Mediation Foundation Training Course Content

The course objectives and content is built around the FMC competencies for family mediators and the FMC Code of Practice. The competencies are set out in three sections and for ease; we have followed those headings in detailing the course content below. The FMC Manual sets out the required competencies in Appendix 2.

In order for you to meet the course objectives and learning outcomes that are set out, the course content includes:

Theoretical underpinnings: Background theory and research outcomes in:
  • mediation (A.1)
  • conflict (A1.3)
  • principled negotiation (A1.3)
  • communication (A1.4)
  • the emotional and practical impact of separation, divorce and family transition for children and adults (including the extended family) (A1.1, 1.2)
  • Domestic abuse and capacity, safeguarding from harm (A.1.1)
Professionalism and ethics: Professional and ethical behaviour in relation to mediation
  • Ethical and professional framework and limitations (B1.1, 1.2)
  • Code/s, legislation, procedures and standards (B1.1, 2.1)
  • Diversity, equity and equality, fairness and respectful practice (B3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 5.1, 5.2)
  • Confidentiality and privilege in the context of family mediation (B4.1)
  • Ethical and professional relationships with other practitioners (B1.1, 1.2, 1.3)
  • Self-awareness (B1.4,2.2, 2.3)
Mediation practice
  • Engaging with clients appropriately whether in individual or joint meetings (C1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3)
  • Risk assessment in the mediation setting (C2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4)
  • Assessment of suitability and appropriateness (C2.1, 2.5)
  • Legal Aid requirements – eligibility, signposting and referral (C1.4, C3.1)
  • Providing information in an even-handed way to clients (C1.4, 1.5)
  • Recognising with clients the need for other advice, effective signposting and referral (C1.4, 8.1)
  • Working in a child-focussed way with parents (C7.2)
  • Assisting client/s in managing stress for themselves and particularly for their children (C7.2)
  • Assisting clients to develop confidence in their ability to make appropriate decisions for themselves and their family (C8.1)
  • Legal and financial aspects in the context of family mediation (C8.2, 9.2, 9.3)
  • The range of skills used by mediators in everyday practice (e.g. listening, acknowledging, questioning, reflecting, summarising, reframing) (C7.1, 8.3, 8.4)
  • Strategies for everyday practice – dealing with power imbalances, impasse, high conflict and emotion (C8.4, 8.5)
  • Use of constructive language (C7.1, 8.1, 9.1)
  • Developing understanding of and skills for co-mediated practice
  • Family mediation documentation (C9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4)
  • Working with a Professional Practice Consultant (C11.1, 11.2)
Course content is delivered by:

Presentation by the trainers

Usually with PowerPoint (which will be provided to you as part of your guided study/distance learning resources). Questions and discussions on the topics presented is encouraged.

Small group exercises

These vary throughout the course and include:

  • Case and agency studies
  • Set questions for discussion
  • Experiential and critical thinking exercises

 Large group exercises and discussion

These vary throughout the course and include:

  • Experiential exercises
  • Whole group feedback related to role-played situations
  • Large group discussion on themes in mediation practice or related to mediation/conflict theory
  • Large group discussion in relation the regulatory or governing aspects of practice

Role play

The attended (either remote or in person attendance) part of the course includes role plays of family mediation cases. Full information and instructions are provided in relation to each role-played situation.

We believe that role-play should be a positive learning experience for all those involved, and we set out and manage how role-play will work within the group. It is very important to us that you feel as comfortable as possible in taking part in role-played situations and your trainers are always on hand and available to anyone who wishes to discuss any aspect of role-play.

Video presentation

There will be the opportunity to see and analyse video material of a mediation case and opportunities to consider a range of video material dealing with e.g. high emotion and conflict and the needs of children and parents following separation.

Course materials

We will ensure that you are sent ahead of the course, the links and any resources that you need. During the course, we will continue to provide to you, ahead of the relevant sections/days of the attended part of your course, further instructions, links and resources. We will send these allowing sufficient time for you to complete any reading or tasks required which we ask that you undertake as an integral part of your course.

Guided study, distance learning and set assignments

we ask that all participants commit to the elements of guided study/distance learning and set assignments that are an integral part of the course. Full information will have been provided to you but in summary this will include:

  • Pre-course reading, set tasks and preparation
  • Overnight reading and preparation (we try to keep this to a minimum as the course days are intensive)
  • A first essay assignment at the end of Day 3 to complete and return to us before Day 4 (which is ‘open book’ and you are encouraged to make full use of available texts and to undertake any other research you wish)
  • A second written assignment to produce a full set of client documents from a role-played situation on the course (you will be encouraged to use the templates and guidance available on the Resolution website)
  • A self-assessment log recording your reflections of your own progress during the eight days of the course.
Please note:

Groups are subject to adult learners group learning principles. We ask that everyone agrees to have respect and consideration for each other, for confidentiality within the group and to support one another personally and as professionals. We are proud that our mediation training attracts very positive feedback from those who have attended it and we hope that it will continue to be a course that is enjoyable and informative for you too.