by Justin L. Kelsey
I get this question from lawyers a lot who are wondering if a particular training will “certify” them to be mediators. In fact, I just received an inquiry today related to the upcoming 40-hour online mediation training provided by Divorce Mediation Training Associates (more info below):
Are Mediators in Massachusetts Certified?
What Mediation Training results in a Certification?
In Massachusetts there is no government certification or license provided by the Commonwealth certifying mediators. There are some court rules and statutory provisions, however, that require a 30 hour training for certain activities and I believe this is where the misconception about “certification” stems. The court rules and statutes that require training are:
- Under the mediator confidentiality statute, Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 233, Section 23C, mediators who have taken at least 30 hours of training and meet other requirements, have confidentiality protections in their client communications and work product.
- The Uniform Dispute Resolution Rule 8: Qualifications standards for neutrals also requires that mediators take a basic 30 hour training in order to be qualified to receive court referrals for mediation.
- The Probate and Family Court Standing Order 1-17: Parenting coordination also requires 30 hours of mediation training to qualify as a Parent Coordinator.
While these are state requirements, training does not “certify” mediators under these provisions; training simply qualifies mediators to meet these requirements.
Some private organizations do provide certification for mediators, including the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation, Inc. Those private certifications often have more stringent requirements. For example, MCFM requires an additional 60 hours of training (on top of the 30 hour basic training) as well as a certain level of experience to qualify for their certification. For more information on MCFM’s requirements read: How does a Mediator become Certified?
If you see a mediator claiming to be certified you should ask what organization has provided their certification and what are the requirements for obtaining that certification because, not all certifications are created equal.
If you’re interested in more reasons to take mediation training read: Top 5 Reasons to get Trained in Mediation.
If you’re ready to get trained, Divorce Mediation Training Associates is holding a 40 hour online Mediation Training that not only qualifies for the three Massachusetts state requirements above, but goes beyond and meets the national standard of 40 hours of training. The training begins on April 22 and will take place over nine mornings from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM (UPDATE: We’re doing another training in July as well!). Learn more and Register here.