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Hosted NMAS Accreditation Course

Mediation Institute now offers the opportunity for organisations to arrange a blended delivery NMAS Accreditation Course through a hosted workshop model.

How does it work?

Mediation Institute provides this opportunity for organisations who have 3 or more students who they want to train as NMAS Accredited Mediators.

You provide the venue and pay for any travel that is required for our trainers to go to site and we provide the blended delivery. The workshop is designed as a practical role play opportunity and includes three days of intensive practice with three role plays scheduled each day plus Q&A sessions, discussions and exploration of the role of mediation in your business.

You can enroll more students however the need to be in multiples of three people (the role play tri’s)

If you do not have multiples of threes consider hosting for students from other organisations or individuals who want this skill set. Mediation Institute pays a rebate of $150 for each student who you host from another organisation to cover catering and incidental costs.

Mi Blended Delivery Model

Blended delivery means that part of the training is online and part is at the workshop. Our method is to teach theory through eLearning and skills development through video or face to face role plays.

  • When students enroll they will be enrolled in the online learning and can get started
  • They are required to participate in a minimum of three video mediation role plays including one as the mediator before the workshop
  • During the workshop there will be two practice days and an assessment day

Request More Information

5 + 11 =

Elearning Mediation Training

eLearning Mediation Training is a specialty area for Mediation Institute.

We provide training for people who want to become dispute resolution professionals but who can’t afford five days straight of training typically offered by other training providers.  Our approach takes a little longer but provides a more structured and well-paced approach to learning allowing time for reflection, discussion and application not typically available in the fast-paced environment of a workshop.

Our belief is that one size does not fit all, especially when it comes to learning.  eLearning provides greater flexibility than workshop training and we think that is valuable.

Who is this course for?

The course is for anyone wanting to become a professional mediator in Australia. It is best suited for those who work full time and don’t want to give up a week of holidays or earning, those who are at home mums or dads and those living in regional and rural areas who don’t want the expense of traveling to a major center for a week of training.

Mediation Institute is the mediation training specialist and services are provided by mediators for mediators. We do not have any sales staff or others working with us who are not fully trained and accredited mediators.

That means that anyone you speak with knows the industry, the skills you need to be a professional mediator and will tell you the truth in response to your questions.

How can you train skills by eLearning?

Mediation Institute uses the same video mediation tools that professional mediators use with real clients to provide video mediation training. The hard part of mediation training is learning the facilitative and neutral role that you must take as a mediator.  That requirement along with being able to facilitate the structured mediation process are what you will learn during the course through practice video mediation role plays.

We don’t have to teach you how to be in a room with clients. We give you credits for that if you are over 18 and have previously worked!

Training outcome:  eligibility to complete the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS) assessment

Course duration:

  • 40 hours including a weekly commitment of 5 hours of video tutorials and role plays and 5 hours of self-paced study. Daytime and Evening training options.
  • You can fast track by committing to 9 hours per week of webinar and role play activity.

Course Commencement date: the first of each month.

Course Cost: $1,999 + $500 for Assessment = total training and assessment fee of $2,499

Accreditation as a NMAS Mediator requires an application form, proof of good character and professional indemnity cover and costs $320 for two years with Mediation Institute including your NMAS Accreditation, Free Professional Development Webinars and mentoring and an approved External Complaints Management Service.

Training Schedule  

  • Monday’s – 1-hour webinar (or one hour video if you can’t make the webinar live)
  • Tuesday’s – 2-hour role play – day and/or evening schedule
  • Wednesday – self-paced learning using our award-winning eLearning program and the Mediation and Communication Skills Manual
  • Thursday’s – 2-hour role play – day and/or evening schedule

Course Content

  • The National Mediation Accreditation System and becoming an NMAS Accredited Mediator
  • The Requirements for Accreditation as a Mediator
  • The Dynamics of Conflict
  • Ethical Standards
  • Pre-Mediation
  • Mediation Process
  • Practical Application – 9 video mediation role plays

 What happens if I miss a live training webinar session?

