Mediation Certification Program

Trainers: Elizabeth Clemants and Michelle Gutierrez

Mediation is a fast growing industry with many facets.  US News and World Report named it one of the top professions for its pay scale, its flexibility and the usefulness of the skill set in both professional and personal aspects of life.  It is hard to think of a business with more potential clients than conflict resolution!  However, there are two very distinct skill sets necessary to be successful as a professional mediator.  First, you have to be skilled at mediating, which involves significant training and practice.  Second, you need to know how to run a small business, because, at the end of the day, that is what a private mediation practice is.  Planning Change will teach you both.    

Planning Change offers a 100-hour year-long mediation certification program for those interested in developing a private practice in mediation.  This certification program is New York State Unified Court System Part 146 approved, giving its graduates one of the qualifications for joining a court roster*.   The certification program begins with Basic Mediation Training, followed by Advanced Mediation Training.  During the Advanced training, each student selects one of three tracks on which to focus.  The private practice tracks in Family/Divorce and Small Business/Commercial prepare trainees with the skills and knowledge particular to these areas of practice.  The third track focuses on Professional Development and is suited for students interested in adding a mediation certification and skill set to either their current work, or another area of practice.

After completing the Advanced Training, students move on to the Mastery, where their skills are further exercised and refined by encouraging them to grow into a higher level of practice.  Upon completion of the Mastery Course, students become Planning Change Certified Mediators - and will be listed as such on our website. 

Following the Mastery Course students are invited to take an elective 8-week workshop in how to start a small business during which each attendee receives personalized guidance on launching their private practice.  Planning Change will help each student to conceptualize and take the practical steps to start their business or take their business to the next level.

*Final placement on any court roster is at the jurisdiction of the local Administrative Judge and participation in a course that is approved by Part 146 does not guarantee placement on a local court roster.



Schedule:  All three segments of the training:  Basic, Advanced and Mastery, are taught in this format:  Two full days of classroom over a weekend, followed by 6-8 weeks of small groups working with live cases using actors as parties - meeting once a week for three hours.  Morning, afternoon and evenings small groups are available.  There is a minimum number of hours required to complete the program, however, doing make-up sessions for the small group work is possible if a student can not commit to the schedule they are given.  

In Basic Mediation Training, students learn the fundamentals of mediation.  Some of the skills and perspective taught in this training are unique to Planning Change, while also qualifying for the New York State Unified Court System - Part 146 approved training standard. 

At the second level, Advanced Mediation Training, students deepen their practice and are introduced to more sophisticated skills. Students also have an opportunity to focus on a particular area of mediation practice and may choose one of three student tracks in which to specialize: Small Business, Family & Divorce or Professional Development.  This training is largely focused on teaching content of the specialty area in the small group work.

The final phase of training is Mastery Mediation Training. This level focuses on the personal qualities of the mediator and looks at what the mediator brings to the table internally, and how by knowing themselves better, they can learn to resolve conflict with more proficiency and personal presence.  This level of training offers a far deeper understanding of conflict resolution skill and theory. 

The final workshop is called Building Your ADR Practice, and is not mandatory for the certification program.  However, for those interested in starting a private practice, this workshop is an excellent way to get the support one needs to launch their business.  This group meets every other week for three hours, and gives the student support in developing the conceptual aspects of their business as well as the practical ones.  Planning Change teaches how to best promote your services, get a steady stream of referrals to your practice and offers extensive feedback and advice to help the new mediator to hone their business.


Fall - Winter 2017/2018

100-Hour Certified Mediation Training

This training is for beginners and those that have had training but would like a refresher course.  This training is intended to build strong mediation professionals, both their skills as a practitioner and to help them start their businesses.  This course is a 100 hour intensive offering three different certifications from the New York State Unified Court System.      

Dates:   September 12, 2017 - January 11, 2018

Time:   9:00am-12:00pm

Meets:  Every Tuesday and Thursday

Cost:  $4,989

* cost of training can be spread out into four payments each month of $1,250.



Build Your ADR Practice

Dates:   TBA





Elizabeth Clemants teaches all the courses and is certified by the New York State Unified Court System's Office of ADR Programs to provide Basic Mediation Training for the Community Dispute Resolution Center's programs. The Basic Mediation Training is also approved by the New York State Unified Court System under part 146*. We also offer a Planning Change Certification, where mediators will be listed on the website as having completed the program.

*Final placement on any court roster is at the jurisdiction of the local Administrative Judge and participation in a course that is approved by Part 146 does not guarantee placement on a local court roster.