What is Mediation

  • Mediation is a process in which a mediator helps people develop communication and understanding to resolve disputes and conflict

  • Mediation is voluntary and confidential. The mediator is independent and impartial. These are the founding principles of mediation

  • Conflict Resolution Team mediators work in accordance with the European Code of Conduct for Mediators

  • Our mediation is provided by experienced mediators.

Independence: Mediators are not attached to any other organisation. They are not involved in the dispute and have nothing to gain from the outcome. Their expertise is mediation.

Impartiality: Mediators involve the parties equally in the process of resolution. They do not take sides, judge the parties or make decisions about who is right or wrong.

Consent: People in dispute - the parties - participate by their own consent. Mediation is entirely voluntary, and this is one of the reasons it’s successful. The parties create solutions that they’re happy with and make them work.

Confidentiality: What Parties say in mediation is confidential within the law. This does not cover serious criminal activity or people being put at harm or risk.

Commitment: We work on the basis of an honest commitment to change


What actually happens?example graphic

Mediation is a based on consent. People participate voluntarily. So what actually happens depends partly on what the parties want.

However, there are some general patterns.

First, the mediator meets the parties separately. This is the “assessment”. The parties explain what’s happening and what they think and feel about it. The mediator explains mediation so that the parties can make informed decisions.

After this, there are two main types of mediation:

Joint Mediation Sessions (Face-to-Face meetings). The parties meet to discuss the issues they want to resolve. The parties decide which issues to discuss and how to resolve them. The mediator ensures that the meeting is structured and fair. Everyone gets chance to talk and, just as important, everyone gets chance to listen.

This is often the first time the parties have had chance to describe how the situation is affecting them and how they want things to be in the future. It can be the first time they can say what they need to say and be heard. It can be the first time they’ve heard the other party.

This is why sometimes mediation is described as “a safe place to have a difficult conversation”.

Joint mediation sessions have the best success rates and can often be the quickest way of resolving problems.

Shuttle Mediation is where the mediator visits each party separately and in turn. Each party decides what the mediator may discuss with the other party. The mediator helps the parties work on each issue and come to understanding or agreement. The mediator may convey questions or information between parties, according to their wishes.

Sometimes people start with shuttle mediation and, as they become more confident with the process, meet together in a joint mediation session.

What happens after mediation?example graphic

This depends on the outcome of the mediation and the wishes of the parties. Mediation is not a legally binding process but the parties commit to the agreements they have made. Any further meetings or follow-up arrangements are agreed between the parties and the mediator.

One of the most important parts of mediation is agreeing what happens afterwards, and people leaving the process knowing what is going to happen next, and when.

For more detailed information, please look at The Mediation Process in either Agreement to Mediate available as a download.