If you miss a webinar you can watch a video of the content but we encourage you to attend so that you can enjoy the interaction with other students and ask questions live.  You can contact the trainers throughout your studies with any questions that arise during your self-study.

If you miss a role play your course will take longer to complete.

How long do I have to complete the course?

You will need one month (unless you double up and do four role plays a week). You have three months to complete and can ask for an extension if necessary.

Who do I speak to if I have questions?

You can call

  • Joanne Law – Director of Studies on 0401 293 500 or
  • Ken Speakman – Director of Applied Learning on 0404 072 330

How do I enroll?

You can enroll online – or download an application form here. NMAS Enrolment Form 4.2018 v1

What you need to know about Mediation Training

Mediation Training

Mediation Training is essential for every professional mediator.  Training as a lawyer, psychologist, HR specialist or teacher is not sufficient for you to become a good mediator. Mediation requires a unique skill set to be a neutral facilitator of the dispute resolution process.

In Australia mediation training is not sufficient. You also need to be accredited to be a professional mediator or Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner.

Minimum accreditation requirements

What is the minimum amount of mediation training you need to be considered a “professional” mediator?

In Australia there is a voluntary minimum standard called the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS) established and maintained by the Mediators Standards Board. (MSB)

The MSB delegates responsibility for accrediting mediators to Recognised Mediator Accreditation Bodies (RMAB) such as Mediation Institute.

Don’t use unaccredited Mediators

As a RMAB our job is to assess mediator’s competence against the NMAS Standard and accredit them. Once accredited your name goes on the National Register of Accredited Mediators.

We provide member services and an independent complaint management service for mediators. We provide this for our members but will also accept complaints about non-accredited mediators and those claiming to be mediators as a service to the industry. At the moment anyone can call themselves a mediator and there is no official body policing this.

We strongly encourage the community not to use a mediator who is not on the NMAS Register for  workplace, elder, civil or other disputes.

The register is located here

The register allows anyone to look up the name of a person claiming to be a mediator to see if they are actually accredited.

An unaccredited mediator may indicate that they have xx decades of experience, but the reality is they have not made the minimum commitment to be nationally accredited.

They have not had to confirm to their RMAB every two years that they have met the professional development and practice hour requirements for NMAS Accreditation and they may not even have been trained as a mediator.

Don’t use unaccredited Family Law Mediators

The situation for Family Law Mediators is different in that there is a Graduate Diploma level qualification that people are required to complete to become a Family Law Mediator, known as a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP).

Just completing the minimum requirements to become a NMAS Accredited Mediator does not give someone the skills and knowledge they need to be a FDRP.  Even completing a law degree and NMAS Accreditation does not give a person the skills and knowledge they need to be a FDRP.

In fact the NMAS Accreditation or a Law, Social Work, Psychology or similar degree are pre-requisites just to get into the CHC81115 – Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution Qualification.

You can find out if someone claiming to be a Family Law Mediator or Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner is actually trained and accredited on the Australian Attorney Generals Department maintained register of Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners.

Minimum Mediation Training Requirements for Mediators

The minimum training requirements to be a professional mediator depends on the context you want to mediate in.

The minimum standard for Family Law Mediation is a graduate diploma qualification or equivalent.

The minimum standard for a NMAS Mediator is established in the National Mediator Accreditation Standards.

Mediation Training requirements for Mediators

The NMAS Standards set a minimum requirement of 38 hours for mediation training in Australia.  You can find out exactly what is required by reading the standards and a general idea by watching this video.

Mediation Institute provides this mediation training via eLearning and the skills development through Video Mediation.

Our mediation training service caters for people who want a more through course than a workshop or who do not want to take days of work to attend a workshop. Each of the video mediation role plays take two hours plus there are webinars and discussions in addition to the online learning for the theory of conflict resolution and ethical standards required of mediators.

