- Power imbalance issues
- Drafting agreements
Adopted by the Pennsylvania Council of Mediators Board of Directors, November 6,