Mediation Foundation Training Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes

The course objectives should be read in conjunction with the FMC Standards Manual and in particular with the FMC professional competence standards (Appendix 2 of the Standards) for mediation.

Theoretical underpinnings

An introductory understanding of the underpinning theories that informs the practice of family mediation. Participants should be able to demonstrate:

  • an understanding of the core principles of mediation and apply these in role-play settings
  • the stages of mediation and the overall framework
  • an understanding of negotiation theories and their application within a mediation setting
  • conflict theories and theory relating to power and control
  • an understanding of communication skills and skills of engagement
  • an understanding of the emotional and practical impact of family separation, transition and change including their relationship with processes related to separation, loss and bereavement
  • an understanding of the needs of children and of child development theory in relation to family separation and transition.
Professionalism and ethics

Participants should be able to demonstrate:

  • an understanding of both the scope and the limitations of the role of family mediator
  • an understanding of the ethical framework surrounding family mediation and direct work with separating families
  • the relevant code/s, legislation and standards that govern the work of family mediators, (notably that of the Family Mediation Council), the framework for practice as a Resolution member mediator
  • operating as a mediator within the legislative and procedural legal framework
  • an understanding of confidentiality and of privilege in a family mediation setting
  • a clear understanding of safeguarding principles and practice in relation to children and young people and vulnerable adults.
  • the ability to consider matters of capacity especially in relation to vulnerable clients
  • ethical and professional relationships with other professionals in family law and direct work with the family law
  • an understanding of diversity, equity and equality, fairness, transparency and respectful practice.

Mediation practice

Participants should be able to demonstrate:

  • the application of mediation principles and skills within the mediation environment
  • the ability to explain mediation principles and process (and those related to other forms of family dispute resolution) to clients and to engage with them
  • the ability to consider the reasons behind clients’ conflictual behaviour and acknowledge the different perspectives of the clients
  • a clear understanding of and the ability to assess for risk in a mediation setting at all stages
  • an understanding of and the ability to continually assess suitability and appropriateness of mediation
  • ability to focus on the mediation skills required to respond to the emotional needs of clients and their children
  • the ability to recognise and address power imbalances appropriately
  • an understanding of the use of appropriate, sensitive and constructive language in mediation
  • a clear understanding of the requirement for full financial disclosure in mediation and the role of the mediator
  • ability to focus on and demonstrate the skills required to respond to the legal and practical needs of clients and their children
  • the ability to provide appropriate legal and other information in an even-handed way
  • use of appropriate skills in relation to assisted dialogue and clients’ negotiations, for example question forms, reflection and summary, impasse strategies
  • appropriate knowledge and skills (and/or to know the limits of same) in relation to culture and diversity
  • the ability to use relevant and appropriate skills in order to address high levels of emotion and conflictual behaviour
  • the ability to consider how best to manage the emotional stresses for the clients, the children and the mediator with a focus on external support networks
  • the skills and understanding required to undertake co-mediation
  • an understanding of the nature of individual confidential meetings with clients
  • an understanding of the purpose and structure of MIAMs meetings
  • familiarity with and the ability to make appropriate assessments with clients in relation to legal aid eligibility and to use appropriate signposting and referral to assist clients to access appropriate help and support
  • familiarity with the documentation required in family mediation together with an understanding of the drafting and writing of clear outcome documents
  • an understanding of the framework and structure of online mediations
  • the ability to assess for safeguarding concerns whilst working remotely with clients
  • familiarity with the technical aspects of conducting online mediations.