We believe that this style of training theory is superior to workshops where knowledge retention is notoriously low plus it has the benefit of teaching video mediation giving our graduates a significant advantage over competitors who are not digitally competent and only able to offer face to face services.

You can find out more about our NMAS Accreditation Course here –

Our mediation training model allows us to keep costs down as we don’t have the overhead of a workshop venue and catering. The total fee is $2,899 including Assessment (be careful as some of our competitors sell the NMAS Course and NMAS Assessment separately).

If you want to do the course for professional development only and not to become NMAS Accredited let us know and we’ll reduce the fee as that will reduce our delivery costs.

The other major difference is that some mediation training providers take no responsibility for the quality of their training. They give you one chance at assessment included in your course fee or charge you for every attempt at your final assessment.

Our approach is that you have paid us to train you.  If you require more coaching and mentoring than others that is acceptable. We understand that not everyone learns in the same way or at the same pace and accommodate that in our training design. You can participate in as many role plays as you need and can be re-assessed if required.

We don’t drop the standards to get you through. We, especially Ken Speakman who is our director of applied learning, work with you until you meet the standard.

Training requirements for Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners

The CHC81115 – Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution is a comprehensive course for Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners (Family Law Mediators) however there is the option to apply to the Attorney Generals Department with a statement of attainment for the Six Core Units only.

This option is only recommended for those who are upgrading from an undergraduate degree. If you are entering the profession using the experience qualified or NMAS Accredited pathway we encourage you to add a full Graduate Diploma qualification to your CV rather than merely a statement of attainment.

The course as it is intended to be delivered is a really effective blend of theory and practical role plays and work placement however please be aware that some providers are not delivering the qualification as intended.

The requirement is a 50-hour work placement with client work under the supervision of a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner.  Some providers do not do this and instead count the role plays you do to develop your skills as being work placement and only require 20 hours of client related work.

Some providers leave you to find your own work placement and do not provide any support at all. Before you enrol with one of those providers make sure that you have a placement in hand as even the 20 hours is very difficult to get.

Mediation Institute believes that the role of a FDR Practitioner is one of the most critical in Australian society as we help to keep families safe from family violence by being the first port of call in family conflict.

Facilitating the resolution of family disputes, helping people to separate respectfully and mindfully and always working to make sure that the needs of children are understood and considered is what we teach.

It really is that important and we do not short change our students or their future clients by pretending that role plays are client work or leave them without a guaranteed pathway to complete their 50 hours client work.

If you are interested in becoming a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner, please review our course when you are doing your research. There are one or two other courses that also have a high standard however there are others that do not.

You can find out more about our CHC81115 – Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution course here –

Our training model also makes use of online learning, webinars and discussion groups, video mediation role plays as well as a short workshop to address the practical issues that relate to working face to face with families in conflict.

Work Placement with Interact Support

Our solution for the practice hours is through Interact Support Incorporated.  Interact Support is a social enterprise style not-for-profit that works independent of any government funding. There is an additional fee if placement through Interact is required so if you are working with a service or have a FDR Practitioner acquaintance make sure that you ask them if they will support some or all of your work placement.

Interact Support was established by Mediation Institute directors to provide work placement opportunities for our students and to help people falling through the gaps in the family law system.

We specialise in helping people who are experiencing conflict due to family relationship breakdown as they are not well catered for by the current system. Many of our services are delivered via Video Meeting and Video Mediation as a risk management strategy. Our policy is not to bring people to the same building if there is the risk of violence or if being in the same building would make someone fearful and unable to negotiate effectively.

Our services are provided by Independent Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners who contract with Interact Support for part of their time and run their own full fee businesses the rest.  This gives them the opportunity to give back, sell their surplus time and in the case of newly qualified practitioners build their experience and confidence in the industry.

Contracting with Interact Support is an option for all Mediation Institute Family Dispute Resolution Graduates as a part of our initiative to ensure that new entrants to the industry have the mentoring and support they need to develop as professionals.


