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What is a "Certified" Mediator?

Is there "certified" mediation in Rhode Island? Some mediators publicize themselves as "certified", but a mediation consumers should question anyone advertising as "certified".  

Rhode Island does NOT certify mediators. Anyone can hang a shingle (or post a website) advertising mediation services.  What is the value of a "certification"? You decide after reading the following from The National Association of Certified Mediators (NACM) website:

· All current certification processes are strictly academic and theoretical. We felt that many of the mediation certification processes promoted less than what we felt was required to provide mediation services. 

· A general acceptance in the industry is that once certified by any certification organization the certificate holder is fully qualified to mediate. This is a misconception. A certificate provided by us or any of our associate organizations demonstrates a quantitative proficiency in a theoretical and academic arena only. The true qualifications of a mediator should be qualified by the employer. Only that individual can ascertain the other requirements of a mediator which cannot be measured in a written test.

· Our examinations are designed to provide the basic knowledge that we feel mediator should have. As with any certification, degree or diploma, the real learning process comes in working with an experienced mediator. The employer is responsible for hiring and is therefore in a position to determine if a person who has the academic credentials (certification) can also demonstrate the skills and ability to be on the staff. These cannot be measured in a written test.

· We also don't require CEU's for recertification. You pay the same fee to recertify.

· We offer a certification and recertification prep manual immediately available for download when you pay. When you're done reading it drop over to the testing site again and take the certification test. If you fail, go over the area of study that you missed and take the test again.

My extensive experience mediating and lawyering in Family Court provides my credentials. In addition to my initial 40-hour training, I attended a week long Mediation Workshop given at the Harvard Law School Program of Instruction for Lawyers. I had additional training by the US Post Office for their mediation program. All programs included extensive role play supervised by an experienced trainer. I practice as a lawyer in the Family Court. I have lectured numerous times on behalf of the Rhode Island Bar Association. Most importantly, I have mediated in excess of 275 divorces to completion in addition to numerous USPS employment disputes.

See also Online Guide to Mediation,by Diane Levin 

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Law Office of Steven J. Hirsch, Esq

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100 Jefferson Boulevard Suite 315 Warwick, RI 02888 Phone: 401-287-2079 Fax: 401-352-0029 Warwick Law Office Map

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