This article was written for people looking for advice on how to choose a mediation training company. If you are considering taking up the profession of mediation, you would do well to be aware of all the various aspects that need to be considered when choosing a company. Below are some of my thoughts and observations on several factors that should be taken into consideration.
1) Look at their slogan or motto:
You want a training company that has been around for awhile and is clearly successful at what they do, or else they will not have the clout required in this business. If the company is fairly new, or the slogans are vague and generic, or even worse, irrelevant to the job of a mediator, you might want to look elsewhere.
2) Do they have a physical office?:
Choose a company that has their own physical office and not one that operates strictly online. Having a physical office will give you a more personal feeling of confidence regarding the legitimacy of the business. If they do not have an office listed on their website, this is not good news for you. It means that either they cannot afford an office or that it does not exist at all.
3) Are they a member of any professional organizations such as the American Bar Association?:
Look to see if the company is a member of some of the larger more established professional organizations, this will serve to indicate that they are serious about the mediation profession. All memberships must be current and paid in full. If they are not, take this as a red flag.
If the company has been around for awhile, they should have no problem providing you with their membership information. Without it, that is not a reflection on them necessarily, but it might be one on you for not using your best judgement to seek out all pertinent information beforehand instead of asking them on a whim during your interview with them.
4) Are they certified?:
If they are not certified, you are not able to use their services in all states. Check out the list of certification requirements and make sure that the company is indeed certified and meets all of the standards set forth by each governing body.
The absence of certification is a red flag, you will want to think again about using their services.
An added perk for companies with certification for their training classes is that there are more who offer to conduct such classes at relatively low prices.
Look for information on how long each mediation trainer has been with the company as this will indicate how many mediations they have conducted over time.
5) If there is an online course, do they offer a money-back guarantee if you are dissatisfied with the course?: This can be an excellent indicator of a company’s confidence in their product. Not only that, it can give you the peace of mind that they are not afraid to stand by their product, because if they were to offer such a guarantee, they would have to actually believe in what they were selling.
If there is no money-back guarantee offered on the online course, you might want to look elsewhere.
6) What about references?:
Good training companies will have plenty of references for you to contact and/or write letters of recommendation from.