If you don’t have time to read the full article the take-aways we want you to remember are:

  • Only use NMAS Accredited Mediators and Accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners to ensure that they comply with minimum mediation training requirements and professional standards.
  • Use the Registers on the MSB Website (Mediators) and Attorney Generals (Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners)
  • Find the right course for your budget and preferred training style but do your due diligence.
    • Do they allow for re-assessment and if so what does it cost? (NMAS)
    • Do they teach you how to facilitate Video Mediation and equip you for the 21st Century as a mediator?
    • Do they require the full 50-hour work placement, and do they support you getting your placement? (FDR)
    • Are their trainers practicing professional mediators or academics who are teaching you theory rather than the reality of working in the industry?
    • Do they run a professional body that will continue to support you once you complete your entry level course?

Needless to say, Mediation Institute does all of these things and more so please get in touch if you are interested in becoming a professional mediator.

Our NMAS and Grad. Dip. FDR Courses are continual enrollment which means you can enroll and get started as soon as you want. We don’t put a limit on the number of NMAS Mediators we train and have places for a further 12 Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution students for 2018.

15 + 11 =

I want to be a family mediator

As Director of Studies for Mediation Institute I often have conversations with people who tell me “I want to be a family mediator.”

Sometimes they think that all they need to do is get NMAS Mediator Accreditation.

Perhaps they have experienced Family Dispute Resolution in their own relationship break down or have heard about it through someone else and think “How hard can it be?”

The reality is that it is a responsible, professional role with people who are under a great deal of stress and often vulnerable for a number of reasons. It is not a role that you should be doing without training or with only the short course that is required for NMAS Accreditation.

Family Law Mediation

Family Law Mediation is regulated in Australia by the Family Law (Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners) Regulations 2008 and the Family Law Act 1975.

In our training for Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners we have to provide contextualised training in:

  • family violence and risk screening
  • working with victims and users of family violence
  • Family Law in terms of the role and obligations of FDR Practitioners as well as the requirements for Parenting Agreements and Parenting Plans and Property Settlements.  To be a FDR Practitioner you don’t have to be a lawyer (although that does let you get straight into the course)  You don’t do a lawyers job as a FDR Practitioner (Family Law Mediator) but you do need to have a very detailed understanding of the Family Law system.
  • Preparing for Family Dispute Resolution including mandatory pre-mediation procedures and required information that must be provided.
  • Family Dispute Resolution including the structure and process of family dispute resolution mediation, how to help parents to negotiate parenting and property agreements and how to deal with challenges during the process.

How long to learn all that?

Our course is self-paced and delivered online through eLearning, webinar discussions, role plays and other practical activities and would usually take between eight and twelve months to complete depending on your prior knowledge, time available for study and application.

What people don’t always realise is that there is a mandatory work placement requirement that ensures that you have the opportunity to translate the theory and basic skills you develop through the course and practice role plays into real experience.

Our students can opt for Mediation Institute to provide that work placement opportunity through the not-for-profit Interact Support or can organise their own. We often get enquiries from students of other training providers desperate for their practice hours in order to get qualified so make sure you can get your hours or factor in the cost of having to purchase supervision.

The cost for students of other training providers is $66 per hour.  Unless you are already working for a service, organising your own work placement is likely to be more difficult and expensive than you may guess.

Pre-requisite qualifications

You can’t just walk off the street and enrol in the CHC81115 – Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution.  Pre-requisite qualifications apply.

Generally they relate to an undergraduate degree in Law, Psychology, Social Work or dispute resolution qualifications.

Counsellors are always disappointed to realise that your qualifications are not recognised as a pre-requisite qualification.

If you don’t have a pre-requisite qualification then an extra step of becoming a NMAS Accredited Mediator is required before you are eligible to enrol in the Graduate Diploma level qualification.

You also need to meet “good character” requirements.

