Certification

Pursuing certification is worthwhile for those looking to begin practicing mediation or advancing a current career in another field by increasing their credibility, gaining experience and expanding a professional network.

As a Virginia state-certified mediator, you will have completed one of the most rigorous certification processes in the country. Requirements involve intensive skill-building training as well as time spent working with experienced mentor mediators to gain real-case experience.

The Virginia Court Mediator certifications are state-wide certifications which allow mediators to accept court-referred cases of a particular type from any court within the state. For information about other state mediation standards and requirements please see US Mediation Certification Standards.

Virginia has four levels of certification:

  1. General District Court (Civil Track)
  2. Circuit Court Civil (Civil Track)
  3. Juvenile and Domestic Relations (Family Track)
  4. Circuit Court Family (Family Track)

Recertification is required every 2 years.

Virginia Court Mediator Certification Requirements (PDF)

All Virginia certification categories require a Bachelor’s degree OR equivalent work experience as a prerequisite. If you have questions, contact the Dispute Resolution service at the Supreme Court of Virginia at (804) 786-6455 for more information.


General District Court (GDC) – Civil Certification

  • Typical issues addressed: landlord/tenant, contract, debt, business-to-business, neighborhood.
  • Amount in dispute is $25,000 or less
  • Includes three courts: Small Claims Court (no attorneys present), Landlord-Tenant Court (attorneys present), and General District Court (attorneys may or may not be present)

REQUIREMENTS

Step 1

Mediation Skills and Process
(20-hour basic mediation training)

Step 2

Orientation to the Virginia Judicial System
(4-hour training)

Step 3

Civil Mediation Practicum
(8-hour role-playing training)

OR

2 observations of GDC cases conducted by a mentor mediators

Step 4

3 co-mediations totaling at least 5 hours

Scrivener for at least 1 agreement

Step 5

Apply for certification

NVMS Cohort Program – Co-Mediations Only
NVMS offers opportunities to complete co-mediation requirements as a 4-month cohort program. Participants must commit to complete all other requirements separately.

TOTAL COST: $2,530

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Circuit Court Civil (CCC) – Civil Certification

  • Typical issues addressed: malpractice, personal injury, contracts, or condemnation.
  • Amount in dispute is over $25,000 

REQUIREMENTS

Step 1

Mediation Skills and Process
(20-hour basic mediation training)

Step 2

Orientation to the Virginia Judicial System (4-hour training)

Step 3

20-hours of advanced civil mediation training (must complete all classes):

Mediating Complex and Multiparty Civil Cases
(8 hours)

Facilitation and Group Consensus Building
(8 hours)

Preparing Memoranda and Agreement
(4 hours)

Step 4

NOT AVAILABLEAT NVMS

2 observations of CCC cases conducted by a mentor mediators

Step 5

NOT AVAILABLEAT NVMS

5 co-mediations totaling at least 10 hours

Scrivener for at least 1 agreement

Step 6

Apply for certification

TOTAL COST: $3,145 (training only)

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Juvenile and Domestic Relations (J&DR) – Family Certification

  • Typical issues: custody, visitation, co-parenting, child and spousal support.

REQUIREMENTS

Step 1

Mediation Skills and Process
(20-hour basic mediation training)

Step 2

Family Mediation Skills
(20-hour family mediation training)

Step 3

Domestic Violence Assessment
(8 hours)

Orientation to the Virgibnia Judicial System
(4-hours)

Step 4

NOT AVAILABLEAT NVMS

2 observations of J&R cases conducted by a mentor mediators

Step 5

NOT AVAILABLEAT NVMS

5 co-mediations totaling at least 10 hours

Scrivener for at least 1 agreement

Completion of at least 1 child support worksheet

Step 6

Apply for certification

TOTAL COST: $5,280

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Circuit Court Family (CCF) – Family Certification

  • Typical issues: custody, visitation, co-parenting, child and spousal support and division of property and assets.

REQUIREMENTS

Step 1

Mediation Skills and Process
(20-hour basic mediation training)

Step 2

Family Mediation Skills
(20-hour family mediation training)

Step 3

Domestic Violence Assessment
(8 hours)

Orientation to the Virgibnia Judicial System
(4-hours)

Resolving Economic Issues in Divorce
(12-hour training)

Step 4

NOT AVAILABLEAT NVMS

2 observations of J&R cases conducted by a mentor mediators

Step 5

NOT AVAILABLEAT NVMS

5 co-mediations totaling at least 10 hours

Scrivener for at least 1 agreement

Completion of at least 1 child support worksheet

Step 6

Apply for certification

TOTAL COST: $5,980

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Recertification

Recertification cycle: Due October 31, every two years.

Requirements

  • 10 hours of continuing education training including 2 hours of mediator ethics training

There are multiple avenues to accrue continuing education hours. For additional information, please consult pages 11-13 of the Guidelines For The Training And Certification Of Court-Referred Mediators.

Do you still have questions? 

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