General District Court Mediation Certification Mentorship

Virginia is one of the states to require a mentored apprenticeship, in addition to classroom training, in order to be certified as a court-referred mediator. During this mentorship, the mentee observes the stages of the mediation process and conducts mediation sessions under the guidance of a certified mentor mediator. Cases need not end in an agreement in order to count as “completed” mediations. Please see the “Mentorship Guidelines” for more details on what counts as a “completed” mediation for certification purposes.

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NVMS is currently transitioning to a cohort-based model for mentorship. The next start date for GDC mentorship is July, 2020.

If interested, please submit your GDC registration with mentorship fees. Applicants will be notified earlier in the year of their position on the cohort. Once accepted, mentees will work through the program on a monthly basis for co-mediation’s and additional, optional training and professional development. Mentees are expected to complete the program in 4-5 months.

Thank you for your patience.

Roster Status Changes

Waitlist to Active Roster

Mentees are automatically added to the waitlist upon submission of their mentorship application. Once openings in schedule become available they will be notified of the acceptance to the active roster. Once accepted, it is expected that the mediator will complete one session per month and to be completed with their requirements 6 months upon starting mediation sessions.


General Information

The majority of cases that NVMS mediates are referred through on-site courthouse mediation programs with Fairfax, Arlington, and Loudon counties. Courts are in session according to the following schedule:

Loudon County, Small Claims Court – Tuesdays, 8:30am
Fairfax County, Small Claims Court – Fridays, 9:30am
Arlington County, Small Claims Court – Second, third, fourth, and fifth Fridays, 9:30am

Mentorship program
3 Co-Mediations*

  • Onboarding Process and Curriculum
  • Ability to participate in monthly Community of Practice events
  • Access to NVMS Mentor pool
  • Exit process for certification application and next steps

*If a mentee has not met their certification requirements of 5 hours of mediation time and acting scrivener on an agreement after their 3rd co-mediation they will be allowed to schedule additional mediations at no charge until their requirements are satisfied.

$525 for full program*

Upon submission of registration you will be directed to a PayPal Invoice for completion of payment. The full amount will be due upon start of the active mentorship program.

*If less mediations are required price will be adjusted on a basis of:
$100 – Non-Mentored Observation
$175 – Co-mediation

To register to complete your mentorship with NVMS, please fill in the form below.

Please Note If requesting a prepaid invoice, you will be redirected to PayPal to complete the transaction.

Payment can also be made at the below link, noting “GDC Mentorship” in the Notes.

Please select a valid form

Payment and Cancellation

Full payment must be received no later than 5 calendar days prior to your first court date in order for your spot to be reserved and your mentor notified of the mentorship court date. All receipts are sent via email at the email address provided on the registration form.

If you are unable to attend, you may cancel your court date no later than 5 calendar days before you are scheduled to attend for no resulting penalties as No-show/Late Cancellations. A court session may only be re-scheduled once and is dependent on available openings during that month.

Late Cancellations

Participants who cancel their registration 3-5 calendar days prior to the start of the session will receive the resulting warning/removal per policy.

Participants who register for the mentorship court date but do not attend or cancel their registration less than 48 hours prior to the start of the session will be billed the full cost of the session and will receive the resulting warning/removal per policy.

Refunds may be processed in the following ways: credit to be used on an NVMS-sponsored observation or co-mediation of equal or lesser value within a year from being awarded or by check. Please allow 7-10 business days for processing.


Removal from Active Roster

If a mentee has a late cancellation, no show or extended inactive period, they are subject to being dropped from the active roster for mentorship. This is due to the high volume of mentees that complete their General District Court certification requirements via NVMS and an effort to reduce the overall mentorship timeline. Please see below the official policy:

Inactive Status

If a mentee has not requested a mentorship session for two months concurrently or three months cumulatively the mentee will be removed from the active roster to the waitlist and receive an inquiry as to their interest in continuing to pursue mentorship.

1st Late Cancellation/No Show – Warning

The first late cancellation/no show from a mentee will constitute a warning.

2nd Cancellation/No Show – Removed to Waitlist

The second late cancellation/no show a mentee will be removed from the active roster to the waitlist and will receive a status notification.

*Managerial discretion may be used for extenuating circumstances such as illness or family emergency, however please expect these policies to be enforced as the standard due to the nature of cancellations preventing waitlisted mentees from completing their mentorship in a timely manner.