Accreditation with the Attorney Generals Department

The Becoming a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner page on the Australian Attorney Generals department has more information about becoming a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner. 

We partner with an RTO called Inspiritive to offer the training.  This is the page on our site with the information about the Graduate Diploma Course

National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS)

It is a bit strange that a 38 hour course and accreditation process through a voluntary industry standard accreditation process (NMAS) provides the same level of access to the Graduate Diploma level qualification as a law or psychology degree but those are the rules.

The good thing is that if you do have to complete the pathway NMAS accreditation is becoming more recognised as an entry level standard for mediators (other than family law mediators).

The Accreditation body is the Mediators Standards Board and this page on their website provides more information.  their FAQs contain a bit more information as well.


Mediation Institute is a Recognised Mediator Accreditation Body which means we can train, assess, accredit and then support mediators to meet their ongoing professional obligations once accredited.

If your main interest is in becoming a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner it is a longer journey than the 38 hour course that is required for NMAS Accreditation.

What can I earn?

There is no regulation of fees for mediators and Family Dispute Resolution so “What should I charge?” is another question that we frequently get from Graduates.

Working independently as a mediator we believe you should be earning between about $180 and $250 plus GST per hour when you start out but what you charge does depend on your belief in what value you bring, your worth, what you have charged out your time for previously and to a degree the type of clients you attract.

The register of FDR Practitioners gives some idea of what people are charging if what you can charge out at once you are qualified is something that you need to factor into your decision to train.

Search for your state or territory or city then click into the individual mediators to see what those that are publishing their fees are charging. There is a big range!

There isn’t a public register for NMAS Mediators fees.  If you just want to work for someone else and not do your own marketing then you will probably be paid between $50 and $120 an hour and even less with some not-for-profits.

Pathway to becoming a FDR Practitioner

If you don’t have one of the pre-requisite qualifications the pathway to becoming a FDR Practitioner would be:

  1. Complete the NMAS Mediator Course
  2. Pass the assessment for accreditation
  3. Apply for NMAS Accreditation
  4. Enrol in the CHC81115 – Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution (or the core units only if you are happy with the minimum possible requirement)
  5. Complete the mandatory work placement and get your Graduate Diploma or Statement of Attainment
  6. Apply to the Attorney Generals to become a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner.

We are able to provide all of these stages in the pathway along with interest free payment plans or education finance.

If you want to be a family mediator why not get started today?

We are currently enrolling in the CHC81115 – Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution for a mid February course start.  Grad Dip Course Application Form

That means there is time to get your NMAS Accreditation if you apply yourself to our self-paced online course.  NMAS Accreditation Course 


Experience Qualified Pathway to NMAS Accreditation

Experience Qualified Pathways

There are two experience qualified pathways for people who are working as unaccredited mediators who wish to become accredited.

  • Experience, education and assessment.
  • CALD knowledge, experience and assessment.

Both Pathways require an assessment of competence which is generally conducted through a Video Mediation role play.

Cost for the assessment is $550 but please contact us first to make sure that your evidence of experience and competence is acceptable.



Experience, Education and Assessment

Experience, education and assessment

  1. You must provide us with evidence that you have conducted at least 100 hours of
    mediation within the two years prior to your application. Proof may take the form of a log book and CV.

    We don’t require confidential information about clients just dates and type of mediation.

  2. Two references from people who can state that you are a competent mediator 
  3. You will have to show that you have completed mediator training, supervision or education to our satisfaction in the previous two years. Generally this would be at least 25 hours of mediation training, supervision or professional development.
  4. You will have to demonstrate competence in an assessment  
CALD knowledge, experience and assessment

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse knowledge, experience and assessment

  1. You must provide us with evidence that you possess appropriate mediation experience and knowledge of the unique values and traditions within the culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) community with which you identify
  2. Two references from people who can state that you are a competent mediator
  3. You will have to demonstrate competence in an assessment  

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